California Council for Interior Design Certification
The standard for interior designers in the State of California
"Public Protection Through Examination and Certification"

1605 Grand Avenue, Suite 4
San Marcos, CA 92069
Phone: 760 - 761-4734 / Fax: 760 - 761-4736
E-mail: CCIDC

CCIDC eNews ~ October 2011

Date: October 18th 2011

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California Council for Interior Design Certification
The standard for interior designers in the State of California

1605 Grand Avenue - Suite 4
San Marcos, CA 92078
Tel. 760-761-4734  Fax 760-761-4736
CCIDC website

October, 2011
News for Certified Interior Designers


Governor signs bill updating the Certified Interior Designers statute.

The Governor signed Senate Bill 944 into law on October 2nd, making a minor but important change to Section 5805 of the California Business and Professions Code (CBPC). The current version of Section 5805 references the "Uniform Building Code", which was made obsolete by the adoption of new California building codes in 2008. The revised Section 5805, which will become effective on
January 1, 2012, references the newer "California Building Standards Code".
Although this may seem a minor update to the Certified Interior Designers law, it is important to all those CIDs who submit their plans to local jurisdictions for building permit purposes.
When Section 5805 is revised on January 1st, it will read as follows:
"Nothing in this chapter shall preclude certified interior designers or any other person from submitting interior design plans to local building officials, except as provided in
Section 5538. In exercising discretion with respect to the acceptance of interior design plans, the local building official shall reference the California Building Standards Code."
This revised language will now direct both CIDs, and building officials, to the appropriate current code for plan check submission. It also references, as it always has, the appropriate Section of the "Architects Practice Act" (5538) that defines what is not considered "architecture" under California law. In other words, what is not defined as architecture can be done by CIDs and others. For example, building designers, contractors, building owners, and non-certified interior designers, to name a few.
All CIDs should be aware of, and must remember, that it is the sole authority and responsibility of the local building official in determining who can, and who cannot, submit plans for building permit purposes, including those prepared by CIDs. Even architects and engineers are subject to the same rules. There is nothing in either the architects practice act, or the engineers practice act, that legislates their plans and drawings have to be accepted by building officials. This has been the rule ever since building codes were adopted in California. Whoever issues the permit and conducts the inspections assume the risk, therefore they are the determining authority.

If you have a problem submitting your nonstructural or nonseismic interior design plans for permitting purposes to any jurisdiction, you can fill out a "
Plan Check Denial" form on the CCIDC website (enter the username and password shown). CCIDC will be able to advise you on the best course of action, sometimes even interceding on your behalf and working directly with the local jurisdiction. Sometimes all that is needed is a little education about CIDs and Section 5538 of the architects practice act in order to move a submittal forward.

There are also "free" brochures available, titled "Q&A for Building Officials", for this very purpose to all CIDs who can use them to help educate their local building department. You can
print this page from the CCIDC website, or send us an email and we'll be more than happy to mail you some preprinted copies.
CCIDC has been a member of CALBO (California Building Officials) for over 15 years, and has developed a very close working relationship with that organization and many of its members, most of whom are Chief Building Officials across the state. Our goal in working with CALBO is to educate building officials on the certification program in this state in order to smooth out the sometimes difficult and burdensome plan check process for CIDs.

One of the biggest issues for CALBO, all building officials, and the California Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB) has been "permit avoidance". This is where a building owner, or an individual hires unlicensed contractors and does a project without a building permit. This has become increasingly more common over the last 10 years, especially in the current economic climate. CCIDC has advocated to CALBO, and many individual building officials, that overreaching plan check submittal regulations at the plan check counter discourage people from even trying to navigate the process. They all agree. The bottom line when "permit avoidance" occurs is that the jurisdiction is not only losing important permit fee revenues, but unsafe construction work is being carried out without proper inspections.

Permit avoidance has resulted in many overly restrictive jurisdictions going back to review their plan check submittal policies and bringing them in line with state law, namely Section 5805 of the CID law, and Section 5538 of the architects practice act. Some jurisdictions will be demanding that you stamp and sign your plans with a "Certified Interior Designer" stamp issued by CCIDC that is current and in good standing. They will be able to verify this on the CCIDC website or by calling CCIDC directly.

