Answers & Basics for Consumers regarding Certified Interior Designers (CIDs)
Hiring a Certified Interior Designer ensures that you’ll be working with an experienced and competent design professional.
If you’ve never worked with an interior designer before, the process can be overwhelming. This brochure is designed to help you make informed decisions about hiring the best interior designer for your residential, retail, office or other commercial project.
Once you’ve decided to hire an interior designer, choosing one is of paramount importance. Many people call themselves interior designers, but if you are a consumer with a complex project, be sure you hire someone who is truly qualified to execute the task at hand. This should be someone who is trained to guide you through dozens, sometimes hundreds of decisions, challenges, and opportunities all to a successful result.
The California Council for Interior Design Certification (CCIDC), (a public/private partnership) was established in 1992 to act as a protection resource to help you, the consumer, know when an interior designer is qualified.
We are a council of qualified and experienced interior design professionals providing service and information to the public about ethical and professional standards for the industry.
As opposed to a non certified interior designer, a Certified Interior Designer is a competent design professional who is qualified to design, prepare, and submit any type of non-structural, non-seismic interior construction plans and specifications to local building departments. Certified Interior Designers have demonstrated through education, experience and examination their knowledge of the building code as it relates to space planning, life safety, flammability and disabled access code issues.
A Certified Interior Designer must have completed:
- A four or five year accredited interior design program and have a minimum of two years experience, or;
- A three year accredited interior design program and have a minimum of three years experience, or;
- A two year accredited interior design program and have a minimum of four years experience, or,
- Have a combination of interior design education and experience for a minimum total of eight years.
They must pass the IDEX California examination specifically developed for certification based upon the California Building Code, Title 24, California laws and regulations.
Only persons who have met these education, experience, and examination requirements, and have been certified by the California Council for Interior Design Certification (CCIDC) may refer to themselves as a Certified Interior Designer.
MAY CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNER PLANS INCLUDE MECHANICAL OR ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING DRAWINGS?
Yes, if the mechanical and electrical elements have been prepared and stamped by a licensed mechanical or electrical engineer.
MAY CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNERS DESIGN DISABLED ACCESS SYSTEMS?
Yes. Certified Interior Designers are required to pass the IDEX California examination in order to demonstrate proficiency in disabled access and other code requirements.
They are recognized by Section 5800(a) to have …”demonstrated by means of education, experience, and examination the competency to protect and enhance the health, safety, and welfare of the public.”
WHAT ARE THE MEANINGS OF THE TERMS “NONSTRUCTURAL” AND “NON SEISMIC”?
“Nonstructural” means interior elements that are non-load bearing. It excludes the structural grid system supporting a building.
“Non-seismic” means interior elements that do not assist in the seismic bracing of a building’s structural system.
Common non-structural items include ceiling and partition systems. These components employ normal and typical bracing conventions and do not assist in the structural integrity of a building.
MAY A CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNER ACT AS A GENERAL CONTRACTOR AND HIRE SUBCONTRACTORS FOR PROJECTS? (B&P Code Section 5803)
No. The Certified Interior Designer would have to hold a valid contractor’s license in order to hire subcontractors and/or perform contracting work. Certified Interior Designers prepare designs for work to be performed by licensed contractors.
HAS YOUR DESIGNER SIGNED A CODE OF ETHICS AND CONDUCT?
Ask your designer if they have signed and agreed to abide by a Code of Ethics and Conduct. Ask them for a copy. All Certified Interior Designers are required to sign and abide by the CCIDC Code of Ethics and Conduct.
No. The California Council for Interior Design Certification (CCIDC) is a private nonprofit corporation that reports to the state legislature and is responsible for certifying interior designers. The certification process in California is a Title Act, as directed by the California Business and Professions Code, Section 5800.
Anyone may use the term Interior designer, however their qualifications for professional practice are unknown. If they are not a Certified Interior Designer, they may not have the knowledge and ability to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
HOW DO I KNOW THAT THE INTERIOR DESIGNER I AM HIRING IS CERTIFIED?
Verify Certification online to confirm whether the interior designer is indeed certified and in good standing.
HOW WILL THE CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNER BE IDENTIFIED? (B&P Code Section 5802)
Each Certified Interior Designer should affix a stamp and a wet signature to all drawings, specifications or documents prepared for submission. All documents shall be presented as interior design documents, not as architectural or engineering documents.
HOW CAN I FIND A CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNER FOR MY PROJECT?
The Certified Interior Designer has the education, training, and experience to guide you through the entire design process – from helping define the initial project goals, to meeting budgets and schedules. A certified professional can actually save you considerable time and expense by knowing how to get the most out of your design budget, and by avoiding costly mistakes. Fees for certified interior designers are very competitive in the marketplace. Click Hire a Local CID for a list of current certified interior design professionals in your area.