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The SBID introduce a membership entry exam for applicants without a first degree in interior design

Can I join SBID without an interior design degree?

Yes, SBID has membership categories for new designers to support you from the beginning of your career as a trainee, through to a fully Accredited professional, providing guidance and support throughout the career of each member.

Associate Membership is for applicants who have not yet acquired the necessary level of work experience nor hold a degree in Interior Design. This category acts as a stepping stone towards accreditation.

Accredited status is bestowed on the most competent of design practitioners. This level of membership can be reached via;

  • A university degree and work experience, or
  • An extended term of 1.5 years work experience for each missing year of qualifying training.*


*Once the entry exam is introduced, the alternative option for those without a degree will be discontinued and those members will no longer become SBID Accredited without sitting the entry exam. The entry exam is designed to demonstrate the practitioner’s independently-tested knowledge.


How do I become an Accredited Member?

SBID’s criteria for Accreditation requires a BA or MA in Interior Design (or related course), plus 3.5 years of work experience. Applicants who do not hold the entry level requirement for the education/experience can still achieve the Accredited status by sitting the SBID entry exam.

Applicants for membership who do not have a BA or MA degree can be granted Associate status and continue on to achieve Accredited Membership status.


Do I need to sit the Entry Exam?

If you meet the below criteria you do NOT need to sit the exam:

  • You are an existing member of SBID or submitted your application for Accredited Membership before the entry exam was introduced.
  • You have a first degree in Architecture or Interior Design to BA or MA standard from a directly empowered British university recognised by SBID.


If you do not hold a formal qualification in interior design, you will be required to sit the entry exam to obtain Accredited Membership status.

The rules for entry to Associate Member and all other categories will remain unchanged.


What knowledge is tested in the SBID Entry Exam?

The independently operated four-hour multiple choice exam is operated by a licensed test centre having acquired recognised, quality-endorsed status. The exam is divided into 10 categories of professional knowledge, each of which a practising Interior Designer will be cognisant of in order to be deemed professional, safe and compliant in the services and advice they sell to consumers.

In 2022, SBID will launch exam training to assist applicants on their journey to achieving full SBID Accreditation. An online course in preparation for the exam has been provided as a guide to the minimum knowledge requirements being tested. The course content has been created by a course leader from a leading British University in association with The Open College Network West Midlands Quality Endorsement Licence (QEL) credit system.*

  • The Open College Network West Midlands Quality Endorsement Licence (QEL) provides a highly valued quality markand external endorsement of SBIDs own internal training and development programmes.
  • QEL providers operate with integrity, maintain high standards of delivery and continually monitor and improve their practice.


How does the SBID Entry Exam and Exam Training meet required standards?

SBID exam has been rigorously measured against the requirements of the Standards within the QEL, which comprises the following elements:

  • Standard 1 – Leadership and Management
  • Standard 2 – Quality of Resources
  • Standard 3 – Quality Assurance
  • Standard 4 – Learner Support
  • Standard 5 – Legislation
  • Standard 6 – Quality of Courses and Assessment


Through this scheme, SBID receives support and is independently tested against good practice of the existing internal training and skills programmes being provided for the exam. The SBID training programme meets the recognised QEL established standard to provide and ensure an excellent standard of robust policies and quality systems are in place.

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