The following statement is in response to the Certified Interior Designers (CIDs) and
students who have phoned and written to CCIDC about a new bill (SB 1312) that was introduced in April to the California legislature to register interior designers (RIDs) under a joint board with the architects in
California. Please note that our response is based upon the bill language at the time of this writing and that the bill may have been amended when you actually read it.
Many of you have asked for CCIDC's
official position on this bill. The board attempts to remain neutral, but since CIDs as a group are stakeholders in the process we feel it necessary to respond to some of the issues raised by this bill. It is our
understanding of the bill's requirements (with respect to CIDs) that it will be a �voluntary� bill, although it defines a new occupation, that of �registered interior design� and it will exempt a lot of people who
provide what the bill terms as decorating or retail services, although most interior designers offer these same services as well. It also imposes a fine of up to $10,000.00 on anyone who is found guilty of
practicing �registered interior design� without being a Registered Interior Designer, so in a way if you are not an RID under this bill you could run afoul of the law. Technically, this makes it a practice act, but
not a very clear one as it conflicts with other existing statutes.
If SB 1312 were to become law (assuming survival through the Senate and Assembly committees, and the Governor's veto pen), it will not do so
until January 1, 2009. The bill requires a complete reconstruction of the current architect's board and also requires a significant appropriation which will probably take another year or so to complete, especially
as the state government is facing a $16 to $20 billion budget deficit at this time.
It is also feasible, even after becoming law it will not become funded. A similar program enacted into law under the
Division of the State Architect's Office for Certified Access Specialists was passed into statute in 2003 and has yet to be implemented, although it may be close to being up and running by next year, 6 years later.
EXISTING CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNERS:
Nothing in this bill affects the current certification program delineated under Section 5800 of the Business and Professions Code. Remember, it is a
�voluntary� bill so nothing in the bill compels anyone to become an RID. In fact, the bill contains a specific exemption for Certified Interior Designers where it says under section 5704.6.b(2) of the most recently
amended version that �This subdivision does not prohibit a person certified or otherwise qualified or approved by a private organization (CCIDC is a private organization) from using a term or title copyrighted or
otherwise protected (CCIDC holds such protection) under law by the certifying organization provided that the use of that term or title does not connote registration under this chapter�.
For those CIDs, or others who now possess an NCIDQ certificate, it should be a fairly
straightforward transition to becoming a "Registered Interior Designer". Each person will have to apply to the joint board and pay all the necessary fees, etc., which could be quite extensive based upon
the preliminary estimates for start up costs. This program is required to be self-funded which means all of the costs are to be borne by the licensees. Also, as it has been asked, you will probably only be allowed
to transfer as a CID directly into an RID if you are current with your fees and in good standing with the certification board (CCIDC). Typically in its relationship with other state boards CCIDC is contacted for
verification. Those who have allowed their certification to "Expire" and want to become RIDs will in all probability have to go through the entire application and verification process adding significant
cost and requirements.
Those CIDs who were 'grand fathered' at the beginning of the current certification process and want to become RIDs, which is the larger number of all current CIDs, will also be allowed
to transition to an RID status. However, they will be required to take the first section (Section One - $240.00 plus books and classes) of the NCIDQ examination and 15 hours of a yet to be determined and approved
CEU (an additional expense) on public health, safety and welfare issues for interior designers. These costs will be in addition to all the licensing and application fees. These CIDs will have two renewal terms
within which to complete this process, or a total of 4 years from the point of application for becoming registered. Failure to do so will in all probability cause a loss of your RID status in this manner, and
therefore will require qualifying and passing the full NCIDQ examination.
For students facing the prospect of becoming an interior designer and eventually having to take the full NCIDQ
examination they will have to gain their work experience under a licensed, registered, interior designer, or NCIDQ certificate holder, or a licensed architect who offers interior design services, for the proscribed
amount of time, up to four years before even being allowed to register to take this exam. The current requirements to register for the exam also require the professional experience to occur after education, rather
than before or during education.
The CCIDC board is concerned these requirements do not meet the �entry level� description for a state-regulated exam in California, and provides an unreasonable �barrier to
entry� to the profession.
STATE IMPOSED SANCTIONS:
All RIDs under state law will be subject to state sanctions that include very substantial fines, whereas CIDs are not. This change is something for
all designers to consider, before submitting to scrutiny and sanctions by the state government.
WHERE DID SB 1312 COME FROM?
The sponsors and proponents of SB 1312 are IDCC, ASID, IIDA, and NCIDQ.
WHO OPPOSES SB 1312?
The opponents of this bill are CLCID, NKBA, IDS, IFDA, IDPC (Interior Design Protection Council), AIA, CAB (California Architects Board), CALBO (California Building Officials), Los Rios Community College District, WHFA
(Western Home Furnishings Association), Lumber Association of California, NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry), AIBD (American Institute of Building Designers), The Home Depot, California Retailers
Association, and several others.
It is the opinion of the CCIDC board that this bill does nothing to improve the current certification program in California other than create a parallel
registration program that is under the control of the state government and paid for at taxpayer's expense. The proponents of the bill argue that having the title "Registered Interior Designer" under a
state board will allow easier and more access to building departments since the International Building Code (IBC) makes a reference to "Registered Design Professional". However, the CCIDC board is
not aware of material limitations on the current access to building departments by current CIDs.
This does not seem relevant since California does not use the IBC. We use a hybrid version built upon the IBC
called the California Building Code (CBC). The CBC includes Title 24, and other items specific to California, and does not contain the same language, other than a simple definition of a "Registered Design
Further, since CCIDC�s current certification process includes the California Codes and Regulations Examination (CCRE), which tests for knowledge of the unique codes specifically related to
the practice of interior design in California, the board is concerned that a law implementing a single national test, such as the NCIDQ and tests only national codes, is less relevant here.
The CCIDC board
has worked closely with CALBO for over 10 years and acknowledges that the decision on who may, and who may not submit plans for building permits rests solely with the chief building official of each jurisdiction.
Some jurisdictions are more lenient than others for whatever reasons, again determined by the head of the building department. SB 1312 will not change this fact; therefore submitting plans for building permits will
not change. All plans will still be subject to the policy of the building department in the jurisdiction where the project is to be built.
This bill does nothing to change the current certification law
(Section 5800 B&P Code). That statute will remain in effect, therefore CIDs who wish to remain CIDs may practice exactly as they do now. The only change would be the addition of the title "Registered
Interior Designer" and the fees associated with that title.
Given passage of SB 1312 into law, the two programs (Certification and Registration) would then be in effect parallel paths to
professionalism, and would result in designers having to decide which path(s) to take toward being professionals in the industry which could put the certification and registration programs in competition with each
other. This may cause some confusion to consumers and interior designers as well.
We encourage all CIDs, designers and students to read this bill in its entirety to understand what is being proposed. Here is
Issued May 14, 2008