Tuesday, 28th September 2021

Policy & Procedure for Accreditation of Interior Design Programmes


1.1 The Board of Architects Malaysia was formed under the provisions of the Architects Act 1967 and it is responsible for the enforcement of the said Act. Section 27D (1) of the Act stipulates the following :

"27D(1)Subject to this Act, any person who is a corporate member of the Institut Pereka Bentuk Dalaman Malaysia or the Malaysian Society of Interior Designers or has obtained a qualification which the Board considers to be equivalent thereto shall be entitled on application to be registered as an Interior Designer..

1.2 Under Section 4(1) of the Act, the Board is empowered :

“(gb) to appoint a council, consisting of such members of the Board, Professional Architects and other persons as may be determined by the Board, to advise and regulate all matters relating to architectural and interior design education including the certification and recognition of such programmes.”.

1.3 In line with the above functions, the Board is responsible for determining the standard for entry into the architectural profession and the accreditation of architectural programmes for recognition by the Board.
1.4 For this purpose, the Council of Accreditation and Architectural Education Malaysia (CAAEM) was formed under the auspices of the Board to regulate all matters relating to the architectural and interior design education.
1.5 This document provides information on the objectives, criteria and procedures of accreditation for programmes of study in interior design.




In this policy and procedure, unless the context otherwise requires –

'Accreditation' refers to the official acceptance and endorsement that a particular programme has been assessed and accredited to have attained the approved standard required by the Council of Accreditation and Architectural Education Malaysia (CAAEM).

A programme that has been accredited is referred to as a recognised programme by the Board.

'Board' refers to the Board of Architects Malaysia.

'Credit Hours or Credit Units' refer to the weightage given to each course which is required for the completion of the total programme in accordance with the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) definition.

'Conditional Accreditation' means the school still enjoys the same privileges under full accreditation but must take action on the shortcoming identified by the Panel. If fulfilled the conditional accreditation can be upgraded to full accreditation for a period of three (3) years which shall deem to commence from the date of the conditional accreditation.

'Council' refers to the Council of Accreditation and Architectural Education Malaysia (CAAEM) formed under the auspices of the Board.

'Core Courses' refer to courses of substantial credit value which relate to interior design.

'Course'refers to a subject of study which runs for multiple weeks involving contacts with academic staff and other students in a variety of forms including lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops as well as on-line and electronic communication. A number of courses may make up a sequence of study, eg. Interior Design 1, Interior Design 2, etc.

'Electives' refer to a range of courses offered by the programme for the purpose of pursuing individual interests or specific needs in addition to the core courses.

‘Interior Design’ shall also refer to interior architecture.

'Panel' refers to the Visiting Panel set up by the Council.

refers to the sequence of courses taken to qualify for the degree or award in which a student is enrolled.

'School' refers to the entity within a tertiary educational institution that conducts the interior design programme leading to an award of qualification in interior design.




Accreditation of educational programmes in interior design seeks primarily to ensure that the standards attained by successful graduates of the programmes are adequate with regard to the design, technical and professional skills required for competent and profesional interior design practice.


An interior design programme which has been accredited by the Board shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of the Board’s examination in interior design.


Towards this objective, the Board assesses the programmes of study leading to the awards of qualifications in interior design and accredits programmes which are in line with the requirements of the Board.




Institutions conducting a degree level programme having the word ‘interior design’ or ‘interior architecture’ in the name of the programme or the award are required to get the advice of the Board at the inception of such programmes.

The word ‘interior design or interior architecture’ in a programme


Accreditation process is conducted upon the application of the institution offering the interior design programme.

Application for Accreditation


If the institution runs more than one programme of study in interior design and wishes the programme to be accredited, the institution is required to apply for the accreditation of each of the programme separately.

Running more than one programme


If an institution wishes to run a programme at a different location or mode of study, the institution is required to apply for separate accreditation of such programme.


Accreditation of the programme of study is for a period of not exceeding three to five years and shall lapse at the expiry thereof.

Accreditation period


The Board is empowered to require institutions to provide information on the accredited programme or programmes and to visit the institutions as and when necessary.