This is a mandatory requirement by the Certified Interior Designers law, namely Section 5802(a) which states: "All drawings, specifications, or documents prepared for submission to any government regulatory agency by any certified interior designer, or under his or her supervision shall be
(emphasis added by us) affixed by a stamp, as specified in Section 5801, and signed by that certified interior designer."

Our emphasis on the statute phrase shall be stamped and signed (not �will be� or �may be�) is because it definitively tells the building official that these plans and documents have been prepared by a qualified professional who has education and or experience, and has been tested on California codes and regulations.

Even if you do not submit plans or pull permits, stamp your drawings anyway. It is your stamp of professionalism. Be proud of it as certification is the highest professional achievement for interior designers in the state.

CCIDC is continuing to work with the larger jurisdictions in the state to mitigate these problems and issues and we'll be reporting in more detail on our progress in future eNews

How to maximize your certification to help get you through the recession.
Over the past year or so, we have been getting a lot of telephone calls and emails from CIDs about the state of the economy and the effect it is having on their business, or their ability to find a job. They ask what can they do, or what is CCIDC doing to help them. Interestingly enough, at the bottom of this eNews, and certainly in many previous issues of eNews, there is a section titled "FREE MARKETING TOOLS FOR CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNERS". We can tell you that very few CIDs take advantage of these tools, most of which are free.

Here are some interesting observations and thoughts:
ALPHABET SOUP: A lot of emails, and other communications we receive from and signed by CIDs, either have the commonly adopted abbreviation "CID" missing altogether without any other appellations, or they have all of their professional organization appellations and the �CID� missing, or the "CID" is buried amongst the rest of the alphabet soup. A conversation with the average consumer will quickly reveal that they have absolutely no idea what this alphabet soup of initials means or stands for, including those appellations of the so-called large professional organizations or examinations. This also includes the commonly adopted abbreviation �CID�.

Section 5800 of the California Business and Profession Code (CBPC) only codifies the title "Certified Interior Designer" and protects it from unlawful use as an unfair business practice under Section 17200 of the CBPC. �CID� is not a protected title, mostly because it has numerous connotations, none of which can be easily protected by law. �CID� is a common use for "Criminal Investigative Division" as one example, and there are a least a hundred more.
So what should you use and why? You should always use the full title that is written into statute and protected, that of Certified Interior Designer. Not only does it belong to you (we'll explain further on), but it clearly states your credential and your title. Every consumer will understand this, and in all probability, will trigger a dialog, thus allowing you the opportunity to explain all about certification and the chance to sell yourself. If you add your certification number to it as well, then it lends even more credibility to your title.

THIS IS YOUR TITLE AND YOU OWN IT: For the sake of brevity amongst Certified Interior Designers, especially in our written communications and on our website, we too are guilty of using the abbreviation. Hopefully by the time a consumer gets to our website, the obvious conclusion about what �CID� stands for becomes apparent. This is not an excuse, however. Again, the best use of the title is in its fullest form, including your certification number.
We see many CIDs even putting �CCIDC� behind their name. Some even refer to themselves as being a �member� of CCIDC. Firstly, CCIDC is not a membership organization. YOU ARE NOT A MEMBER! CCIDC is just the certification board tasked with administering the certification statute, namely Section 5800 through 5812 of the CBPC. Our job is to accept applications, verify qualifications, administer an examination, and confer the title on those who complete and comply with requirements of the statute. Once you have complied, and the title is conferred upon you, you essentially "own" the use of that title as long as you are in good standing with the CCIDC board, i.e. have paid your fees, and have no complaints or disciplinary actions found against you. Just like �Doctors� are not �members� of the California medical board, just like �Architects� are not members of the California Architects Board, you are not a member of CCIDC. You are a Certified Interior Designer in the state of California . Use your full title, put it on everything you do or use, such as websites, business cards, email sign-offs, etc. People will notice.

PROMOTE YOUR TITLE AND ETHICS: Now that you are going to use your title to its fullest extent, how do you use it to sell yourself?  Many of you already are, but many of you are not. When you go on a job interview, or an interview for a project, ask yourself if you really use your title to its fullest advantage. You can set yourself apart from others who are not certified. You have been verified as to your education, your work experience and have taken and passed a specific examination relative to your title as a Certified Interior Designer. You have met the requirements of the only legally recognized title for interior designers in the state of California. Unless your competition is also certified by CCIDC, you have distanced yourself from them.
In addition, in order to become a Certified Interior Designer, you signed and agreed to abide by a very specific
Code of Ethics and Conduct. If you have forgotten about this, you did it when you signed your application, and a copy, in case you don't have one, was included in your original certification binder, or can be found on our website. Your competitors probably haven't signed a Code of Ethics, but if they have, the question to ask is,  "is it enforced"? CCIDC posts its disciplinary procedures on its website for the world to see. Why is this important? Give a copy of your Code of Ethics and Conduct to your prospective employer or client and see what they say after reading it. We know from literally hundreds of conversations with consumers over the years that they would rather work with a legally recognized titled professional with verified credentials and a code of ethics, versus someone who hasn't been verified.

