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Surveyors Acknowledged As Professionals

Surveyors Acknowledged As Professionals

Its a little known fact that amongst the early explorers and pioneers reaching New Zealand shores in the 1800s was a hardy group of surveyors. Historically, surveyors were revered for their ability to map passable routes across mountains, plan cities and settlements and establish fair systems for land ownership from the Queens Chain right down to the good old Kiwi quarter-acre section.

Yet despite their enormous influence on where and how we live, surveying as a profession remains unknown to most. But the institute that looks after the interests of surveying as a profession is embarking upon change, one designed to eventually bring greater understanding of the role surveyors have in the lives of ordinary New Zealanders.

After almost 80 years of being known as Registered Surveyors, recent legislative change has enabled the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (NZIS), on behalf of its qualified members, to add the word professional to their title.

It would be easy to miss the significance of this change, given it is simply the addition of a word said Professor John Hannah, NZIS President. But we believe that adding the word Professional to a surveyor's title heralds a significant change in the requirements we have of our members. By its very nature, the word professional demonstrates a depth of knowledge and experience, a commitment to continuing professional development and provides assurance to those using the services of a member surveyor that they will receive the highest level of professional accountability.

To use the new title Registered Professional Surveyor (RPSurv), a person must be a member of the NZIS and must have a four-year Bachelor of Surveying degree from the University of Otago (or an equivalent degree), unless already registered under the earlier Survey Act 1986. In addition, members must have a minimum five years professional experience working as a surveyor, show competence in measurement science and three other recognised areas of surveying, with advanced competence in two areas of surveying. These areas may include sub-specialities such as Cadastral Surveying, Engineering Surveying, Hydrographic Surveying, Urban Design, Subdivision Engineering, Resource Management and Planning, Remote Sensing, and Geographic (spatial) Information Systems.

Professor Hannah says use of the RPSurv title indicates that the surveyor has committed to a formal programme of ongoing training and professional development, through the NZIS Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme. Clients are afforded peace of mind in the knowledge that members are subject to a strict code of ethics and should anything go awry, there is a rigorous disciplinary process in place.

Since those earliest members of the surveying profession explored and mapped our countryside, kiwi surveyors have played an essential role in the management of land in this country. They have an enviable international reputation for their expertise, commented Professor Hannah. Because the industry was recently deregulated, the government no longer oversees the qualification of surveyors, so we decided, as a profession, to establish our own Mark of Experience. It simply means that property owners and developers can identify a surveyor who is both qualified and experienced, and backed by the national professional body. When you deal with a Registered Professional Surveyor you can be assured of high quality service.


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