Latest on SB-308 as quoted from CCIDC:

SB-308 is scheduled to be heard before the Assembly Government Organizational (G.O.) Committee on August 7th in Sacramento.

The way the bill sits right now is the proposed architects (AIACC) amendments were pulled and left out. Unfortunately so was the original clarifying language put into Section 5800.  The way Section 5800 reads is the same as it has since before the Sunset Review for the past 22 years. That portion remains at the status quo. The other amendments for mandatory agreements, codification of the “CID” appellation, the open meeting act, and the Sunset extension to January 1, 2018 remain in the bill.

It is anticipated that the much heralded “stakeholders” meetings will take place sometime between July 7th, and August 5th, while the legislature is on its Summer recess. We do not have any specific dates at this point. Whether any amendments are to be offered up at the G.O. committee hearing, or later in the legislative process, remains to be seen.

During the June 25th Assembly Business and Professions hearing there was a lot of misinformation disseminated by one Assembly Member who had unfortunately been given incorrect or false facts. We would like to take the opportunity to correct the record for those of you who either attended or watched the hearing on

1. It was stated that “The rest of the United States has a certain standard for testing and being certified that means if you have that license you can bid on Federal projects, you can do things that are more recognizable”.

This is not true, only 3 states, namely Florida, Louisiana, and Nevada have mandatory licensing requirements, which include the NCIDQ examination as a testing standard. No other states have mandatory licensing statutes for interior designers. It should also be noted that Florida requires this test for “commercial” work only. Residential work in Florida is exempt from any examinations whatsoever. All other states that offer some form of interior design regulation have “voluntary” title acts, so anyone can call themselves an “interior designer” and anyone can practice interior design without any examination whatsoever. This includes California, and all other 46 states.

There is no Federal law or regulation requiring interior designers bidding on Federal contracts to acquire or possess the NCIDQ examination in order to bid on said contracts. Individual Federal contracts (RFPs) may require the NCIDQ as a qualification for the interior designer, even though the prime professional is most often a licensed architect. They will also accept any other local jurisdiction or state regulations for “Certified”, “Registered”, or “Licensed” interior designers, whichever may be applicable. Often, Federal bidding requirements for interior design services are written by interior designers working for the Federal government who happen to possess the NCIDQ examination, so their bias towards that examination tends to be prevalent.

There is nothing in California law, statutes or regulations regarding interior designers in this state that prevents them from obtaining the NCIDQ examination of their own free will in order to comply with another states regulations, or the ability to bid on a Federal contract, even though it is not required. In 22 years of administering the certification program in California, CCIDC has not heard of one CID being denied the ability to bid on a Federal or State interior design project because they did not possess the NCIDQ examination, not one.

2. It was stated “CCIDC has their own standard for California, and that hasn’t got them as far as they would like to get for most members”.

The reason CCIDC has its own standard is that California has its own building code (CBC) that is significantly different than all other building codes used in the other 49 states. California has Title 24 accessibility and conservation statutes, as well as a fairly new “Green” code, that are interwoven throughout the CBC. No other state has a code like this. The NCIDQ examination does not, nor does any other interior design examination (NKBA or CQRID), test on California codes and Title 24. In order to satisfy the requirement that California certified interior designers are knowledgeable on California codes to assure the public and building officials that certified interior designers in this state are competent, CCIDC developed its own interior design examination for California, namely the IDEX. No other examination tests on the same level and basis as the IDEX California examination.

3. It was stated “They would like to be accepted into plan check, they would like to have this stuff worked in that area and all, and I understand this vehicle was supposed to be trying to work that out this year”.

Firstly, all nonstructural and nonseismic interior design plans, whether stamped by a CID or not stamped at all, are accepted in every jurisdiction in California. Having said that however, whether they require an architect’s or engineers stamp or not depends upon the complexity and the elements contained within the particular project, and the jurisdiction where it is being submitted. Most residential projects are accepted without exception unless they exceed the exemptions contained within the architects practice act Sections 5537 and 5538. For commercial projects each jurisdiction in California has their own very specific plan check submission requirements. For example a CID can do horizontal exiting, rated corridors and reflected ceiling plans in San Diego but not in Los Angeles or San Francisco. All of this work is “standard and conventional construction” and falls under the exemptions of the architects practice act, otherwise no jurisdiction would accept any of it. Why the discrepancy? A lot has to do with local politics and control within the building department and the influence of the architects lobby in this state.

The purpose of the “clarifying language” placed into SB-308 308 earlier in the year thus adding “horizontal exiting, rated corridors and reflected ceiling plans” to the CID law Section 5800 was to respond to building officials requests that the work CIDs are allowed to do by law be included within our statute. This language was removed by the architects lobby, namely the AIACC, even though they have acknowledged interior designers do indeed do this work and have done so for decades. It’s okay for interior designers to do this work as allowed under Sections 5537 and 5538, but it is another thing to put it into the CID statute.

Yes, this vehicle was supposed to be “trying to work that out this year”, but it seems there are the same old road blocks being thrown up as they have for the past 30 years or so.

4. It was stated “First of all if CCIDC ever conforms at least to the Federal standard, at least that standard and getting both those stamps is the best situation long term”.

Again, there are no Federal standards for interior designers. The regulation of all professions in the United States is conducted by each individual state with their own individual statutory regulations and regulatory boards.

Given that the only standards for interior designers in the United States are state standards, and not a Federal one, CIDs in California meet the standard set in California, by California. The California standard is based upon California building codes, Title 24, and other regulatory statutes that are different than in other states. The examination used in California is a “certification” examination specifically developed to address California, not a national “interior design” examination.

If the purpose of any profession regulation is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the California general public, then shouldn’t the examinations used to qualify those professions be based upon the codes and statues of California, and not imaginary Federal standards?


AIACC | Support and Oppose 06/26/2013 by Mark Christian

June 25 Assembly Business and Professions hearing (slide to 1:43:40)

Status of SB-308: