NKBA Certification Guidelines

The hallmark for kitchen and bath professionals, NKBA certification is based on in-depth testing and extensive industry experience. NKBA-certified members must also meet annual continuing education requirements. The NKBA certifies kitchen and bath professionals in various levels of expertise, and provides two distinct paths; one for the kitchen & bath designers and one for non-design professionals. According to a 2010 survey conducted by Fleishman-Hillard, 80% of consumers prefer to work with certified kitchen designers over uncertified designers.

NKBA Certified Kitchen & Bath Designers

NKBA-certified designers demonstrate comprehensive knowledge in kitchen and bath design, as well as construction, mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems. They are widely recognized as experts in the NKBA Kitchen & Bath Planning Guidelines with Access Standards, which recognize the importance of consumer health, safety and welfare in kitchen and bath design. Our certified designers are also well respected for their skill in assessing consumers’ individual needs and creating designs that meet and exceed their expectations.

AKBD

Defined: An Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer is a certified professional, knowledgeable in product selection, space planning, materials and finishes.

Requirements: Applicants must document a minimum of two (2) years experience. At least one year must be specifically within the kitchen/bath industry. The second year of experience may be in a related industry.

Applicants must also earn a minimum of 30 hours of NKBA education or NKBA approved college coursework. Education must be completed before the candidate's application for certification can be approved. Courses should be documented as accurately as possible on the application.

CKBD

Defined: CKBDs specialize in the design, planning, and execution of residential kitchens and bathrooms, and prove advanced knowledge of technical and personal communication skills required to succeed as a design specialist.

Requirements: Applicants must document a minimum of seven (7) years of experience. A minimum of three years must be specifically from full-time residential kitchen/bath design experience, including design execution or project management. The remaining four years can consist of full-time kitchen/bath design or related industry experience.

Applicants must also earn a minimum of 60 hours of NKBA education or NKBA approved college coursework. Education must be completed before the candidate's application for certification can be approved. Courses should be documented as accurately as possible on the application. Applicants must pass their AKBD academic exam prior scheduling their CKBD design exam.

CKBE

Defined: Certified Kitchen and Bathroom Educators are college instructors who specialize in teaching residential kitchen and/or bathroom design. They understand the unique qualifications required for kitchen and bathroom design specialization, and they transfer their knowledge to interior design students. A college instructor achieves the CKBE designation by proving experience as an interior design college educator and passing the CKBE certification exam for CKBE certification.

Requirements: CKBEs must demonstrate a minimum of seven (7) years of full-time teaching experience in interior design or a minimum of three (3) years teaching experience combined with formal education for a total of seven (7) years. No formal design experience is required.

Applicants must also earn a minimum of 60 hours of NKBA education or NKBA approved college coursework. Education must be completed before the candidate's application for certification can be approved. Courses should be documented as accurately as possible on the application. Applicants must pass their AKBD academic exam prior to scheduling their CKBD design exam.

CMKBD

Defined: The Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer is a program which recognizes extraordinary experience and achievements in the kitchen and bath industry. The CMKBD must possess their CKBD certification, but must have an additional ten (10) years of experience in the industry beyond the date of their first certification. This means that CMKBDs must have a minimum of 17 years of industry experience.

Requirements: Candidates applying for the CMKBD certification are required to have both their CKBD certifications prior to applying. Candidates must also have an additional ten (10) years of industry experience in addition to the knowledge that they have already demonstrated to earn their CKBD designation. Five (5) years of this additional experience must be from full-time kitchen/bath design.

Applicants must also earn a minimum of 100 hours of NKBA education or NKBA approved college coursework. Education must be completed before the candidate's application for certification can be approved. Courses should be documented as accurately as possible on the application.

CMKBE

Defined: The Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Educator is a program which recognizes extraordinary experience and achievements of educators teaching residential kitchen and/or bathroom design at the college level. The CMKBE must possess not only both their CKE and CBE certifications, and must have an additional ten (10) years of experience in the industry beyond the date of their first certification. This means that CMKBEs must have a minimum of 17 years of teaching and design experience.

Requirements: Candidates applying for the CMKBE certification are required to have their CKBE certifications prior to applying. Candidates must also have an additional ten (10) years of teaching experience in addition to the knowledge that they have already demonstrated to earn their CKBE designation. Five (5) years of this additional experience can be from full-time kitchen/bath design or teaching.

Applicants must also earn a minimum of 100 hours of NKBA education or NKBA approved college coursework. Education must be completed before the candidate's application for certification can be approved. Courses should be documented as accurately as possible on the application.

NKBA Certified Non-Design Professionals

The Certified Kitchen & Bath Professional is a path for the dealer, distributor, fabricator, installer, remodeler, manufacturer, sales representative, or any other segment of the industry to validate their knowledge, experience, dedication and professionalism in the kitchen and bath industry. This individual is qualified to work with our certified designers to meet the needs of the consumer. The candidate for this certification must meet specific educational requirements and pass a comprehensive academic exam.

CKBP

Defined: The Certified Kitchen and Bath Professional (CKBP) is our only non-design-oriented certification; one that benefits all industry segments. In order to possess this universal certification, the holder must prove a high level of proficiency in professional knowledge, industry experience, and education in the kitchen and bath industry. The focus of curriculum and critical areas of knowledge is not centered on design, but in the areas of residential construction, general business knowledge, materials and product knowledge, and project management.

Requirements: Applicants must document a minimum of five (5) years of kitchen and bath industry experience.

Applicants must also earn a minimum of 40 hours of NKBA education or NKBA approved college coursework. Education must be completed before the candidate's application for certification can be approved. Courses should be documented as accurately as possible on the application.