MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING REDUX PART DEUX REDO

UPDATE ON CALIFORNIA’S EFFORT TO REGULATE THE PRACTICE OF REGISTERED INTERIOR DESIGN:

Seems the California Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has drunk the entire jug of Interior Design Protection Council Kool-Aid;

Interior Design Practice Act
So far, this bill has taken the majority of our lobbying time. It is still early in the year, and our time soon will be divided among many issues, including our sponsored bills, but an active coalition has formed in opposition to AB 2482 and is meeting with the author, legislators who sit on the Assembly Business & Professions Committee, where the bill has been assigned, and the Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency.

The coalition includes the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the Community College League of California, several community college districts, the California Building Officials, the California Legislative Coalition for Interior Design, Home Depot, Lowes, the California Retail Association, and several other groups.

AB 2482 creates a practice act for interior designers and limits who can engage in this newly defined practice. It would not stop architects from legally engaging in interior design, of course. It is, however, an attempt by a small group of interior designers to use the power of the state to limit who can provide interior design services.

Additionally, for a reason we cannot understand, it places restrictions on who can own an architectural firm and, if an architectural firm has a non-licensed individual as a co-owner, places the architectural firm under the regulatory authority of the proposed Interior Design licensing board.

More to come in the next issue of Relevance”

http://aiacc.org/2012/04/11/noteworthy-legislative-update/

As Mr. Christian noted ” It would not stop architects from legally engaging in interior design, of course.” Then PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER must ask- WHY DO YOU CARE SO MUCH THAT YOU MUST SPEND THE “MAJORITY” OF YOUR LOBBYING TIME ON AN ISSUE THAT DOES NOT CONCERN YOU OR YOUR CONSTITUENTS? Seems like a witch hunt gone awry at the expense of your members dues. Just sayin’

7 thoughts on “MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING REDUX PART DEUX REDO

  1. Michael,
    I am joining your blog late as I just discovered it. Looking back over the past few entries it appears some clarity is in order. Let’s start with a fact, California has interior design regulation! It may not be the flavor some people in the profession continue to order, but never-the-less it regulates Certified Interior Designers. The California Council for Interior Design Certification (CCIDC) a twenty year old public/ private partnership with the State of California has certified over 4000 interior designers. In addition, it’s liaison with State Boards to protect the public, CCIDC has and continues to work diligently with California Building Officals (CALBO) to understand the CID Statute and to gain access to the plan check/ permit process in the many jurisdictions California for Certified Interior Designers. The 10K pound elephant in the room is CCIDC’s decision to offer it’s own code based (California Building Code) examination for certification. Much of the decision was based on State of California’s insistence that any exam given shall meet the State’s criteria. Some of the decision was made due to the continual infighting in the interior design profession (mine is better than yours). Many of us have been active in the evolution of the statute and have made some headway, but some national interior design group(s) would rather start over again with their one-size-fits-all approach. Our approach is to fairly regulate the profession, be able to chart our own course and not be a burden on the tax payer. But, that may be outside the GroupThink model!

  2. Rayne thanks for the thoughtful comment. As an outside observer who has some knowledge of the effort to advance the entire profession I find the California CID/RID debate fascinating and telling. I do wish we could develop a self-regulating system that we could apply evenly across state (and even sovereign) lines and that all local building departments would acknowldege as licensed professionals. Unfortunately the CCIDC cannot offer consistent acknowldgement of ID’ers as “licensed” professionals so that a designer could sign and seal documents to obtain building permits. Note I am not talking about the ablity to “pull” permits, I am talking about interior designers being able to sign seal and own their work through the entire design, build, occupy process. If I am incorrect please let me know because if you have discovered such a private self-regulating system that we (the entire profession- not just California) can utilize then we all need to be aware of it. This CID, RID, Licensed ID’er, Interior Decorator posing as Interior Designer, ASID Cartel pissing match is not doing any of us any good. Here is your opportunity to change the group think paradigm.

    P.S. I also find this discussion on LinkedIn informative http://www.linkedin.com/groups/What-have-you-heard-about-4296228.S.107201627?qid=3b649616-2915-4bb5-b9d6-3db3acee83e8&trk=group_most_popular-0-b-ttl&goback=%2Egmp_4296228

    • Michael, the illusion that a State Board provides guaranteed access to building departments, plan check and “ready to issue” status for a set of Interior Design Documents (construction documents for non structural/ non seisimic work) is a tactic used by the “one size fits all” groups. The fact is, only the Building Offical has that authority. Case in point; The State of Alabama has a Practice Act for Interior Design Services, the statute contains a stamp and seal privilege, Licensed Interior Designers can not submit their plans to local building departments.

      In California, our statute also contains a stamp and seal privilege, Certified Interior Designers can submit their plans to 90% of the local building departments. CCIDC is diligently working with the other 10% to help them understand the current law. CCIDC’s out-reach programs to the California Building Officials (CALBO) and the California Architects Board (CAB) has been successful. In fact, CAB supports CCIDC’s plan submittal program.

