Specifying suitably qualified professionals in subdivision plans and consent

BPB practice advice 15-001 July 2015 (updated from December 2011)

Note to readers: practice advice relates to the legislation in force at the time, which may since have been amended. Also, names of organisations and weblinks were correct at time of writing and may have since changed.

The Building Professionals Board supports the high standards councils set when drafting subdivision development control plans and conditions of development consent.

However, some councils, through the wording of consent conditions, may inadvertently limit the design and certification of subdivision works to be undertaken only by a ‘professional engineer’. This excludes a wider cohort of professionals who are qualified, and recognised as such, to undertake this work.

For example, the Board of Spatial and Surveying Information (BOSSI) advises that many registered land surveyors are appropriately qualified and experienced to design and certify subdivision works. BOSSI's requirements for registration, besides specif ic university qualifications, include assessments in urban cadastre, rural cadastre, strata and community titles, engineering and town planning.

Councils are encouraged to enable subdivision engineering design to be carried out by qualified engineers or registered land surveyors. Both types of professionals may be involved in a subdivision depending on the nature of the work.

Principal certifying authorities maintain their duty of care to validate the competence of engineers and surveyors who provide design and certification services.

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