Here's two of the current monograph offerings available from NCIDQ. Earning CEUs utilizing this format requires reading a 60-page book and then taking a 25-question, multiple-choice quiz.
Lighting To Protect
Proper lighting is one of the most important features of any successful interior environment. Lighting is also a crucial aspect of public safety and it affects people at every level: conscious, subconscious and metabolic. Many opportunities exist for the interior designer to protect the public, building safety and the environment. A few examples from Kellogg's monograph include: specifying pale, reflective colors at critical corridor intersections to aid evacuation under low levels of emergency lighting; reducing the absorption of light to improve lighting efficiency, whether inside a room or inside a fixture; as less light is absorbed by the walls, more light is available for occupants; designing color contrasts to make everyday hazards visible for the aging and others with low vision. Kellogg shares information that will help interior designers protect their clients by being aware of the latest safety issues in lighting.
Ethics and the
Dr. Deborah Long's monograph discusses in depth one of the hottest topics of our day. As the daily news overflows with revelations of unethical business practices, how do we do the right thing in an increasingly complicated world? We live in a time when ethical temptations and dilemmas will confront us more frequently, largely due to new technological capabilities. Technology allows us to introduce new innovations into our homes and workplaces with little time for research on the social, economic and medical impacts they may have on our lives. Ethical decision-making skills are critical to the long-term success of design practitioners for a variety of reasons. By taking this monograph, practitioners enhance their ethical knowledge and learn how to put the principles of ethical design practice to work.
Future topics include sustainable/ green design, universal/ accessible design, and exploring interior design's impact on human behavior through good healthcare design. Monographs are available through NCIDQ's Web site: www.ncidq.org.
The three "E's." In the professional licensing world that phrase means "education, experience and examination." A person entering the field of interior design today is strongly encouraged—and in 24 U.S. jurisdictions and eight Canadian provinces, legally required—to follow three steps to professionalism. Step one is to meet a minimum education requirement; step two is to gain a minimum number of years of interior design experience; and step three is to pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination. NCIDQ's model language for states and provinces that would like to pursue legislation recommends minimum standards for education and experience. These standards include obtaining a degree from a FIDER (Foundation for Interior Design Education Research) accredited school and participating in the Interior Design Experience Program (IDEP), a monitored experience program. After becoming registered or certified as an interior designer, what comes next for a practicing professional? I believe we should consider a fourth "E:" extended, or continuing, education.
Lifelong learning has become a buzzword of sorts. As professionals we are told we should be "lifelong learners," constantly updating our knowledge and skills to meet current trends. Maddy Dychtwald, one of the nation's leading authorities on generational marketing, has been actively involved in analyzing and forecasting lifestyle and consumer marketing trends for 17 years. Author of Cycles: How We Will Live, Work and Buy, Dychtwald states:
" One of the most essential ingredients in a cyclic life is lifelong learning. In our new lifecycles, learning and education are no longer the exclusive province of the young . . . knowledge power is freeing us up to question the status quo of our lives and, ultimately, to experiment with new life and career paths as well as new products and services throughout our lives."
If we want to stay current and remain lifelong learners, what are some of the educational choices available?
Continuing Education Offerings
Opportunities to gain continuing education are virtually everywhere. Workshops at national and regional conferences are plentiful; monographs (take-at-home booklets and tests) can be ordered through NCIDQ; and RedVector.com and QuickSchool.com are two Web sites that offer courses that can be downloaded and taken virtually anytime, anywhere. If a professional is concerned about continuing education unit (CEU) quality and consistency, he or she need not worry. A clearinghouse for interior design continuing education offerings was established several years ago—the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC). For over a decade IDCEC's member organizations have come together to mutually set policy for quality continuing education within interior design. IDCEC shares CEU information and has created an approval and registration process for new CEU courses. This process is coordinated through the professional development committees of the IDCEC member organizations, which include the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). (For more information, visit www.idcec.org.)
NCIDQ offers a process to register CEUs. The continuing education tracking program serves as the official registry for an interior designer's continuing education. When an interior designer completes a course approved by the IDCEC and completes the appropriate forms (which are provided by the instructor at the end of class), NCIDQ produces a transcript, mails a copy to the designer and maintains his or her record. The tracking program is becoming increasingly important as states and provinces move toward requiring continuing education for renewal. Because an interior designer's record is maintained by NCIDQ, individuals who wish to become registered in other jurisdictions through reciprocity can more easily have CEU and other required information transferred to the regulatory board (as long as the interior designer remains current with NCIDQ's annual certificate maintenance fee).
NCIDQ recognized that practicing professionals needed more choices for gaining continuing education credits in areas that are related directly to the health, safety and welfare of the public. Therefore it followed the lead of the Council for Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) and the National Council for Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and developed monographs. A monograph is a fast, easy way for professionals to earn continuing education hours: read a 60-page book, then take a 25-question, multiple-choice quiz, mail in the quiz and earn 0.6 CEUs. See sidebar above for two current offerings.
E + E + E + E = Excellence x Ethics
There are more "E's" to consider: education plus experience plus examination plus extended-learning equals excellence. A professional who strives toward excellence also must adhere to a code of ethics. As the interior design profession becomes legally recognized throughout North America, we must continue to look for ways to improve the public perception of interior designers. Individuals who travel the professional path to licensure and certification realize that legal recognition is not an end to itself. The fourth step of extended learning, by obtaining knowledge that directly impacts the public we serve, will propel us toward excellence.
|Jurisdictions Requiring Continuing Education|
|Seventeen of the U.S. jurisdictions and two of the Canadian provinces that legally recognize interior design require continuing education to maintain licensure or certification. The chart below indicates the number of hours or continuing education units required in each jurisdiction. |
||Continuing Education Required|
||10 hours/year for registered interior designers;|
8 hours/year for interior designers
||Not less than 20 hours/biennium|
||Will be required; amount of hours not yet established by newly-formed board of interior designers|
||16 hours/3 years, plus a mandatory building code refresher course or barrier-free course every 5 years|
||24 hours/biennium (minimum of 12 hours must be health,|
safety and welfare or technical competency courses)
||8 hours/year (8 hours of health safety and welfare, including one hour related to barrier-free issues)|
|Note: biennium means a two-year period.|
Arlene Dougall is a registered member of the Association of Registered Interior Designers (ARIDO) and is on the board of directors of NCIDQ. NCIDQ is located at 1200 18th St. N.W., Ste. 1001, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 721-0220.