CEUs & CEPHs

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Continuing Education for Interior Designers in the State of Texas

Continuing education for interior designers is not a simple subject, especially in the state of Texas. The purpose of this page is to help members understand why it is not cut and dry. It is vital to understand the system so that you will be armed with knowledge that will allow you to fully understand and confidently comply with the requirements that apply you and the current stage of your career. Keeping abreast of the latest developments within our industry is vital to your practice and the profession as a whole. Go here to read a well written article regarding the value of continuing education.

Acronyms & Important Background Information

TBAE – Texas Board of Architectural Examiners: A multi-profession regulatory agency that oversees the examination, registration, and professional regulation of architects, interior designers, and landscape architects. Registered Interior Designers [RIDs] pay annual registration fees and take continuing education annually to comply with TBAE’s requirements for registration and the ability to call oneself a Registered Interior Designer in the State of Texas.

RID – Registered Interior Designer: Those interior designers who have gone through the process spelled out by TBAE. To understand all the steps involved with how an interior designer becomes a RID in Texas, go here. If one is a Texas RID, then he or she can be found by searching for Interior Designers on the TBAE website. Of Note: If RIDs want to do work on a regulated space in another state that has ID legislation, then they must become registered in that state as well. As there is usually reciprocity, most of the time it is a matter of paperwork. However, if they perform the work, do not bother to get registered in that jurisdiction, and get caught or reported, then they are subject to fines and other penalties. This goes for out-of-state designers practicing on regulated spaces in Texas, as well. To find out which other states have ID legislation, visit ASID’s Legislation & Advocacy page.

NCIDQ – National Council for Interior Design Qualification: The organization that implements the NCIDQ Examination, which serves to identify to the public those interior designers who have met the minimum standards for professional practice. Successful completion of the NCIDQ Examination is a prerequisite for professional registration in those U.S. states and Canadian provinces that have enacted licensing or certification statutes to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. The NCIDQ Examination must also now be passed by designers applying for professional membership in various professional organizations (including ASID).

IDCEC – Interior Design Continuing Education Council: The organization that serves as a central entity for the sharing of interior design continuing education information, approval, and registration. The three IDCEC core member organizations – ASID [American Society of Interior Designers], IDC [Interior Designers of Canada] and IIDA [International Interior Design Association] – work together to approve continuing education courses. Courses approved through one of these organizations is approved for all of these organizations. IDCEC has recently undergone a centralization and automation of operations and some changes have been implemented to streamline the procedures. All members of ASID, IDC and IIDA received a letter during the month of July 2012 from IDCEC containing their IDCEC Identification Number, as well as their password to login to the IDCEC website. This login information will allow members of ASID to self-report their CEUs at no charge. As of May 2013, ASID members may log into asid.org, go to MyASID, and click on the “Your IDCEC Number” link in the left-hand column to access their IDCEC number at anytime. Find out more about IDCEC’s changes and procedures HERE.

HSW – Health, Safety, Welfare: This term refers to courses having these types of educational components. Examples: following guidelines for barrier-free (ADA-compliant) spaces; understanding fire and building codes; choosing appropriate lighting levels and materials for the elderly; improving indoor air quality; planning safe, healthy hospital wards; choosing eco-friendly materials for the home; creating ergonomic workplaces; using daylighting for reduced energy consumption; etc.

CEPH – Continuing Education Program Hours: As of January 2013, TBAE requires that Texas RIDs must complete at least twelve (12) CEPHs per renewal period (i.e., annually). All CEPHs must include the study of subjects related to the ID profession and be pertinent to the health, safety, and welfare (HSW) of the public. NOTE: All CEPHs must have HSW content, regardless of whether or not they have an IDCEC course number. TBAE has mandated that one of the 12 annual hours must be related to sustainable / energy-efficiency issues, and one of the 12 annual hours must be related to barrier-free / universal design. All registrants are required to record and maintain their CEPHs on a CEPH Log, which is downloadable on the TBAE website here. The log is not submitted with one’s renewal payment – it is only to be provided if one is chosen for an audit; therefore, every RID should maintain the log in one’s records for a period of not less than five years. TBAE has strict guidelines about RIDs’ annual 12 CEPHs, all of which can be found here.

