In March, the ASCLS Board of Directors approved changes to the Society’s membership dues, which is part of a multiyear effort to modernize and simplify ASCLS membership structures. These changes will be in effect for the coming Society year and will be reflected in the upcoming renewals for 2018-2019 ASCLS membership.
Single regular Professional Category and Dues Reduction: By a three to one margin, most professional members choose to be Professional I members. The Professional II category was created several years ago, when ASCLS was still printing and mailing its journal, to allow members to forgo delivery of the journal. With a completely online journal, the Society no longer enjoys those savings from smaller print runs. There is now a single Professional category. By combining the two, renewing Professional I members will see a slight decrease in annual dues to $96.
Moving forward, all members will have access to the Clinical Laboratory Science journal, which is now on a new platform, indexed and integrated with the rest of the healthcare community, using a platform developed at Stanford University and utilized by hundreds of other organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, and the British Medical Journal.
Extending Memberships for New Professionals to Five Years: ASCLS has typically seen poor retention of First Year Professionals as they move from lower dues rates to paying full Professional dues. New professionals will now be eligible to pay the lower dues rate for up to five years, provided they maintain their membership during that time.
Rewarding Renewing Members: Joining ASCLS will now carry a slightly increased price tag, but renewing members will see their dues lowered. Organizations regularly offer promotional dues rates to encourage new members to join, but the members who are most loyal rarely see those benefits personally. ASCLS will now reward membership loyalty by providing lower dues for renewing members than those joining for the first time. Professional membership is reduced from $99 to $96 per year for those renewing their membership, but increased to $108 for those joining. The cost to join is pro-rated throughout the year. Renewing New Professionals and Collaborative members will see similar savings.
Refining Collaborative Member Benefits: Previously, Collaborative membership was open to anyone with a membership in another organization. Ensuring continuing membership in another organization is nearly impossible to efficiently accomplish. With these recent changes by the Board, Collaborative membership is now open to anyone, but the benefits have been narrowed to align with the lower dues paid by these members. Collaborative members will no longer be eligible for registration discounts at the Annual Meeting and the Clinical Laboratory Educators’ Conference. Less than 300 members (out of nearly 9,000) utilize this membership category.
New Sustaining Membership: Many of ASCLS’s most loyal and engaged members have approached the leadership about finding ways to provide more resources to support the Society’s mission. A new Sustaining Membership can be added to any other membership for $100 each year, and carries with it some new perks that will help these dedicated members stand out for the profession.
Emeritus Member Eligibility: Previously, Emeritus Members were required to be retired from “gainful employment.” However, many of our members continue to be involved in the profession (some continuing to work in a variety of capacities) while otherwise being eligible for reduced dues. To allow our most loyal, long-term members to take advantage of these benefits, the Board has changed the eligibility requirement, adopting a suggestion from the House of Delegates meeting in 2017. Moving forward, eligibility is based on the simple calculation of the sum of the member’s age and years of continuous membership equaling at least 90. This does not affect previously enrolled Emeritus Members.
In addition to these policy changes made by the Board of Directors, the House of Delegates will be considering a number of bylaws changes to reinforce this streamlining process. Those changes are detailed here.