Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2015 HB 126 Design Professionals - Amendments

Typically Interior Designers and Architects fight over what each can do under state licensing laws. That is true all over the country. As an architect, I was surprised that both the interior designers and the architects wanted me to run the bill. I have a proposed compromise and I am working to be fair to both sides.


The interior Designers submitted their fee and licensing proposal this summer and the issue was covered in two committee meetings in September and October. The Occupational and Professional Licensure Review Committee. In September, a request from the committee was made to open a bill file, which was done, but the result created a lot of people showing up to support it and oppose it. I personally had major problems with the bill at that time.

Over the last several months, I have met with several members of those groups, including the Utah Building Code Commission, the Architectural Licensing Board, Utah AIA (American Institute of Architects), interior designers, etc.

This bill is very different than I thought it would be last April and May when I was first contacted about the idea by the interior designers.

The bill doesn't require most interior designers to be licensed and it doesn't create a new area of practice requiring a license.

What it does do, is allow specific interior designers, with specialized education, training, experience, certification and a license, to provide signed drawings limited in scope of work, with a DOPL licensing number for a building permit that currently requires an architect license. We are not talking about colors, etc. This would allow then to create building permit drawings for non-bearing walls, doors, etc.

It is literally creating competition for me as an architect. There are many drawings that can be created without a license and those exceptions are not eliminated. There are about 160 interior designers with a NCIDQ certification that this may help, and others that may work toward this.

Additional Information:

Does not require interior designers to obtain a license unless they want to work in some of the areas that currently require an architect’s license.

Interior Designers who desire to expand their scope of practice now have pathways to meet the standards of the state for the specified licensed space through a combination of education, experience and examination. 

The expanded scope for a licensed interior designer is limited to specific types of interior spaces that already have the building exiting designed and does not involve changing beams, columns and bearing walls.

Increases the number and type of professionals that can compete for projects in this space.

One, Two, Three and Four Family Residential spaces remain unregulated. Interior designers practicing in these spaces are unaffected, and are able to continue to practice as usual. 

The title of “interior designer” is not regulated

Stakeholders met together to create bi-partisan agreement on a non-mandatory licensing bill that enacts permitting authority within specific interior spaces by individuals who meet the life safety requirements of the space.

Designers working on project drawings for commercial spaces requiring a permit will have more than one option when seeking Building  Permit Construction Drawings.

Additional details of the bill
    Minimum design education accredited by CIDA, or equivalent Requirement for professional experience

    National Council for Interior Design Qualification NCIDQ is the primary examination interior design licensing

    A code of guidelines for professional practice and ethics is outlined

    A requirement for continuing education included

    Grandfathering with education, experience and examination criteria License/Signing privileges to substantiate documentation

NCIDQ requirements. 


See also for building code occupancies

with the Utah State amendments from:

Or this document that is designed to combine these: