The Board’s role is to administer the Surveyors Act 2003. The purpose of the Act is to protect the public and ensure public confidence in the profession of surveying.
The Board Role
The Board is appointed by the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, to administer the Surveyors Act 2003, for and on behalf of the Minister.
Section 9 of the Act sets out the Functions of the Board, that is, what the Board has to administer through the Act. In broad terms this involves four things:
- setting the standards of competency for registration;
- registering competent persons;
- conducting investigations of complaints; and
- conducting disciplinary proceedings, where necessary.
The ‘rules’ the Board must work within are set out in other sections of the Act and in the Surveyors Regulation 2004.
As part of this administration role, the Board is able to provide advice to the Minister on matters set out in the Act and other survey related matters. The Minister also seeks advice from the Department and, where appropriate, from other sources, such as the professional bodies.
Changes to legislation are progressed and implemented by the Department, not the Board. The Board can request that amendments be made to the Act and suggest changes to other survey related legislation.
While the primary focus of the Board is the public interest, it has regular interaction with the Department and with the professional and industry bodies, which have complementary roles.
Role of Government – Department of Resources
The Department administers the legislation governing the standards for surveying, the Survey and Mapping Infrastructure Act 2003.
The Government is responsible for legislation. Before amendments can be made to Acts and Regulations, a case must be placed before the Minister responsible for that legislation.
Role of Professional Bodies and Industry Groups
The professional bodies are able to interact with Government on a range of issues, including Government policy and legislation. This can be done individually, collectively, and where there is consensus by the profession, may also include the Board.
The need for open and regular communication within the profession, including the Surveyors Board of Queensland, is essential, if Government is to take notice of matters brought forward by surveyors. The Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute, the Spatial Industries Business Association and Queensland Spatial and Surveying Association should be the catalyst in placing key industry issues before Government.
Role of Individual Registered Persons
Professionals at the ‘coal face’ are usually the first to notice if a matter or process is working or not working. To progress and/or change something that may require review, the following steps should be considered:
- Raise the matter with your fellow professionals.
- Is it a local or State issue?
- Put the matter before your professional body/industry group, as well as the Board.
Take an interest in the profession and contribute.