3) WHAT IS A CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNER?
(B&P Code Section 5800)
A Certified Interior Designer is a competent design professional who may prepare and submit
non-structural; non-seismic construction documents and specifications to local building departments for the purposes of plan check.
Certified Interior Designers have demonstrated through education,
experience and examination their knowledge of the California Building Code as it relates to space planning, life safety, flammability and disabled access code issues, under the provisions of Chapter 3.9 of the
Business & Professions Code, commencing with Section 5800.
4) WHAT ARE THE REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS TO BECOME A CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNER?
(B&P Code Section 5801)
A Certified Interior Designer must have completed:
a. A four or five year accredited interior design program and have a minimum of two years experience, or;
b. A three year accredited interior design program and have a minimum of three years experience, or;
c. A two year accredited interior design program and have a minimum of four years of experience, or;
d. Have least eight years of interior design education, or at least eight years of diversified interior design experience, or a combination of interior design education and diversified interior design experience that together total at least eight years
As of 2009 they must pass the IDEX California examination specifically developed
for certification based upon the California Building Code, Title 24, California laws and regulations as well as fulfilling one of the four categories above.
Prior to 2009 candidates were required to pass the California Codes and Regulations Examination (CCRE) and one of three national interior design
examinations. These examinations are no longer required.
5) WHAT IS AN ACCREDITED INTERIOR DESIGN PROGRAM?
The California certification board, CCIDC, accepts all accrediting agencies recognized by the
United States Department of Education.
6) WHAT IS THE “IDEX CALIFORNIA” EXAMINATION?
The IDEX California is an examination specially developed for certification purposes in California
and tests candidates specifically on the California Building Code (CBC) and Title 24 as well as ethics, business practices, and design standards, among other things.
7) WHY IS THE IDEX CALIFORNIA ACCEPTED, AND NOT ONE OF THE NATIONAL EXAMINATIONS?
None of the national examinations test for the California Building Code or Title 24, they test for
codes that do not apply in California.
If the purpose of regulating a profession is to protect the
health, safety and welfare of the public, then it stands to reason that the examination used in determining a candidates proficiency for such regulation be based upon the codes and regulations applicable to that
8) WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO REGISTER FOR THE IDEX CALIFORNIA EXAMINATION?
The minimum education requirement is a two (2) year certificate or 40 semester units (60 quarter
units) in the core subject of interior design, or for “experience only” candidates a minimum of five (5) years diversified interior design working experience based upon 36 hours per week, or a total of 9,000
9) HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE IDEX CALIFORNIA EXAMINATION?
First you must apply to become a Certified Interior Designer so your education and/or work experience can be verified. The various applications are located on the CCIDC web site at www.ccidc.org. You will register for the IDEX California on the same application to become a Certified Interior Designer.
10) HOW IS THE IDEX CALIFORNIA EXAMINATION ADMINISTERED?
The IDEX California is an online examination given at multiple locations across California at
proctored testing sites. It can also be taken at testing sites in other states. The examination will be given twice a year, once in the spring (May) and once in the fall (October). The testing window for each
sitting will last for the entire month. When a candidate registers for the examination they are allowed to select their testing location and their testing date and time within the testing window.
11) HOW LONG IS THE EXAM AND ARE THERE ANY DRAWING REQUIREMENTS?
The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and candidates are given three (3) hours to
answer them. There are no drawing requirements because in order to register for the examination there is a minimum requirement of education or working experience so the candidate should already know how to draw.
The purpose of the IDEX is to test the candidate’s knowledge on codes and regulations as well as consumer safety and other issues as it relates to certification. Passage of the IDEX California is in addition to
the education and experience requirements defined in item 3 of this brochure and Section 5801 of the B&P Code.
12) WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE IDEX CALIFORNIA EXAMINATION?
There is a wealth of information on the IDEX California examination posted on the CCIDC web site
at www.ccidc.org including a free download of the official CCIDC study guide and
There is also information posted on the CCIDC web site for third party study materials and preparation classes. Get the updates: sign up to receive timely bulletins and updates by subscribing to the “IDEX interest form”.
13) WHO MAY REFER TO HIMSELF OR HERSELF AS A “CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNER”?
(B&P Code Sections 5812 & 5804)
Only persons who have met the 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”.
The title “Certified Interior Designer” is protected by law
(B&P Section 17200) and it is considered an “unfair business practice” for any person to represent himself or herself as such unless they have complied with Section 5800.
14) HOW WILL THE CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNER BE IDENTIFIED?
(B&P Code Section 5802)
Each Certified Interior Designer should affix a stamp and 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.
15) WHAT DOES THE CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNER STAMP LOOK LIKE?