IDCC & CCIDC Seek Input on Adding “Commercial” to California’s CID Credential

Familiarize yourself here and take the survey if it applies; So if you do not practice Interior Design in California you probably are unaware of their voluntary certification system.  It is confusing….even if you do practice in California but why should we care? As the most populous state in the Union California also has […]


PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER has posted many times regarding the issue of California and its private self-regulated, voluntary Interior Design certification program.  While California is the largest interior design market in the nation it remains an anomaly in the big picture of the domestic U.S. Interior Design profession’s efforts to establish nationwide practice licensure status. I have just […]


Seems the California Council of the AIA (or a related chapter) is trying to corner the market on the permit review process in California under the guise of assisting over worked/over burdened and under staffed building permit departments. California Assembly Bill 2192, ( )which is currently in committee, proposes a limited pilot program that will allow permit documents to be reviewed for approval by other architects…….That is, where local codes require that permit drawings be stamped and sealed by an architect that another architect, on behalf of the local jurisdiction, can review and approve those documents to be permitted…..It is unclear to me how a set of non-seismic/non-structural permit drawings signed and sealed by a Certified Interior Designer will be considered under such a scheme….but I can imagine that the since the fox will have the key to the hen house door that the cost of entry might go way up.

Yes this is only a limited proposal and the bill may never move out of committee but to an anti-government/less government mindset this appears to be a brilliant proposal. Many building/permit departments already employ architects as plan reviewers and building officials. If successful the quasi-privatization of local building departments could become a trend…..a stretch maybe but hey this is California….anything can happen and if it catches on Katie bar the hen house door.

BUT……………..besides the potential issues of bias and favoritism..not that that would ever happen amongst fellow professionals….it just seems that the AIA is using this to idea to monopolize the building permit process which cannot be positive for California’s already sketchy CID permitting process.


UPDATED 4/22/2014 There are several irrefutable facts, based on my opinion, regarding our professional identity crisis that requires us (okay…me) to reconsider our current professional paradigm. 1. Interior Decoration and Interior Design will forever be entwined.  The general public will always think of us as interior decorators (not that there is anything wrong with interior […]


Looks like the CID’ers in California get four more years to practice…..and four more years to convince state building officials that they are in fact qualified to sign and seal CD’s for limited scope code regulated interior work.

And that the CID credential is more than just a title.

Nobody cares about signing and sealing work that does not absolve an independent interior designer from hiring another licensed design professional simply to obtain permission to see their work to fruition.

The requirement for transparency and open meetings was brought on by ASID. So it will be interesting to see how CCIDC and ASID play in the sandbox.


I’m back.

Okay follow this missive from the CCIDC regarding California Senate Bill 308 and its language that the CCIDC says is detrimental to the profession:

Okay now read this web post by the Interior Design Coalition of California claiming that there is no need for concern:

I find the IDCC claim regarding the supposed AIA backed amendment to SB-308 that-

“As part of this process, an amendment was considered and is being interpreted as an attempt to deregulate the interior design profession. Upon closer review with legal counsel, we have found this NOT to be the case”

troubling not only in that it contradicts the CCIDC claim that the current CID model will be

“DISASTROUS for Certified Interior Designers and any non certified designers including those doing kitchens and baths!”

it also does not tell us why their legal counsel reached this decision. Are we to go on faith here?

Well I came back to call BULLS**T! Somebody is not telling the whole story here and for either organizations to claim otherwise is extremely troubling. The pissing match in California is growing old it’s time to;

No I do not have a dog in this hunt per se but we all suffer the consequences of the fallout from your pissy fits.


P.S. California SB-308 will be brought before committee this morning at 9:00 AM (PST)….Listen to the great debate here;

I hope the profession doesn’t get beat up too bad.

I Pledge Allegiance to One Profession Under Uncle Sam With Liberty and Justice for all.

Okay so my previous post regarding California’s voluntary private interior design certification as it relates to the regulatory process common in the other 49 states (and related districts) got bogged down in minutiae. I will take the blame for tossing out some poorly worded opinions that others felt compelled to argue. Feel free to read the previous post for some interesting historical perspective on this topic.

Ultimately I hope you become informed as that is the goal of this blog. If I offend in that effort….oh well. My question still stands unanswered;

Where do you see the CCIDC regulatory model as it fits in an effort to create a unified nationwide professional interior design domain with one credential, one professional organization with one objective, one accepted education/experience/examination professional validation process and one regulatory goal- that is to be considered peers with other REGISTERED/REGULATED BUILDING DESIGN PROFESSIONS?

Here is a hint for anybody willing to chime in……

The easiest answer is “there is no effort to create a unified nationwide professional interior design domain with one credential, one professional organization with one objective, one accepted education/experience/examination professional validation process and one regulatory goal- that is to be considered peers with other registered/regulated building design professionals”. If that is your answer then the entire freakin’ query is moot and I have just wasted an inordinate amount of time and effort.

