Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


AUTHENTIC & UNIVERSAL Credentialing for Stagers

THIS is why I love ActiveRain.... actually JoAnn Guida came up with the perfect parallel to help explain my concerns and wishes for AUTHENTIC and UNIVERSAL credentialing of stagers.   (Now why didn't I think of this? LOL) 

Anyway, JoAnn made the GOOD POINT that ... "Once upon a time Interior Designers weren`t licensed either today they have to be a member of the ASID." She went on to ask,  "Do you believe the same will hold true for staging?I believe this is exactly where this is heading."

So actually ASID is an impartial society that requires members meet a few acceptance standards: they must have a combination of accredited design education and/or full-time work experience and pass a two-day accreditation examination administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).

Interior Designers with ASID credentials after their names... have been trained outside of ASID. AND the NCIDQ exam is much like what an accountant would have to take in order to become credentialed as a CPA.  The National Council for Interior Design Qualification does not teach... it sets the standards and tests the standards... for the safety and well being of the public.

To be honest I am not sure just how to best structure Staging Accrediation... all I do know is that "credentialing" would tell a more truthful story if it were created, administered and monitored by an IMPARTIAL 3rd party.

If a person wants to boast that they were trained at a particular school/methodology... that is FINE with me. And that is really what these "credentials" that you now see are.  AND I do think that there are better schools training staging than others. Think Harvard vs. Lewis University... both schools have an accounting program. But JUST because a person went to Harvard does NOT mean the are better.

But this alphabet soup of credentials that people are throwing around staging world really MEANS NOTHING. 

Let's put it this way... being a stager I could start teaching staging classes and after a person paid and sat thru my training I could give them a credential... like PSA - Professional Staging Associate. SOUNDS good but who the heck am I to define and determine what constitutes quality in an industry that operates in North America and Europe and beyond?

Thanks JoAnn for taking the time to ask and listen...


Comment balloon 6 commentsCraig Schiller • August 13 2006 11:40AM



To be an Interior Designer you do not have to take the NCIDQ test.  You do have to go to an accredited school and graduate. 

Although there are several firms that require their IDs to have passed the NCIDQ, not everyone is required to in order to practice Interior Design or advertise themselves as such.

I would imagine that if there comes a day when there is an independent body that administers such a test for Stagers, that this arragement would hold true as well. 

What I would love to see is an organization that welcomes all Stagers, regardless of acroymns, training, etc. to add value to the industry as a whole. 


Leigh Olson | President, Velvet Plum Interiors

Posted by Leigh Olson (Velvet Plum Home Staging) over 14 years ago
I think the point here is that while you can practice interior design without the credential of having passed the NCIDQ test, you cannot claim to be accredited.  Whereas in the staging industry, with there being so many entities out there that offer certification courses, and without any standardization, it is impossible to tell if the graduates of any said course actually are actually ‘qualified’ to stage homes. You can, however, be fairly sure that anyone having passed the NCIDQ exam has some clue as to how to design interiors.I don’t think any among us discredit anyone with the skill, motivation and business acumen to start their own staging company, regardless what, if any, letters they have after their name!   I don’t think anyone has any issues with this.

But I agree with Craig; I think the time upon us to look at developing an independent standardization test for home stagers.  I see more and more questionable websites claiming to offer home staging courses, and hate to think that people might be getting duped into paying for a second rate service.

Posted by Jessica Hughes over 14 years ago

Craig, I found this old post of yours by accident and want to comment. From my knowledge, home staging as a business was founded by a real estate agent. I may be wrong, but who put these people in charge to issue credentials? There is enough information via the Internet to know what is involved in preparing a house to sell. Agents have their lists that they have used for years...more like a wish list. Home Staging is a perfect outlet for the individuals that love to decorate to make a living. They do not promise anything to a home seller except that their place will look better and their stuff will be put away, out of sight, and the potential embarrasing moments removed from the agents mind when showing. How is that going to be standardized? I just cannot picture it. So Craig, this post is from August 06...has anything begun to take shape?


Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 14 years ago


Right now I think just sharing information with stagers across North America is a HUGE step... and we have Active Rain to thank for that.

So YES things have moved in a VERY postive direction since I orginally posted this.

Just where it will go... I don't know.

But there are leaders here in the Rain from our industry that WILL surely help move it in the right direction for sure. ;-)

Stage it forward...


Posted by Craig Schiller about 14 years ago

Craig, I realize this is an older post but I just now took the time to look, sorry.  I was looking for my son the other day about licensed home inspectors, he works in construction.  It looks as though it is regulated state by state.  Do stagers want this profession to be licensed which would mean regulated by the state they live or are stagers looking to tell lets say to the Realtors and business community we are united despite different affiliations? Either way, some national association would help legitimize the profession of staging so that there are procedures and policies. It looks as though there are a lot of stagers that are looking to you for direction.  The Stage It Forward group is great definitely helped me execute some priorities.  Just wanted to know if you know what should be done now?

Personally, I don't believe we should be regulated just united.

Posted by Joni Van Deventer, RoomByRoomRedesign (RoomByRoomRedesign) almost 14 years ago
Hello. This is the first time I've seen this blog. I'm a Realtor, but have a background in Interior Design. The way I see it, Staging is nothing more that an art. Some people are good at it some aren't. We are only talking about moving furniture, hanging some pics, cleaning up spaces, maybe bringing in some plants--why the need to regulate? The only format needed is a potfolio of work completed and a price list. When you contract an artist--it's based on his work--not what school they went to, or what test they took. The proof is in the work. Why must everyone want to regulate everything? I'm not trying to argue, I just don't get what the fuss is about. Have there been actual lawsuits over staging jobs? Are people getting sick or injured due to staging problems? As far as getting ripped off--that can happen no matter what test a Stager takes. References are the best way to hire anyone for anything--and make sure they are insured and bonded.  
Posted by Vimy over 13 years ago