Laws Influencing the Practice of Interior Design in California & CCIDC Sunset Review Information

Certified Interior Designer’s Title Act – California Business and Professions Code – Section 5800 – 5812

Title Act Vs. Practice Act

  • A “practice” act regulates a group of actions or “practices” that can only be carried out by persons licensed to carry out those particular practices. For example: Only a licensed engineer can design a bridge. So a practice act regulates a group of practices, and then defines (through proof of education, experience, and testing) and subsequently “licenses” or “Registers” the group of individuals that are qualified to carry out those practices. So, if an interior designer tried to design a bridge, they are breaking the law because they are not a licensed engineer.
  • A “title” act regulates a group of people that use a certain “title,” without affecting the ability of others in the industry to conduct business in their particular practice. But in order to be allowed to use that title, the state requires that those people prove that they have a certain level of experience and education relevant to the particular title being regulated. For example, in California, Interior Designers must meet the minimum qualifications set by the state to become a Certified Interior Designer.
  • A title act regulates only a title and provides a list to the public of the “certified” (not licensed) individuals that meet the required qualifications to use that title. In California, anyone can refer to themselves as an “Interior Designer”, without any education or experience. Interior designers would be in violation of the Title Act ONLY if they use the title “Certified Interior Designer,” “Registered Interior Designer,” or “Licensed Interior Designer (or in current law, the title “interior architect” or any other currently regulated title) when conducting business as an interior designer.


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