Eligibility Requirements

NKBA Partner Advertisement

The National Kitchen & Bath Association offers a stepping-stone approach to NKBA Accreditation; the NKBA Supported Program. To partner with the National Kitchen & Bath Association through NKBA Supported Programs, educational institutions must demonstrate that they fulfill each of the eligibility requirements below. The supported status entitles educational institutions to most of the benefits offered to NKBA Accredited Programs, including the support of NKBA's national headquarters and local chapter while they develop their kitchen/bath program.

The following are the eligibility requirements for an NKBA Supported Program:

  • The educational institution must have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or a provincial ministry of education in Canada
  • Published description of programs, related activities, policies and procedures and a career path into the kitchen and bath industry (usually found in school catalog)
  • NKBA reference materials incorporated into curriculum that culminates in a certificate/degree program
  • A minimum of 24 semester credit hours or the equivalent to in construction/design/business management, and the curriculum must meet all the listed minimum competencies The NKBA considers a (1) semester hour to be: (a) at least 13 hours of lecture instruction, (b) 26 hours of studio or (c) 45-54 hours of internship
  • Internship requiring a minimum of 160 hours in the kitchen and bathroom industry monitored by the educational institution
  • Formally designated full-time coordinator or full-time qualified faculty
  • A written plan to fulfill the requirement to have an individual with NKBA Certification on staff or as an advisor, or a resume of the designated individual (see NKBA Certification)

NKBA Requirements

The following additional requirements are necessary for accreditation by the National Kitchen & Bath Association:

  • Student work samples from the kitchen/bath curriculum meet the requirements
  • At minimum, one graduating class must have completed the kitchen/bath curriculum seeking accreditation
  • Resume from the NKBA Certified Kitchen Designer/Certified Bathroom Designer/Certified Kitchen Educator/Certified Bathroom Educator or Certified Master Kitchen Bath Designer/Educator on staff or serving as the advisor. An NKBA certification designation must be available to develop curriculum, advise on competency development, and assess the annual student work sent to the NKBA.
  • Successful verification visit. The site visit serves 4 purposes: (a) to verify the application information presented to the NKBA on the Accreditation Verification forms, (b) recommend procedures for continuous improvement, (c) to inform administration and students about the benefits of accreditation, and (d) build a relationship with the educational institution and the local chapter. The verification visit is conducted by the national representative from the NKBA, a college or university educator that has obtained NKBA Certification, and, when possible, a local NKBA Certified Chapter Officer. Schools are required to complete the Request for a Verification Visit form at least nine months in advance to the earliest date requested. Schools are encouraged to complete the form when they receive their support status. A confirmation letter with the confirmed dates will be issued upon receipt of the form.

Curriculum Requirements

NKBA Accreditation ensures that students have studied the competencies necessary to be successful on the NKBA certification exams and employment in the kitchen and bath industry. The NKBA Toolkit provides educational institutions with all the resource and reference materials needed to successfully develop a program to earn NKBA Accreditation. Educational institutions are to review each of these reference manuals and implement the information into an existing viable program through specialization or create a new certificate/degree.

  • Curriculum must contain both kitchen and bath design
  • Curriculum must incorporate all resource and reference materials contained in the NKBA Toolkit; see Planning the Program
  • Curriculum must culminate into a certificate or degree
  • Curriculum must have a monitored 160 hour internship/work experience in the kitchen and bathroom industry
  • Each class must have a syllabus with objectives and written timeline to be accompanied with NKBA Verification Forms
  • Curriculum must have a minimum of 24 semester credit hours or the equivalent to in construction/design/business management and the curriculum must meet all the minimum competencies. The NKBA considers a (1) semester hour to be: (a) at least 13 hours of lecture instruction, (b) 26 hours of studio or (c) 45-54 hours of internship
  • A published statement of the educational institutions partnership with the NKBA must appear in print
  • A career path description must appear in print

It is essential that graduates of an NKBA Accredited Program acquire the following competencies found in the reference materials that are provided in your NKBA Toolkit.

Construction Systems

  • Evaluate building construction systems to satisfy the design criteria
  • Evaluate building mechanical systems to satisfy the design criteria
  • Specify appropriate building materials to satisfy the design criteria
  • Identify installation procedures recommended by the NKBA to achieve the expected levels of quality within time and budget


  • Incorporate applicable building code requirements into the project to assure public's health, safety, and welfare
  • Take comprehensive and precise measurements using NKBA recommendations
  • Adhere to safety criteria recommended by the NKBA to ensure the public's health, safety, and welfare
  • Obtain pertinent design information from architectural blueprints in order to translate dimensions and building features accurately
  • Specify appropriate material, equipment, fixtures, etc., using product knowledge to meet consumer needs
  • Identity tangible and intangible project constraints by observing the space, meeting with the client to develop design criteria, and designing solutions that satisfy the client's wants and needs
  • Apply universal and accessible design criteria using information from the NKBA Professional Resource Library to meet client needs
  • Incorporate environmental considerations using knowledge of environmental research to protect the public's health, safety, and welfare
  • Utilize NKBA Graphic and Presentation Standards to convey the design solution clearly to the client and/or trade
  • Create solutions using the elements and principles of design to satisfy aesthetic criteria
  • Interpret the design solution by developing a written and/or verbal design statement to substantiate the project to the client
  • Utilize architectural and interior design history by specifying appropriate products and/or design details to achieve the client's style preferences

Business Management

  • Prepare contract documents using written and graphic presentations to define and communicate the obligations of all parties
  • Supervise the implementation and completion of the project by communicating with all responsible parties to fulfill the obligations of the contract
  • Practice ethical standards of business conduct and professional service to assure public confidence
  • Coordinate communication among all parties by interacting effectively to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution if conflicts arise
  • Solve problems that may surface during the execution of the contract to satisfy the client
  • Exhibit the organizational skills necessary to bring projects from initial contact to successful completion
  • Accurately determine costs by systematic evaluation of all project components to establish a selling price
  • Follow generally accepted business practices to maintain viability by adhering to basic business principles
  • Communicate with the client through oral, written, and visual presentations throughout the various design stages to close the sale
  • Collect information on the project after its completion by surveying the clients and comparing project expectations and results to evaluate design, construction, and business practices
Find Kitchen and Bath Professionals Near You