...We're not building planes or perform brain surgery where some kind of board approval may be useful to some degree ...
Surely, bad wedding photography leads to a higher incidence of divorce? Think of the cost to society! It's time for government action now to stop these unregulated photographers destroying people's lives!!
But seriously, you're probably missreading this with a negative approach, rather than the positive slant I wanted to portray. My intention is not to create barriers to entry or restrictions for work, make membership complusory, make only employees of members eligible for membership, promote anti competitve beahviour or price fixing. Instead, my suggestion is to provide photographers who show a real dedication to their calling a formal pathway to help promote their level of skill and expertise. They can then leverage upon their extra training and experience to become members of the association. At the same time, the association will be promoting the benefits of choosing a member. If this is done successfully, putting the associations logo on business cards, websites etc will subconcsciously help influence the client's decision to approach you for a quote and hopefully lead to more, better paying, work. It is a way for people to appreciate why your prices are higher than your competition - and will gladly pay it.
With an ever growing number of photographers (and a lot of amateurs who are pretty good) this is a way to stand out from the crowd. It's about having a way to instantly convey that you are probably well above average at what you do.