Exam to distinguish between interior designers and decorators

The Society of British Interior Design is to run an exam which aims to distinguish between interior designers and interior decorators.

SBID has negotiated an agreement with the US-based National Council of Interior Design Qualification to bring the NCIDQ exam to Britain and Europe for the first time.

The NCIDQ qualification covers sections including building regulations, sustainability, finance and customer problem-solving.

Students study from home, with it usually taking ‘a few months’ to complete, according to SBID president Vanessa Brady. She adds that it is ‘essentially equivalent to a degree’.

Students then complete a two-day exam, with one day of written tests and one day of practical examination looking at presentations, models and choosing materials that are fit for purpose.

The British exam is still in review to translate some elements to ensure its relevance for the UK, such as changing imperial measurements to metric. It is hoped it will be launched next year.

Brady says, ‘It is an added value that means you’ve been completely qualified. It tells you exactly what standard you need to be at and what information you need to know.’

She adds, ‘A designer sells ideas and advice – ideas are fine as long as they comply with the law, but if you give incorrect advice you’re selling a professional service incorrectly.’

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  • ray jenkins November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Finally the UK design industry is starting to realise that there is a need to differentiate the designers from the decorators – I have a BA in interior design and consider myself a designer but everyone here ropes and decorators into the same category when they really aren’t!!! Nice to see some change…..

  • Vanessa Brady November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    …and finally those who spend the time and money to obtain a degree have a platform to separate them from the hobbyists.

    …now we just need to convince the consumer that they need to pay for your service because you bring added value!

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