Are you planning on getting your interior design license? With more than half the regulated jurisdictions having some form of interior design legislation, it's essential to understand how this makes a difference.
Registered, licensed, or certified interior designers can sign, seal, and submit drawings for permitting in some states. Also, having your NCIDQ certificate can help you earn more income — up to 34% more. Earning your certificate helps differentiate you from others in the interior design marketplace.
Earning your NCIDQ Certificate is a prerequisite for earning your interior design license or registration, but there is also an application process and other steps to take. Qpractice can help you navigate these waters, and we walk you through several examples below.
To use your NCIDQ Certificate as a way to earn your interior design license and expand your horizons as a certified or registered interior designer, you must first fill out a (rather lengthy) application. Fortunately, there is something applicants can do to shorten the following state registration process.
Because the NCIDQ application will be the same no matter where you take it, your first step is determining the variable – your home state or provincial requirements.
While registering for your exams, please research this first, as your local regulatory body may have different educational or work experience requirements than CIDQ. Some states, such as Texas, may require you to start your NCIDQ Application through the state.
Understanding these laws and regulations and how they apply to your unique situation is ultimately your responsibility.
Once you have your state's application information, you can complete both forms together.
Note that interior design regulations regarding licensing and certification are constantly changing, so you'll need to verify and keep up with the changing laws in your area.
Interior Designers of Canada, see “Our allies”
Completing forms and applications is the first step in getting your interior design certification. Collecting the exact number of copies of transcripts and other required information at once is far less stressful than trying to get the same documentation twice. Typical licensing requirements include professional recommendations, official transcripts, and various work verification forms.
If you live in a state with a protected title for interior design, this will also be where you find the application process to use that protected title. Besides having an Interior Design License or Certification, it's also important to understand the correct usage of your designation, just like the proper use for your NCIDQ appellation.
Don't state licensing boards need your NCIDQ scores?
The answer is yes, but that doesn't mean your application goes into the trash without your scores. Instead, the state will hold the application, noting that your scores are needed, or you may see the term “deficient” when you review the status of your application online.
Upon completion, you can verify your get certification after passing the NCIDQ.
But you do need to confirm this process with your local jurisdiction and follow up on it.
We've had many Qpractice members go through getting their license or registration after passing the NCIDQ Exam, so we've decided to share some of their experiences with you to help make it easier.
Note that state legislation and processes are constantly changing, so be sure to research and follow the requirements of YOUR jurisdiction.
The state of Florida, Registered Interior Designer
Florida changed from “Licensed” to “Registered,” so there are now 4 different paths:
- Interior Designer – Professional Licensure for Military Personnel/Veterans/Military Spouses (MVL 003)
- Interior Designer – Initial by Registration (ID 1)
- Interior Designer – Registration by Endorsement (ID 4)
- Architect Seeking a Separate Interior Designer Registration (AR 4)
- Complete the online application at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation or print it and send it in.
- Submit a non-refundable fee. You may pay this online or by mail.
- Submit proof of passing the NCIDQ. Then, go to your myNCIDQ account, click “Verify Your Credential Online,” and follow the instructions.
- Follow any other application instructions based on the specific path chosen.
Once you fill out the initial application, you will receive an application number – make sure to write that on all information you send in by mail.
Ariane Laxo, State of Minnesota, Certified Interior Designer
- Download the application from the Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience, and Interior Design
- Complete the application and send it to the Board. The application includes (1) One signed and dated copy of the Rules of Professional Conduct, a list of your professional work experience verifying experience in all content areas required, and one page that must be signed and witnessed by a notary public.
- Request an official transcript to be sent to the Board from the college or university where you received your degree. In Minnesota, graduation from a four-year CIDA-accredited program is required. More information on education requirements in the State of Minnesota can be found in Statute 1800.2100. When requesting a transcript, remember that it must be sent to the recipient unopened.
- Include (5) recommendations, with a minimum of (3) from Certified Interior Designers. At least (2) of your recommendations must come from employers who can verify the work experience you list in your application.
- Verify passage of the NCIDQ exam. Go to your myNCIDQ account, click “Verify Your Credential Online,” and follow the instructions.
State of Minnesota, Certified Interior Designer
Calie Pierce also became a Certified Interior Designer in Minnesota. She works for a small design firm with the owner and one assistant and is the only one who has taken the exam. So it was vital for her to be that supervisor so that future assistants would have an easier time obtaining their CID license after completing their exams.
Getting recommendations as listed above was no longer required, but she had to work through meeting the tricky educational and experience requirements:
Experience must be diversified in the practice of interior design for public spaces and include all ten of the following knowledge areas, documented as required by the Board:
- space planning
- building code research and analysis
- schematic design and design development
- preparation of construction documents
- cost estimating
- specification of building materials and finishes;
- specification of furnishings, fixtures, and equipment;
- bidding/negotiating procedures
- construction administration
Much of the paperwork you'll need to get your interior design license, certification, or registration is similar to what you need when applying for the NCIDQ Exam.
Save time by requesting multiple copies of your transcripts and work records at the same time. We hope this gives you an idea of the process for your state – it's likely pretty similar. At least now you'll know where to start to find out more information.
It's always better to start the process sooner so you can find out what information YOU need to collect.
Good Luck! And remember, at Qpractice, we're here to help you on your journey:)
Do you want to share your state's process or challenges?
Or do you have other questions? Just send us an email.