What Are the Steps to Gaining Interior Design Accreditation? 11th January 2022 | IN DESIGN ADVICE | BY SBID

Recently qualified as an interior designer and not sure what the next steps are? Accreditation is the best way to stand out from the crowd of hobbyists and influencers, making sure any potential clients know that you have the highest status of assessed knowledge and are competent to provide a high standard of professional service.

Read on to find out more about accreditation and the steps you can take to start the process today.


Why Seek Accreditation in the Interior Design Industry?

By achieving accreditation you will have demonstrated the high standards that it takes to become accredited – showing that you have the highest level of training, experience and professional skill set for any design project in your sector. You will have shown a commitment to improving yourself and your work, as well as complying with ethical standards. Clients will be assured they are dealing with a credible interior designer who adheres to a globally recognised code of practice endorsed by the industry’s professional body.


All About SBID

The Society of British & International Interior Design (SBID) is the leading British professional member organisation for interior designers, driving the industry forward by nurturing talent from diverse backgrounds without prejudice. We were founded by Dr Vanessa Brady OBE in 2009 to help regulate the interior design industry, as there was a growing concern about consumers being misled by hobbyists and influencers claiming to be professionals, but having no qualifications or regulation to back it up. The UK government had not set national competency standards in our field, so SBID strived to champion training and competence within our network of professionals.

Our accreditation system requires a combination of academic education and practical industry experience. SBID also created university course modules to help prepare students for professional application. We
have helped the industry improve by setting standards for professional practice, making sure our members have all the required training to differentiate themselves from those doing interior design as a hobby. We have grown to be recognised globally as a leading accreditation body, increasing the profile of British interior design to benefit our members.

By becoming accredited you’ll support the growth of the professional design community. It will separate you from untrained hobbyists and will give you exclusive access to an ever-growing industry network of your peers and industry partners, providing access to training, career development and promotional opportunities, as well as exclusive offers, events and professional business resources. You will be kept informed of the latest government updates and industry news in the field, meaning you’ll never be a step behind the times!


Membership Categories

SBID has a variety of different membership categories and you can begin your journey with us at any level of experience.

Accredited Interior Designers

By becoming an SBID Accredited Interior Designer, you’ll have access to our SBID Accreditation marque and listing in the SBID Designer Directory. The SBID logo is recognised around the world and endorses you as a trusted, experienced and qualified interior designer operating at the highest standards of practice who can offer to the public the highest level of design services. Other benefits include:


  • Public listing in the official SBID Designer Directoryallows potential clients to source interior design services from our extensive database of verified professionals, filtered by design specialisms, locations and keywords.
  • Multi-use contracts for Interior Design – the SBID Short Contract and NEC Professional Service Contracts will assist with client engagements so you can establish effective legal relationships in the procurement of interior design works, services and goods at varying levels of project complexity.
  • Exclusive partner benefits – this ranges from free tickets and VIP access to local and international industry events, press and
    media opportunities, as well as expert advice – including help finding the right Insurance solutions for your business.
  • Access to our member-only portal – SBIDPro allows you to explore SBID approved trade suppliers. You can also access live and on
    demand CPD training and a variety of professional resources.

To qualify for Interior Design Accreditation you must have 3 years of education, 3 and a half years of practice, 24 CPD points per annum and hold valid professional indemnity insurance. You can still apply for Accreditation without a University degree if you have acquired alternative criteria, so make sure you enquire to find out more!

Our annual prices are £395 + VAT per year to become a fully Accredited UK or International Design Professional. Discounted rates are also available for design practices accrediting multiple designers.

Don’t meet the criteria to become accredited just yet? We also offer associate memberships to aid you while you work to complete all the criteria. UK or International Design Associate level starts at £325 + VAT per year.


Interior Fit-Out Specialists

By using an accredited interior fit-out specialist, a client knows they are safeguarded from the risks that happen from using unregulated providers. We work with interior fit-out contract sector and designers to grow a natural synergy during project procurement that reduces the risk of errors.

To become an SBID Contract Partner as an Interior Fit-Out Specialist, you must provide 1-year company accounts, hold valid business insurance and meet the SBID 5 points of compliance. These are:


  • Training – You must be able to show commitment to industry training and development
  • Health & Safety Record – You must be able to demonstrate you have health and safety knowledge, skills and experience
  • Green Practise – You must be willing to adopt green practices to improve our commitment to sustainability
  • Projects – You must showcase your ability to effectively deliver concepts to SBID’s standards
  • Inclusiveness – Be committed to the development of an inclusive design industry

Membership begins at £800 annually and differs in price depending on your specialism.


Product Providers

By becoming an SBID Industry Partner, designers and potential clients will know that you are verified to provide the highest quality of product, service and craftsmanship that can meet project needs and match the design aesthetic. SBID helps suppliers create and build trusting relationships with professional interior designers.

Clients will feel confident in your product performance and procurement choices if you are accredited. To attain this you must have business insurance, provide 1-year company accounts and adhere to the SBID 5
points of compliance. These are:


  • Intellectual Property – SBID does not tolerate piracy and copyright theft, working to combat IP theft and bad practice
  • Corporate Social Responsibility – You should demonstrate how you agree with our support of ethical manufacturing processes to
    ensure people and the environment are not harmed in the production process.
  • Service – You must supply after-sales care to your clients and long-term quality service
  • Sustainability – Show a commitment to sustainability through manufacturing and use
  • Value for Money – Your products and services must be good value for money

Pricing begins at £600 + VAT to become a Professional Industry Partner, and from £3,200 + VAT for Premium Professional Partners.


Student Membership

If you are still studying you can get a headstart in your professional development by signing up for SBID Student Membership. Studying at a Recognised or Accredited university will provide you with free membership while you study, as well as includes your first year at Associate level for free post-graduation. After your third year working in industry, you will then qualify for full SBID Accreditation. This is the best way to reach accredited status as a professional interior designer following formal education.

3 Steps to Reach Accredited Status

Once you have checked you meet the eligible criteria and are happy with the membership fees, it is time to begin applying for accreditation. This can be done in just three simple steps.

  1. Category

Select the correct category for the industry sector that applies to you and complete an enquiry form. This will ask for your personal details, company or business details and qualifications. Your enquiry will then be sent to our membership team for review.

  1. Checks

SBID will then carry out all the necessary checks to confirm your credentials and assess the appropriate level of accreditation. This review will check that you are qualified for membership status.

  1. Acknowledgement

You will receive an acknowledgement that the review has been successful or unsuccessful. If approved you will be issued with a member certificate, Accreditation materials and access to SBIDPro portal. Accredited Design Professionals will also receive their copy of the SBID Short Contract for professional design services.

Accreditation & Membership with SBID

Get accredited today with The Society of British and International Interior Design. You’ll be joining over 600 interior design practices in the UK who have enhanced their professional profiles and gained increased industry credibility to stand out from the crowd. We are a globally recognised accreditation body that will help you reach the next stage in your career, whether you’re an interior designer, fit-out specialist, product provider or a design student eager to enter the field.

There are countless benefits to becoming a member of SBID, that will both help your career and provide clients with the assurance you have the correct expertise to make their vision a reality. So give us a call on 0207 738 9383 to talk to one of our friendly and professional staff today, or visit our website to explore the benefits of accreditation, our Designer Directory and more!

Cover image credits: Elkus Manfredi Architects – CBRE