A recent Harris Poll asked the American public, "If a hospital had a serious safety problem with one of their products or services, do you think you would trust them to do the right thing, or not?" Seventy percent responded that they would trust a hospital, 29 percent would not and two percent did not know. The public ranked tobacco companies at the bottom—with only 21 percent thinking they would do the right thing. Computer hardware companies, airlines and banks ranked near the top of the list. Health insurance companies and HMOs kept the tobacco businesses company at the bottom of the list (www.pollingre port.com/marketin.htm). The poll caused me to wonder where interior design professionals might rank on this list, and I found myself considering all that the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) does to ensure that the public holds interior designers in high regard.
In fact, the NCIDQ Annual Meeting, to be held November 7 to 9, 2003, will provide an opportunity to explore issues relative to the public's perception of interior design. Is there a link between government regulation and the perceived ethics of a profession? What issues are professional interior design organizations—ASID, IIDA and IDC—dealing with these days? What innovative procedures and programs have NCIDQ, FIDER, IDEC and the IDCEC created this year? What disciplinary actions are regulatory boards implementing when professionals violate their rules and regulations? These questions and more will be answered at NCIDQ's upcoming meeting, which will provide a rare opportunity for interior design professionals and educators to participate in an intimate forum with leaders from all of the major North American interior design organizations. Eighteen representatives from regulatory agencies, as well as the leaders of design organizations, will convene at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego, CA. If you have not attended one of NCIDQ's annual meetings before, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the quality and content of the guest speakers as well as the opportunity to engage in direct, thoughtful dialogue with the presenters.
Networking with regulators and interior designers who are working to maintain regulation in their jurisdictions is always a highlight of these meetings. Roundtable sessions dealing with disciplinary issues, continuing education and accreditation, reports from each jurisdiction, as well as legislative highlights presented by the governmental directors of ASID and IIDA, will round out the conference. James Henderson, Ph.D., executive vice president of Castle Worldwide, Inc., will report on the recent "Analysis of the Profession"—a critical component in the evolution and maintenance of the NCIDQ examination.
In addition, one of the main features of the meeting will be the opportunity for attendees to meet our new executive director, Jeffrey F. Kenney, AIA, who joined NCIDQ in June. Kenney came to NCIDQ after having spent the past four and a half years as president of his own consulting company, Professional Development Partners, Inc. (PDP). While running PDP, Kenney worked with such groups as the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners, the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards and, most importantly, NCIDQ. PDP assisted NCIDQ with establishing the continuing education monograph program. Prior to running PDP, Kenney was in charge of the Architect Registration Examination and the continuing education monograph program at the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Washington University, and is licensed to practice architecture in three states and the District of Columbia.
I hope that you will join us in San Diego. To obtain a registration form to attend the annual meeting, please visit our Web site (www.ncidq.org). NCIDQ continues to work diligently to ensure that interior designers who meet licensing requirements and pass our examination are considered professionals that meet the highest standard recognized in North America. The Harris Poll may not survey the public any time soon about their perception of NCIDQ-certified interior designers (most likely because not enough people are aware of NCIDQ). However, I am confident that once the public has a better understanding of the work a professional/certified interior designer does, a poll would show that the public believes that NCIDQ-certified interior designers "do the right thing."
J. Derrell Parker is president-elect of NCIDQ. NCIDQ is located at 1200 18th St. N.W., Ste. 1001, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 721-0220.