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  • Stephanie Nolan

ASID....NCIDQ....What does it mean?



Being in the interior design world for over 30 years, I sometimes forget that clients and general public don't understand the interior design lingo that indicates a designer's expertise & qualifications. So I put together a quick article to help explain some acronyms and their meaning.


ASID.....This stands for the Amercian Society of Interior Designers. Founded in 1975, ASID is the oldest, largest & only multi-disciplinary professional organization for interior designers, interior design students and the manufacturers & suppliers who support the profession. The organization has (3) categories for designers consisting of "Professional Member", "Allied Member" and "Associate Member".


Professional Membership is the highest level of membership and requires proof of passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam, as well as interior design educational degree requirements (from an accredited institution) and work hours under a licensed designer (or architect).


Allied Membership is contingent upon designer completing a certain number of hours of interior design education from an accredited institution.


Associate Membership is contingent upon a designer (or company) documenting 6 years of full-time interior design practice and an Associate's degree in any major.





NCIDQ stands for the "National Council for Interior Design Qualification" and is the industry's highest caliber of recognized proficiency in interior design principles & a designer's committment to the profession. Designers must not only possess a college degree but must also work between 2 to 4 years in the profession under a licensed designer or architect to even sit for the exam. The exam consists of (2) written exams and (1) drafting/drawing exam totaling (15 hours).


Designers that pass the exam become NCIDQ certified and have distinguished themselves in the interior design field by demonstrating core interior design competency, have verified work experience (under licensed design professionals) and have an appropriate educational background (college degree). It is the only exam that is recognized nationally and required for interior design licensure/registration in many states (in those states that require licensure or registration). Most states in the US require NCIDQ certification for designers to perform any commercial & contract work.


If you really want a true professional that understands all facets of the interior design field; hiring an ASID Professional Member or an NCIDQ certified Member guarantees that you are hiring a compentent, formally educated, experienced designer to assist you with your project.






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