The IDEX® California is a certification exam for interior designers which started in 2009.
It replaces all the different national exams that were previously required by CCIDC to become a
*Certified Interior Designer. These national exams were the CQRID, the NCIDQ, or both parts of NKBA, plus the “California Codes and Regulations Exam” (CCRE).
The IDEX® California is one comprehensive exam that is specific to California building codes, regulations, ethics, interior design and business practices, regardless of ‘specialty’.
How is the NCIDQ different from IDEX®? While NCIDQ is a good exam, it does not, and never has tested specifically on California building codes (which are different and often more stringent than other state codes), and that is why CCIDC had to administer their extra codes exam, the CCRE.
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
Also, at that time, NCIDQ did not allow “experience only” designers. It become so restrictive in their work experience requirement they were shutting out many qualified interior designers from taking their exam.
Things might have changed since then but at that time, before a designer could even sit for the NCIDQ they were required to accumulate a certain kind of work experience so this meant students who have just graduated could not take the NCIDQ. This was unfair to graduates and was not in compliance with California law.
Interior designers want to know: Should they take the NCIDQ?
We say no and yes.
No, it is not needed or required to become a “Certified Interior Designer” in California.
Yes, if you practice in a state that requires the NCIDQ or if you want to take it for additional, professional reasons.
“Certified Interior Designer” is a legal title under California law - the highest professional credential an interior designer can have in California. The state of California does not legally recognize NCIDQ ‘certificate holders’ (it is NOT LEGAL certification). The state also does not legally recognize memberships in ASID, IIDA, NKBA, IDS or other interior design associations.
CCIDC is the authorized board in California (under Business & Professions Code 5800) that is responsible for certifying interior designers. Their full name is the California Council for Interior Design Certification. Certification in California is a private-public partnership with the state.
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