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This program is a culmination of the cooperative efforts of industry leaders specializing in the detailing industry. The multi-phased program evaluates and develops a detailer’s technical knowledge and proficiency. Successful completion of the first phase (Phase I), consisting of ten written exams, will grant the detailer the title of IDA Certified Detailer (IDA CD). Successful completion of a higher-level second phase (Phase II), consisting of hands-on assessments, will award the detailer a title of IDA Certified Detailer, Skills Validated (IDA CD-SV).

How do I sign up?

The first step is to complete the Certified Detailer exams (Phase I). 

Order the exams online here or sign up for an IDA Certification Event - Phase I (CD)

The second step is to attend Skills Validated testing (Phase II), a hands-on assessment session scheduled at various locations across the US.

View the IDA Certification Event schedule here. Some events offer a full day of Phase I (Certified Detailer exams) and Phase II (Skills Validated hands-on) certification. Please note: signing up for an event does not guarantee certification. If there are no events scheduled in your area, you may contact one of our Recognized Trainers to express interest in setting up private testing. 

The CD designation is a great achievement and demonstrates a basic mastery of the knowledge and applied skills needed by the detailing professional. The pride of earning the CD designation places that detailing professional among a group at the top of their profession.

Although certification is somewhat costly and requires a sustained commitment, it has many benefits for detailers and their customers. CDs have not only demonstrated competency, but they have shown determination and commitment in completing the certification process. They are typically dedicated individuals who believe strongly in improving themselves and their profession.

Phase I (the certification exams) consists of 10 exams, 10-20 questions each, in these subject areas: Equipment, Chemicals, Glass, Interior Detailing, Leather, Paint Correction & Protection, Wheels & Tires, Prep Wash/Wash Bay, Detailing Terminology, Safety & Compliance. You need at least an 80% or better to pass. When you purchase your first attempt on an exam, you are provided a free 2nd attempt at the exam if you fail to achieve 80% or higher. Should you require a 3rd or any additional attempts, you may purchase an exam retake for $10. Once you submit the retake form and payment, you will receive the retake login.

IDA Certification is processed on a weekly basis. Upon submission of your enrollment order, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access the online certification portal.

Attention: Be sure to check your junk/spam mail folders for the login, as sometimes the emails will filter there based on your mail settings.

Upon successful completion of all 10 exams, you will be sent an email indicating that you’ve passed and you may begin using the CD designation following your name. Your certificate and patch will follow shortly thereafter.

Phase II (the Skills Validated tests) represents the four primary categories that each candidate must demonstrate their “hands on” ability to perform. The detailer must perform each phase of the testing on their own, and meet the minimum proficiency expected in order to pass. The exam is presented in a scenario-type format to afford the detailer the opportunity to demonstrate the abilities expected of the advanced detailing professional.

The applicant must have already completed Phase I Certification, having passed the ten written exams, to fulfill the classification of Certified Detailer (CD). Phase II Skills Validation (SV) testing demonstrates hands-on skills and in-person testing by an IDA Recognized Trainer (RT) in areas covered in the written exams: Wash Bay/Prep, Interior, Exterior Correction, and Finishing Steps. Each portion of the test will be a one-on-one teacher to student session.

Phase I - Certified Detailer (CD) Exam Pricing:
$25 per exam
Prepay all ten exams for $200

$45 per exam
Prepay all ten exams for $400

Phase II - Skills Validated (SV) pricing: 


Complete IDA Certification Event (Phase I - CD & Phase II - SV) pricing:


To maintain your certification you must complete 8 hours of detailing-related continuing education over a two-year period beginning with the month of your initial certification. You will receive one CD credit hour for each full clock hour of a qualifying program with a max of 4 credit hours per calendar day.  (MTE's Education Day is the only exception to this.)  IDA Certified Detailers - Marine Certified (CD, MC) must ensure that at least 2 of the 8 total credit hours are earned via marine-related continuing education activities.

You must renew within two months of your recertification month to retain your certification. The cost for recertification is $100 for IDA members and $150 for non-members.

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