      California does not have a perfect law, but for twenty years it has evolved and is ingrained into several related statutes. The law does separate the profession of interior design from the business of interior decoration. The idea that national groups would try to eliminate the CID Statute because it does not fit their “one size fits all” program is outrageous. Many of us believe the best, least costly and appropriate way for the interior design profession to gain what they want is to evolve the current statute.

      To your other point about a self-regulating system for the entire United States, I believe California has a beginning to the answer. As all states are experiencing and will continue to experience budget short-falls, why should the public have to fund regulations for professional services, when the profession(s) are capable of doing that with government oversight. The Health, Safety and Welfare of the consumer is the paramount reason to regulate a profession and there needs to be government oversight, but there is no real reason for it to be paid for by the public. A self regulating Certified or Registered program could be empoyed, but it will take work by every state interior design coalition. As you may know, we seem to be in a period of time where most people want the government to do it for them. In California many of us see it the other way.

  3. Fair enough. First Alabama does not have a practice act as it was struck down as unconstitutional. What remains is a “registration” act that has no teeth and merely sets up the potential for permitting privileges but due to some convoluted legalese even that is unclear (http://www.idboard.alabama.gov/pdfs/HB440_2010.pdf). As an example of the potential for Uncle Sam (vis-à-vis constitutional challenges) to muck things up Alabama’s I.D. regulation is textbook.

    Second local building officials and departments do not have unfettered authority to determine who is a “licensed design professional” and/or legally liable for the design and construction of any code regulated structure. In fact in California it is a moot point as the property owner can pull permits (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=hsc&group=19001-20000&file=19825-19829). None the less the local building authority answers to a higher governmental authority at the county/state level be that a code agency or state building authority. While it sounds like CCIDC has made some in roads with some local level building departments I would be interested to know if your 90% figure is conjecture or confirmed via valid survey.

    Again I would love to see a nation-wide private level self-regulated, self-certification process be instituted. And I am even willing to acknowledge that CCIDC has the basis for a good model. But that is simply not tenable now nor, unless there is a Libertarian coup of the government, even in the distant future. The reason for the “one size fits all” approach that you lament is simple uniformity. Let me ask you this- you have a successful ID business, do you work across state lines? If so how do you handle you handle the permit process?

    Yes each state has its legislative peculiarities but when push comes to shove there are legal and executive checks and balances that somehow keep it all working across state lines. I am unaware of any “licensed” profession, design or otherwise, that is privately regulated equally across the United States. If you know of one please advise and I will consider pitching it along with CCIDC tenets, as a model we (the one size fits all contingent) should consider.

    Had the ID pro-regulationists pursued self-regulation as a means to distinguish the qualified from the not instead of government protection of the term “interior design” some 35+ years ago we would not be having this discussion. But like all of the other “licensed” design professions the progenitors of the Interior Design profession chose to enlist the regulatory power of the government to sort out the vagaries of the professional domain. That is unfortunate in hindsight but it is a fact that we, as a united and uniform professional domain must address. Honestly I am willing to consider any option that will advance the profession as a whole…..50 different insular privatized quasi-governmental certification bodies for the profession is not the answer.

    We’ll have to disagree on governments role to protect the health safety and welfare of it’s citizens. There is a fine line and certainly it can cause problems- that is why we have liberals and conservatives to keep the yin from overpowering the yang. But as long as there are building code restrictions that only “licensed” design professionals can practice within across state lines the government is the only one that can help us practice as peers with, or independent of, those licensed design professionals.

    • OK Michael, I mis-spoke on the Alabama Statute and you are correct about that state, It’s Louisiana’s Statute I should have been referencing, sorry for the error. But, what I stated is correct for Louisiana. Practace Act – Can Not Submit For Plan Check! It’s a great law?
      Your point regarding building officials is not completly accurate. Building officials have no roll in determining who a professional is, but, they have authority on what they will accept. They have the authority to turn down anyones plans. That goes for your Califirnia statement “the property owner can pull permits”. While that is correct, in California the home owner or anyone can submit plans for a limited residential project (two stories or four units) but, not in wind/ snow load areas. The owner would not be able to submit for a high rise building. CID’s can for non structural/ non seismic construction. It’s a new way of thinking Michael.
      Based on your analysis of the profession, they will continue to spend an obscene amount of mony chasing their tails, when another approach could get them established. Your own state, as an example, could take the private/ public partnership approach, not cost your state much,and regulate ID’s.

      • I am tracking with you Rayne, we could spend hours debating the peculiarities of the building permit process in Sacramento vs. Topeka. Even if I accept that 90% of the local building code/permit departments in California accept CID’s as “licensed” building design professionals (I don’t but I will go with you here) you did not answer my question about how you might practice code regulated interior design in other states for instance Nevada where there is a practice act in place. If you can convince me, and the pro-regulation contingent that CCIDC also allows interstate practice as a “licensed” building design professional” then I will concede that you might be onto something. Until that happens I will continue to consider the CCIDC model an anomaly, which while good for California ID’ers is not in the best interest of the interior design profession.
        Thanks for an interesting and civil discussion.

  4. Pingback: California Puts The Brakes on Interior Design Practice Act | Professional Interior Designer's Blog

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