What is the best way to integrate member applications?

We need to add a member application to recruitment process. In mapping out how this will work, it seems pretty complicated. So I am hoping there is a better way like integrating it with new user registration.


  • User - Someone that wants to be a member. They may or may not have a forum account.
  • Member - Someone that has been accepted by an admin, added to a forum member group. They must have a forum account.

Google forums model

I tried mapping out a process with Google Forms, but that got a little ugly with the disconnect between the application and forum user information.

  1. User fills out application
  2. Google mails to admin
  3. Admin mails user and tells them to create a forum account and PM the admin to get permissions setup.
  4. User creates forum account
  5. User PM’s admin (not totally trivial for a user new to discourse)
  6. User post a self-introduction

User has 4 disjoint steps to become a member

The ideal model is

  1. User creates forum account
  2. User presented application in the process
  3. Application auto-creates a new thread in a set category
  4. Admin and others review the application
  5. Admin accepts and PM’s user of new status

User has only 1 step to become a member

All tips and suggestions are appreciated.

My forum uses applications, set up using the following:

  1. Link in the header (ref) to a page explaining application process

  2. Create a category for applications to be posted in, use either topic template for the category (one of the options in editing the category) or use a link with prefilled topic information (ref) to create the application

That gives you a way to draw attention to the application, a way to define the application questions, and a place to store the applications. We have the ‘applications category’ set to autoclose any new topics immediately (in category sections, again) and then someone moves the application to a private forum for discussion.

So the full process is:

  1. User creates forum account
  2. User clicks on ‘join link’, reads instructions, clicks button to fill out and submit application
  3. Staff moves from ‘submit’ to ‘review’ category (application is necessarily public prior to this, which may not be ideal depending)
  4. Staff and others review application
  5. Staff PMs user

Whether this will work for you will depend on your particular setup, but hopefully it gives you some ideas at least. It was initially just a quick workaround for us (we’re a ~12 year old gaming community that switched to Discourse earlier this year, been using applications the entire time), but it seems to work well enough so it’s sticking around for now.


Thank you so much for this. I cannot express how thankful I am. I am in a similar situation as you were. :smile:

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Note to complement this we also now have groups that allow membership requests visible in the /groups page.