Interior Design Fundamentals

Description of Assessment & Certification

The Interior Design Fundamentals assessment and certification are:
  • driven by industry standards;
  • based on relevant content standards and consistent with the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Education and the National Career Clusters Initiative;
  • appropriate to validate achievement of competences related to the fundamental principles of interior design;
  • useful in a broad range of education and employment settings, such as secondary and post-secondary education and employer-based human resource and staff development programs; and
  • advantaged to utilize a gold-standard, computer-based testing platform format that provides for valid and reliable competency measurement, and a reporting mechanism for data-driven program improvement, accountability, and individual remediation and acceleration.

Uses of the Assessment and Certification

The assessment and certification are used to:
  • document exit-level achievement in rigorous secondary programs and lower division post-secondary courses;
  • satisfy federal accountability reporting mandates required by Perkins IV legislation;
  • facilitate seamless articulation, placement, and credit-by exam within post-secondary institutions;
  • validate competencies required for employment at the pre-professional level; and
  • provide an industry-recognized pre-professional certification.

Assessment and Certification Resources

Alignment Matrices
21st Century Student Outcomes Career Ready Practices (CCTC) Employability Skills Framework

* Bulletin includes detailed information on assessment design, scoring, content, sample test items, and resources)

American Society of Interior Designers

Click above to read more about the support of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation for the Interior Design Fundamentals Assessment and Certification (Scroll down list of programs to see information about the Pre-PAC exam.).


The Interior Design Fundamentals assessment and certification will address competencies and a skill set necessary to document a pre-professional's basic knowledge of interior design. It is anticipated that this assessment and certification will promote further education at the post-secondary level and continued training and professional development for those who want to pursue interior design careers associated with residential and commercial interiors, furnishings, and design.


Once the assessment is submitted, results are immediately available to the test candidate. The results provide an overall percentage score, a breakdown of scores corresponding to domains, and the indication whether pre-professional certification was achieved. The national cut score for pre-professional certification eligibility is established annually by AAFCS. Scores can be used to demonstrate competency, pinpoint weaknesses or gaps in performance, improve programs and curricula, and demonstrate accountability to stakeholders. Through articulation agreements, scores may be used as the basis for advanced placement and/or credit-by-exam at post-secondary institutions. Thus, local and state entities have latitude for independently establishing passing or qualifying scores for other purposes.

Pre-Professional Certification Score:  Click here for the list of current certification scores

Developed by National Interior Design Industry Professionals and Educators

AAFCS has engaged the assistance of a broad range of esteemed interior design industry professionals and educators from across the nation to assist in identifying relevant industry standards and develop the assessment instrument. Recognizing the value of a solid assessment tool in assuring that individuals possess the knowledge and skills necessary for pre-professional careers related to interior design, the following stakeholders participated on the development panel for the assessment and certification:
  • Penny Bonda, Interior Design Magazine and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington, DC
  • Rosalyn Cama, CAMA, Inc, New Haven, CT
  • Sherylin Doyle, National Kitchen and Bath Association, Hackettstown, NJ
  • Doug Hartsell, Duralee, Washington, DC
  • Lisa Henry, Knoll, Castle Rock, CO
  • Charisse Johnston, Gensler, Inc., Los Angelos, CA
  • Josh Sloan, Waring and Company, Denver, CO
  • Robert Wright, Bast/Wright Interiors, San Diego, CA
  • Stephanie Clemons, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
  • Patricia Hollender, Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, CO
  • Christy Somerville, University of New Haven, New Haven, CT
  • Deborah Griffin, Lexington High School, Lexington, SC
  • Cynthia Ziemba, HSE High School, Fishers, IN

Further Information

For further information please contact AAFCS at or 703-636-7641

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