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  • Summary date: Mar 3 2021 - View Summary

    Amends GS Chapter 83A, which governs licensure of architects, to expand the Chapter's provisions to also regulate interior designers as follows.

    Makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by a $500 per day violation for any individual or firm not registered under the Chapter to hold himself or herself out as a registered interior designer, seek to avoid the Chapter's provisions by using another designation, present the registration of another as their own, give false or forged evidence in obtaining registration, falsely impersonate another practitioner, use or attempt to use a revoked registration, or otherwise violate the Chapter. Details factors required to be considered prior to assessing a civil penalty. Allows specified private counsel to recover civil penalties imposed under the Chapter. 

    Adds to and modifies the Chapter's defined terms. Defines interior design to include but not be limited to the preparation of reflected ceiling plans, space planning, paths of egress, occupancy calculations, and the fabrication of nonstructural elements within and surrounding interior spaces of buildings; excludes six specified acts. Adds the following defined terms: Architect Emeritus; nonstructural element; practice of interior design; reflected ceiling plan; registered interior designer; registration; and space planning. Now refers to firms rather than corporations throughout. 

    Renames the Board of Architecture as the Board of Architecture and Registered Interior Designers (Board). Increases Board membership from seven to 10 members, with three new members being registered interior designers appointed for five-year terms. Requires vacancies to be filled by the Governor.

    Increases the fee schedule set out for architects and establishes a fee schedule for registration to practice interior design. Sets initial application fees for architects at $100 for individuals (was $50) and $150 for firms (was $75), and renewal fees at $150 for individuals (was $75) and $200 for firms (was $100). Doubles the penalties for late renewal for architects. Sets a $300 fee (was $150) for reciprocal licenses. Sets a $500 fee for the reinstatement of expired licenses. Establishes an identical fee schedule for interior designers' initial registration, renewal, late penalties, reciprocal licenses, and reinstatement on an individual and firm basis. 

    Expands the role of the Board in recordkeeping, rulemaking, and disciplinary action to include registered interior designers and firms. Adds a new requirement for the Board to be organized into committees in reviewing disciplinary actions and continuing education decisions, with the Board president appointing chairs and committee members. 

    Establishes qualifications for registration and registration by reciprocity. Requires passing the NC Council for Interior Design Qualification (NBCIDQ) exam and holding an NCIDQ Certificate in good standing, or a certified license to practice architecture. 

    Establishes qualifications to practice as an interior design firm, including meeting all requirements of the Business Corporation Act. Provides for reciprocity for interior design firms from other states. 

    Provides for professional seals for registered interior designers. 

    Excludes from the Chapter's provisions (1) interior decorators, as described, or (2) professional services limited to planning, design, and implementation of residential kitchen and bath spaces or certain commercial kitchen and bath spaces as specified.

    Authorizes the Board to deny, suspend, revoke, reprimand, or levy a penalty of up to $500 for against licensees or registrants  for (1) dishonest conduct, now including using a professional license or registration that has been suspended or revoked, the imposition of other disciplinary action by another state's regulatory body, or nonrenewal of the license or registration, as specified; (2) incompetence, now including incompetent adjudication; and (3) unprofessional conduct, now including falsely impersonating a practitioner or former practitioners and gross unprofessional conduct. 

    Regarding violations of the Chapter, requires the Board to establish a schedule of civil penalties. Authorizes the Board to charges costs to the licensee or registrant for a disciplinary proceeding.

    Applies to applications for registration on or after January 1, 2022.

    Provides for staggered terms for Board members, as specified, with initial appointments of registered interior designers made by October 1, 2021, and initial terms beginning on January 1, 2022. Requires initial members to immediately seek registration.

    Requires the Board to adopt implementing rules.