Over the past two years, many associations have had to re-evaluate their organization structure and benefits to align with the shift in engagement from many of their members. This is something normally done on an annual basis; however, with more professionals working remote, balancing families while home working, and minimizing their normal engagement levels of activity, associations are poised to pave the way for their industries by preparing their members for career success, specifically in their field.

According to a recent ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) Benchmark research study, more than 80 percent of associations deliver professional career development to their members, with one-third administering accreditation and certification programs. How are they delivering diverse content that fits the professional career journey, as their needs change and what platforms are flexible enough to accommodate these changes?

5 Key Areas Associations Deliver Professional Development

To maintain members over the lifetime of their career, associations must meet the ever-evolving criteria demands their members career journey takes them through and enhance the educational aspects of what is most impactful for optimal success. Here are 5 key areas associations deliver professional development during the journey.

Training and Education

Members often look to their association for the latest in industry critical advancements to ensure they are always staying up to date with new methodologies and technologies. Associations typically hold conferences or events that have sessions in the form of seminars or workshops to aid learning and growth in their industry. Furthermore, associations give members continuous opportunities for flexible learning through LMS tools that offer personalized content for continuous education.

Certification Programs

Many organizations offer certification and licensing programs within their association as an added benefit to members, offering a level of prestige within an industry. By offering these types of programs, associations can develop the highest level of standards for an industry, while shaping best practices and policies for future generations. Often these certifications are backed by accredited governing bodies to ensure unbiased representation.


One of the most common areas associations that develop professional development is through networking, allowing for peer-to-peer learning and relationship building throughout one’s career. Professional associations are filled with a multitude of prospects, customers, clients, and partners who can help organizations exponentially grow strategically and become a leading business in the industry.

Best Practices

Many industries are facing fast paced technological advancements, driving their business decisions, without allowing time to digest the outcomes of these strategies. Therefore, associations offer a place for members to develop the best practices set by the industry critical to the quality and effectiveness of work. Because these practices are always constantly changing, it is important for associations to take advantage of using online systems to disseminate this information to members that can improve their career development.


Membership of any professional association means direct access to up-to-date news and development that impacts the field or industry. Often, associations will send out weekly or monthly newsletters to keep members abreast of the latest developments, along with other informative resources once logged in to help members stay recent and relevant in their expertise.

Freestone: Learning Platform

Freestone is an online learning platform that was designed for the specific needs of associations that deliver high volumes of live and prerecorded video content. Whether an organization is leveraging webinars, webcasts, or on-demand courses, Freestone provides an intuitive, user-friendly experience that makes it easy to both present and participate in events. Featuring a variety of interactive tools that help online courses meet live learning requirements, this customizable solution not only makes a powerful LMS first impression, but also provides a seamless administrative experience for organizations seeking to build content offerings and identifying potential revenue opportunities.

To learn more about how Freestone delivers a powerful learning experience that meets the needs of both presenters and participants, contact us today for a guided demo of the platform.