Following the success of the introduction of the `European Charter of Interior Architecture Training' ECIA now introduces a recognition program for courses in Interior Architecture/Design and an educational membership for recognized institutions. With this program ECIA aims to further the quality of professional education in Interior Architecture/Design in Europe and enhance the exchange of people, services and knowledge. ECIA Recognition offers schools a quality seal that endorses students, faculty and alumni. ECIA Educational Membership provides a platform for the exchange of best practices, harmonization of standards, coordination of research projects and educational and professional development.
Why an `ECIA Recognition' program for courses in Interior Architecture/Design?
With the introduction of the Bologna system, all schools are required to seek formal accreditation of their programs, to ensure government funding and validation of diplomas under the EU Directive. This system of accreditation is executed on a national level, and the procedures as well as the outcome differ in many countries. As Interior Architecture/Design is not a legally registered profession in most European countries, formal and uniform criteria for the qualification of studies in Interior Architecture/Design do not exist. The introduction of the "European Charter of Interior Architecture Training" by the European professional organizations united in ECIA is a first step in filling this gap. Schools aim to offer their students a training that not only offers possibilities for self-fulfilment but also prepares them for a career in the chosen profession and guarantees a certain level of employability. With the opening of the European and global markets the exchange of professionals and cross-border practicing are rapidly increasing, asking for measurable standards of professionalism. To ensure both students, clients and the profession at large that such standards are met, the `ECIA Recognition' program has been developed. This program is additional to the formal accreditation process.
Why an Educational Membership in ECIA?
The interior professions have developed strongly in the past decades. Today, Interior Architects/Designers work together with multiple other consultants in complex assignments. The scope of work has developed from designing individual living environments to work environments, retail, hospitality and public buildings, such as schools, health-care facilities and airports. Interior Architects/Designers have to take into account the consequences of their professional activity to the health, safety and well-being of all those who may reasonably be expected to use or enjoy the product of their work. The growing complexity and collaborative aspects require an understanding of the cultural, intellectual, historical, social, economic and environmental context of Interior Architecture, and comprehension of the Interior Architects role and responsibility in society. Education should not only prepare graduates for this role, but should also back-up the profession and at the same time spearhead it with new developments and research projects. Collaboration and interchange between profession and education are the validation of an ongoing debate that broadens and deepens the field. ECIA aims to stimulate and facilitate such debate. Through Educational Membership, institutions can be actively involved in the development of the profession.
ECIA Recognition of courses
All schools offering courses in Interior Architecture/Design in compliance with the "European Charter of Interior Architecture Training" can apply for ECIA Recognition and subsequent ECIA Educational Membership.
ECIA Recognition gives a justly and equivalent appraisal of courses and diploma's in different European countries with different cultural and educational backgrounds. To be meaningful, an assessment procedure therefore precedes recognition. To keep recognition up-to-date, assessment must be repeated every 5 years.
ECIA Educational Membership
Recognized schools automatically become ECIA Educational Members.
Educational Members have the right to brand themselves as `ECIA Educational Member' and use of the `ECIA Recognition' logo (to be developed) within given guidelines.
Educational Members will be offered an informational page on ECIA's website where they can provide uniformly classified information on the course in the English language (similar to the Professional Practice pages).
Educational members pay an annual membership fee consisting of a base fee plus a per student fee.
Individual faculty and students of Educational Members have access to the members section of the ECIA website
Benefits for Schools
ECIA Recognition distinguishes schools as fully compliant with the "European Charter of Interior Architecture Training". This assures students of the quality of the education, and values diploma's internationally. Through ECIA's website and membership activities schools can expose themselves and be part of the international professional debate.
ECIA membership will be a platform for the exchange of best practices, harmonization of standards, coordination of research projects and educational and professional development. The assessment offers a unique opportunity to mirror the schools program to international standards and best practices and to discuss and evaluate the program with recognized independent experts in the field.
Benefits for ECIA
Recognition of schools and Educational Membership will strengthen ECIA's profile and the recognition of its membership as `well trained professionals with high standards of ethics'. Educational Membership will foster the exchange of students, educators and professionals. Educational Membership will raise the interest of students and young professionals in national professional organizations.
Above all, Educational Membership will bring to the table an attitude for theory, research and development in the interior professions.
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