As the work for future regulation between ARIDO and the OAA continues, development work has been a key priority over the last several years. In 2019, development work identified the need for greater accountability on behalf of ARIDO for the Supervised Work Experience requirement that will lead to future licensing. This resulted in a review of the current requirement and a set of recommendations to move towards a more robust requirement.

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

We have compiled some of the common questions we anticipate below.

  • What is required for an Intern to become Registered?

Intern members are required to accumulate the required amount of supervised work experience as determined by ARIDO and successfully pass the NCIDQ Examinations.

  • What is the difference between the hours-based and evidence-based requirement?

Hours-Based Supervised Requirement
This requirement allows for a set total number of work hours to be recognized under the following Design Project Phases:

  • Pre-Design
  • Programming
  • Schematic Design
  • Design Development
  • Contract Documents
  • Bidding/Tendering
  • Contract Administration
  • Projection Conclusion
  • Ancillary/Additional Services

The number of hours required in total is as follows:

CIDA approved BID – 3,520 hours of supervised interior design work experience.
Up to 1,760 hours of work experience can be earned before education is complete as long as the hours worked were not used towards earning the degree.

Non-CIDA approved BID – 3,520 hours of supervised interior design work experience.
Up to 1,760 hours of work experience can be earned before education is complete as long as the hours worked were not used towards earning the degree.

Associate’s Degree / Diploma – 5,280 hours of supervised interior design work experience
Only work experience accumulated after graduation is eligible.

Interior Design Experience Requirement (IDER)
The newly launched ARIDO requirement is a self-reporting form that enables Applicants to track and report their completion of mandatory tasks. Supervised Work Experience provides practice performing tasks one needs to be able to do while working under a qualified supervisor as they progress on the path.

Mandatory Tasks are organized by the following design phases and do not require a minimum or set number of hours:

  • Pre-design
  • Programming
  • Schematic Design
  • Design Development
  • Contract Documents
  • Bidding / Tendering
  • Contract Administration
  • Project Conclusion
  • It is the responsibility of the qualified Supervisor to determine when an Applicant has satisfactorily completed all mandatory tasks and occurs when those tasks have been performed under supervision in a range of settings, multiple times. Once the qualified supervisor is confident the Applicant has satisfactorily completed all mandatory tasks, they may sign off.

  • Under the hours-based requirement, I was able to accumulate up to 75% of my work experience under a non-qualified individual. Is this allowed in the new system?

The new evidence-based system identifies the following as recognized “supervisors”:

  • Supervisor (or Mentor) – an individual qualified to review and confirm that the Intern has satisfactorily performed tasks, who is either:
    • a Registered Member of ARIDO (or another jurisdictional authority for Interior Design), or
    • an Ontario Architect, OAA Member (or another jurisdictional authority for Architecture)

While moving the requirement towards a focus of “qualified” supervision, the new reporting form also allows Supervisors to indicate memberships in another jurisdictional authority for interior design (or architecture). It also requires the Supervisor to attest that they possess the qualifications, education, experience, and ability to supervise the work of the Intern.

During the first two years of the new requirement, ARIDO will accept and assess, on a case-by-case basis, reported tasks under a non-qualified individual. This allows for a fair transition window towards the new reporting system as well as exclusive use of fully qualified Supervisors.

During this time, ARIDO may allow Supervisors who we review and confirm as being qualified for supervising specific tasks, but who might not fit the narrow requirement of being an ARIDO Registered member or licensed Architect.

  • I have completed a substantial amount of my required supervised work experience hours; do I need to transition to the new requirement?

No, you may continue with reporting your supervised experience hours in the hours-based system as long as you notify ARIDO of your intent to do so by December 31, 2021. ARIDO will then make note in your membership record in order to track your choice of experience requirement.

  • I have been working for the same employer for most of my supervised work experience, can I transition to the new experience requirement system?

Yes, you can. We suggest you use the Self-Report Form and report the mandatory tasks you have already accumulated. You can then meet with your qualified supervisor to review what you have reported and obtain their feedback and/or sign off on the competencies they deem you have satisfactorily completed.

  • I have worked for several employers and have already collected my hours-based system, do I need to transition to the new evidence-based system?

No, as mentioned previously, you may continue with your reporting in the hours-based system. You must have notified ARIDO by December 31st, 2021.

  • For the new IDER, can I start recording my evidence-based work experience while I’m in still in school?

Yes, you can. Work experience earned before education can qualify as long as the experience was not used towards earning your degree. I.e. co-op placement requirement.

  • I completed the ICRS and joined as an Intern recently, which system must I complete?

All new Intern members who join ARIDO after October 1, 2021, either via the traditional path or the ICRS must use the IDER system. Intern members who joined prior to October 1, 2021, will have a choice as to which experience requirement system they wish to complete.

  • I submitted experience towards the ICRS, can I use the same experience towards IDER?

The Intern Competencies Review System (ICRS) is a competencies-based assessment which enables candidates who do not possess a BID from an ARIDO recognized school to demonstrate they have the competencies equivalent to the minimum education requirement, i.e. Interior Design Degree. Candidates may submit education, training, and work evidence accumulated through experience for review and to demonstrate they meet the minimum competencies equivalent to minimum education requirement.

While the mandatory tasks required in the IDER system were mapped to align with the ICRS competencies, the competencies required to complete those mandatory tasks are only obtainable through experience in the field and where they have been performed under supervision in a range of settings multiple times. This in the field training is intended to build upon the first requirement which is education.

Therefore, candidate may submit the same work experience used towards the ICRS. However, rather than submitting evidence that is equivalent to the minimum education requirement; candidates must obtain sign off from their Supervisors as meeting the mandatory tasks during in the field training.

  • Does the process allow for multiple qualified Supervisors to sign off?

Yes, you may have multiple Supervisors sign off where you have had different work experience in several firms or where your Supervisor within the same firm has changed. You will need to complete a separate Reporting Form for work experience accumulated under multiple or different Supervisors.

When submitting multiple forms, ARIDO will review and ensure that all mandatory tasks across all forms submitted have been completed.

  • I cannot meet my 5-year deadline to complete my experience and examination requirements. What are my options?

Extensions to the original 5-year deadline to complete your experience and examination requirements may be granted where extenuating circumstances apply. Examples are, maternity leave, loss of employment, and returning to full-time education.

To identify if you qualify for an extension please reach out to

  • I am a former member and wish to reinstate with ARIDO. I completed the former hours-based system, can I still use them?

Please see the transition chart at this link.

  • Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Please contact

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