If however, you support the notion that it is in our collective best interest to at least attempt to create a unified nationwide professional interior design domain with one credential, one professional organization with one objective, one accepted education/experience/examination professional validation process and one regulatory goal then you must consider how we are currently going about it.
That includes an honest assessment of voluntary/private self-regulation models amongst other trivial issues such as what we call ourselves, how we define ourselves and who should advocate for us. So with that I will shut up and step aside. If anybody is willing to take a stab at answering my question above I promise not to pick your answer apart…….no really.

California Interior Design Certification vs. National Interior Design Regulations

The California Council for Interior Design Certification is due to be reviewed by the California Joint Legislative Sunset Review Committee in March.

Why should we care?

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER has posted several times before that, since California is the largest state in the Union and they have the largest number of interior designers…both qualified and self-proclaimed, what goes on in regard to the profession of Interior Design in that state affects all of us.

Unfortunately, IN MY NOT SO HUMBLE OPINION, the current quasi-private voluntary self-certification system that California has implemented is flawed on several levels. The most prominent flaw being that it stands in direct conflict with the regulatory effort of the other 49 states in the Union as they endeavor to implement legal recognition for those designers who have earned the right to be recognized for their skills and knowledge required to legally protect the Health Safety and Welfare of the public. You see California is unique in that it has its own qualifying exam, the IDEX. An exam that the CCIDC admits virtually anybody can qualify to take. It seems that education and experience do not count for much if anything. Let’s just say that the bar to claim California CID credentials has been intentionally lowered so as not to be an “unreasonable barrier” to become a certified interior designer.

Now I will admit that the overarching concept of a profession that self-regulates is a positive attribute of California’s Interior Design Certification model. But that’s it. The rest has devolved into a weak (at best) validation process for anybody with the time and money who would like to buy the CID credential.

Some brief history. Upon its inception in 1991 the CCIDC allowed the NCIDQ to be one of the qualifying exams for certification. However the low pass rates and high costs for the NCIDQ proved problematic for the CCIDC and its subsequent infiltration of anti-ID regulation proponents- AKA the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and the Interior Design Society (who administers the equally flacid CQRID exam). In the anti-regulatory free market political environment of the time (and let’s not forget the sunny location) the tide was turning against the NCDQ and its professional supporters ASID and IIDA. In their 2003 Sunset Review the CCIDC was provided an out to rethink its testing model

“After the last Sunset Review for CCIDC in 2003, the legislature amended Section 5811 of the BPC to read as follows:

“5811. An interior design organization issuing stamps under Section 5801 shall provide the Joint Committee on Boards, Commissions, and Consumer Protection by September 1. 2008, a report that reviews and assesses the costs and benefits associated with the California Code and Regulations Examination (CCRE) and explores feasible alternatives to that examination.”

So under the guise of the CCRE exam being usurped by newer codes the CCIDC saw an opportunity to completely sidestep the NCIDQ and create its own exam-the IDEX. Which they claim tests its candidates on California specific seismic, Title 24, and other supposed unique building codes. Even though California C.I.D.’s are not allowed to sign and seal any permit documents entailing structural or seismic work.

In 2008 the CCIDC decided to create their own exam the IDEX with the tacit reasoning that other interior design professional exams did not adequately address California specific codes – “thus removing significant costs and barriers to entry to the profession”. With pass rates between 8 and 9 of every 10 test candidates…let me repeat 84%-94% of all test takers (88% Ave. over the past 3 years) pass the IDEX exam…So in this regard the CCIDC has been very successful at “removing barriers to entry into the profession”. Some “profession” that is- why even bother?

While the marginal professional standards by which the CCIDC claims its certified designer comply is concerning there does not appear to be much benefit to the credential once it is paid for. The CCIDC admits that its certificate holders are often denied building permits and that their credential is often not recognized as legitimate by local code officials. Gee I wonder why? Could it be that the code officials are actually dubious of the patently lowered standards to obtain their quasi-professional credential? Which also is the trademarked credential Certified Interior Decorator ( ) BUT WHO’S COUNTING?

So with that California has created what appears to this ID regulation wonk as an ineffective standard for interior design professional status that stands directly in the way of any type of nationwide reciprocal Interior Design regulation.

NOTE TO CALIFORNIA JOINT LEGISLATIVE SUNSET REVIEW COMMITTEE: If you are going to have professional standards why not make the candidates prove that they have actually earned the right to sit for an exam that properly vets that knowledge? Reinstate the NCIDQ as a qualifier for California CID’s and at least raise the bar a notch or two…or will that exceed the acceptable height for seismic codes?