Congratulations to RSA's Jennifer Bias on earning her NCIDQ certification. NCIDQ, the National Council for Interior Design Qualification, has issued professional certificates to interior designers who meet the requirements for education and experience and pass the rigorous NCIDQ Exam since 1974.
The exam consists of two multiple choice sections and one practicum section. The practicum is a day-long hand-drawn exam that tests the candidate's knowledge of space planning, lighting design, egress, life safety, restroom design, systems integration, and millwork. Jennifer describes her experience, “The exams were difficult but well worth all the time spent studying. I am proud of my certification because it shows clients that I have the knowledge and skills needed to successfully meet their project goals."
For any interior designers considering taking the exam, Jenn recommends purchasing a copy of the residential and commercial practice exams offered by NCIDQ. She completed the first practice test at the start of her exam preparation to help focus and refine her study materials. She completed the second practice test a week before her exam date to put her in the testing mindset. The best piece of advice, Jenn states, is to learn the sticky note method of space planning. Refer to the Qpractice website below for more information on this technique. Also, even though taking all three exam sections at once is stressful, some of the content overlaps between the practicum and multiple choice sections. This makes it easier to study for multiple sections at the same time.
Twenty-six U.S. states and Canadian provinces require the successful completion of the NCIDQ Exam to become a professionally registered interior designer. In some locations this registration only regulates the use of the title "Registered Interior Designer" but in others it gives the professional the ability to sign, seal, and submit drawings for permits for interior construction projects.
An NCIDQ certified interior designer is very different from an interior decorator. An interior decorator requires no formal training or licensure. A decorator, like those on TV, can pick furniture, paint colors, and fabric patterns and make evaluations based only on color, style, and texture. A certified interior designer is qualified to make decisions that affect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. They must adhere to code and accessibility requirements, and can evaluate materials based on durability, sustainability, flame retardancy, toxicity, acoustic properties, and more. A certified interior designer also upholds a standard of professionalism and completes continuing education requirements.
Hiring an NCIDQ certified interior designer for your project assures that you will receive the same level of professional competency that you receive from the architects and engineers on the design team. Congratulations Jennifer we are proud of your achievement!
See links below for more information about NCIDQ certification: