Competency Assessment – What is it?


The Surveyors Act 2003 (the Act) made significant changes to the assessment procedure for people who wish to be registered with the Surveyors Board. The Act required the Board to use a competency based assessment process with the Act defining competency as a combination of qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience”(s39). The Act required the Board to establish competency frameworks.

Competency Frameworks

Each framework document is divided into a number of Units which represent major segments or functions of surveying (e.g. Collection of Data and Management). Each unit is subdivided into Elements which are observable functions or activities. Each element has an indicative list of actions called Descriptors that are required to be addressed if the element is to be successfully completed.

Demonstrating Competency & Assessment Process – Cadastral Endorsement

This will involve two interviews conducted on consecutive days on a weekend.  There will be three (3) appointed Board assessors conducting the interviews.  The assessors will be registered cadastral surveyors of at least five (5) years standing. At least one of the assessors will be a Board Member.

More information on the process can be found at Cadastral Endorsement Competency Assessment – Explanatory Notes

Demonstrating Competency & Assessment Process – Surveyor, Mining & Engineering Frameworks

Competency can be demonstrated via either, Career Episode Reports (CER) or Oral Presentation. The method chosen is at the discretion of the applicant. CERs can be lodged in one complete submission or progressively as knowledge and experience is gained.

The role of the assessment process is to examine the applicant against the competency framework appropriate to the level of registration being sought.

In the first stage, via CER or oral presentation, an applicant details what qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience they have which they believe is sufficient to meet the standard set by the framework. The applicant needs to supply a properly authenticated portfolio of evidence that addresses each of the units from the appropriate framework. This evidence is supported by materials such as plans and is authenticated by a third party. It is important to note that authentication confirms that the applicant actually did the work or produced the material that the applicant is relying on. Authentication does not state whether the work was of a sufficient standard or not. That is the task of the assessor.

Each element of the framework will be scored on the following scale from 0-4 based on the evidence that is provided.

0 – No relation at all to the element or not authenticated
1 – Evidence is insufficient or lacks depth to illustrate adequately competence
2 – Either the evidence is appropriate but further explanation may be required or the explanation is appropriate but further documentary evidence may be required
3 – Satisfactory level of competence has been illustrated
4 – Competence clearly identified and documented to a high standard

In order to demonstrate competency a score of 3 or 4 needs to be achieved for each descriptor of the applicable framework.

Once competency has been demonstrated via CERs, the applicant will be requested to attend an interview with two Board members.  The interview is part of the assessment process, will last 30-60 minutes, and will provide an opportunity to discuss elements of the portfolio of evidence submitted by the applicant.   If the method of assessment is via oral presentation, there is no interview with Board members as this aspect will have been addressed during the oral presentation.