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What is NCIDQ Interior Design Certification?

NCIDQ Certification is the industry's recognized indicator of proficiency in interior design principles and a designer's commitment to the profession.

The Value of NCIDQ Certification

  • NCIDQ Certificate holders have proven their expertise in understanding and applying current codes established to protect public health, safety, and welfare


  • Passage of the NCIDQ Examination is required for interior design licensure/registration in every regulated jurisdiction within the United States and Canada with the exception of California. It is the only examination recognized by these state and provincial regulators and therefore required for the practice of many types of interior design. Designers certified through the NCIDQ Exam gain wide industry visibility and recognition. 


  • The strenuous requirements of the NCIDQ Exam give clients and employers added confidence in the caliber of work from NCIDQ Certified interior designers. The exam covers seven areas that capture the core competencies of interior design: building systems, codes, construction standards, contract administration, design application, professional practice and project coordination. 

NCIDQ Certification Earned Through Examination

  • To earn certification, qualified interior designers can apply to take the NCIDQ Exam. After CIDQ approves their eligibility, candidates purchase and schedule each of the three sections of the exam and must pass each section within a specified time-frame


  • The three separate sections of the NCIDQ Exam are: the Fundamentals Exam (IDFX), the Professional Exam (IDPX), and the Practicum Exam (PRAC). All three sections focus entirely on public health, safety, and welfare.

  • To ensure the NCIDQ Exam tests interior designers' understanding of concepts crucial to the field, CIDQ undertakes a practice analysis of the interior design profession every five to seven years. The most recent practice analysis, completed in 2019, was based on information gathered through an online survey of more than 700 interior designers. A panel of experts in the field analyzed those results with our partners at our testing company and provided guidance on core competencies to cover. 

Allied Professional Interior Design Organizations

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