How do I complete my supervised work experience?

In order to be eligible to write the NCIDQ examinations, members must successfully complete ARIDO’s supervised work experience requirement. There are currently two paths for work experience in Ontario: the competency-based Interior Design Experience Requirement (IDER) reporting or the hours-based reporting.

Interns completing either reporting path must track all work experience which meets the supervised work experience requirements. You are advised to track this experience throughout the years that you are completing it.

If, during this period of time, you have successfully completed the required work experience through multiple jobs under multiple Supervisors or Mentors, you will need to separately report and obtain a signature from each of these Supervisors or Mentors. This applies to both the IDER reporting and hours-based reporting.

For example, if over the course of three years you have obtained work experience through two separate jobs with two separate firms, you will need to report the accumulated experience separately. This will mean obtaining signatures from both Supervisors to whom you reported.

Once you have obtained the required amount of supervised work experience, make sure that your reporting is complete and that all qualified Supervisors or Mentors have signed off. Your reporting can be completed by filling in the appropriate documentation for the path you are following.

Who qualifies as a Supervisor or Mentor?

For both IDER and the hours-based path, a direct Supervisor is the individual within the firm where the Intern is employed and who supervises their daily work. A current or former direct Supervisor may sign off on experience of which they supervised.

A work experience Sponsor or Mentor is not the Intern’s direct employment supervisor who meets the above qualifications and volunteers their time to review, give feedback, and sign off on the Intern’s work.

Interior Design Experience Requirement (IDER) Reporting

The new requirement, also known as Interior Design Experience Requirement (IDER), is a move away from hours-based reporting to evidence-based reporting and requires the completion of mandatory tasks within each interior design phase.

With this transition, ARIDO believes this new reporting format will provide Intern members with a greater understanding of their next steps on the interior design career path, along with a clearly defined roadmap for their career growth plan which can be established with their Supervisor or Mentor.

For Supervisors and Mentors, the new requirement provides clear and consistent areas of supervised experience so supervisors and sponsors can ensure Interns obtain the experience needed. As more Intern members begin onboarding with the new requirement, it will also result in more consistent and equitable training across the Intern membership.

If you are using the IDER reporting path, you must complete and submit the following forms directly to ARIDO once you have successfully completed all mandatory tasks.

For Applicants

For Supervisors / Mentors

Once all your supervised work experience hours are completed, submit your form(s) directly to ARIDO: membership@arido.ca .

More information about completing these forms is available in the Intern Supervised Work Experience Guide.

Hours based reporting

If you are using the hours-based reporting path, please ensure you use the correct form: Direct Supervised Work Experience Reporting Form

Your Supervised Work Experience hours are worth their full value (100%) when the hours are completed under one of the following individuals:

  • Registered Member of ARIDO or another provincial regulatory body
  • Designer (passed the NCIDQ exam/meets ARIDO requirements)
  • Licenced Architect

75% of the total Supervised Work Experience hours may be claimed under someone who is a Designer but is not NCIDQ Certified nor is licensed/registered with another provincial body. The remaining 25% must be under the supervision of one of the individuals listed above.

Click here for the Direct Supervised Work Experience Reporting Form.

Once all your supervised work experience hours are completed, submit your form(s) directly to ARIDO: membership@arido.ca.

ICRS and the IDER Path-NCIDQ Exam Eligibility

As a member board of the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) ARIDO has the ability to approve individuals to take the NCIDQ exams where they meet ARIDO’s requirements which are different than CIDQ’s eligibility requirements. This would apply to Intern members who were assessed and approved through the Intern Competency Review System (ICRS) process and who have also completed IDER for their supervised work experience.

As the member board having jurisdictional authority in Ontario, ARIDO can approve an individual for the NCIDQ Exams where ARIDO has approved a Member Board Approval Form, detailing the exact parameters and timeline for which the approval is valid.

If you are an Intern member who requires approval from ARIDO to write the NCDIQ Exams complete the steps below:

Step 1 – Register with CIDQ
Step 2 – Obtain the Member Board Approval Form from CIDQ and complete the applicant section.
Step 3 – Submit the Member Board Approval Form to ARIDO for approval to membership@arido.ca.
Step 4 – ARIDO approves the form and submits the completed Member Board Approval Form to CIDQ on your behalf.

ARIDO may only submit the Member Board Approval Form to CIDQ for Interns who apply to write all three exam sections. Upon submission of the Member Board Approval Form, CIDQ will grant Intern members 10 exam administrations (about 5 years) to take and pass all sections of the NCIDQ Exam through ARIDO Member Board Approval.

Upon passing all sections of the NCIDQ Exam, individuals may provide their pass results to ARIDO in order to meet the examination requirement and apply to become a Registered member of ARIDO. Once you are approved for Registered membership, you are authorized to use the title ‘Interior Designer’ in Ontario. Simply passing all three NCIDQ Exams or possessing CIDQ certification does not grant the right to practice or use of the title ‘Interior Designer’ in Ontario.

NCIDQ Certification

Members who plan to carry out interior design services in the United States may wish to maintain NCIDQ certification. Applying for and renewing NCIDQ certification annually once the exams are passed is not a requirement for maintaining Registered membership with ARIDO or to practice in Ontario.

CIDQ’s certification requirements must be met in order for CIDQ to grant NCIDQ certification. Intern members who pass the three NCIDQ exams but do not meet CIDQ’s certification requirements will not receive NCIDQ certification automatically.

If you wish to obtain NCIDQ certification upon passing the exams, you must submit an application to CIDQ, meet CIDQ’s current eligibility requirements, and submit all applicable materials and fees. Upon review of a complete and submitted application, CIDQ will determine your eligibility for NCIDQ certification.

If you wish to be NCIDQ certified upon successful completion of the exams, it is recommended that you also maintain a record of supervised work experience hours using the CIDQ Hours Reporting Form (LINK) in order to meet CIDQ’s requirements for supervised work experience.

This eligibility path will apply to those Intern members who:

  • Met the education requirement by successfully completing ARIDO’s Intern Competency Review System (ICRS); or
  • Met the supervised work experience requirement by participating in the Intern Design Experience Requirement (IDER) program through ARIDO.

Whitepaper on the Interior Design Experience Requirement

This whitepaper describes the competency mapping process that informed the creation of the Interior Design Experience Requirement.


For questions regarding the supervised work experience requirement, or to initiate the Member Board approval, please contact membership@arido.ca.