CCIDC _ California Council for Interior Design Certification

1605 Grand Avenue, Suite 4
San Marcos, CA 92078
Phone: 760 - 761-4734  / Fax: 760 - 761-4736
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California Council for Interior Design Certification
Provides for the protection, health, safety and welfare of the public by administering the California Certified Interior Designer Title Act.

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FAQ’s  - How to Become a Certified Interior Designer

Q: Who Can Apply for Certification?
A: Qualified Professionals From one of the Following:

         Interior Design      Architecture       Building Design

Q: What is an Accredited School or Educational Institution?
A: Requirements must come from an accredited institution approved by US Department of Education.

         CIDA or FIDER accreditation NOT required.

Q: What is the Definition of Core Units?
A: Total Units, (Excluding General Education Courses), From Coursework in the Following Categories:

Interior Design
History Design

Building Design
Graphic Design

Interior Decoration
Art History

Construction Documents
History Building Codes
Green Building Practices

Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD)        Business Practices as Related to the Practice of Design

Q: How are Core Units Calculated?
A: Core units are calculated by semester units; Quarter units will be converted into Semester Units.

Q: I don’t have a degree, will I qualify?
A: Total Core units determine eligibility, completion of a degree not required.

Q: How Much Education do I need?
A: Meet Minimum Qualifications to Take the IDEX California®

    Minimum of 40 Semester Core Units from accredited design program (60 Quarter Units).
    Education requirements to complete certification vary as well as an option for experience-only candidates to apply explanation in further detail to follow.

Q: What is the Definition of Diversified Design Experience?
A: Design Experience Including:

    Prepare complex nonstructural, non-seismic plans (Require the skills of a licensed contractor to implement)
    Instruction for the preparation of complex nonstructural or non-seismic plans
    Programming, planning, designing, and documenting construction
    Installation of nonstructural or non-seismic elements, finishes and furnishings
    Protect and enhance the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

Q: How is Diversified Design Experience Calculated?
A: Full-Time Diversified Design Experience Requirements:
 (36 hours or more per week, 52 weeks per year).

      1 Year = 1,872 Hours+
      2 Years = 3,744 Hours+
      3 Years = 5,616 Hours+

4 Years = 7,488 Hours+
5 Years = 9,360 Hours+
8 Years = 14,976 Hours+

Q: How is Proof of Diversified Design Experience Submitted?
A: Submit Proof of Diversified Design Experience in Two Ways:

  • Proof for Self-Employment:
    Federal Tax Returns
    1040/1040A/1040EZ (Page 2 Only)
    Return for each year of experience
    Letter from a CPA or Attorney confirming candidate’s profession, verifies knowledge required duration of occupation.
    Résumés NOT accepted for self-employment
  • Proof for Outside Employment:
    Verifiable, Professional Résumé
    Include Start and end Dates
    Include Hours Worked
    Detailed Job Responsibilities
    Complete employer Contact Information
    Include all Positions for Consideration

Q: Can International Candidates Apply?
A: All Candidates who Meet the Qualifications are Encouraged to Become Certified:
  International education allowed, provided:
         International Education from Accredited Source
         Accreditation by USDE International Equivalent accrediting agency
  Provide translated/verified transcripts directly from transcript evaluation provider
  International experience considered
  Provide verifiable proof of diversified design experience

Q:How do I Know if I Meet the Qualifications?
A:There are Three Paths to Qualification:

    Path 1 – For Candidates qualified to take the IDEX California® but are not yet eligible to be Certified.

      A. Minimum of 40 Semester Core Units from accredited design program (60 Quarter Units)
      B. More than 5 but less than 8 years of diversified design experience.

    Path 2 – For Candidates qualified to Become Certified Upon Passing the IDEX California®.
    Candidates must meet one of the following minimum qualifications:

      A. 80+ Semester Core Units from accredited design program (120+ Quarter Units) plus two years of diversified design experience.

      B. 60-79 Semester Core Units from accredited design program (90+ Quarter Units) plus three years of diversified design experience.

      C. 40-59 Semester Core Units from accredited design program (60+ Quarter Units) plus four years of diversified design experience.

      D. Minimum eight years eight years of diversified design experience, interior design education, or combination of both total eight years.

