Interior Design Registry invites competition

Keywords Opinion

In Mike Hicks’ [July 14] column “Indiana good, but not optimal, for small firms,” his comment, “At least Indiana did away with licensing hypnotists in 2010, but we do maintain a registry of interior designers and installers of manufactured homes.

All of this is a pretty bald-faced attempt to stifle competition” is grossly misleading.

The Interior Design Registry, which he claims stifles competition, actually supports it.

The registry does not restrict the practice of interior design nor does it limit one’s ability to do business as an interior designer or call one’s self an interior designer. But the registry does allow consumers who want a minimum level of competence for the professionals that deliver their services a source to verify their qualifications.

Today, professional design services are procured with a request for proposal. Interior design professionals must provide credentials such as licenses, certifications and registrations. The registry gives these consumers a tool to verify the qualifications they seek in the professionals they hire.

It should also be noted the biggest opponent of the registry other than folks like Hicks is the American Institute of Architects. What Hicks and AIA won’t tell you is the hidden agenda in their argument against certain occupational regulation, like the registry, is to protect their turf.

The industry has progressed far past AIA’s views of protectionism and Hicks’ outdated and deceptive pretext. Not having regulation like the registry would impede design professionals (outside those regulated professions) from fairly competing in the building and design industry.

It would also drive creative and trained design professionals to other states where they would be able to compete fairly.

Indiana’s registry does recognize the merits of the profession and acknowledges the progressive needs of the consumers who procure these services.

Impediments small businesses in Indiana face have very little to do with occupational licensing issues and more to do with others in our community who use the issue for their own political and professional gain.

Now that, Mr. Hicks, is “a pretty bald-faced attempt to stifle competition.”

Jill Mendoza,
president, IDO Inc.

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