What is NCIDQ Certified Interior Designer?

A professional designation for interior designers who have passed the NCIDQ Examination.


NCIDQ Certification is a globally recognized credential in the interior design profession, representing a designer's knowledge, expertise, and commitment to the field. This certification is offered by the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ), a prominent authority in interior design regulation. To become NCIDQ Certified, candidates must meet specific education and work experience requirements before passing a rigorous three-part exam. The NCIDQ Examination covers a broad range of topics, including building systems, codes, construction standards, design application, and project coordination, to ensure that certified designers possess the skills and knowledge to protect public health, safety, and welfare in interior spaces.

Becoming an NCIDQ Certified Interior Designer is considered a significant achievement in the industry. It is often a prerequisite for registration or licensure in jurisdictions that regulate the practice of interior design. Additionally, many design firms prefer or require their designers to have this certification, as it demonstrates a proven level of competence and professionalism. It also opens up greater opportunities for career advancement and can contribute to the professional's ability to command higher fees for their services.

Holding the NCIDQ Certification helps distinguish interior designers in a competitive market. It assures clients and employers that the designer adheres to the industry's highest standards of practice and is committed to continual professional development.


An interior design firm may specify that all their lead designers must be "NCIDQ Certified" to ensure a standard level of professional knowledge and competency. For individuals pursuing a career in interior design, achieving NCIDQ Certification can dramatically enhance their job prospects, allowing them access to more prestigious projects and positions within the field.


  • What are the eligibility requirements for taking the NCIDQ examination?

    Candidates must have a combination of education in interior design and relevant work experience to be eligible for the NCIDQ Examination. The specific requirements can vary, but typically include a bachelor’s degree in interior design and a minimum of two years of full-time work experience under a qualified professional.

  • How does one prepare for the NCIDQ examination?

    Preparation strategies include reviewing the CIDQ's provided study materials, taking practice exams, participating in study groups, and attending review courses. Many candidates also gain valuable experience through their professional practice, which contributes to their understanding of the exam content.

  • Are there any ongoing requirements for maintaining NCIDQ Certification?

    Yes, to maintain certification, professionals must complete continuing education units (CEUs) in topics relevant to interior design and renew their registration with CIDQ periodically. This ensures that NCIDQ Certified Interior Designers remain up-to-date with the latest standards and practices in the industry.

Practical Application

For aspiring interior designers, striving to achieve NCIDQ Certification is a goal worth pursuing. It is recommended to plan your educational and professional pathway early to meet the eligibility requirements for the examination. Once certified, make the most of this credential by highlighting it on your resume, portfolio, and marketing materials. Furthermore, actively participate in continuing education opportunities to maintain your certification and stay informed of the latest trends and technologies in interior design.