Let's go even further! CCIDC is a real board that the consumer can go to in order to file a complaint, if one should occur. This gives a consumer a lot of comfort knowing they have somewhere to go to if their CID doesn't live up to their contractual obligations, or doesn�t deliver what the CID has promised. Having a Code of Ethics and Conduct is your promise of professionalism, and your promise of performance. You are literally putting your reputation and your title on the line. Those who are not CIDs have nothing to lose and no promises to keep. We know, as we get many complaints about non-certified interior designers.
At the next client presentation take along a copy of the "ABC" brochure for consumers and a copy of your code of ethics. Try it out and see what happens. You have nothing to lose and it could increase your number of new clients. For this brochure and other relevant and important publications, go to the "

ARE YOU IN THE 21ST CENTURY?: If you don�t have a website, you are invisible! It would seem obvious that if you are in business for yourself you would have a website in this day and age. However, we have recently been presenting a CEU about �The Internet and Your Web Presence� after our last two board meetings, one in San Diego, and one in San Francisco. What seemed apparent is that at least half of the attendees at these events, all or most of whom were self employed or participating in a small business, did not have websites. Here's the news! Very few people today go to the physical Yellow Pages to find a designer. Most people, if not all, who either own a business or have the wherewithal to hire a designer for their home, use smart phones and computers. When they need something where do they go? To the "World Wide Web". If you are not there, you are missing out on the greatest form of information and communication ever developed. Having a website works for you 24/7/365. You could even be sleeping while someone is looking at your website and comparing your services and work with others, before making a decision to call and talk to you. The Web is your silent and most cost effective partner in getting your name and your message out to literally millions of people. For example, two people could be having lunch, and one suggests it's time to redo their kitchen, and voila' out come the smart phones and an Internet search ensues using Google, Bing, or any other number of search engines, quickly finding a dozen or more interior designers in their area. This is how business is done today.

Okay, so now here come the excuses. I'm not tech savvy, I don't know how to go about it, I can't afford one of those web design firms, I don't have the time, I don't have the... you name it. There are really no excuses. You can create a six or eight page website for very little money, especially if you do it yourself. GoDaddy, Intuit, the people conducting our CEU on this topic (EP Host in San Diego) all have easy, inexpensive, do it yourself solutions, and will help train you to create your website. These sites are so user-friendly now that you can literally add photos, type text, and publish it, all with the simple click of your mouse. Again, there really are no valid excuses. You choose, but don't delay. How long do you want to remain invisible?

CID PAGES on the CCIDC web site

Finally on this topic, CCIDC has the "CID PAGES" on its very own website. We literally gets tens of thousands of visitors every year and many of them are consumers looking for CIDs. For $100.00 for 18 months we will give you your very own page on the "CID PAGES" and help you as necessary to get it up and running. It even tracks the number of visitors you get and you can add your own text to describe what you do (up to 800 characters) and 8 photographs of your work as you wish.
This is the easiest and simplest of web pages you can possibly have, and yes, Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, you name it, it will find you there.

Minutes from the CCIDC board meeting held in May, 2011

Consumer Alert regarding the so called title of C.I.D.


Saturday, January 28, 2012
San Diego, CA 
Meeting place & CEU to be announced

Saturday, May 12, 2012 - Annual Board Meeting
L.A./Orange County (Costa Mesa, CA)
Meeting place & CEU to be announced

Saturday, September 22, 2012
San Francisco Bay Area
Meeting place & CEU to be announced

Saturday, January 26, 2013
Sacramento, CA
Meeting place & CEU to be announced

It is not mandatory to attend our board meeting to attend our CEU.


Saturday, November 5, 2011
8:30 am - 12:30 pm

Focus on Commercial Interiors: Specifications & Sustainability
Location: USC Capital Construction Development
3434 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90089-3162
Fee: $35 CSI/AIA members; $55 non members
Details and registration Note: For payment method, select "off-line payment"  and pay at the door.

