Choosing a Surveyor – What You Need to Know

Choosing a Surveyor – What You Need to Know

Choosing a Surveyor – What You Need to Know

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when deciding to develop land is choosing the right surveyor. Careless surveying can lead to the collapse of an entire project, with even the smallest of mistakes costing thousands of dollars.

If the boundaries are calculated incorrectly, for example, your block dimensions won’t be in the right position. This could lead to costly reconstruction efforts or legal disputes with owners of adjoining land. The best way to avoid these issues is to engage a surveyor with the following attributes.


If you’re hiring a surveyor in Queensland, you’ll need to find one registered with the Surveyors Board of Queensland. A registered surveyor will have completed a three or four-year university degree. They will also have demonstrated their competence against the surveyor competency framework the Board develops and implements as a requirement of the Surveyors Act 2003.

You can ensure your surveyor is registered by searching for them in the Board’s online database. Additional registrations, such as a CPP (Certified Practicing Planners), are another good indicator of a well-qualified surveyor.

Also memberships of organisations like the UDIA (Urban Development Institute of Australia) & SSSI (Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute) also indicate professionalism.


Credentials are very important but extensive experience is even better. Find a surveyor who has the widest range of experience, particularly in the type of work you need doing. Check if they’ve successfully completed similar projects and how long they’ve been working.

An experienced surveyor should have good reviews or recommendations, work for a well-established company and have partnerships with reputable organisations. If the surveyor can offer information of notable projects they’ve completed in the past, it’s a good sign.


While everyone is keen to keep costs at a minimum, surveying is one aspect of the project where opting for cheaper work is very risky. Generally, surveyors will refund their fee for any mistakes that are made. Unfortunately, any mistakes will cost you much more than the amount of the surveyor’s fee to fix.

Ask for an estimate of costs. The way the surveyor determines the pricing for the project is a good indicator of their professionalism and quality of work.

Some of the factors that determine pricing include:

  • Site location – Is it accessible? Does the land slope? Is the property full of trees or shrubbery?
  • Land shape and size – If the land is rectangular, it will generally be cheaper to survey. Land gets harder to survey the more complicated the physical features are.
  • Records – You will often need a survey records search on the land. This can be complicated if there are any issues with how previous land transactions were held, e.g. vague, incomplete and inconsistent land descriptions and legal descriptions. Searches of survey records can add significant cost to a survey.

Keep in mind that good surveyors always think of and prepare for the worst scenarios when calculating estimates.


When considering a surveyor, find out what their principles are when it comes to working and determine whether they align with yours. A reputation for ethical practice is important when choosing any type of professional to work with.

Ethics will play a big role in the quality and value or the work they’re doing as well as the working relationship you have with them. Like experience, ethical practice can be seen through satisfied customers from previous projects and a strong reputation in the industry.

Experienced Surveyors in Queensland & New South Wales

The surveyor you hire will establish the foundations for the rest of your development project, guiding your architect, engineer and land developer. Quality surveying work is crucial to the success of the project as well as the laws of land ownership and the effect on matters of conservation and sustainability.

If you’re looking for a qualified surveyor with extensive experience in Queensland, get in touch with Arnold Development Consultants. With more than 50 years of experience in surveying, our consultants can help in a variety of development projects. Contact us today.