Registered interior designers gain greater industry recognition and credibility 

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Industry talents need to be fully qualified, accredited and have that professional quality and integrity.

Industry talents need to be fully qualified, accredited and have that professional quality and integrity.

Contributed by MIID

The Malaysian Institute of Interior Designers (MIID), the professional body representing interior designers in Malaysia, encourages all graduate interior designers to be registered with the Board of Architects Malaysia (LAM).

LAM is the statutory body to ensure that interior designers or interior design firms are registered and regulated. It is to ensure that interior designers abide by a code of ethics and follow the design industry’s best practices and guidelines as stipulated under the Architects Act 1967 – Act 117.

As of August 2021, 606 interior designers, 26 interior design body corporates, two interior design partnerships and 44 interior design sole proprietorships are registered and licensed by LAM to provide the full range of professional interior design services in Malaysia.  

However, many interior designers who have graduated from design schools and colleges, plus experienced practitioners in the industry, are still not registered with LAM, as required by the law.

Unlicensed interior designers providing interior design services can be charged as impersonating or misrepresentation under the Architect Act 1967 (amendments Feb 2015) - Act 117, Section 33 Sub–section (e). 

If found guilty of an offence, they will be liable to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.

“We want to move the industry towards a level that is recognised, respected and on par as other professional industries. As such, it’s imminent that our industry talents be fully qualified, accredited and have that professional quality and integrity,” said MIID president Lai Siew Hong. 

He shared that many members of the public have misconceptions of the actual work deliverables required of a professional interior designer. 

“If all our designers, who are qualified professionals, are duly registered, then there will be no confusion on what the design profession is expected to deliver. Our talents will be perceived as bona fide and are trusted to perform. Once we achieve this, everyone can then compete fairly and ethically, following consistent industry standards. When engaging with an individual or company, there is a sense of trust and credibility that they are professionally qualified and do meet the industry standard. In our case, that standard is established and regulated by LAM,” he said.

A professionally qualified interior designer is well-distinguished from mere amateurs in the field, who are unregistered and not professionally responsible, nor liable at all for their designs which may well be flawed. 

The design industry is thus able to weed out and prevent unqualified designers from doing shoddy work, which misrepresents the interior design profession to the general public.

Currently, LAM has accredited a number of interior design study programmes or courses conducted by recognised universities and institutions for students attending them on a full-time basis at their campuses.

Applicants from unaccredited programmes or courses are required to undertake and pass an Interior Design Qualifying Assessment by LAM before they can apply to be registered with the Board as Graduate interior designers.

To become licensed or registered interior designers with LAM, the person will need to meet specific requirements for education and experience. The person must first possess the required education in interior design or interior architecture from an accredited program. 

Secondly, they need to register themselves as graduate interior designers with LAM. Then, undertake two years of industrial training with a LAM registered individual interior designer or interior design practice. Upon completion of their industrial training, they are to submit their training Log Book to LAM for approval and upon approval, subsequently sit for and pass the Interior Design Licensure Examination conducted by LAM. 

As a registered interior design professional, one is also required by LAM to undergo Continuing Professional Development (CPD) by attending MIID organised lectures, seminars, conferences or workshops to keep abreast with the latest developments in technology, innovation and ideas in the design and professional field. Compulsory attendance of these events is needed to collect the mandatory CPD points to maintain registration with LAM annually. 

For more information about the registration, please visit LAM’s website at www.lam.gov.my or MIID’s website at www.miid.org.my


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