    Path 3 – For Candidates who have previously passed a national design exam, streamlined path to take the IDEX California® and become certified upon successfully passing.
    Candidates provide proof of passing one of the following examinations, to qualify:











Q: How do I Apply?
A: Qualified Candidates apply online; detailed instructions provided:

    Complete and submit the online application
    Attach requested documents
    Mail in corresponding documentation as instructed
    Pay Fees: Application/IDEX/Test Center
    All fees are due at the time of application.
    Corresponding documentation MUST be received prior to the deadline date.
    Incomplete applications deferred to future testing period, NO Exceptions.
    Candidates have 1 year from registration approval to sit for exam.

Q: When do I Apply?
A: Applications accepted year-round 365 Days per year:

  If you plan to take the IDEX California® in Spring
   Complete application packets must be received before March 1st
 If you plan to take the IDEX California® in Fall
   Complete application packets must be received before August 1st
 Incomplete Applications or Paperwork received after deadline date:
   Candidate deferred to a later testing period.

Q: When is the IDEX California® Testing?
A: There are two testing periods per year:
     Spring:  May 1 – 31st      Fall: October 1 – 31st

Q: What Happens After I Submit my Application Packet?
A: The verification process takes time; CCIDC will contact you via email:

    Information provided verified by CCIDC Staff (duration varies).
    Notification of application approval provided, upon completion.
    Candidates have 1 year from registration approval to sit for exam.
    NOTICE TO SCHEDULE (NTS) email from Castle Worldwide Testing Center.
    Candidates receive the NTS email at the end of March (Spring )/August (Fall).
    NTS provides candidates testing center account login.
    Candidates log in to select the date, time and location for exam.
    Study materials and courses found on CCIDC website.

Q: Is there study materials for the IDEX California®?
A: CCIDC Provides a Free "Official" IDEX® California Study Guide
     Thirty-five page booklet Includes: Exam background information, schedule, rules, exam format, content, sample questions and FAQ.

 For study materials and classes, please refer to the list of third-party vendors:

Third-Party Disclaimer

Q: Where do I take the IDEX California®exam; do I need to bring anything with me?
A: The exam is held at a testing center, there are many testing centers throughout California, the US, even Worldwide.       The IDEX is 100% computer based, anything you will need during the exam (for the exam only, not for the prep or
     study) is provided.

Q: When will I know my test results?
A: For accuracy and fairness, a Matriculation expert reviews/qualifies each exam.
       Exams scheduled all 31 days, tests not verifiable until last exam submitted.

         Test results provided 3 5 weeks after last day of test month.
         Email sent with Pass/Fail status when results made available.
         Letter with specific scores sent USPS.
         IDEX Certificate mailed to passing candidates.
         Retakes scheduled as soon as next testing period.

               Notice to retake and payment due: March 1st Spring IDEX or August 1st Fall IDEX.

Q: When I pass the IDEX California® am I a Certified Interior Designer?
A: No, Passing the IDEX California® does NOT mean candidates are automatically Certified!
     Path 1 Candidates file held until Candidate provides proof of completion of qualifications.
     All other Candidates must complete the certification process, and be given their CID number/stamp.

Q: What is the next step after passing the IDEX California®?
A: The Compliance Committee reviews and verifies information collected by CCIDC.
     Congratulations letter sent upon approval and prompt to pay the Bi-Annual Certification Fees.
     Path 2 & 3 Candidates have 1 year from letter date to complete certification.

* Path 2 & 3 Candidates who do not complete their certification within 1 year will be required to retake the IDEX Exam.

Q: When I am a Certified Interior Designer?
A: Candidates are Certified once the following have been completed.
    Bi-Annual Certification fees received
     New CID Survey completed
     Certification Number assigned.

     Upon completion, New CIDs will be mailed:
     Certified Interior Designer Information Binder
     CID Certificate
     Verification Letter with CID#
     CID ID-Card and Stamp (approximately 8 12 weeks later)

Q: How much does it cost?
A: There are generally two types of fees.
     Total Fees due with application (Includes Application Fee + IDEX Exam Fee + Testing Center Fee
             Path 1 & Path 2:  $600 Total*  Path 3: $500 Total*  International Candidates: $800 Total

Total Bi-Annual Certification Fees* Due After Passing Exam and Compliance Approval:
             ALL Candidates: $250

Fee is nonrefundable
** For Candidates taking the test at centers outside the US
***Additional fees & shipping charges may apply

Q: What is the next step to start the process?
A: Select the appropriate link below to get started:


Apply Under Path 1 Here


Apply Under Path 2 Here


Apply Under Path 3 Here


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