The Office of Surveyor-General Victoria undertakes a Survey Audit Program to monitor standards of surveys lodged with Land Use Victoria and gauge compliance by practitioners with regulations and directions.
The key components of the Survey Audit Program are below, including checklists and categories of non-conformances to help surveyors prepare plans and field records.
Survey Audits Database
The Survey Audits Database, which interacts with the Victorian Online Titles System (VOTS), facilitates the selection of surveys for audit from which surveyors are selected for audit. The database contains information about:
- plan number (subdivisions, applications, Crown surveys)
- date of lodgement
- survey or non-survey
Selection of licensed surveyors to be audited
Current targets are for 120 surveys and 33 per cent of practising licensed surveyors to be audited per year. It is estimated that there are 350 to 400 practising surveyors who lodge surveys with Land Use Victoria per year.
The criteria for selecting licensed surveyors to be audited is based on the following six-level priority system, with the first two receiving highest priority:
- surveyors who continually perform below standard
- surveyors whose last audits were unsatisfactory
- surveyors from interstate who receive a licence under reciprocal arrangements
- surveyors who have never been audited
- newly licensed surveyors
- surveyors who have not been audited for three years.
On average, three surveys, two metropolitan and one regional, are selected each week and audited immediately. This ‘just in time’ approach is necessary if the audit is to be completed within Land Use Victoria's tight turnaround times for registration of the plan following lodgement.
The audit processes are:
- assembly of survey information
- desktop examination of plan, abstract and report, which entails checking mathematics, text, re-establishment and compliance with regulations and directions
- field check of measurements, building boundaries, marking, re-establishment and practicability of connecting to MGA94
- preparation of an audit report by the auditing surveyor
- written advice to the surveyor being audited of the audit findings with 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 non-conformances
- consideration of the surveyor's response and closure of the audit once all non-conformances are satisfied
- written advice to the surveyor being audited of the completion and result of the audit
- update of survey audits database.
The first three processes are undertaken concurrently to minimise the time to determine the quality and acceptability of the survey. Land Use Victoria’s examiners perform the plan examination and provide written advice to the auditor and lodging party (if necessary) and OSGV surveyors undertake all other aspects of the audit process.
The auditing surveyor uses a 'Survey Audit Checklist' of 47 items covering the abstract of field records, re-establishment, MGA94, 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 covering the drafting standards, plan notations, easements and building boundaries.
Refer to the Survey Audit and Plan Exam Checklists available below. Industry can use these checklists to improve the quality of 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. In addition, the checklist items have 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 either of the following are identified:
- 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 to the Manager Cadastral Infrastructure and Standards to review their survey audit findings to discuss possible corrective measures and improve performance.
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 for a complaint under section 18 of the Surveying Act 2004 to be lodged with the SRBV by the Manager Cadastral Infrastructure and Standards.
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