California law allows for, and recognizes, interior designers who meet specific education, experience, and examination criteria. These interior designers are certified and may refer to themselves as “Certified Interior Designers.” Architects are allowed to become Certified Interior Designers, or CIDs, and several have.
The CID law must go through the same periodic review by the legislature that licensed professions go through, including the architectural profession. This process is called the Sunset Review.
The CID law is going through that review this year, and there is a bill, SB 308, that keeps the CID law in the books.
The AIACC has testified twice in support of SB 308, stating that law and the California Council for Interior Design Certification have served their purposes quite well in allowing consumers to know that CIDs are interior designers with demonstrated knowledge.
The AIACC did oppose, however, language that would have changed what CIDs are allowed to do.
The scope of work that interior designers can perform is found in an exemption in the Architects Practice Act. Specifically, in Business & Professions Code Section 5538. Earlier this year language was added to SB 308 that would have allowed CIDs to design rated corridors, horizontal exiting, and reflected ceiling plans on commercial buildings, including high rise buildings.
The AIACC viewed this as language that conflicts with B&P Section 5538, and we expressed our opposition to this language to the author’s office. We can only assume after hearing our opposition, and the same opposition from the California Architects Board, the author removed all scope related language from SB 308, and instead leaves this area of the law unchanged.
The CID community has a different view of the purpose of the scope language. They say the language does not conflict with B&P Section 5538 and would not have expanded the work CIDs are legally allowed to perform, as CIDs already include reflected ceiling plans, rated corridors, and horizontal exiting in their designs in many jurisdictions in California. They argue the language is necessary because some building departments want this type of specific authority spelled out in law.
The author’s office will hold several stakeholder meetings this summer to continue the discussion of whether any scope language should be added to SB 308 before it is sent to the Governor. The AIACC will have full participants in those meetings.