Interior designers win right to receive certification

May 18, 2009

Interior designers in Indiana, who have been pushing for the chance to become certified, finally got their wish.

Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a bill into law May 12 that state lawmakers passed during the legislative session—five years after supporters introduced the proposal.

The law that will take effect July 1 creates an electronic registry for interior designers and establishes certification requirements, including the completion of a national exam and continuing education units.

With the voluntary certification, designers can show consumers they've taken the extra step to meet their needs and distinguish themselves from interior decorators, supporters said.

"It shows that [interior design] is evolving and becoming a profession as opposed to a trade," said Roberta Stone, an interior designer near Fort Wayne who helped lead the effort.

Indiana joins nearly 30 states that have existing certification standards. Stone said Indiana is losing interior design graduates to other states that already offer some sort of licensing.

Indiana's registry will be established within the state's Professional Licensing Agency and could be ready to begin certifying designers by the end of the year.

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