A Federal Appeals Court recently stated that interior design licensing advances a state’s legitimate interest in promoting the health and safety of occupants of buildings. Currently more than half of the states have laws recognizing interior design. Building codes, which are being adopted by all states, require “registration” of design professionals in order to stamp and submit documents through government agencies. Without state recognition as a “registered design professional,” interior designers risk being excluded from full professional practice.
The interior design profession is comprised of a wide variety of project types. Unregistered interior designers who work in a code-regulated environment are currently restricted from practicing to their fullest ability. Voluntarily licensing provides expanded practice opportunities for interior designers, allowing qualified designers to work independently in those code-regulated interior environments. Legislation will have no effect on the other existing areas of interior design practice.
Currently in California, interior designers are “Certified” by the California Council for Interior Design Certification (CCIDC). California is the only state where interior designers are certified by a private organization rather than a state board like architects and engineers, limiting acceptance by other state agencies. The law that allows CCIDC to certify interior designers is scheduled to sunset in 2014. Legislative action is required to continue the current law or strengthen it to provide additional opportunities for interior designers.
The Interior Design Coalition of California (IDCC) is a non-profit coalition of interior designers whose mission is to support legislation that creates elective registration of interior designers, granting a seal for non-structural drawings while maintaining the resources to fulfill this mission. IDCC is comprised of ASID members, IIDA members, non-affiliated interior designers, and other supporters all working together towards the same goal.