All You Need to Know About the SBID 26th October 2021 | IN DESIGN ADVICE | BY SBID

The Society of British and International Interior Design was founded by Dr Vanessa Brady OBE in 2009 to serve, protect and promote the interior design industry. Before SBID, there was concern about interior design not being regulated and meant consumers were being misled by hobbyists claiming to be professional interior designers.

Since its inception in 2009, the SBID has come a long way on its mission to professionalise the industry. The SBID has helped to grow and develop the UK’s workforce of interior designers, to help enhance the creative industry and set pioneering standards for professional practice.

Here’s everything you need to know about SBID, from interior design networking to accreditation.

What does the SBID represent?

The SBID set out to implement rigorous training standards to maintain professional interior design practice. Before the SBID was established, it was difficult for the public to know which interior design organisations have completed appropriate training at recognised institutions and in practice. The SBID set out to change this and create a high standard in which to differentiate hobbyists and professionals.

Fogarty-Finger - Dock 72 at Brooklyn Navy Yard Lobby
Fogarty-Finger - Dock 72 at Brooklyn Navy Yard Lobby

Now recognised globally as a leading accrediting body, SBID implements professional trading standards, not just for interior designers but also fit-out specialists and manufacturers, to maintain and upkeep excellence across the field from specification to project installation. We also aim to increase the profile of British interior design to benefit our members who are a part of the UK interior design community.

The SBID offers interior designers, students and businesses the opportunity to receive accreditation and join its growing industry network of members. This provides members with access to exclusive professional resources and support in training, career development and client engagement.

The evolution of SBID

Our interior design organisation has achieved a lot since 2009, ensuring the growth of the UK’s interior design industry.


In the first year of its origin, the SBID pioneered an accreditation structure requiring a BA Hons minimum and created course modules to prepare students for professional practice. Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees became SBID Ambassador of Intellectual Property which then launched an engagement to review IP protection and strategised research on IP enforcement with representatives from the Metropolitan Police and government.



In 2010 the SBID launched its Accredited Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme to encourage interior designer’s ongoing training.



In 2014, the founder of SBID, Vanessa Brady was awarded an OBE from the Prime Minister’s Office for services to the interior design industry and the British economy. She was the first person to receive an honour for this service.



In the year of 2015, SBID implemented steps to define specific criteria and skills by distinguishing 12 design disciplines. Vanessa Brady received an honorary Doctorate from Solent University for services to education in interior design. The SBID’s national student design competition, ‘Get me 2 the Top’ was launched. SBID was recognised to accredit university course content by HESA’s Unistats Dataset.



SBID submitted a formal application to the Privy Council for a Royal Charter aiming to bring interior design under government control.



SBID formed a collaboration between the IPO, the police and the courts and a hub for enforcement of a creator’s commercial ideas was launched by SBID at the House of Commons. SBID engaged 97 universities across the UK with its student design competition, Designed for Business, with a prize of £35,000.



SBID hosted an Intellectual Property seminar on British law, IP protection and enforcement of IP theft.



SBID is the leading UK interior design representative body and is represented in 70 countries, speaking in France, Ukraine, Spain, Egypt, and the USA. After Brexit and during Covid-19, SBID attended virtual meetings on a variety of issues affecting the industry and its members, as well as communicating government updates.



With a focus on education in 2021, SBID expands the interior design course accreditation system and works with Skill Gaps Research to address the content for year 9 students. The international partnership between UK and USA universities was expanded with an additional 13 destinations and notable research into diversity, social opportunity and commercial outcomes.

Why get Accredited?

Accreditation can benefit you whether you are just starting your career or you are well-established and supports the growth of SBID’s professional design community. The SBID welcomes anyone to reach accredited status, whether you’re an architecture firm, university student or a freelance designer. Students are able to receive free membership while they are studying and for one year after graduation, to help open the door for the next generation of interior designers.

Modus Workspace - Modus 30 Years of Excellence
Modus Workspace - Modus 30 Years of Excellence

Accreditation will separate you or your business from hobbyists by being exclusively available to those that have completed the training and practice required to obtain the highest level of membership. Those who have the SBID accreditation show they abide by a universally recognised code of practice and it provides an assurance of trust for your clientele or employees.

SBID members have access to:

  • An extensive professional network of industry specialists
  • Tailored business engagements
  • Regional trade and online events
  • Special offers for international trade shows
  • Interview opportunities with media partners
  • Promotional activity to promote design services
  • Access to SBID’s continuing professional development programme

Who can join the interior design organisation?

Interior Designers

You can become a member of the SBID if you are a part of the interior design workforce. We provide individual accreditation as well as business accreditation for large or small design studios and practices. We welcome interior designers at all stages in their careers to make the most of what the SBID membership has to offer. Click here to find out more.

Interior Fit Out Specialists

Fit out specialists are responsible for safeguarding the public from risks that arise through unregulated providers. We promote accreditation for fit out specialists to generate communication throughout the industry supply chain and produce a professional outcome for designers, students and architects. Click here to find out more.

Product Manufacturers and Suppliers

To truly maintain a professional industry, we rely on manufacturers and suppliers to provide quality materials that fit into the aesthetics of designs while also considering fit for purpose performance, service and impact on the planet. Accrediting manufacturers and suppliers means we have quality assurance on products that have been approved by the leading body for interior design. Click here to find out more.

What SBID events can you engage in?

An advantage of being an accredited member is having access to a range of events to celebrate and network with other interior design professionals, organisations and trade suppliers. The SBID has a busy calendar of events all year round, both in-person and online.

Students and Universities

To guide the next generation of interior designers, we provide free membership while you study to support the advancement of career opportunities and regulate and protect the profession you are entering into. The SBID also accredits universities and courses so students can be sure they are receiving the correct education that equips them for the industry and prepares them to reach the standards it requires. Click here to find out more.

SBID Interior Design Awards

One of the biggest SBID events is the SBID International Design Awards and the event has become known as one of the biggest global design awards. The awards recognise, reward and celebrate design excellence in all aspects of interior design. It invites interior designers, product designers and contractors that have had a big impact in the design industry to showcase their work, highlight their skills and promote design talents.

The SBID Awards are panelled by a varied group of industry experts that bring their professional insights to design processes and creation. The winners and finalists of an SBID award receive great benefits such as access to VIP networking opportunities (including the SBID meet the buyer event); inclusion in the SBID Global Interior Design Book; official use of SBID winner or finalist logos and extensive PR and social media coverage and brand exposure.

SBID Meet the Buyer

Our biggest networking event is SBID Meet the Buyer, which brings together designers, architects and specifiers who provide the most innovative and creative design-led products around the world. As an annual event, it provides exclusive interior design networking opportunities where you can meet, engage and form relationships with top talent in the UK and globally. There are also educational discussions and panels to help support a proactive and beneficial event where industry specialists can learn from each other.

SBID Breakfast Meetings

SBID Breakfast Meetings bring together industry professionals to foster interior design networking across channels to create partnerships and encourage the development of new business relationships. These breakfast networking events are free to attend for SBID members and provide interior design networking opportunities at easier convenience for busy working professionals.

Join SBID and become an accredited member of the UK’s biggest interior design organisation

SBID is an ever-evolving representative body, aiming to promote, defend and represent interior design for its members in the UK and across 71 other countries worldwide. Being accredited by SBID can help you advance your career, expand your business and optimise your professional opportunities. Visit our website to learn more about our organisation.