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Selecting surveys for audit 

Surveys for audit are generally selected on the basis of the surveyor, not the survey.

There are approximately 400 practising licensed surveyors in Victoria. Approximately 350 of those lodge surveys with Land Use Victoria each year.

The criteria for selecting licensed surveyors for audit is based on the following six-level priority system:

  1. Surveyors who continually perform below standard
  2. Surveyors whose last audit was unsatisfactory
  3. Surveyors from interstate who receive a licence under reciprocal arrangements
  4. Surveyors who have never been audited
  5. Newly licensed surveyors
  6. Surveyors who have not been audited for three years

The current target is to audit 120 surveys, or 33%, of practising licensed surveyors who lodge surveys with Land Use Victoria each year.

On average, we select 2 to 3 surveys each week for immediate audit.  We use this ‘just in time’ approach because Land Use Victoria has tight registration turnaround times after a plan has been lodged.

The Survey Audit Database

The Survey Audit Database facilitates the selection of surveys for audit and interacts with the Victorian Online Titles System (VOTS). It imports daily lodgement data for each plan from VOTS, which includes:

  • date of lodgement
  • plan number (subdivisions and applications)
  • surveyor's name
  • municipality

Audit processes

The audit processes involve:

  • the assembly of survey information.
  • a desktop examination of the plan, abstract and report. This entails checking mathematics, text, re-establishment and compliance with regulations and directives.
  • a field check of measurements, building boundaries, marking of boundaries, title re-establishment and practicability of connecting to MGA2020.
  • the preparation of an audit report by the auditing surveyor.
  • written advice to the surveyor being audited of the audit findings with a request to rectify any non-conformances.
  • written advice to the lodging party if registration of the plan is to be stopped pending rectification of any serious non-conformances.
  • consideration of the surveyor's response and closure of the audit once all the non-conformances are satisfied.
  • advice to Land Registry Services that all the audit matters have been addressed and to proceed with the registration of the plan.
  • written advice to the surveyor being audited of the completion and result of the audit.
  • an update of the survey audit database.

The first three items in the process are done concurrently to minimise the time it takes to determine the quality and acceptability of the survey.

Land Use Victoria’s examiners perform the plan examination. They then provide written advice to the auditor and lodging party (if necessary) before SGV surveyors undertake all other aspects of the audit process.

Non-conformance

The auditing surveyor uses a 'Survey Audit Checklist' of 47 items, with categories including the abstract of field records, title re-establishment, connection to MGA2020, licensed surveyor's report and field survey.

For the plan examination component of an audit, the Land Registry Services Plan Registration Officer uses an 'Audit Plan Exam Checklist' of 29 items. These cover the drafting standards, plan notations, easements and building boundaries.

Refer to the Survey Audit and Plan Exam Checklists available below. We encourage surveyors to use these checklists to improve the quality of their surveys lodged with Land Use Victoria.

Any non-conformance to items on the checklists will result in the dealing not being registered until it is rectified. The checklist items have also been categorised into a listing of serious and non-serious non-conformances. Refer to ‘Survey Audit Program Categories of Audit Non-Conformances' available below.

An unsatisfactory survey audit result generally occurs when we identify either:  

  • one or more serious non-conformances
  • ten or more non-serious non-conformances

Licensed surveyors who receive two consecutive unsatisfactory survey audit results within a three-year period are required to speak with the Manager Cadastral Infrastructure and Standards. The manager reviews their survey audit findings and discusses possible corrective measures to help improve performance in the future.

When a licensed surveyor receives three consecutive unsatisfactory audits, the findings of the audits will normally be forwarded to the Surveyors Registration Board of Victoria (SRBV) for investigation. A provision also exists to lodge a complaint under section 18 of the Surveying Act 2004 with the SRBV by the Manager Cadastral Infrastructure and Standards.

Page last updated: 19/10/20