Develop subdivision survey designs for local government approval


This unit of competency specifies the outcomes required to develop a subdivision survey design for local government approval using cadastral surveying methods and equipment. The unit covers analysing and researching client service requests and existing information to assess and prioritise work tasks, and conducting a survey of the land to be subdivided. The unit also covers conducting measurements and calculations; and developing plans detailing required information, including boundary dimensions and corners, subdivision lots, features, surrounds, connections and offsets. The unit requires the ability to set up, calibrate and use surveying equipment to measure, record and reduce surveying data. The unit also requires the ability to prepare, lodge and monitor a detailed design submission for local government approval which details engineering aspects, physical constraints and any environmental impacts. The unit requires knowledge of land and planning law and local government building approval processes. It requires consultation with clients and professionals to obtain advice for input into the design submission.

The unit supports those who work in a lead role in a surveying or spatial information services team, in areas such as town planning, surveying and mapping.

Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit in some States where cadastral surveying must be undertaken under the supervision of a registered surveyor. Relevant state and territory regulatory authorities should be consulted to confirm those requirements.

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the range of conditions.


Identify type of service requests.


Client requirements and timelines are established in consultation with appropriate persons.


Client service requirements are assessed to establish if they are within the jurisdiction and ability of relevant authority and any necessity for statutory compliance.


Work is prioritised and recorded, and research is conducted to gather additional information as required according to organisational requirements.


Conduct subdivision survey.


Surveying equipment is set up, calibrated and used according to manufacturer specifications and organisational requirements.


Identified components of land to be subdivided are measured and subdivision lots marked according to client service and organisational requirements.


Measured surveying data is reduced according to organisational requirements.


Measurements are validated and recorded according to organisational requirements.


Problems are identified and resolved, and contingencies managed according to organisational requirements.


Develop detailed design submission for local government approval.


Surveying data is used to develop plan according to client service and organisational requirements.


Appropriate persons are consulted to obtain professional advice for input into subdivision submission.


Availability of existing services and costs of supply, including local government and utility authority contributions, are determined.


Engineering aspects in subdivision design are considered and documented according to local government requirements.


Subdivision submission is prepared to incorporate physical constraints and environmental impact of the development according to client service requirements.


Monitor approval process.


Local government approval assessment criteria are further examined and advertising and exhibition requirements observed according to organisational requirements.


Outcomes of subdivision submission are reviewed to identify required follow-up actions.


Advise client of outcomes.


Client is advised of submission outcomes in writing and verbally according to organisational requirements.


Rights of appeal are explained to client where appropriate, and advice is recorded according to organisational requirements.


Documentation is completed and records stored according to organisational requirements.

Evidence of Performance

A person demonstrating competency in this unit must satisfy the requirements of the elements, performance criteria, foundation skills and range of conditions of this unit. The person must also develop a subdivision survey design for local government approval in response to two different client requests.

While developing the above subdivision survey designs, the person must:

analyse existing plans, drawings, surveying data and photographs to plan service provision

conduct research to obtain information relating to planned subdivisions, including:

boundary dimensions


land title information

local government provisions and restrictions relating to subdivision, zoning, heritage and flooding


subdivision plan

title search

topographic features

accurately measure and calculate boundary dimensions and mark subdivision lots

use industry-accepted methods to check and validate measurements and calculations

analyse and comply with land and planning law and local government guidelines for building approvals

communicate clearly with appropriate persons in writing and verbally, to obtain information, clarify service and survey detail, and explain and report submission processes and outcomes

comply with organisational requirements relating to:

completing records and documentation, including field notes

prioritising service requests

recording, storing and filing surveying data

using surveying equipment

working safely and using personal protective equipment (PPE)

comply with relevant legal and statutory requirements and standards to ensure accuracy of survey, field procedures, and submission information

determine availability of existing services and costs of supply

determine survey controls, land dimensions and corners, and locate features, boundaries, surrounds, connections and offsets

identify physical constraints and environmental impacts of planned developments, including those relating to three of the following:



public reserves

sediment control

sewerage control

monitor local government approval process, including observing advertising and exhibition requirements

perform surveying tasks using one of the following surveying equipment:

global navigation satellite system (GNSS)

total station

prepare clear and concise subdivision survey design submission, with plans that comply with local government approval assessment criteria

use surveying data and other relevant information to produce plans, including contours.

Evidence of Knowledge

A person demonstrating competency in this unit must demonstrate knowledge of:

accuracy and precision requirements for cadastral surveying data and subdivision survey design

aspects of land and planning law impacting on surveying tasks, including:

common law and old system title

community title

crown land, alienation and native title

environmental protection

residential subdivision provisions

set-back requirements

strata title

Torrens title system

data capture and set-out methodologies used in surveying

data reduction techniques

industry-accepted methods for validating data to identify errors and discrepancies

industry-accepted standards relating to subdivision survey design

land tenure systems appropriate to relevant jurisdiction

legislative, statutory and industry requirements and standards relating to:

cadastral surveying

local government building requirements

methods for determining availability of existing services and costs of supply

methods for setting up and calibrating surveying equipment

organisational policies and procedures relating to:

completing records and documentation

health and safety when using the surveying equipment specified in the performance evidence

prioritising service requests

recording, storing and filing data

possible community issues and repercussions relating to building permits

reference and coordinate systems for surveying data, including Australian Height Datum and Map Grid of Australia

local government approval and submission processes relating to subdivision survey design

road alignment design and associated computations.

Assessment Conditions

The following must be present and available to learners during assessment activities:


as specified in the performance evidence, including PPE


subdivision survey specifications, including relevant surveying, construction or engineering plans and drawings

equipment operating manual and manufacturer specifications

organisational policies, procedures and documentation relating to submission process

relevant legislative, statutory and industry requirements and standards relating to cadastral surveying and local government building requirements for the jurisdiction

relationships with team members and supervisor:

supervision by a registered surveyor or licensed land surveyor is required in some jurisdictions

relationships with clients:

client consultation required.


as specified by project requirements.

Assessor requirements

As a minimum, assessors must satisfy the assessor requirements in the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) current at the time of assessment.

Foundation Skills

This section describes the language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills essential to performance in this unit but not explicit in the performance criteria.


Performance feature

Initiative and enterprise skills to:

conduct research to collect property information, including title searches.

Planning and organising skills to:

plan and prioritise work to meet submission timeframes.

Numeracy skills to:

conduct precise measurements and computations relating to length, angle, elevation, area and volume.

Oral communication skills to:

ask questions to clarify client requirements.

Reading skills to:

analyse graphical and technical information in photographs and drawings

interpret legal information in land and planning laws.

Writing skills to:

use templates to record field notes

write field notes that can be interpreted by a third party.

Technology skills to:

connect surveying equipment to coordinate systems.

Problem-solving skills to:

select appropriate validation methods to verify accuracy of data.

Range Statement

This section specifies work environments and conditions that may affect performance. Essential operating conditions that may be present (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) are included. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below.

Appropriate persons must include at least two of the following:





local government representative


registered or qualified surveyor

statutory authority representative

town planner.


Surveying and spatial information services