Certified Interior Designer Commercial Designation


The purpose of this program is to allow building officials to identify individuals (CIDs) who have prepared non-structural, non-seismic commercial tenant improvement plans in accordance with Sections 5537 and 5538 of the California Business and Professions Code that do not require an architect or engineers stamp or signature who are submitting plans for the purpose of obtaining a building permit.


Some Building Departments have routinely denied the submission of non-structural, non-seismic tenant improvement plan check submission, especially for work in hi-rise office buildings, even though the design work is exempt under Sections 5537 and 5538 of the California Business and Professions Code. When turned away designers are forced to seek the services of a licensed architect or structural or civil engineer incurring delays and additional consumer costs.

  • Who is it for?
    • For Interior Designers who primarily engage in commercial design.
    • For Interior Designers who submit drawings to building departments for commercial projects.
    • For Interior Designers who want an additional commercial designation to their certification.



  • Must be a CID in good standing or qualified candidate applying under Path 4.
  • ALL CIDs and Candidates must provide proof of passing one of the following examinations:
    • ARE
    • CASp
    • LEED | Minimum-AP
    • NCBDC
    • NCIDQ
    • NKBA | Minimum-CKBD
    • Qualified Candidates applying through Path 4 must also pass the IDEX California® Exam
  • Provide proof of passing the following California Based, International Codes Council (ICC) Courses.
    • Courses must be complete and submitted within six months of application date.
  • CID Application Fee $100.
    • Fee includes new Commercial Designation ID Card and Stamp upon completion/approval.
    • The Application fee for Qualified Candidates, applying through Path 4 is $600.00 paid at the time of application submission.
      • Fee is for Application and IDEX Exam Registration only
  • 2-Year Certification and Renewal Fees will be the same for all Certified Interior Designers.
    • There is no “Basic” renewal option for the Commercial Designation.
  • Commercial Designation CEU Requirements: 10 Hours per 2-Year Certification Period.
    • Five of the 10 CEU hours MUST be CA code specific courses
  • This Designation is voluntary and not required for CIDs who do commercial design.
    • This designation is to assist in the identification of CIDs whose primary focus of practice is in commercial design.
    • Not a guarantee that plans will be reviewed.
    • This is not intended as a fix-all for plan submission uniformity.
      • This is one step of many to aid Commercial Designers to submit plans in all jurisdictions.


2018 IBC Essentials with 2019 CA Amendments

This online course is intended to familiarize participants, specifically interior designers, with construction requirements which are common for most commercial buildings and will provide a basic understanding of the 2018 International Building Code and the 2019 California Building Code.

2019 CBC Title 24 Regulation (Energy)

This course will demonstrate the critical concepts of Title 24 (Energy) of the 2019 California Building Code that are most used by interior designers. These concepts provide a basis for the correct use of the code in the design, plan review, inspection, and analysis of commercial building projects. It will provide a clear understanding and correct use of the requirements identified by these basic code provisions, tables and categorizations. You will be able to apply the code in clear-cut situations and build your understanding of the intent of the code when asked to make code compliance decisions in commercial building projects.

2019 CBC Chapter 11B Accessibility in Public Buildings

This online course focuses on the minimum accessibility requirements for alterations in commercial facilities for compliance with the 2019 California Building Code, specifically for interior designers. It addresses the design, plan review and inspection of commercial buildings to ensure that people with physical impairments, visual impairments and hearing impairments can use the facilities. Participants will gain an understanding of the content as well as the new formats of the CBC and Chapter 11B.

2019 CBC Means of Egress

This course is an overview of the fundamental requirements for means of egress as indicated in the 2019 California Building Code. Participants will receive an overview of the fundamental requirements for means of egress as indicated in the 2019 California Building Code. Participants will be able to apply provisions of the 2019 CBC specifically related to the design, plan review and inspection of the means of egress system in commercial buildings.

Building Codes 101 for Interior Designers

This course will provide participants with the history, purpose and use of the Codes. This course provides information about the International Codes with a focus on the areas of the Building Code that are most often used by Interior Designers.


  • Certified Interior Designers with the Commercial Designation will have a special stamp and identification card that says Commercial on them (see examples).
  • Building Officials and members of the Public can verify the status of a CID‘s Commercial Designation on the CCIDC Website.
    • Through the Verify Certification link.
    • CIDs with the Commercial Designation will show “COMMERCIAL”


For Current CIDs in Good Standing:

For current CIDs to apply: Login to your CID Account to pay application fee. CCIDC will respond to your application once received via email with a request for proof of National Exam passage and coupons for the ICC Courses. You have six months from receipt of application payment to submit proof of ICC course completion. 

Commercial Interior Designers Who Are Not-Yet Certified:

 Please apply for certification with the commercial designation through Path 4.