With most professionals, professional licensure, boards, registrations, and certificates are available for achievement—and may be necessary in order to practice, depending on the particular profession. The profession of Interior Design recognizes the NCIDQ certificate as “The Mark of a Professional” ( Of course, this is not the only thing to go by when hiring an interior designer—there are many experienced and talented designers who have not earned an NCIDQ certificate. It is just something to consider being that it’s the main certification in our profession. How does one attain this certificate, you may ask? To be brief, a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design, two years of full-time work experience, and the successful completion of the NCIDQ exam. There are other options for schooling and work requirements, such as a two-year associate’s degree in Interior Design, and four years of full-time work experience, but for the most part, what’s offered in schools across the country now are four year programs. With regard to the exam, it is offered twice a year—spring and fall. It is comprised of two multiple choice sections on the first day. Section One covers Building Systems, Codes, Construction Standards and Contract Administration. Section Two covers Design Application, Project Coordination and Professional Practice. The entire second day is comprised of Section Three—the Practicum, which is made up of seven different drafting scenarios where candidates must complete solutions. After having the required education and work experience, I took the exam this fall. I just found out a few days ago that I passed all three sections and am now an NCIDQ Certificate holder! After putting in many, many hours of studying over the summer and early fall, I feel a great sense of accomplishment in my achievement as well as a sense of pride in the profession. FAQ’s 1. If I am interested in pursuing an NCIDQ certificate, what are the next steps? 2. Is it best to self-study or study in a group? 3. How much of a time commitment should I put into my personal NCIDQ study program? 4. Is there a local support group or contact who I may bounce off questions? 5. When I complete the exam, how long does it take to receive my results? 6. In the event that I don’t pass the exam on my first attempt, when is the earliest opportunity to retake it?   If you want answers to these questions or if you have any further questions, please contact me! Lee Boyland ( Posted by: Lee Boyland    

Comments are closed.