The Case For a Government Sponsored Interior Design Title & Practice Act

Why an Interior Design Practice Act?

In partnership with the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), all professional interior design provincial associations across the country are in pursuit of a reciprocal, national standard for interior design as it relates to the use of the title “Interior Designer” and the professional practice of design.

Currently in Newfoundland and Labrador, there is no law to prevent unqualified persons from practising interior design. The purpose of a Title and Practice Act is to protect the public and significantly enhance consumer protection by limiting the practice of interior design to qualified, regulated and insured professionals, similar to architecture and engineering.

Members of the Association of Interior Designers of Newfoundland and Labrador (IDNL) join voluntarily and agree to meet strict professional requirements and adhere to Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics. However, there is no legal requirement for persons offering interior design services to belong to IDNL or to meet its standards.

Why now?

Newfoundland and Labrador has been experiencing an unprecedented increase in construction activity over the past several years. The interior design industry in Newfoundland and Labrador employs many and generates millions of dollars of economic activity in the province annually related to this activity. Continual developments in construction techniques and materials and the current increase in building activity in Newfoundland and Labrador reinforce the need for regulated professionals to design interior spaces.

The practice of interior design has evolved over the past 70 years. Recently, there have been societal changes that have increased public attention to health, safety and welfare in public spaces. Emphasis on indoor air quality, sustainability, energy efficiency and employee performance drive the need for more highly qualified interior design practitioners. These changes have influenced the growth of interior design’s specialized knowledge as it relates to health, safety and welfare.

An Interior Design Title and Practice Act would create a regulatory framework for interior design. Trained interior designers are recognized as leaders in their profession around the world, working globally in the United States, South America, the Middle East and Asia. An Interior Design Title and Practice Act in Newfoundland and Labrador will leverage the skills and competencies of trained interior designers by establishing standards that will be recognized in the global market. This will position Newfoundland and Labrador to benefit from a strong interior design sector for years to come.

The profession of interior design is ready for self-regulation, with our interior designers having demonstrated their unanimous support for self-regulation by voluntarily joining IDNL and meeting its professional standards.

IDNL Regulatory Guidelines:

  • Enhance public health, safety and consumer protection;
  • Recognize the evolution of interior design as a profession;
  • Recognize the significant role interior designers play, alongside architects and engineers, in the design and construction of interior spaces;
  • Ensure only qualified professionals are on project teams;
  • Position NL as a global leader in interior design;
  • Respond to a public requirement for effective and safe practice of interior design, especially given the current increase in building activity in NL; and,
  • Authorize IDNL to regulate and govern the practice of
    interior design throughout the province.

IDNL believes there is a strong public interest case for the self-regulation of interior design, and that a Government sponsored Bill would receive the support of all parties in the Legislature and from industry stakeholders, including architects and engineers. The self-regulation of interior design is cost neutral to the Government and requires no Government funding.

Click here to view a PDF of IDNL’s Bylaws & Code of Ethics