Licensing Process Part 3: Projects

I’ve already discussed what’s involved with being a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor in New Zealand, and the necessary experience to get there, today I turn to look at the projects required to be submitted to be in contention to become licensed.

Basically, the projects submitted need to prove that the surveyor is competent in the following disciplines: Spatial Measurement, Cadastral Surveying, Land Development Engineering, Planning and Resource Management and Geodetic Surveying. The sort of projects that ‘show competence’ are described below:

Spatial Measurement

Five projects need to be submitted for this. The first is a GNSS project, which basically needs to show how GPS has been used to establish new marks to a reasonably high level of accuracy (in 3 dimensions), and show a pretty decent level of understanding about the errors and other factors involved with this method of surveying.

The second is a topographic survey, which is a fancy way of saying that a plan needs to be done of a reasonably large area showing all the buildings, road features, services and the contours of the land. Again, the report needs to show a good understanding of what accuracies have been achieved, where errors have snuck in and what the scale of these are.

Another three projects need to be submitted on miscellaneous surveys, which need to be “unusual or complex.” Examples of such surveys include the precise set-out of buildings, surveys to monitor the movement of structures, inside surveys for the measurement of rentable areas and such like.

Cadastral Surveying

To prove competence in this area just one project needs to be submitted. This needs to be based around one survey plan completed that is pretty complex, and include a detailed report and all supporting documents to help the examiners run over it with a fine-toothed comb. Complex situations for cadastral surveys are things like: Water boundaries (that move over time) being involved along a main boundary; where the underlying survey plans are very old (say, dating from the 1800’s) and so the old boundaries don’t fit together very well, or the underlying parcel may be what’s called ‘limited as to parcels’ (One day I might write to explain what this means, but basically it makes things difficult).

Land Development Engineering

For this, a project needs to be completed that involves the design of a street at least 200m long, and which is connected to an existing street at at least one end. All the road and drainage work needs to be designed, as well as a full set of contract documents. I haven’t made a start with thinking about this, but I’ve heard its probably the most time-consuming project of the lot.

Planning, Design and Resource Management

One project needs to be submitted for this, and is a report that can cover one of a number of situations. These situations include things like urban extensions, rural developments, an urban design critique, rezoning proposals, a reserve management plan and so on.

Geodetic Surveying

This field of surveying relates to the precise positioning of marks on a large scale, factoring in things like the shape of the earth and movement of tectonic plates and whatnot. The project, similar to the GNSS project, needs to establish a bunch of marks and prove that they meet certain accuracy standards. The difference is that it isn’t only GPS being used to do so. Thankfully for this project the board accepts a significant project we completed at survey school, so doesn’t require much additional work.

As you can see, there’s plenty of work involved with putting all these projects together. Finally, in a day or two I’ll run over the exams needed to be completed in order to get licensed.

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