Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
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    Mary Beth

    I have seen some registered landscape architects use RLA and others use ASLA and even a few that use both. For those of you who are registered, when signing documents, specs, and plans, what do you use?

    Dave Sobina

    I use the RLA when signing documents, plans, etc. in the states that I am registered (PA & NY). As a member of ASLA I then use ASLA when signing documents in states where I am not registered.

    Kenn Bates, ASLA

    I use ASLA behind my name all of the time for professional business to promote the profession. I am registered, but do not have the responsibility for signing and sealing in my office.

    Bryce Miranda

    In Canada we use both the provincial and federal associations.

    Jay Everett

    Mary Beth,
    This Article may be helpful to you.
    In my experience, people who are not members of ASLA or who do not want to emphasize their membership use RLA. RLA of course means “Registered Landscape Architect”. ASLA designates a person who is a full member of ASLA and has a degree or certificate from an accredited program with at least 3 years of full-time professional experience, or holds a valid state license. I’m not sure why anyone would use both at the same time. Documents may have either designation printed on them, but most people just sign their name and do not include a designation in their signature.

    other designations for ASLA Members include:

    Student ASLA – member who is currently enrolled in an accredited program
    Associate ASLA – member who graduated from an accredited program, but has less than 3 years of experience or is not licensed
    International ASLA – Landscape Architect, member who lives outside the limits of the society
    Affiliate ASLA – member who did not attend an accredited program, is not licensed, but desires the services of the society
    Fellow ASLA, or FASLA – Landscape Architect, Full Member who has been received the honored status of Fellow

    In addition the use of the RLA designation may vary from state to state, depending on title law, however I believe in most cases it is illegal to solicit work in a state if no one in your firm holds a valid license in that state.


    I always sign “RLA, ASLA” to denote first and foremost, that I am licensed and secondly, that I am a member of ASLA. Prior to being licensed, I used “ASLA” after my name to promote the profession.


    Since becoming a registered landscape architect, I have always used “ASLA” on business cards and stationary. Using the “ASLA” designation implies both license/registration and promotes membership within our professional association. When I see someone else use “ASLA” or call themselves a “landscape architect” I generally assume that they are licensed.

    The designation “RLA” is more descriptive in that only a registered LA can use it regardless of membership status with ASLA, but it is also less recognizable to associated professions who may not be familiar with LA license requirements.

    Doug Olsen

    Yes, I was granted full ASLA status before I became a registered landscape architect. Unlike AIA and RA, in which AIA appears to automatically include the fact that you are a licensed arc hitect, ASLA designation doesn’t necessarily. I have both on my business card, but typically use RLA when signing and sealing.

    Clayton Munson


    Thanks for finding that article. It does a great job explaining exactly how each title can be used and all the other designations that are out there. It comes straight from ASLA’s website.

    Rob Rosner

    I use both RLA & ASLA. Because there are people who are full members who are not registered, I want to instill a sense of legitamcy by using “RLA” and then use “ASLA” promote the ASLA organization afterwards. Also, the engineers use “PE” after their name for the same reason of legitamcy especially in professional settings. I work in an engineering office. It also helps me represent our profession among a predominantly “engineering” company.

    Avery Telligman

    Interesting point. My first alma mater awarded Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy’s) an honorary degree of humanities; which, I find quite an ironic juxtaposition given the inherent devastating social, moral, and environmental costs of fast food on civilization. However, I do not necessarily feel that my degree is either devalued or heightened by my university bestowing that honor on Dave Thomas.

    I believe that regardless of your pedigree and letters that one makes their break(s).

    David J. Chirico

    Dave Thomas was rewarded for his work and contributions with adoption agencies. He was an adopted child and was so successful, he made it a point to give back. I would never discredit that because he sells fatty burgers.

    I’m with you Andrew, it does undermine the value of ASLA status when non licensed people are awarded the title outside of an honorary role. I know many LA’s who refuse to join ASLA and use RLA for that mismanagement alone.

    Chad Crutcher

    Interesting chatter, here.
    I always list an alphabet soup of organizational memberships and credentials after my name that do not attach to liability such as ASLA/AICP/LEED AP. I always list all licenses below my name (states & license numbers) because the latter is usually required in some form or other on all professional communications, such as in California. I don’t use RLA, rather CLA w/# for CA and NLA w/ # for Nevada.

    No, I do not really have an issue with ASLA after a non-licensed individual’s name, after all, they paid dues, I assume. And hopefuly they are on track toward licensure. I will/do have an issue if that affiliation is elevated to represent professional competence, but frankly, how can ASLA prevent that?

    The license is credibility; the membership simply demonstrates interest, commitment, etc.


    On a bit of a side note, I wonder how many LA professors out there are Registered Landscape Architects? To that end, I wonder what, if any, difference it would/does make in our education? How is it in architecture programs? Are the professors generally registered architects?

    Jennifer de Graaf

    I agree with Chad above – I use RLA because I can’t afford to be a member of ASLA and RLA means I actually am a landscape architect where ASLA does not. If I had to sign drawings, ASLA membership wouldn’t do any good.

    I believe all my professors in college were licensed landscape architects. Every one.

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