OAA and Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario form Joint Task Force

The following is a joint communication between the OAA and the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario.

In November 2016, the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) received a letter from the Attorney General (AG), Yasir Naqvi, responding to ARIDO’s request for self-regulation of the profession of interior design. The letter outlined the AG’s proposal to “bring interior designers under the regulation of the OAA” in order to, “give ARIDO self-regulation status under the umbrella of a broader profession.” The OAA has supported ARIDO in the past in regards to their pursuit of self regulation and a legislated scope of practice for Interior Designers.

For a copy of the letter received from the Attorney General, click here. In the context of their existing relationship with the AG, who is ultimately responsible for the Architects Act, the OAA was contacted by Ministry staff and made aware of the letter prior to its release.

As a result, representatives from both organizations began preliminary discussions on February 2, 2017. This gave the two organizations an opportunity to connect and explore potential approaches to the AG’s proposal. Preliminary discussions focused on identifying a variety of models and options to discuss.

During discussions on February 2, 2017, the OAA and ARIDO identified three core principles that were deemed to be important throughout the discussions moving forward:

  • The maintenance of an identity for both architects and interior designers;
  • Continued control for both OAA and ARIDO over the destiny of their respective members which would include governance; and,
  • Any model considered by both organizations should reflect a “partnership” of the two organizations.

Also stemming from the initial meeting, was a recommendation to both the ARIDO Board of Management and the OAA Council that a Joint Task Force be formed that would represent both the architects and interior designers, and would report directly into both leadership groups.

The Joint Task Force has been formed and consists of the following individuals:

Representing ARIDORepresenting OAA

David Gibbons, President
Sheri Crawford, President-elect
Daniel Long, VP Finance
Sharon Portelli, Executive Director

Representing OAA

John Stephenson, President
Kathleen Kurtin, Senior VP and Treasurer
David Sin, Councillor
Kristi Doyle, Executive Director

To view a copy of the Joint Task Force Terms of Reference, click here.

Next Steps

In recent meetings, the Joint Task Force continued discussions around potential models which they will start to explore further. Next steps include flushing out the key principles and frameworks for each of those models, along with any the opportunities, challenges and risks of each.

Regular meetings will continue as the two groups work together to explore options in a respectful and inclusive setting. The ultimate goal is to provide a recommendation to the OAA Council and ARIDO Board of Management once the exploratory work of the Joint Task Force is complete. Both OAA and ARIDO have also identified the importance of engaging their respective professions in a meaningful way. We are committed to hearing from our respective memberships and have discussed holding joint regional roundtables across Ontario to ensure the architecture and interior design professions are engaged throughout the process and have a direct connection with the leadership of both organizations.

The Joint Task Force has also identified the need to set up a meeting with the AG for immediate consultation in order to identify the level of support from Government related to potential models and overall direction.

As a result, ARIDO and OAA will begin to release Joint Communications with updates as they develop. In the meantime, should you have any questions please contact the following individuals respectfully:

Kristi Doyle, Executive Director
[email protected]

Sharon Portelli, Executive Director

[email protected]