AIA Tennessee works to strengthen collaboration among architects and allied professions in the design and construction industries and supports existing state licensure laws and rules that serve to protect public health, safety and welfare. Currently proposed interior design practice legislation raises many concerns for industry professionals as well as the public.
FACT: Proposed interior design legislation would create public health, safety and welfare risks.
The act would have negative implications for ADA accessibility compliance and life safety and egress of commercial spaces. The purpose of regulating a profession is to protect the public from incompetent practice by unqualified individuals.
FACT: Proposed legislation would lower the standard for the practice of interior design in Tennessee.
Minimum competency of interior designers is defined by the underlying standards of (1) CIDA for accreditation of ID degree programs, (2) the NCIDQ IDEP program for experience and (3) the NCIDQ examination. These standards would need to be analyzed to determine whether they adequately address the health safety and welfare issues impacted by proposed legislation. Currently, the proposed act provides a way to circumvent the established standards through grandfathering, providing no means for verification of the minimum competency of individuals who could become newly licensed.
FACT: Interior design practice acts have faced costly legal challenges in the few states that have adopted them.
In Alabama, an act was approved by the Legislature, and was held unconstitutional by the state supreme court in a decision that removed the regulating board. Florida’s interior design act was declared unconstitutional in February 2010 through a court decision that created uncertainty for those attempting to practice interior design in the state.
FACT: Proposed legislation would cause state and local agencies to incur significant administrative costs.
Costs associated with the act would include state oversight and regulation of new requirements for the practice of interior design and modification to the approval process of local building officials. Additionally, the public may face increased costs for procuring interior design services that are currently not subject to state regulation.
FACT: Proposed legislation would create increased costs for interior designers.
The Act would require interior designers to comply with new state regulation including new fees. Interior designers would likely face increased liability insurance premiums under the act.
PROPOSED SOLUTION: AIA Tennessee will facilitate negotiations to address maintenance and remodeling projects through a rules change of the A/E Licensing Law.