Closet Design Certification Has Arrived

By Rich Christianson | Posted: 06/29/2011 2:38PM


Derrek Holland doesn’t wake up every morning feeling he has to prove to himself that he is a closet professional. The president of the Closet Doctor of Lincoln, CA, has been earning his keep by designing, manufacturing and installing closets for 15 years now. He’s confident about his knowledge and skills of the closet business, yet remains wary of losing jobs to far less seasoned competitors who win a bid on low price alone.

When the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals announced plans to launch a Storage Designer Certification Program (SDCP) at the Closets Conference & Expo in February, Holland immediately determined that he would be among the first to go through the process and become certified. He saw the independent third-party validation of his credentials as a great way to put even more distance between his business and the “Two Chucks in a Truck” that he frequently competes against in the eyes of potential customers.

Holland anchored a recent webcast focusing on the ins and outs of the ACSP’s SDCP that I had the pleasure of moderating. He was joined on the program by Diana Augspurger, president of Creative Storage Systems of Buffalo, NY, and Paul Donohoe, president of Ridgewood Closets of Saddlebrook, NJ. Augspurger and Donohoe each served on the committee that crafted the SDCP.

In a nutshell, the SDCP is comprised of three certification levels:

• Level 1 -- Registered Storage Designer requires a minimum of one year of closet/storage design, plus a combination of college education or relevant certifications from NAPO, NKBA or NCIDQ; attendance at Closets Expo Conferences; or published articles/books; client recommendations and successful completion of an online exam and design challenges.

• Level 2 -- Certified Storage Designer builds on Level 1 and requires an equivalent of three years of full-time closet/storage design experience, submission of a portfolio showing successful completion of three design challenges and passing score on the online qualification exam.

• Level 3 -- Master Storage Designer builds on Level 2 and requires 10 years of full-time experience in the closet industry plus submission of a portfolio containing at least 10 projects demonstrating outstanding design.

Holland kept his personal pledge and as of press time was among the first to pass the test on his way to becoming a Registered Storage Designer. As an RSD, he will have access to marketing materials that will allow him to communicate his certification status through his website, business card and sales brochures. His ultimate goal is to work his way up the certification ladder to become one of the world’s first Master Storage Designers.

CLOSETS looks forward to reporting on the first class of registered design professionals and working with the ACSP to create a design certification track of educational programming at the 2012 Closets Conference & Expo.

Complete details of the ACSP’s certification program, including requirements to achieve each level, an application form and fees, is available at

An on-demand version of the April 20 webcast: Grow Sales as a Certified Closet Professional, is archived here.

Rich Christianson, Associate Publisher, Editor-at-Large


About the Author

Rich Christianson

Rich Christianson is Associate Publisher and Editor at Large of Woodworking Network. During his 25+ years covering the wood products industry, Rich has toured hundreds of manufacturing plants throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His reporting has covered everything from the state of the industry and impact of wood imports to technology and environmental issues. In his current capacity he is responsible for editing the daily Woodworking Network Update newsletter and coordinating events including the annual Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and Canada’s biennial Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo. He can be contacted at or follow him on Google+.

Read more of Rich Christianson's blogs.

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