CCIDC has now completed the first and second phases of the Sunset Review process.
All California boards (both state-regulated and private non-profit) are required by law to go through Sunset Review every five years or so as determined by the state legislature.

Our first phase concluded in late November 2016 with the submission of our Sunset Review report to the legislature. You can download it
here. (12 MB .pdf)

Our second phase finished when we testified on March 6, 2017 in the Joint Sunset Review Oversight Hearings before the  Joint Committee on Business, Professions & Economic Development at the state capitol in Sacramento. A video of our testimony can be viewed at

There were two main issues discussed at this oversight hearing:

The first issue
was on CCIDC's proposed amendment to clarify Section 5800 of the Certified Interior Designer law.  (As referenced on the .pdf pages 45-53 of our Sunset Report - Section 10, New Issues, Issue #1)

Our proposed amendment clarifies work that Certified Interior Designers already do in their commercial design projects. This amendment is not a new expansion for CIDs, but merely clarification of what is already commonly and successfully performed by CIDs, namely the preparation of space plans and construction documents relating to horizontal exiting, one-hour corridors, reflected ceiling plans and other elements involved in tenant improvements. All of this work is nonstructural and nonseismic and falls under “exemptions” in the architects practice act in Sections 5537 and 5538 of the Calif. Business & Professions Code (CBPC). These “exemptions” not only allow CIDs to do this work, but also includes building designers, contractors, developers, building owners and others who are not licensed.  “Exempt” work literally means it does not require the services of a licensed architect or engineer (unless a building official deems it necessary.)


The primary problem for CIDs is they are being denied plan check review in certain large jurisdictions. There is an inconsistency and confusion when building officials try to determine whether CIDs nonstructural, nonseismic tenant improvement plans fall under the aforementioned "exemptions". CCIDC has always maintained that CID plans are, indeed, "exempt" because for decades this work has been successfully performed by CIDs in many jurisdictions in California without any harm to building or public safety.

In viewing the video of the hearing, note that without offering any evidence of harm, the AIACC (American Institute of Architects), the California Architects Board, and CALBO (California Building Officials) stated they are opposed to CCIDC's clarifying amendments based on concerns about the safety of the building.

There simply is no evidence to be found that CIDs nonstructural, nonseismic tenant improvement plans have ever compromised or harmed the safety of a building or its occupants. In fact, if CIDs ever did violate Sections 5537 and 5538 of the CBPC, those designers would have been cited and fined by the California Architects Board or the Board for Professional Engineers for doing this type of work without a license. The fact there have never been any violations or citations, means this work does fall under the "exemptions".

It is unfortunate our statute amendments were disappointingly opposed with fear-mongering and unsubstantiated allegations. Further, when AIACC and CAB attended stake holder meetings, they offered no clarification of the "exemptions" in order to help building officials understand exactly what is exempt. CCIDC contends that due to ambiguous and vague "exemptions", certified design professionals are unfairly targeted and denied plan check review, and our amendments to CID law Section 5800 seek to remedy this problem.

The second issue (Issue #6 Background Paper) discussed at the hearing was a new and separate title for commercial interior designers. CCIDC does not see a need for another state codified title that could lead to confusion within our profession and with the general public. CCIDC maintains that if the purpose of a new and separate title for commercial interior designers is to address the plan submittal problem as outlined above, then it should be clearly understood that those possessing such a title would still be subject to the same unclear and ambiguous “exemptions” as everyone else who already practices under these “exemptions”.

In other words, nothing would change for the designers who hold a new title. The only solution to this problem is through clarification of the work Certified Interior Designers can do under the "exemptions”. Building officials need to have a clear understanding of exactly what is, and what is not allowed under Certified Interior Designer law.

It should be noted that as always, nothing would prevent a building official from making his or her own determinations on what is required for a project. This is true for licensed architects, engineers, general contractors, as well as for CIDs and everyone else who submits drawings for a permit. This would not change under our proposed amended Section 5800 of CID law and, in fact, it is reinforced within our proposed amendment.

CCIDC is open to working with the proponents of a new title if their purpose is to identify commercial designers to building officials in order to solve the permit submittal issue. We are open to an agreeable solution. However, even with a special designation for commercial design work, without the proposed amendments to CID law that clarifies what work can be done under the architect's “exemptions”, building officials may still decline to review their plans.

CCIDC is urging the California legislature to adopt our proposed amendments to Section 5800 Certified Interior Designers Title Act despite the opposition which is absent of any empirical evidence that doing so would affect the health, safety, welfare of the public. On the contrary, CCIDC maintains that by adopting these amendments it will serve to improve public safety by increasing permits and inspections.

The next phase of the Sunset Review process will be for the Joint Committee to issue recommendations for a bill that will be voted on by the legislature in the coming months ahead. CCIDC anticipates that this bill will include language to extend the certification sunset provision for another five years or so. At this point in time, it remains to be seen what else will be included, and CCIDC has been advised that the legislature would like to continue with more stakeholder meetings in order to resolve issues relevant to CIDs.


This is the sixth issue of Capitol Information for Designers.

Introductory issue -
Issue #1
First Myths vs. Facts -
Issue #2
Second Myths vs. Facts -
Issue #3
Third Myths vs. Facts -
Issue #4
Sunset Review Report -
Issue #5

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California Council for Interior Design Certification
Provides for the protection, health, safety and welfare of the public by
administering the California Certified Interior Designer Title Act.
1605 Grand Avenue  - Suite 4
San Marcos, CA 92078
Tel. 760-761-4734  - Fax 760-761-4736
CCIDC website