Become an Interior Designer

An Interior Designer is qualified by education, experience and examination to design functional, safe and beautiful interior environments in an ethical and environmentally responsible manner. Interior Designers integrate diverse knowledge, both technical and theoretical, to design interior spaces that enhance human comfort, creativity and productivity.

Interior Designers work on projects in a diverse range that include commercial offices, residential, food and hospitality, health care, retail and institutional, just to name a few.

Educational Requirements

IDNS does not accredit interior design programs. Rather, the Association uses an independent, non-profit accrediting organization, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, who review and accredit interior design education programs at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Students enrolled in an accredited interior design program can be confident that the program meets the quality standards recognized by the profession and can be ensured that they will receive an education that will properly prepare them for a future career in the interior design profession.

Refer to the Council for Interior Design Accreditation website for a list of the current accredited institutes or if you would like further information on this organization.

To be eligible for Registered Interior Designer membership of IDNS, one must complete the following requirements: Refer to regulations and by-laws for additional information.

Post-Secondary Education

Post- Secondary Education prior to December 2007, IDNS has a minimal requirement of the successful completion of a three year diploma granting professional level program at an accredited institute. After December 2007, IDNS has a minimal requirement of the successful completion of a four year Bachelor degree granting professional level program at an accredited institute. (Can be granted Intern membership of IDNS after successful completion of post-secondary education.)

Intern Experience

IDNS requires a minimum of 3250 hours of Interior Design experience under the direct supervision of a Registered Interior Designer or Architect.


IDNS requires successful completion of the NCIDQ exam, (National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam) to become a Registered, Allied or Non Resident Registered member with IDNS. The Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) is the premiere certifying organization for interior design professionals. CIDQ develops and administers the three-part NCIDQ Examination, which tests interior designers’ knowledge of core competencies required for professional practice in the industry. The exam is based on CIDQ’s independent, comprehensive analysis of the profession and the daily practice of interior design in a range of settings. CIDQ continually updates the exam’s contents to ensure they reflect the most current skills required to design secure, functional and innovative interior spaces. For more information regarding the NCIDQ exam visit,

Note: The Interior Design Act does not apply to the practice of interior design by an individual or corporation entitled under the Architects Act or the Engineering Profession Act.

To apply for IDNS membership, please click here for our membership application.