Accreditation is a form of independent, professional certification that focuses on schools and programs in a particular field. Accreditation of design and applied arts schools or programs therefore assures international students and their parents that the school adheres to high quality standards. Which means the programs are delivered by qualified faculty and are constantly updated to follow the changes and meet the needs of the working world. Attending an accredited school or program is often thought to make you more competitive on the job market.

In Canada, all public community colleges are accredited by their respective provincial government. Accreditation standards for private career colleges vary from province to province and may include provincial legislation, licensing, certification, accreditation and program approval. For example, institutions may seek voluntary accreditation through the Canadian Education and Training Accreditation Committee (CETAC).

However, in Canada, there is no national accrediting body for design and applied arts schools in general or for the particular programs within their scope, although a number of schools have successfully pursued accreditation from international bodies.

International students can also look at whether a school or program has any memberships in, or endorsements by, discipline-specific professional associations which reflect certain standards of quality, but this is not the same as official accreditation

Accrediting Agencies
Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA, formerly FIDER)
Established: 1970
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Accredits schools and colleges of interior design in Canada and the US.
Formerly known as the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research or FIDER, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation sets standards for post-secondary interior design education and evaluates and accredits entry-level programs internationally. The Council brings together representatives from professional organizations, testing, higher education, manufacturing, publishing and others and follows a thorough three-step process to review and evaluate programs seeking accreditation.

Why Accreditation?
The goal of accreditation is to ensure that the education provided meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, which are educational associations of regional, national or international scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's criteria are then "accredited" by that agency.