Utah's Certified Commercial Interior Designers must have an active NCIDQ certificate number

About the NCIDQ Exam

The Council for Interior Design Qualification, Inc. (CIDQ) is an independent, not-for-profit organization. While several associations serve the needs of interior design professionals, CIDQ exists to protect the public by setting the bar for professional competency and administering the NCIDQ Examination, which focuses solely on interior design issues that affect the public health, safety and welfare.

Interior design requires specialized expertise and skills that are distinct from those of other building and design professions—encompassing everything from choosing safe indoor materials and furnishings to ensuring compliance with building codes. By setting the bar for professional competence and administering the NCIDQ Examination, CIDQ identifies for the public those interior designers who are qualified to design and execute interior spaces that protect the public health, safety and welfare. In fact, 28 U.S. states and Canadian provinces require the NCIDQ Certificate in licensing and regulating the interior design profession.

CIDQ exists to credential interior designers who have met minimum education and experience requirements and who have passed the NCIDQ Exam.


About the Exam

The NCIDQ Exam consists of two multiple-choice sections and a drawing practicum, and all three sections focus entirely on public health, safety, and welfare. While interior designers must have knowledge in many other areas like accounting, human resources, and aesthetics, the exam only tests your knowledge of health, safety, and welfare.

The content of the exam is based on a major assessment conducted every several years called a practice analysis. CIDQ completed such an analysis in 2014 (the last one was in 2008) and will be implementing changes over the next year and a half. The 2014 analysis used input gathered from interior design experts, an online survey sent to a large number of interior designers, and an expert analysis of those results. As a result, a few areas of the exam will be slightly modified for upcoming exam cycles, but will cause no disruption in the exam process. The updated analysis ensures that only the most important topics -- the profession’s core competencies -- are covered on the three sections of the NCIDQ Exam. The April 2017 administration is the final drawing practicum exam; starting fall 2017, it will be computer based.

Through the practice analysis, CIDQ determined that seven content areas characterize the work of interior design:

  • Building Systems
  • Codes
  • Construction Standards
  • Contract Administration
  • Design Application
  • Professional Practice
  • Project Coordination

For information about the NCIDQ exam and the eligibility requirements please visit their website at


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