|Members of the Alabama design community:
As we previously reported, the Alabama State Board of Registration for Interior Designers tried a back-door — and we believe illegal — attempt to reinstate the unconstitutional practice act by simply amending the language and not going through the appropriate legislative process. And it might have worked, if IDPC, ADAD, IJ and NKBA had not thoroughly exposed and thwarted their under-the-radar tactics.
So now they have introduced a new practice act in the Senate (SB 344) and in the House (HB 491), and allegedly they are going to try and ram it through both houses within the next two weeks.
This even more restrictive and confusing practice act is mislabeled as the Alabama Interior Design Consumer Protection Act, when in fact, the only people protected by this act are the 262 licensed interior designers in the state who will be protected from YOU and your [superior] design abilities.
The bill contains a broad, loose definition of interior design which will surely cover the many services you provide. Interior design is defined to include:
- programming, conducting research, identifying and analyzing the needs and goals of the client or occupant of the space, assessing project resources and limitations, developing project schedules and budgets
- specifications, studies, and research,
- reflected ceiling plans, space utilization, furnishings, floor plans, including preliminary space layouts and final planning,
- construction documents,
- the fabrication of nonstructural elements within and surrounding interior spaces of buildings, and
- construction administration to monitor the contractor progress relating to nonstructural interior elements of a building or structure
YOU WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO PRACTICE
AS YOU HAVE BEEN DOING
SINCE THE PREVIOUS PRACTICE ACT WAS DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
Although poorly drafted and without actually saying so, under the proposed law, no person may render interior design services without a license. In order to obtain a license, you must:
- Have an accredited degree in interior design. DO YOU HAVE AN APPROVED DEGREE?
- Prove, to the satisfaction of NCIDQ, that you have a minimum of 2-4 years of interior design experience under the direct supervision of a registered interior designer or licensed architect.
- Pass the NCIDQ exam. WILL YOU EVEN BE ELIGIBLE TO SIT FOR THE TEST? PROBABLY NOT. IT REQUIRES A DEGREE IN INTERIOR DESIGN AND BETWEEN 2-4 YEARS OF FULL-TIME, DIVERSIFIED INTERIOR DESIGN EXPERIENCE UNDER THE DIRECT SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED OR NCIDQ CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNER OR ARCHITECT BEFORE YOU CAN TAKE THE TEST. And they determine exactly what “diversified” means!
GRANDFATHERING? Only if you already have a license, will you be allowed to continue to practice.
EXEMPTIONS? You will be “allowed” to provide consultations, NOT DESIGN.
There are other problems with the proposed bill, such as the Board’s ability to suspended or revoke your license if it finds that you violated any standards of professional conduct that they decide and file legal proceedings against you should it be determined that you were practicing interior design without a license. IF THAT HAPPENS, YOUR CLIENTS COULD REFUSE TO PAY YOU FOR THE WORK THAT YOU PERFORMED AND YOU HAVE NO RECOURSE IN THE COURTS! And of course, the Board has the power to impose fines and sanctions up to $2,000!