IDEP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is IDEP required by regulatory boards?

IDEP is optional in most jurisdictions. However, it is strongly recommended as a structured, comprehensive method for completing your entry-level work experience. Your direct supervisor and outside mentor will help you obtain well-rounded training in your first years of work, and you will finish the program well prepared for the NCIDQ Examination. Check with your jurisdiction to find out if IDEP is required for licensure.

Do I have to submit my college transcript to apply for IDEP?

Yes. You must supply us with an official college transcript (for each college you attended, if applicable)  before we will begin reviewing your application. You can use this form to request a transcript from your college(s).

How long does it take to complete IDEP?

IDEP takes approximately two to three years to complete, depending on your education level and the number of hours you work. You do not have to work fulltime to participate, and you can take as long as you need to fulfill the requirements.

I have been working for several years since I graduated. Can I count past experience toward the IDEP requirements?

No. IDEP is a guide for earning future work experience. It cannot be used to document past experience, with the exception of experience obtained within three months of your IDEP start date.

I graduated five years ago. Can I start IDEP now?

No. IDEP assists only new graduates in their first few years of work. It is open only to individuals who start the program within two years of graduation.

I am having trouble earning the minimum number of required hours in some competency areas. How can I earn these hours?

There are three ways to earn IDEP experience hours:

  • Working directly in a competency area.
  • Observing others who are engaged in such work.
  • Attending lectures, seminars and continuing education courses.

Note: These professional development activities can be used to fulfill no more than 10% of the total required hours within a competency area.

I am entering my hours online but the “IDEP Time Log” link disappeared after I entered 4 logs. How do I enter more hours or complete more time logs?

Your supervisor must approve the four previous logs before new logs will appear in your MyNCIDQ account.

How do I find a mentor?

Professional associations are a good place to start. You want to begin building your network of professional contacts, and you can meet other interior designers and chapter meetings and industry events. You only meet with your mentor a few times a year, and you can even meet on the phone or via e-mail if required.

Can my IDEP mentor be someone in my firm?

Ideally, your mentor should be an interior designer outside of your firm. If there is no one outside of your firm, it is best if you have a non-supervisory relationship with your mentor. You want to be able to have frank and honest discussions, and sometimes, participants are reluctant to have these conversations with someone in their firm.

Guide for Supervisors and Mentors

Download this useful resource.

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