How to have YourSay

The ACT Government is engaging with stakeholders in the surveying and construction industry to communicate and discuss proposed amendments to the Surveyors Act 2007 (the Act), and updates to the Surveyors Practice Directions in the ACT.

This YourSay page will be used throughout 2022 to deliver key updates about the forthcoming amendments to the Act, and collect stakeholder feedback when needed.

In the first half of 2022 the main purpose of this YourSay page will be to inform stakeholders of our progress as we work to update the Surveyors Practice Directions. In the second half of the year we anticipate that stakeholders will be engaged more closely on the development of legislative amendments to the Surveyors Act 2007 and accompanying regulations.

We are looking at

We are looking at introducing new surveying legislation, regulation, and practice directions over the coming 6-12 months. We want to be as transparent as possible, and keep stakeholders informed of our progress throughout 2022.

We value the contribution of stakeholders as we work towards the introduction of reforms in 2023.

Your participation through this YourSay page will enable us to deliver simple and effective legislative reforms and regulations that are fit for purpose and help to lessen the administrative burden for surveyors and Government staff. Our goal is to create a more responsive and adaptive surveying industry in the ACT.

Certification and Terminology

A certification and regulatory framework establishes how professionals can demonstrate that they meet the requirements to practice and be certified. A certification and regulatory framework for engineering/ construction surveyors would look similar to the regulation of land surveyors. It may include:

  • Certification requirements (minimum qualifications and practical experience followed by competency assessments)
  • Regulatory processes
    • Continuing Professional Development
    • Supervisions requirements
    • Surveyors Practice Directions and other associated legislation for engineering/ construction surveyors
    • Comparable Fees

A certification and regulatory scheme for engineering/ construction surveyors would provide a mechanism to distinguish qualified and competent professionals who demonstrate and meet the standard of practice.

Regulation of engineering/ construction surveyors would promote the professionalism of the discipline and uphold professional practice standards. In addition, consumers could have more confidence that services that they engage will adhere to better practice standards.

Other benefits include:

  • Reduce the risk to building and civil construction projects by excluding unqualified practitioners.
  • Industry recognised qualifications for practitioners.

Generally, within the industry, the term engineering surveyor is a commonly used term for professionals responsible for performing surveys, and producing plans and technical data required by other professionals in the design and development of construction projects.

However, people who are not familiar with the industry tend to want a term that reflects the construction context of the work. Government may want to avoid any confusion between the term engineering surveyor and engineer.

There are three options for the terminology for this group of professionals:

  • Option 1 – Engineering surveyor. This option may better reflect the redesign aspects of the work and is the term most familiar to the industry.
  • Option 2 – Construction surveyor. This option may be better understood by people outside of the industry and would prevent confusion between engineer and engineering surveyor.
  • Option 3 – Engineering/ Construction surveyor. This option would make the term more easily accessible to the public and maintain the term most familiar to the industry.

Which term do you prefer?

There are three options for the terminology for this group of professionals:

Frequently Asked Questions

The updated Practice Directions will address key issues in the surveying industry, including:

  • supervision of staff
  • registration processes
  • implementation of Geocentric Datum of Australia and Map Grid of Australia 2020 (GDA/MGA2020)
  • other minor amendments.

The proposed amendments to the Surveyors Act 2007 will give effect to several changes that would improve administrative efficiency for both registered or certified surveyors and the Office of the Surveyor-General and Land Information.

The Act is now 14 years old, and there are opportunities to modernise the legislation to acknowledge and support the increasing digitalisation of surveyor registration and improved compliance. These proposed changes will streamline registration processes and reduce the risk of suspension due to non-compliance.

Engineering / Construction surveyors are currently not regulated in the ACT nor anywhere in Australia. This means there is no consistent process to assess their competency to perform surveying work on building and infrastructure projects.

There is opportunity for amendments to the Surveyors Act 2007 to create a new a category of Certified Engineering / Construction Surveyor. This would provide for the development of a framework to define prescribed work and to accredit, certify and regulate these surveyors, with details of the accreditation and regulation process to be outlined in subsequent regulation.

A simplified registration process will reduce the risk of suspension due to non-compliance and streamline the registration process.

Introducing the regulation of engineering / construction surveyors will help ensure building and civil construction quality.

Improving the provisions for occupational discipline, power of entry to private property and supervision of staff would:

  • create a more effective and proportionate disciplinary process
  • clarify the obligations of surveyors (and assistants) in dealing with private property owners and occupiers
  • ensure there is appropriate supervision of staff
  • improve building outcomes for the community.

Ongoing regulation costs for surveyors will be met from annual registration fees. We anticipate that many cadastral surveyors will choose to be registered in the ACT under ADR and likewise for engineering / construction surveyors. Annual registration fees would be consistent for both registered cadastral surveyors and certified engineering / construction surveyors.

We are collaborating with NSW to align policy relating to:

  • registration fees
  • supervision requirements
  • removal of dual registration
  • examination of candidates
  • continuing professional development.

Background

The Surveyors Act 2007 (the Act) has been in effect in the ACT for more than 14 years. While it has proven effective for a long time, amendments to the legislation and regulation are now needed. Most notably, this includes the need to update the Territory's legislation to reflect the Australian Government's new Mutual Recognition Amendment Act 2021, as well as introduce other amendments that have been identified to improve the Act.

The Australian Government's Mutual Recognition Amendment Act 2021 commenced on 1 July 2021. This Act amended the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth) by introducing a uniform scheme of automatic mutual recognition (AMR) and automatic deemed registration (ADR). Under the new legislation, registered surveyors will be able to perform work in states and territories outside of their home jurisdiction as long as their work is consistent with their home jurisdiction registration.

The ACT was granted a 12-month exemption for the implementation of AMR/ADR to amend the relevant legislation, i.e. the Surveyors Act 2007, to enable external cadastral surveyors to work in the ACT. The 12-month exemption period will end on 30 June 2022. The introduction of AMR and ADR means the ACT Government needs to address legislative issues relating to external cadastral surveyors working in the ACT. Information on the current rules for the registration of surveyors in the ACT can be found on the Surveyors Registration Webpage.

The Office of the Surveyor-General and Land Information is collaborating with NSW to update the MOU in relation to the introduction of AMR/ADR.

In recent years, issues relating to building and construction quality have emerged across various jurisdictions in Australia, including the ACT. The need to regulate construction professions and, in particular, engineering surveyors has been identified. The Office of the Surveyor-General and Land Information is developing a potential certification and regulatory framework for engineering surveyors.