NCIDQ- National Council for Interior Design Qualification

In today’s complex world, it is essential to protect the health, life safety, and welfare of the public by requiring interior design professionals, through formal education, monitored and documented work experience, and a qualifying examination which includes a practicum, to demonstrate their competency in all areas of the built environment.
NCIDQ’s core purpose is to protect the public health, life safety and welfare of the public by establishing standards of competence in the practice of interior design. It does this through an extensive process that demonstrates that the interior designer is uniquely qualified through education, experience, and examination.

Incorporated in 1974, NCIDQ is a non-profit organization. Membership in NCIDQ is restricted to the regulatory boards of the states and provinces within the United States and Canada. There are no individual members of NCIDQ. Individuals who have passed both the examination and received the NCIDQ Certificate may refer to themselves as “NCIDQ Certificate holders.”

As of May 2, 2014, there are 28 states, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, in the United States and eight Canadian provinces that regulate the interior design profession. Each of the NCIDQ member boards requires the successful completion of the NCIDQ Examination. The NCIDQ Examination is a test of minimum entry-level competence in interior design and focuses on those specific aspects of interior design that affect the public’s access, health, life safety, and welfare. The Examination is used by NCIDQ’s member boards as a basis for licensure and reciprocity across North America and is the only examination used by all U.S. and Canadian boards.It is important to possess health, life safety and welfare knowledge to be a competent interior designer therefore NCIDQ tests only for competence in those knowledge areas.


The NCIDQ examination identifies that Certificate holders have successfully achieved the level of competency in such knowledge areas as:

  • Analysis of client goals and requirements
  • Application of life safety codes and accessibility regulations
  • Knowledge of environmental and sustainability guidelines
  • Formulation of scaled drawings, specifications, and other documents
  • Selection of furniture, materials, finishes and colors to convey design concepts and meet project
  • requirements.
  • Preparation of construction documents, contract administration, and collaboration with allied
  • design professionals.

NCIDQ works with a professional testing and psychometric consultant specializing in certification and licensure examinations to develop, administer, and score its examinations for interior designers. NCIDQ conducts a Practice Analysis of the profession every five years and updates the Examination to reflect current practice. NCIDQ follows all widely accepted testing standards for professional examinations to ensure that the Examination is valid, reliable and defensible in determining entry-level competence.

The NCIDQ Examination is composed of three sections:

  • IDFX: Interior Design Fundamentals Exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions designed to assess knowledge of building systems, construction standards and design application.
  • IDPX: Interior Design Professional Exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions designed to assess knowledge of building systems, codes, professional practice and project coordination.
  • PRAC: Interior Design Practicum is a full-day examination, consisting of seven unique exercises that will focus on space planning, lighting design, egress, life safety, restroom (washroom) design, systems integration and millwork.
The IIDA Michigan Chapter is proud to provide two 5 week study sessions a year, spring and fall, for IIDA members and Non- Members. Please see our Events page for more information about dates and to register.
Newsletter Signup