(a) Applications for registered interior designer authorization from the board may be submitted only on forms prescribed and approved by the board. The board shall promptly notify the applicant of the requirements for receipt of registered interior designer status and the schedule of fees established by the board for receipt of a completed application.

(b) The board shall approve individuals as registered interior designers, issue the design of an official seal indicating the same, and authorize the individuals to use the title of registered interior designer only if the applicant is determined by the board to have met each of the following qualifications:

(1) The applicant shall hold a valid certificate of registration prior to the submission of an application for registered interior designer status and the applicant must meet all qualifications required to receive and maintain a valid certificate of registration.

(2) The applicant shall be a graduate of an accredited interior design program of four years or more at a college or university approved by the board based on standards established by the NCIDQ and FIDER criteria or their equivalent.

(3) The applicant has successfully passed the sealed level examination.

(c)(1) One hundred eighty days after August 1, 2001, an examination committee shall be named and established as provided herein to develop the sealed level examination to be given to persons seeking authorization as a registered interior designer. The examination committee shall be composed of the following persons: Three members shall be appointed by the board; three members shall be appointed by the Alabama State Board of Registration for Architects; two members shall be registered professional engineers, one of whom shall be appointed by the board and one of whom shall be appointed by the Alabama State Board of Registration for Architects; one member shall be a code official appointed by the Code Officials Association of Alabama; and one member shall be a representative from NCIDQ who shall be a nonvoting ex officio member and who shall act in an advisory capacity to norm the examination and be an observer only to the content and selection of test questions. In addition, there shall be another nonvoting ex officio member, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules, who shall also be the initial chair of the committee and shall serve as a nonvoting moderator. After the initial chair no longer serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules, the chair shall be selected by a majority vote of the Alabama Senate from its membership. Such selection shall be made quadrennially.

(2) Once members of the examination committee are initially appointed, they shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority. Any member of the examination committee who is replaced shall be replaced by a person from the same profession or category, and shall be selected as designated above and submitted by the relevant entity. The examination committee shall adjourn after the board accepts a final version of the sealed level examination, but the committee may be recalled by the board from time to time as the board may require. The examination shall be updated, at a minimum, every three years to be applicable to current codes and practices.

(3) The members of the examination committee shall be notified by the chair of the committee of a meeting of the examination committee to be held within 210 days of August 1, 2001. The presence of a simple majority of the appointees to the examination committee shall constitute a quorum to conduct business. The chair shall moderate all meetings of the examination committee and shall establish the dates for meetings. The committee shall proceed according to Robert’s Rules of Order, as most recently revised.

(d) To develop the sealed level examination, the examination committee shall work with: (1) the NCIDQ and its nationally recognized testing service which specializes or has experience in certification and licensure examinations in the interior design profession; or (2) any other board approved entity with experience in administration of examinations in the interior design profession, and any other board approved, nationally recognized testing service which specializes or has experience in certification and licensure examinations in the interior design profession. The examination committee shall submit to the board a preliminary report on their activities within 30 days after their first meeting, and shall submit a final version of the sealed level examination, and other information as may be requested by the board, within time frames as may be mandated by the board. The board shall accept the final version of the sealed level examination presented by the examination committee after the final version of the sealed level examination is validated by the NCIDQ or the other board approved entity with experience in administration of examinations in the interior design profession. No sealed level examination may be given to applicants for registered interior designer authorization unless the examination is approved by the board. In the event that no examination receives a majority vote of the examination committee, a report stating that fact as well as a full explanation of the areas of disagreement shall be submitted by the committee to mediation to assist in reconciling all points of disagreement among the examination committee members. A mediator shall be chosen from a list of names on the mediator’s list of the Alabama State Bar Association in the following manner: (1) The architect members of the committee shall select one mediator; (2) the interior design members of the committee shall select one mediator; the final one mediator, who shall perform the mediation, shall be selected by such two mediators chosen pursuant to subdivision (1) and subdivision (2) herein. Upon reconciliation of the areas of disagreement, the examination shall be affirmed by the committee and submitted to the board.

(e) Those applicants found qualified by the board for registered interior design status shall be granted the design of a seal and official authorization containing the full name of the applicant, the date and term of issuance, the seal of the board, and the signature of the chair of the board. Every seal and authorization issued by the board shall be maintained in the possession of the individual to whom it is issued and the authorization shall be posted in the business office where he or she practices.

(f) Seals and authorizations for registered interior design status shall expire and become invalid on the 30th day of September following their issuance or renewal, unless renewed in accordance with this chapter. Seals and authorizations for registered interior design status issued to an individual who is in the armed forces of the United States shall not expire until the 30th day of September following the individual’s discharge from the armed forces of the United States. Renewal may be accomplished at any time prior to and during the month of September by the payment of an annual fee, as prescribed by the board, through procedures as may be developed by the board.

(g) Any individual registered or licensed to practice interior design in any state of the United States, other than the State of Alabama, who has successfully passed the sealed level examination or equivalent examination, accepted and approved by the board, may apply for registered interior designer status which shall be issued if the individual otherwise complies with the requirements imposed on all applicants for registered interior design status.