CEU – Continuing Education Unit: The general term for continuing education. Some people use CEU and CEPH interchangeably, but this is not accurate. CEUs do not necessarily address HSW issues – instead, they could consist of topics such as marketing one’s business, learning a new accounting or drafting software program, color forecasting, etc. Some professional organizations (like ASID and IIDA) have required their members take a certain number of CEUs for a number of years.  On January 1, 2008, ASID began requiring ALL practitioner members to complete six (6) hours of continuing education coursework every two (2) years to retain their ASID membership. The first two-year reporting period ended December 31, 2009, and the second two-year reporting period will end December 31, 2013.

ASID’s CEU Requirements – Effective January 1, 2014: The ASID Board of Directors approved an increase of required CEUs for all members in the Professional, Allied and Associate categories. Currently, ASID has the lowest CEU requirement (0.6) among the organizations representing the built environment. Raising CEU requirements brings ASID in line with its industry peers and expands member knowledge.

Effective January 1, 2014, the CEU requirement will increase from 0.6 to 1.0 (i.e., 10 hours). Note that this does not affect the current reporting period, requiring 0.6 CEUs by Dec. 31, 2013. The first reporting period with the new 1.0 CEU requirement will begin January 1, 2014 and end on Dec. 31, 2015. GO HERE to access more background information.

REPORTING COMPLIANCE: During the last reporting period, we asked members to report their compliance through an online mechanism. ASID wants to make reporting as easy as possible for members, therefore we have slightly changed this process. Now, when you pay your dues it indicates that you agree to remain in compliance with the CEU requirement because it is a required condition of membership. You do not have to submit any information to ASID about the courses you have attended and you do not have to report anything online. The only exception will be in the event you are one of the members selected for an audit, in which case more detailed records will be requested. For this reason, it is in your best interest to report / track your courses by logging into the IDCEC website. (See the IDCEC section above for more information.)

It is the responsibility of each ASID practitioner member to maintain personal files documenting successful completion of their continuing education coursework. This documentation/file for each course or program should be kept for four years from the date of course completion. If you are selected for an audit, you must present ASID with your verification of attendance or the completion certificate for all coursework.

The Basic Facts To Know:

  1. ASID is not a regulatory body – it is merely a professional organization, albeit a very respected one. Other professional organizations that focus on the design industry exist, and ASID is simply one of them.
  2. Being a RID has nothing to do with being a member of ASID. One can be a RID and have to pay annual registration fees to TBAE and take 12 annual CEPHs to sustain their registration, but not be a member of ASID. Conversely, one can be a member of ASID, and not a RID in Texas or anywhere else.
  3. Prior to May 12, 2009 – the date when Governor Rick Perry signed HB 1484 into law, amending the Texas Interior Design Title act from a “Naked” one to that of a “Qualified” one – if one was not a RID in Texas, one could not call oneself an “Interior Designer” as that was a violation of the Texas state Interior Design Title Act at that time. Alternate designations were: Designer, Decorator, Interior Decorator, Design Consultant, Intern Designer, Interior Stylist, Interior Consultant, etc. However, now that HB 1484 has passed, anyone can call themselves an “Interior Designer,” and those who are qualified and have registered with TBAE should set themselves apart by calling themselves a “Registered Interior Designer” or a “RID”. See the ID Legislation in Texas page for more background information.
  4. ASID itself does not approve any continuing education courses. Courses are instead approved by IDCEC, which also approves courses for other professional organizations that focus on the design industry. If you are an instructor interested in submitting a course to IDCEC for CEU approval, GO HERE to find out how.
  5. Although TBAE requires RIDs to take 12 CEPHs a year, TBAE does not designate specific classes as approved – it leaves it up to the RID to use his or her best judgment when choosing classes to count as CEPHs. Recently, TBAE has recognized IDCEC’s approval system as a valid approval method and will accept any IDCEC-approved HSW designation as legitimate. TBAE will accept classes that have not been approved by IDCEC if they feel that have met the HSW requirements; however, this is not 100% guaranteed. Bottom line: A class does not have to be IDCEC-approved to count as a CEPH for TBAE, but it does have to follow the requirements spelled here out here by TBAE.

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