About SDA

The Society for Design Administration (SDA), which started over 60 years ago, is a national organization comprised of administrative personnel from architecture, engineering and other design-related firms. Through a collaboration with AIA, ACEC and other related design organizations, SDA’s common goal is to improve the design profession.

SDA is a self-governing, non-profit, non-discriminatory and non-union society. The SDA mission is to promote the exchange of information and ideas and the education of SDA members in the related disciplines of design firm administration.

Membership in the Orange County Chapter is your key to continuing education in specific areas related to your field.


SDA Membership

SDA’s mission is to promote the exchange of ideas and to educate our members in the related disciplines of design firm administration. SDA is an elite organization that addresses the issues, concerns, and educates its members in all aspects of design firm administration. If you are employed as an administrator in the A/E/C industry, then you should become a member!

Our primary objectives are:

  • To enhance practice administration through personal growth and continued education
  • To encourage career growth and excellence through a Certified Design Firm Administrator Program (CDFA)
  • To contribute to the development of office systems and materials
  • To work with institutions of higher education to establish a curriculum for the training of design field personnel
  • To cooperate with civic organizations whose undertakings are non-profit, non-political, and of vital interest to the community
  • To enhance the network of our members and their firms within the A/E/C community

Here are just a few of the benefits members receive:

SDA Forum Discussions

SDA has several Forums including Member, Chapter, BOD and Principals, to name a few. The Forums are our primary source for member-to-member communication. From here you can dip into the pool of knowledge of other SDA members by posting queries, offering advice, and sharing best practices in your related discipline. You can now view your specific thread instantly to view any updates in real time. It’s similar to the tool you all are used to using, the Listserv, but different in that you do not use your email. You must go directly to the website to post questions and reply, but you can choose to receive email notification when other people send responses.

Certification Program (SDA/CDFA)

When you join SDA you are allowed to put “SDA” after your name to show you have started, and are willing, to further your knowledge and grow. The Certification Program takes that a step further. By meeting specific requirements and taking specific courses you can become SDA Certified and use “SDA/CDFA”. This is a high honor among members of SDA and the design industry and serves as a tangible measure of competence.

BTD White Papers

SDA’s White Papers are educational tools for SDA members. Posted quarterly, they offer an exchange of knowledge in the six areas of design administration: human resources, office administration, project management, finance, information technology, and marketing.

Webinars and Audio Conferences

SDA provides interactive, 90-minute educational sessions via audio teleconference and the Internet, hosted by industry experts covering industry hot topics, best practices, and special interests.

SDA Today

The SDA Today is our monthly e-newsletter which provides current and relevant information for all SDA Members. Articles relevant to A/E/C administration are always included as well as a welcome to all new members, a list of upcoming webinar/audio conferences, a calendar of upcoming events and other news and tips to keep members informed of what’s going on.

SDA Market

Interested in saving your firm money? Our electronic store allows members to purchase items relevant to the design profession. As an SDA member, you will automatically receive discounts on items provided by SDA Market merchants.

Volunteerism and Leadership Opportunities

Through our chapter and national committees, and the national charity foundation Canstruction®, you have the opportunity to get involved, meet new and exciting people, and develop essential leadership skills.

Click here to download a copy of the SDA Membership Application.