Last week, I received a letter from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) informing me that I am promoted to senior member status. According to the ACM website, senior membership recognizes “those ACM members with at least 10 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous Professional Membership who have demonstrated performance that sets them apart from their peers.” The process for senior membership within ACM starts with meeting a minimum set of conditions – five years of continuous membership in ACM and 10 years of professional experience (however you receive credit for college degrees towards years of professional experience – which I did not need this credit myself). Once these are met, there is an application that must be filled out (a self-nominating process) which is essentially someone’s resume fit into a form. The final portion of the application is asking for 3 nominations from people familiar with your work. Once these steps are taken, the information goes to a review committee and eventually a decision.

I am also a senior member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The process for achieving ASQ senior membership is similar – member of ASQ for 1 year and 10 years of professional experience. The application then requires that at least 1 of 4 items be completed. In my case, it was holding an ASQ certification that requires recertification. No nominations are required.

I am not a senior member in IEEE. The application process requires filling out an application and submitting a copy of your resume which must show 10 years of professional experience / 5 years of significant performance. In addition, it requires 3 nominations from current IEEE members of senior grade or higher.

Is there value in these advanced membership grades? With ASQ you get some additional benefits. I am not sure for the other societies.