Understanding Designer Certifications

Many pros have a series of letters after their names. Find out what those designations mean
Designer Discusses Kitchen Renovations with Owners

Designer Discusses Kitchen Renovations with Owners

Photo by: Comstock


By: Kristen Hampshire

Confused by the alphabet soup of letters following your designer’s name? Learn what the acronyms for the most common certifications mean.

AKBD (Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer)

CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer)

  • Minimum 7 years kitchen design experience.
  • Minimum 4 years of formal design education or 60 hours of NKBA professional development.

CMKBD (Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer)

  • More than 17 years of industry experience.
  • Has CKD and CBD (Certified Bath Designer) certifications.
  • At least 100 hours of NKBA professional development or equivalent formal design education

LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Accredited Professional)

  • LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system founded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1993.
  • Accredited professional (AP) and Green Associate certification is earned by working on LEED-accredited projects and earning Continuing Education hours through the USGBC.

CAPS (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist)

  • Certification earned through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
  • Certified specialists are well versed in Universal Design principles and how to implement those in the residential environment.
  • Curriculum teaches technical, business management, customer service and critical skills modifying homes for the aging-in-place.

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