Apply for certification and take the May, 2012 IDEX

Materials and Classes are from third parties

Take an IDEX Prep class online
You can now study for the IDEX
® California exam wherever you have an Internet connection!
The comprehensive IDEX Prep Online class gives you 60 days of access; 34 presentations;
34 quizzes (totaling 385 practice questions); over 65 handouts (totaling hundreds of pages); a final quiz of 150 questions; approx. 24 hours of anytime learning, and more.
$195 - IDEX Prep Online covers IDEX
® Domains I, II and III. Best value.
$150 - California Codes covers IDEX
® Domain I only.
$100 - Business Practices & Design Standards covers IDEX
® Domains II and III only.
Enroll anytime that is convenient for you.

2011 California Codes and Regulations for Interior Designers Reference Manual, 4th Edition
This edition was revised to reflect the CAL Green mandatory regulations. Additional changes, found in this edition, are in graphics and improved formatting which will make the material easier to follow. This illustrated manual is 322 pages and was updated in May 2011. It is a great resource for studying for the IDEX California as well as a great reference manual for all interior design projects. $109.00 plus tax and shipping.  

IDEX Essentials: The Power to Pass the IDEX California Exam by David Kent Ballast, FAIA, NCIDQ Certificate No. 9425. Provides a thorough review of each of the IDEX California exam's three domains. IDEX Essentials covers everything interior designers need to know about the 2007 California Building Code, business practices, ethics, and design standards.
$109.95 plus handling, tax and shipping
Get 10% off by using Promo Code IDEX3. / Discount valid until Oct.31, 2011.

Read our third party disclaimer:


CCIDC gives certification presentations to schools, large design and architectural firms, as well as interior design associations

We would like to come to your school, design firm or chapter meeting to discuss the IDEX
® California exam and certification for interior designers. Certification is the most important and only legally recognized credential in California. We will provide an educational presentation on Certification and �how to� become a Certified Interior Designer for free.

We cover the history of Certification, what it takes to become a Certified Interior Designer, and why it is important to a designer�s career. Our presentation can be done in as little as one hour, although one and a half hours is preferable, in order to allow enough time for Q&A.
We can also add to this presentation our seminar on �Ethics and Business Practices� at the same time. Some of this material is also relevant to the IDEX
® California examination.

There are no costs to participants and in the case of those who are already CIDs, they will receive CEU credit towards their continuing certification requirements.

Please contact CCIDC if you would like to schedule a presentation, or would like to know more about it.


ABC Brochure - �Answers & Basics for Consumers� is available to print online or you may request 10 printed copies "free of charge� by sending an email or checking the box at the bottom of your certification renewal notice.

Subscribe to the Certified Interior Designer Pages
Help a Client Find YOU for Their Next Project! Put your photos and website on the CCIDC site! FAQ:

Consumer's Guide to Hiring a Certified Interior Designer

Hiring an Interior Designer? Make sure they�re Certified!

The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Hiring an Interior Designer

The Difference Between a Decorator and an Interior Designer

A CIDs Code of Ethics and Conduct

CEUs are a required part of your Certification and need to be taken regularly.
See our policy on CEUs including activities that are not included for CEU credit.

You need 10 hours (which equals 1.0 Units) every two years. The timeframe is from your Certification renewal date to renewal date (not by calendar year to calendar year).

1. We accept CEUs from other providers, they do NOT have to be CCIDC sponsored. We accept CEUs on interior design, codes, architecture, LEED, etc., and all related courses having to do with running a design business.

2. Please report CEUs online, do not mail or call them in. You must report CEUs directly to us (even if you reported them to another organization or if you have been told another organization has reported them).

3. Report and track your CEUs for FREE (also used to report a change in your address)
No more $12.00 reporting fees to other organizations!.

Create your own private CEU Account. You provide a login name and password, then you can access your account 24/7 (see sample view below).  It keeps track of all your CEU courses in one place, so you�ll never have to wonder how many you�ve taken. Enter CEUs from 1995 to present.   

Register for your FREE CEU account today!

Find CEUs on the CCIDC website.

 Read our
20th Anniversary edition.

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California Council for Interior Design Certification
�Public Protection Through Examination and Certification"
Est. 1991 - 2011

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