AN ACT TO ALLOW FOR REGISTRATION OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS AND TO MODIFY THE NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF ARCHITECTURE. SL 2021-81. Enacted July 8, 2021. Effective July 8, 2021.
Summary date: Jul 8 2021 - View Summary
Summary date: Apr 13 2021 - View Summary
Senate committee substitute amends the 1st edition as follows.
Revises the proposed changes to and further amends GS Chapter 83A, which governs licensure of architects, previously expanded to also regulate interior designers.
Adds to the Chapter's defined terms: architectural firm, firm practice of interior design, and registered interior design firm. Amends the definition given for interior design to include the creation or alteration of paths of egress. Expands license to include a certificate of registration issued by the Board of Architecture and Registered Interior Designers (Board) recognizing the firm named on the certificate as meeting the requirements for registration under the Chapter (previously limited to individuals). Clarifies that nonstructural element means an element of a building or structure which does not require structural bracing. Makes clarifying changes to registered interior designer to note qualification to engage in the practice of interior design. Expands registration to include a certificate of registration issued by the Board recognizing the firm named in the certificate as meeting the requirements for registration under the Chapter (previously limited to individuals).
Makes changes to the proposed fees names in GS 83A-4, to refer to a $300 reciprocal registration fee (previously duplicated reciprocal license fee) and $500 reinstatement fee for interior designers (was interior design).
Expands GS 83A-6, regarding the Board's powers to adopt rules and standards of professional conduct, to include establishing qualifications for firm registration and establishing or approving registration renewal requirements for registered interior designers.
Modifies proposed GS 83A-7(c) to more specifically provide requirements and qualifications for registration as a registered interior designer, now also requiring that an individual be at least 18 years of age and of good moral character.
Amends the qualifications for firm practice under GS 83A-8 to require any interior design firm desiring to practice interior design to file an application with the Board (previously phrased as any registered interior designer desiring to offer interior design services through a firm). Subjects firms holding firm certificates of licensure or registration to all applicable rules and regulations of the Board and disciplinary powers of the Board applicable to individual licensees or registered interior designers (was licensees only). Makes organizational and conforming changes.
Specifies that the Chapter does not apply to persons holding themselves out as interior decorators or offering interior decorating services who provide services that are not subject to regulation under applicable building codes (previously did not specify such individuals must also not be subject to regulation under applicable building codes). Further specifies that the Chapter does not apply to persons engaging in professional services limited to the planning, design, and implementation (was the planning) of commercial kitchen and bath spaces within the construction area and costs set forth in GS 83A-13(g). Makes further clarifying and organizational changes.
Regarding the disciplinary grounds set forth in GS 83A-15, considers conduct of the registrant resulting in the imposition of other disciplinary action by a regulatory body of another state for any cause other than failure to pay applicable fees as grounds for disciplinary action by the Board (previously more generally the imposition of other disciplinary action by a regulatory body of another state, except for failure to pay applicable fees). Makes a technical change.
Expands conduct considered a violation of the Chapter, punishable by a Class 2 misdemeanor and a penalty of up to $500 per day, to include unlicensed persons presenting his or her own license of another, giving false or forged evidence to the Board or any member thereof in obtaining a license, falsely impersonating any other practitioner of like or different name, and attempting to use a license that has been revoked. Allows the Board to charge costs of a disciplinary proceeding to a registered interior designer against whom the proceedings were brought (was limited to investigations of licensees). Makes a technical change.
Changes the effective date of the proposed changes to the Chapter, now providing that the provisions apply to applications received on or after the date the act becomes law from persons appointed to the Board pursuant to the act, and on or after January 1, 2022, from other applicants.
Regarding initial appointments of the Board, as amended, requires each initial member to obtain registration under the act on or before December 31, 2021 (previously required registration upon appointment).
Directs the Department of Insurance to review and update all relevant documents, material, and applications and promulgate necessary rules concerning the practice of registered interior designers pursuant to the act. No longer directs the Board to adopt implementing rules.
Summary date: Mar 4 2021 - View Summary
Identical to H 223, filed 3/3/21.
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.