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IDLNY president discusses interior design law
Dec 7, 2012

Interior Designers for Legislation in New York (IDLNY), an industry coalition with a mission to advance, promote, and monitor the right to practice interior design in the state of New York, has backed an amendment to an existing bill that will allow certified designers more freedom if passed.
IDLNY strives to inform and educate the New York legislative and regulatory bodies, interior designers and consumers about the issues confronting the interior design profession.
Continually monitoring legislation that could affect the practice of interior design, IDLNY President Benjamin Huntington and his members serve as a representative coalition for this process. Coalition members include: The IIDA New York Chapter, The Decorators Club, Inc, ASID NY Metro Chapter, ASID Upstate/Canada East Chapter, IIDA National and ASID National.

Editor at Large got the chance to talk with Huntington about the legislation and proposed amendment changes to come in the next year. Here’s what you need to know:
What is the proposed amendment?
The amendment to existing bill #161 will update the New York state laws as they relate to the Practice of Certified Interior Design and expand the application of the already existing title "certified interior designer" (CID).
CIDs are interior designers who have voluntarily completed a prescribed professional path that consists of three parts: an education program, completing a required number of years of experience and passing the NCIDQ examination, to confirm their ability to apply health and safety guidelines and applicable laws to their interior design projects.
 
Interior designers who qualify for the CID title today can sign and seal documents, however these are not recognized for permitting purposes. This proposed amendment will allow a CIDs, to sign and seal their own documents for issuance of a building permit where required for interior construction that pertains to furnishings, layouts, fixtures, cabinetry, lighting, finishes, materials and interior construction.
This excludes all permits that materially affect the building systems that are structural or weight bearing, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilating, air conditioning or mechanical, as these areas are already regulated by the practices of architecture and engineering.
Why do you feel it’s important for interior designers to be certified?
There are a great many reasons why interior designers should become certified. For example: becoming a NY State certified interior designer will expand that designer’s practice opportunities. Legal recognition by State Legislative authorities is a well-tested and proven way to enhance the value of a profession in the eyes of the public, government bodies and members of allied professions.
Becoming certified is very important currently, as the greater the number of certified interior designers there are in NY State, then the more recognition they will receive in the public and political arena. Becoming certified identifies a designer as being competent to understand and comply with the appropriate building, fire and accessibility codes. Certification is not only of benefit to interior designers but also to the consumer and the state through increased competition and the expansion of small businesses.
If CID’s can’t sign & seal their own documents, who can?
Presently all projects that require consent from the local authorities are required to be submitted by a state registered architect or licensed engineer. The amendment will change that.
How will this new amendment affect designers who are not certified?
All interior designers who are not state certified will be unaffected and will be able to continue to practice interior design exactly as they do currently.
Does IDLNY believe that all designers in New York State should be certified?
Not necessarily. State certification is only suitable for those interior designers who have the combination of education, experience and proficiency and who would like to practice in areas currently restricted to registered design professionals. There are many highly skilled and experienced interior designers in New York, with important and valuable careers in the interior design industry, whom will never need or wish to be state certified.
Do you think all designers will eventually have to become certified in order to practice?
It seems very unlikely that any requirement for state certification would become compulsory for all practicing interior designers, because the design industry is widely diverse, and many specializations are not regulated. Any legislation that is exclusionary to practicing interior design would not be supported by IDLNY.
For more information on how you can become involved with the IDLNY or any of the coalition members, click here.

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