NKBA Certifications and What Do They Mean?

If you’ve been looking into kitchen and bath design, you may have come across some acronyms after the designer’s names, and you are probably wondering what they mean. Well, in the kitchen and bath industry we have an organization that rules, and it’s the NKBA. NKBA stands for the National Kitchen and Bath Association which is an association with thousands of members from the industry. The NKBA sets guidelines for designers to follow in order to create safe and efficient designs. Their main mission is to educate and lead the industry to promote professionalism, while also educating the public about the importance of working with qualified NKBA professionals. Within the NKBA there are various accreditations that professionals can acquire which we will cover below.


AKBD stands for Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer. To reach this accreditation, one must have at least 2 years’ experience where one of those years is specific to the kitchen and bath industry. Then, to receive accreditation, the professional must pass the AKBD exam which includes a combination of questions involving planning and design, construction and mechanical systems, business management, and products and materials.


CKBD stands for Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer. Requirements for this accreditation include a minimum of 5 years’ experience specific to the kitchen and bath industry, and also a minimum of 60 hours of NKBA education or NBKA approved college coursework. Then, to receive the accreditation, the professional must provide 8 design drawings to be scored, and also pass an exam with questions related to design solutions, specifications, graphics and presentation, and mechanical and construction.


CMKBD stands for Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer. This is a professional who has fully recognized and experienced the kitchen and bath industry. A CMKBD will have had their CKE/CBE or CKBD accreditation and also have a total of 7 years’ experience in the kitchen and bath industry.

At Kitchen Design Concepts, we are proud to say our designers are constantly educating themselves and working towards accreditations. Interested in learning more about the NKBA? Check out their website here!