Recently my mom, a Certified Kitchen Designer and a member of the NKBA Board of Directors, alerted me to a bill that ASID is trying to get passed. It would regulate the interior design industry. I do not support it. Now, why not? Wouldn't it be good to regulate the industry? Yes, but not with this bill.
ASID wants to require designers to become NCIDQ-certified in order to call themselves Interior Designers and to practice interior design. They claim that the IBC (International Building Code) has denied building permits/permitting rights to interior designers because they are not legally recognized as professionals, and that the ICC deems that interior design services must be regulated to protect the public.
The IBC establishes common code and other safety requirements for various building types. It does not regulate any design profession, nor does it require that any design profession be regulated or not be regulated. Nor has the ICC (International Code Council) ever taken a position to the effect that "interior design services must be regulated in order to protect the public." It is telling that there is no citation or reference whatsoever supporting the false statement that it has.
In short, the ICC and the IBC have no bearing at all on how the state should regulate - or not regulate - interior designers. ASID is seeking registration as a back doorway to practice "Interior Architecture" without going to the trouble to become registered as architects.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR ME
If this legislation passed, I could no longer call myself an Interior Designer. I could no longer practice interior design legally in the state of Colorado. If I wanted to do that, I would need to take and pass the NCIDQ exam. (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) It's not that I am fundamentally against the NCIDQ. In fact, if I needed to, could afford to, had an employer that wanted me to take the exam, I would! But with my current job I do not need to take it. With my current financil situation I cannot afford to take it. And from what I gather, this test is geared to Commercial designers, not Residential designers. Yet another reason I don't need to take it.
I went to Colorado State University and majored in Interior Design, which was and still is a FIDER accredited program. I have a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. I have been practicing interior design for twelve years. None of this is taken into consideration with this bill. Nobody would be "grandfathered" in. It doesn't matter how long you've been practing, how successful you are, where you went to school. If you don't pass the test, you aren't an Interior Designer.
If I took the test, it would cost me a bundle. The application is $165. The three tests total $900. To prepare for the tests, I would need to study. The recommended study books would cost at least $1400. The sample tests would cost $320. I would also need to be familiar with the International Building Code, the Life Safety Code of the National Fire Protection Agency, and the National Building Code of Canada. (Why Canada? I live in the United States!) I would also need to know the standards of ADA, ANSI, and the EPA. (Again, why? For a residential designer, no. Commercial, yes.) Just in case you didn't add that up, the GRAND TOTAL would be $2785. To say nothing about the time all of this studying and test-taking would require.
I will not support this bill. I will actively fight against it. I will be at the capitol on Wednesday, February 2, 2011 to stand with the Interior Design Protection Council while they fight this.