The provisions of the Surveying Act 2004 require that only those surveyors who are currently registered as licensed surveyors with the Board can undertake cadastral surveys and certify cadastral documents.
Due to the extended timeframe of many surveying tasks, situations may arise where a surveyor has changed his/her status from "practising" to "non-practising" or has been removed from the Register in accordance with the Act, but there is a subsequent requirement to make amendments to, or complete a survey that he or she undertook while registered with full practising status.
In these circumstances, it is clear that a non-practising or unregistered surveyor cannot certify amended cadastral survey documents as a licensed surveyor.
Exemption from Further Professional Education or Training (FPET)
In some instances, surveyors may find it more viable to seek a variation in their class of registration from practising to non-practising for any extended period of absence from professional practice. Note that a single registration status (practising or non-practising) must apply to the entire registration period (i.e. 1 January to 31 December); variations during the year are not possible due to legislative restrictions [section 11(1) of the Surveying Act 2004]. Surveyors applying for an exemption which would span from one registration year to the next (e.g. from October to April) and planning on practising during the remainder of both years must therefore retain their practising status.
Non-practising surveyors are exempt from having to undertake FPET and, as such, compliance with FPET requirements for the non-practising period is not a prerequisite when later resuming practising status. However, it is in the interests of licensed surveyors to maintain their technical and professional knowledge during their non-practising period, particularly on important topics introduced during that time. Compliance with self-initiated FPET will be looked upon favourably by the Board upon application to revert to a practising status.
Reverting to a Practising Status
Licensed surveyors wishing to revert to a practising status will be required to demonstrate an acceptable level of competency to the Board prior to registration being granted. The Board may use one or more methods to evaluate that competency, including but not limited to interviewing the surveyor (in a format similar to the Professional Practice Interview) and/or examining plans,
sample plans, documents and details of surveys provided by the surveyor. Once competency has been assessed, if practising registration status is granted, the Board reserves the right to impose conditions upon the surveyor which the Board may consider to be appropriate under the circumstances. Those conditions may include but are not limited to the checking of plans and work by another licensed surveyor for a set period of time and/or undertaking some form of updated study and/or training.
Note: applications for reversion to practising status must be submitted by 1 October of the year prior, at the latest, to allow sufficient time for processing.
Non-practising surveyors are exempt from having to undertake Further Professional Education or Training (FPET). As such, compliance with FPET requirements for the non-practising period is not considered to be a prerequisite for restoration to the Register or for varying a class of registration from non-practising to practising.
However, the Board recommends that, on taking up a non-practising status, surveyors should consider the possibility that they may wish to vary their class of registration from "non-practising" to "practising" at a later date and undertake non-compulsory FPET during this period. The Board considers that it is in the interests of licensed surveyors to maintain their technical and professional knowledge during their non-practising period and compliance with non-compulsory FPET will be looked upon favourably by the Board upon application for a variation in the class of registration from "non-practising" to "practising". If surveyors choose not to undertake FPET during their non-practising period, the Board further recommends that, prior to making application for a variation in their class of registration from "non-practising" to "practising", they identify and undertake FPET on particularly important topics that may have been introduced while they were non-practising.
Responsibility of Non-practising Surveyors
A surveyor who is unregistered or has non-practising status should not promote himself/herself as a practising cadastral surveyor. Surveyors in this category are permitted to use the post-nominals "LS (Retired)".
In order to ensure the timely delivery of surveying services to the community, it is the professional responsibility of the unregistered or non-practising surveyor to arrange for a registered practising licensed surveyor to undertake the required tasks to finalise a survey. In doing so, the registered practising licensed surveyor is accepting responsibility for this survey and should ensure that it complies with all regulatory standards.