How To Become A Certified Kitchen Designer

Did you know anybody can call themselves a kitchen designer, regardless of any experience they may or may not have? So how do you become a professional, qualified Australian-certified kitchen designer? Read on...

Kitchen Designer vs Certified Kitchen Designer

There a plenty of people who are kitchen designers, for instance, cabinet makers, shopfitters and designers that work for national big box stores such as IKEA, Bunnings and Mitre 10 etc. You get the idea.

Whilst these designers have received training in-house, certainly know their product and are highly competent, in most cases such designers are no match for the certified kitchen designer!

How To Become A Certified Kitchen Designer

The Certificate IV in Kitchen and Bathroom Design course will give you national accreditation as a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD Au).

You can become a Certified Kitchen Designer by enrolling for Certificate IV In Kitchen And Bathroom Design at TAFE NSW or Designer Training Australia.

It is a 12-month course and costs approximately $6,500.

What Training Do They Receive?

Australian certified kitchen designers must undergo rigorous professional training in the following broad areas such as;

  • architecture and design background
  • domestic construction basics
  • plumbing
  • electrical
  • mechanical
  • communications, marketing and sales
  • materials and applications
  • elements and principles of design
  • drafting
  • CAD/CAM - computer-aided design / computer-aided manufacturing
  • documentation and licensing

Kitchen designers also need to learn about cabinet construction, spatial planning, kitchen design rules, building services, materials, components and finishes for kitchen designs.

They need to be able to articulate ideas and then put forward those design solutions to the client. Draft plans and contracts, have a good knowledge of colour schemes and have a thorough understanding of kitchen design principles. Designing for people with disabilities and special needs is another skill to be learnt. Successfully managing contractors and timelines is a vitally important skill that comes with experience.

What Happens After I Become A Certified Kitchen Designer?

Once the designer has graduated from the course and becomes a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD Au), they cannot simply sit on their laurels. They must continually improve their industry knowledge as they are required to undertake regular assessments of their abilities to keep their accreditation.

Building regulations are continually changing as well as kitchen design trends. Advancements in technologies such as kitchen appliances, lighting, smart homes etc. will always keep the professional kitchen designer constantly learning to satisfy the demands of their clients.

So how does a recently graduated designer better themselves?

One way is to join a nationally recognised body such as the Kitchen and Bathroom Designers Institute of Australia (KBDi).

KBDI Accreditation

The Kitchen and Bathroom Designers Institute of Australia (KBDi) is a national, not-for-profit industry group that supports the professional development of Australian kitchen and bathroom designers. Its members are committed to ongoing professional development within their industry.

Being a member represents excellence in kitchen design as they provide continuing professional development.

They have developed a comprehensive accreditation program with the primary purpose of giving confidence to consumers looking for experienced and skilled kitchen designers as well as a highly regarded credentialing system for kitchen designers committed to their profession.

There are a few ways to become an accredited KBDi Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD Au).

One method is that the applicant must provide evidence of their successful completion and attainment of:

  • Certificate IV in the Design of Kitchens, Bathrooms and Interior Spaces MSF40313 or
  • Certificate IV in the Design of Kitchens & Bathrooms 2019 MSF40318 or
  • previous accreditation issued by either NKBA (NKBA certification) or HIA (HIA certification)

And you will also need;

  • evidence of your qualification or prior accreditation (a copy of your certificate of attainment)
  • a completed application form and fee payment receipt 
  • a completed ‘Collection of Evidence Form’. This document will seek confirmation of your industry experience, with the following minimum requirements:

You need a minimum of two (2) years of full-time equivalent experience working as a kitchen or bathroom designer. Twelve (12) months of this experience must be post-graduation unless you can provide a minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience before graduation.

You will also need to submit a comprehensive portfolio of two (2) projects for review and assessment as well as a condensed portfolio of six (6) projects completed within the last two years.

When the above documentation has been submitted and reviewed, KBDi will either confirm your acceptance into the assessment process or decline your application and fully refund any fees paid.

Allow for a maximum of 12 weeks for the completion of the assessment process.

KBDi Code Of Ethics

KBDi members must follow the KBDi Code Of Ethics and Code Of Conduct. These include; 

  • striving to achieve high standards of service to the client
  • maintain technical currency and competency through professional development
  • keep abreast of current laws applicable to their business duties and all other public policies that affect their business duties
  • comply with all statutes or common laws
  • conduct their business with honesty and integrity as well as perform in free competition with others

KBDi Code of Conduct

  • refraining from criticising or damaging the reputation of KBDi members in any forum (including social media)
  • are not allowed to misrepresent their status of KBDi membership and also not use post-nominals associated with KBDi accreditation (CKD Au) after their name
  • move to resolve client complaints as soon as possible