Power to Withdraw


When there are minimal shortcomings to the programme, the Board may grant conditional accreditation during which time the institution must take necessary corrective measures to address the shortcoming, within a period of  up to two years failing which the accreditation shall be withdrawn

Conditional Accreditation


Interior Design education should ensure that all graduates have knowledge and ability in interior design, including technology, technical systems and its requirements as well as consideration for environmental, health, and safety factors. They should understand the cultural, intellectual, historical, social, economic, management and environmental context for interior design. They should be able to comprehend thoroughly the interior designers’ roles and responsibilities in society, which depend on a cultivated, analytical and creative mind. The programme of study should address the various issues outlined in APPENDIX A.

Learning Outcome


The duration of interior design programme shall be as  follows:-




The programme shall be of no less than three and a half (3½)  years duration after  Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran  Malaysia (STPM) or the equivalent, delivered on a full time basis, inclusive of practical training of six (6) months




Any programme  delivered on any other mode must show evidence of equivalency as stated in paragraphs 4.9.1  and will be examined on case to case basis.



The minimum credit requirement  for  an academic  programme  in interior design is 120 credits and the distribution is as follows:

a)   Interior design core courses minimum 70%
b)  Interior design related studies : 10 - 20%
c)   Others : 10 - 20%

For details please see APPENDIX A.

 Course content


Major   changes in syllabus           and    curriculum      of    accredited programmes have to be presented to the Council for advice.  These refer to changes involving the following aspects:

Changes to accredited programme or curriculum


  • Underlying philosophy of programme 
  • More than 40% of programme content
  • Location and mode of delivery
  • Name and duration of award 



The students’ admission system must ensure that only qualified candidates are admitted into the programme.  For details please see APPENDIX B.

Entry requirements 


The teaching staff must be sufficient in number and capability to ensure the quality of the programme. For details please see APPENDIX C.



There must be dedicated work space for each student in a studio with an allocation of 2.5 sq.m per student. Inability to provide this requirement, the institutions has to substantiate with evidence showing occurrence of sharing and peer learning. Apart from dedicated studio space, institutions should also provide spaces for presentation and exhibition of student’s works.



There should also be other related facilities such as laboratories, model making workshop, building technology workshop, repository of students’ works, facilities for research, advanced studies, information and data exchange for new technologies to support effective learning environment.



The programme must have adequate access to institutional support and financial resources to ensure the ongoing viability of the programme.





Schools of Interior Design seeking accreditation from the Board should apply to :


Honorary Secretary
Council of Accreditation and Architectural Education Malaysia
c/o Board of Architects Malaysia
17th Floor, Block F, PWD Headquarters
Jalan Sultan Salahuddin
50582 Kuala Lumpur


Preliminary Visit :

Newly established schools are advised to consider requesting for a preliminary visit  by  the  CAAEM  Panel  to  advise the  implementation of  the  programme. Such visits can be requested as early as in final semester of the second year.


Application for accreditation shall be submitted to the CAAEM before the first cycle of the programme is completed i.e when the first batch of students are in their final semester. Such application shall be submitted at least one (1) month before the intended accreditation visit.


Accreditation Visit :

A Panel from CAAEM would visit the School to assess the standard of interior design education at the end of the programme to be accredited.


The documentation of information as prescribed in APPENDIX D shall be submitted to the Council one month prior to the visit of the CAAEM Panel.


The application for continuing the accreditation shall be submitted at least six (6) months before the expiry of the original accreditation period. The submission of documentation to the Council shall be made at least one (1) month before the visit. Additional documents submitted thereafter may not be taken into consideration by the Panel in assessing the programme


To prepare for the visit of Panel, the School shall make ready items as described in APPENDIX E.


 Where Conditional Accreditation has been awarded (Paragraph 4.7 refers), interim visits may be necessary and/or the School may be required to furnish information as prescribed by the Panel.


Where  conditional  accreditation  has  been  awarded,  to  require  the  School  to submit  the  following  information  annually  until  full  accreditation  has  been granted.

5.9.1   Change in staff structure and qualification of new staff;

5.9.2   Student  data  (breakdown  by  course  and  year  of  study):  population, number, age, type and fees payable;

5.9.3   Changes in curriculum;

5.9.4   New acquisition of equipment;

5.9.5   New extension in accommodation;

5.9.6    Any special work undertaken by staff during past years;  works of staff doing private practice, etc;

5.9.7    Any    implementation    of   the   recommendations    made by the previous Visiting Panel;

5.9.8   Any research or postgraduate work.


The preparation for the visits and the expenses incurred by the Board shall be borne by the School, the particulars of which shall be determined by the CAAEM.


Tingkat 17, Blok F, Ibu Pejabat JKR, Jalan Sultan Salahuddin, 50582 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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