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Protecting and Promoting Professional Interior Design

As a non-regulated profession, consumers were regularly misled by interior design hobbyists masquerading as professional designers. The general public needed a way to identify and qualify an interior designers’ competence. As well as this, interior designers needed to distinguish themselves from untrained practitioners.

SBID founder, Dr Vanessa Brady OBE, accepted the challenge to tackle the risks and opportunities within the professional practice of interior design with a vision to professionalise the industry. SBID was formed in 2009 to serve, promote and protect the profession of interior design in the UK.

For over a decade, SBID has been working to address the reputation of professional interior designers, and as a growing organisation for interior design, the brand is now recognised by industries around the world for promoting the highest professional standards.

Dr Vanessa Brady OBE
Dr Vanessa Brady OBE

A Holistic View of the Profession

SBID has achieved a remarkable position within the interior design and fit-out sector, where the designers’ scheme is procured. As the UK’s professional design organisation for interior design, SBID has supported apprenticeships in collaboration with the National Shopfitters Association since 2009. Together, both organisations have showcased industry experience and knowledge requirements for best practice in overlapping sectors by developing initiatives that provide opportunities for new market entrants. By request from designers seeking trustworthy, reliable and competent specialist contractors, SBID formed an approved national fit-out company list for designers to source for their projects. This completed SBID’s 360-degree industry vision, first submitted to government in January 2009, when the challenge to professionalise UK interior design practice was accepted.

Office Interior

Accreditation Criteria for Interior Designers

To ensure interior designers continue learning and developing, SBID introduced the pioneering first requirement in the UK for defining professional accreditation with a 3-point combination of a degree in interior design, ongoing training and work experience. This series of measures defined interior design professionals with SBID Accreditation.

Associate Membership is also available for emerging interior designers on their journey to achieve full accreditation.

Showcasing Interior Design Excellence

The SBID Awards is intrinsically linked with SBID brand values. Showcasing the qualities of professional practice and the value of industry innovation, the Awards demonstrate the calibre of design excellence that SBID serves to protect. Championing and promoting interior design on its global stage to inspire standards and industry growth. Widely featured in press and media, the programme gives insight into the latest developments and design trends; highlighting the value that interior design brings to businesses and homes, as well as its impact on health, wellbeing and the built environment.

Sebastian Conran
Sebastian Conran
Church - Key Ind Achievements - History

Key Industry Achievements

Interior design standards: SBID has led the profession to drive greater collaboration between academia and design practice. It set pioneering standards for professional practice and conduct, and has consequently become a global name supporting government campaigns for public protection and design rights.

Interior design awards: SBID’s global interior design awards programme, SBID International Design Awards is recognised as a leading industry event, receiving entries from 49 countries and becoming the first interior design award scheme to be accredited with the GOLD Standard Awards Trust Mark by The Independent Awards Standards Council.

Interior design training: SBID created pioneering criteria to accredit CPD content through the SBID Accredited CPD Programme which is designed to support ongoing industry training. To join the membership, designers must partake in annual CPD learning. Like all other recognised professions, this obligatory member requirement keeps designers skills relevant and up to date.

Interior design business: SBID provides members with access to a suite of Professional Service Contracts to help interior designers to establish clear contractual relationships. Contracts for large scale projects are endorsed by government and exclusively provided to SBID by NEC Contracts to facilitate project procurement and define legal agreements. SBID also provide a short contract for small projects included with annual membership fees.

History of SBID


  • SBID pioneered a national membership Accreditation structure requiring a BA Hons minimum to become an accredited designer in UK.
  • SBID created course modules containing knowledge that employers require graduates to have learned for professional practice.
  • SBID course module content was approved and adopted into interior design Bachelor of Arts courses.
  • Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, Chairman of the global creator’s property-rights organisation CISAC, became SBID Ambassador of Intellectual Property, driving the first campaign in the UK for interior design IP protection.
  • SBID launched an engagement to review IP protection with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). It strategised research on IP enforcement with representatives from the Metropolitan Police and government.



  • SBID launched the SBID Accredited CPD Program to support designer’s ongoing training in practice.



  • SBID’s Founder, Vanessa Brady received an OBE from the Prime Minister’s Office for services to the interior design industry and the British economy. No person post or prior, has received an honour for the same service.



  • SBID made formal steps to define specific criteria and skills of interior designers by identifying 12 design disciplines.
  • SBID’s Founder, Vanessa Brady received an Honorary Doctorate from Solent University for services to education in interior design.
  • SBID launched a national student design competition, ‘Get me 2 the Top’ which was also established in SBID Ukraine.
  • SBID was recognised by HESA’s Unistats Dataset to accredit university course content for an interior design degree.



  • With the aim to bringing interior design as a profession under government control, SBID submitted a formal application to the Privy Council for a Royal Charter.



  • SBID launched its Intellectual Property Initiative in collaboration with the IPO (where designs are registered), the police (where enforcement rights are protected) and the courts (where theft is punished).
  • A hub for enforcement and protection of a creator’s commercial ideas was launched by SBID at the House of Commons attended by; Circuit Judge; Magistrates; Mishcon de Reya solicitors; BBC Investigative Journalist for Panorama; IPO representatives; Trading Standards Office; Metropolitan Police IP Enforcement and Metropolitan City Police Criminal Investigators.
  • SBID launched a student design competition, Designed for Business which engaged with 97 universities across the UK, awarded the overall prize money of £35,000 to the winning design students at a ceremony hosted at the House of Commons.



  • SBID hosted an Intellectual Property seminar on British law, IP protection and enforcement of IP theft with leading IP Barrister Prof. Mark Engelman and the government IPO Office.
  • SBID Accredited and launched the IPO office CPDs for interior designers.



  • SBID is represented worldwide in over 70 countries and is the formal representative professional body for UK interior design to the government speaking in France, Ukraine, Spain, Egypt and USA for the UK.
  • Following Brexit and throughout Covid-19, SBID attended weekly virtual meetings on a host of matters impacting on the industry and members prosperity, providing timely government updates directly to members.



  • SBID provides a suite of Professional Services Contracts for accredited professionals, endorsed by UK Parliament and exclusively provided by NEC Contracts for SBID registered members.
  • The SBID interior design course accreditation system expands in line with technology to include appropriate online degree courses, feeder courses; convertible modules towards a degree course and the first industry overview course including a pre-industry commitment 1-day online course and 2-week Accredited Short Course.
  • SBID continues to work with Skill Gaps Research of the Department of Education to address the content for Year 9 students for transition from school into university.
  • SBID continue to innovate and adapt content in the course modules registered with HSEA to provide the next generation of employees with the accurate knowledge employers demand.
  • The international partnership with universities established between the UK and USA in 2009, has been expanded by an additional 13 destinations with significant research into diversity, social opportunity and commercial outcomes.

(1) The Design Council

Explore SBID

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Professional Body

The SBID champion best practice and knowledge sharing in the profession of interior design by creating routes to market in the industry for all design professionals. 

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SBID Board & Directors

Collectively we have the experience, ability and tenacity to create a valued industry voice locally, nationally and around the world.

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SBID Partnerships

On behalf of its members, the SBID has protected, promoted and celebrated the interior design profession.

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