Accreditation to be abolished – new plan auditing system proposed for 3 July 2023

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On 3rd July 2023, the Department of Resources and Titles Queensland is dramatically changing how survey plans will be audited and registered in Queensland. The new auditing process has potential to increase future risks to landholders and developers as survey plans will no longer be examined for survey content prior to registration and will only be audited for prescribed items by TQ to satisfy their business requirements. Only a sample of plans will be audited after registration by the Department of Resources.  

Impact on landholders / developers

With the new auditing system, there is an increased risk of survey errors being overlooked and remaining undetected until another surveyor works over that survey. Depending on the survey error there is potential to cause unforeseen costs, delays and issues to landholders and developers. For example, deed entitlements could be affected, incorrect reinstatement and marking of property boundaries could result in encroachments and the viability and timing of projects may be compromised.

What should you do

To minimize risks on your next project, it’s paramount that clients use a reputable surveyor with proven quality assurance systems like Bennett + Bennett. We have maintained an incredibly low requisition rate with the Department of Resources for the past decade (1% versus 8% state average) and will strive to continue to deliver peace of mind to our clients with a quality and professional product.

How the new system will work

Surveyors will continue to submit copies of Ident plans and survey plans to the Department of Resources as a record of survey and for CISP entry, allowing the plan to be publicly searchable and to satisfy the forty business day requirement of lodging a plan after placing a survey mark.

When the survey plan is lodged for registration, it will only be examined by TQ. TQ will only examine a prescribed number of items that satisfy TQ business requirements for the valid registration of a survey plan. Any corrections to plans after lodgement but prior to registration will be undertaken by TQ’s current requisition process. Historically a survey plan was always examined and passed for survey content as a prerequisite for registration and the titling process to commence. This will no longer be the case.

Once the survey plan is registered, only a sample of plans (including Ident plans) will be audited by the Department of Resources. This audit will involve a comprehensive check of the plan and a field inspection to an appropriate level. An automated tool has been developed to objectively and equitably select surveys for audit. Any errors requiring amendment to plans will be actioned by a post registration correction.

Accreditation to be abolished

As a result of the new auditing process, accreditation of surveyors will be abolished in July. The accreditation system has been in effect since 1995 and was recognition of a surveyor completing surveys to a high standard and producing a registrable plan and quality field product at least 95% of the time.

Historically, accredited surveyors submitted their survey plans for pre-examination which in the event of a requisition, gave the surveyor opportunity to resolve the requisition prior to lodgement for registration, preventing delays for their clients. In recent years however, the benefits of accreditation diminished, with accredited survey plans generally not pre-examined and typically only examined at time of lodgement of registration, similar to unaccredited surveyors. The full impact of the new auditing system and abolishment of accreditation may not be realised for several years.

To find out more or if you have any questions, please contact Robert McCabe on (07) 5631 8000 or via email [email protected].

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