The National Council for Interior Design Qualification, Inc. [NCIDQ] has officially announced that after December 31, 2018, it will no longer accept applicants for the NCIDQ Examination whose formal interior design education consists of a degree with fewer than 60 semester or 90 quarter-credit hours of interior-design-related coursework. This route for those with a two-year associate’s degree having 40-59 semester credits or 60-89 quarter credits of interior design coursework (colloquially known as “Route 5”) will no longer meet the organization’s education requirement.
In July 2004, the NCIDQ Board of Directors announced that this phase-out was part of the long-term eligibility plan for the exam qualifications but did not set a firm date, pending research and discussions with the educational community. The seven-year sunset plan was developed to provide a year of notification time, plus additional time for a person to enroll in a two-year program, complete it and work for four years to meet the education requirement by the end of 2018.
“Interior design education is trending away from the two-year, 40-hour program as interior design practice becomes more complex,” says NCIDQ President Patty Blaser, a professor at Brookdale Community College. “As an educator, I know how challenging it can be to prepare students to enter a dynamic profession that is growing in both complexity and demand. Interior design continues to evolve as consumers require more from their design professionals. All of us in the educational and professional community need to be ready to help these future designers meet those challenges–whether it’s through education, mentorship or supervising their entry-level practice.”
Blaser continued, “NCIDQ will continue to keep pace with education and practice in order to ensure that the NCIDQ Examination and resulting credential remain the gold standard for interior design professionals. We will look to partner with educators and professional organizations to help us advise those investigating interior design careers about the minimum acceptable education we will accept.”
NCIDQ® is an organization of regulatory boards and provincial associations in the United States and Canada whose core purpose is to protect the health, life safety and welfare of the public by establishing standards of competence in the practice of interior design. More information about the organization may be found at ncidq.org.