Make a difference: become an ODA member and help build a strong healthy sector
The ODA is the trade association recognised internationally as the voice of the sector, working to create and promote standards that help services deliver user trust and confidence.
Dating services provide the largest single way in which relationships start. Apps and services are there for anyone looking for fun or romance and the possibility of a new and lasting partnership. It’s important they are trusted.
We work to:
- create and promote standards that help services deliver user trust and confidence
Our standards and guidance reflect our members continuing commitment to good practices that covers how services are set up, advertised and operated, data use and privacy and user safety. We are not a regulatory body. We have found user trust in services can be best achieved in a fast-changing environment through guidance, not “rules”.
- give the industry an effective and collective voice
Our membership base and the ability to point to work on strong standards and user wellbeing allows us to inform and influence policy making and regulatory actions. This reduces the risk of ill-considered action with costs and possible unintended consequences for our members and for their users.
- share information that matters
We work alongside sector publishers and consultant agencies. Our focus is on those laws, regulations or policies that might target dating or have a wider impact, but also a particular impact on dating as a form of online commerce. Issues include data protection and privacy, digital safety and duties on content hosts, payment terms and subscription rules and consumer protection law. We do this through networking opportunities across the dating community.
- demonstrate our shared commitment to safety
Law enforcement and other agencies refer to membership of the Association as a symbol of a service’s commitment to the well-being of users, and they encourage the public to look for the “Putting Safety First” membership logo as a form of assurance. This is reinforced in our media activity.
We produce and host advice on online safety, on use of services and messaging, on privacy and fraud prevention and on safety when meeting on dates. It is used widely by ODA with media, law enforcers and others as a practical demonstration of the sector’s seriousness.
- address media interest
The ODA is seen as an authoritative organisation that can speak for the sector professionally, consistently, and positively. The ODA is not there to prevent or discourage businesses from promoting their services or answering for those services, but we can address issues on an industry-wide basis, de-personalising matters where appropriate.
Who can become a member?
ODA membership is open to all apps and online dating services that have been in operation for at least six months.
ODA membership does not extend to adult encounter service: services that are sexually explicit in nature and clearly designed to facilitate sexual encounters or provide similar entertainment. We believe these services have purposes and characteristics that are different from the ones that apply generally to dating services.
The Association can also have arrangements in place to partner with “ODA Associates”. This relationship is open to businesses that supply, support, or otherwise engage with and benefit from a healthy dating sector. If you are such a business and want to look at becoming an ODA Associate please click here.
Join us now
A strong and broad membership is critical to our ability to inform and influence and ensure a positive workable business climate for our members. If you share our goals, can add to our ability to deliver and benefit from our work please talk with us and take up the opportunity to be an ODA member.
We ask applicants to confirm their commitment to the ODA standards and guidance. The membership form is available here and we are keen to help with any questions over the association and the joining process. Decisions on membership are taken by the ODA board based on recommendations from the Executive.
Membership is based on a shared wish to build user trust and confidence. We are not “licensing” or “authorising” entities through ODA membership. Our processes are not complex or designed to be a barrier to joiners. We start from a generally held belief apps and services considering membership are doing so based on a shared sense of responsibility for a healthy market. Clearly, if a member’s behaviour is a wide, serious risk to daters and to the reputation of the sector we can suspend or end their membership.
Annual fees start at £500. The ODA fees are based on a business’s total turnover. Fees are set for different bands of turnover.
The ODA fees are reviewed annually, and potential applicants should talk to us about their income and the likely cost of membership.
The legal bits
We set out our Members financial, compliance and other responsibilities in the ODA’s Articles of Association. The Articles also include our governance arrangements.
The ODA is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. Member liability for the debts of the association are limited to £1 per member. Section 25-27 of the Articles of Association sets out the duties on members, notice periods, termination rights and responsibilities and ownership transfer arrangements.
These Articles are in line with the general arrangements for trade bodies. They have not proved a barrier to current members.
A copy of our membership form can be found here.