Iowa Interior Designers Celebrate the Passing of Practice Rights Legislation

New Bill Shows Collaborative Industry Efforts to Provide Registered Interior Designers with Independent Practice Rights

Efforts from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), national and Great Plains regional chapters of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), as well as support from the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ), have led to the unanimous passing of Senate File 135 (SF 135); a practice rights bill signed into law on April 27, 2023 by Governor Kim Reynolds.  Passage of this bill confirms the key role interior design plays in the built environment and reinforces the critical role of interior designers as stewards of health, safety and well-being.

SF 135 was introduced and sponsored in the Senate by Senator Chris Cournoyer (D) and in the House of Representatives by Representative Cindy Golding (D).  Local IIDA-IA chapter members, in conjunction with ASID, CIDQ, and IIDA, held several meetings with the American Institute of Architects-IA component to draft language for the bill. SF 135 was voted unanimously out of every subcommittee, committee, and floor vote, demonstrating the power of collaboration.

“Advocacy by interior designers, instructors and students on this issue was an important part of why this bill was able to pass through the Iowa legislature. It was a honor to work on a bill that will help business owners in Iowa take ownership of their work and grow their businesses. I look forward to seeing how this bill will help keep interior design students in Iowa where they can do what they do best!” said bill sponsor, Iowa Senator Chris Cournoyer.

The legislation refines the scope of interior design practice and provides permitting privileges to allow registered interior designers to stamp and seal interior construction plans, confirming interior designers’ role as qualified professionals whose work protects and advances occupant health safety and well-being. The modernized legislation recognizes the extensive education and knowledge of interior designers concerning safety solutions in the built environment, including ADA-friendly features and safety codes.

“This legislation is yet another example of a state confirming the impressive qualifications and extensive expertise of interior designers,” said ASID CEO Khoi Vo. “ASID is grateful to the legislators, organizational partners, and advocates that have allowed Iowa to become the latest jurisdiction to recognize the interior design profession’s value and important role in protecting the public. ASID is committed to advocating for our members, the profession, and the public as we continue to utilize the national momentum around practice rights.”

“This collaborative effort and modernizing legislation recognize that NCIDQ Certified interior designers are qualified to protect the public in independent practice.,” said CIDQ CEO Thom Banks. “We thank Senator Cournoyer and Representative Golding for their support of this legislation and commend the efforts of advocates for reasonable regulation on their collaboration towards the shared goal of protecting public safety.”

“We’re proud to have been a part of bringing the profession of interior design and its far-reaching impact into focus in Iowa,” said IIDA EVP and CEO Cheryl S. Durst. “With our chapters, partners and allies, IIDA will continue to advocate for recognition that significantly empowers designers and firms, including many small business owners, but also impacts all our daily lives. When the places we frequent are safe, healthy and welcoming to all, we all benefit — and it is designers who ensure that those standards are upheld.”

Capitalizing on recent momentum recognizing the importance of the interior design profession, this legislation follows the passage of similar bills in 2022 (Illinois, Wisconsin) and 2021 (North Carolina) that accurately and comprehensively reflects the education, experience, and examination-based knowledge of the modern-day interior design profession.

About ASID

The American Society of Interior Designers believes that design transforms lives. Through its programs, networks and advocacy, ASID serves all those who are a part of the interior design profession and practice. ASID thrives on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional and residential. As a leader in shared conversations around topics that matter in design, from evidence-based and human-centric design to social responsibility, well-being and sustainability, ASID showcases the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.

ASID will mark its 50th anniversary in 2025. Celebrating 50 years of industry leadership, ASID is committed to broadening the impact for the future of design in all of the places we work, play and heal. Learn more at

About CIDQ

The Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) is a nonprofit organization that develops and administers the NCIDQ Examination. The NCIDQ Examination is the broad-based exam for all interior designers and serves as the foundation from which to build for those moving into specialty design areas. NCIDQ Certification is required for the practice of many types of interior design in regulated jurisdictions throughout North America.CIDQ’s membership is made up of U.S. state boards and Canadian provincial associations that regulate the profession of interior design. NCIDQ Certification is the industry’s recognized indicator of proficiency in interior design principles and a designer’s commitment to the profession. Professional interior designers who possess the NCIDQ credential have distinguished themselves by demonstrating a specific set of core competencies, supported by verified work experience and a college degree. They have proven their expertise in understanding and applying current codes established to protect public health, safety, and welfare. Learn more at

About IIDA

IIDA is the commercial interior design association with a global reach. We support design professionals, industry affiliates, educators, students, firms, and their clients through our network of 15,000+ members across 58 countries. We advocate for advancements in education, design excellence, legislation, leadership, accreditation, and community outreach to increase the value and understanding of interior design as a profession that enhances business value and positively impacts the health and well-being of people’s lives every day. Learn more at