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Why do I need a Licensed Surveyor?

Why you should always use a Licensed Surveyor

Buying a property is the most expensive purchase that most people will ever make. Certainty of the location and extent of the land you buy is an important issue. 

Identifying and marking the position of the property boundaries is the primary service of a Licensed Surveyor. When building on or near a land boundary, you should engage a Licensed Surveyor to verify your title dimensions and boundary location. 

In South Australia, all property boundary surveys must be conducted or supervised by a practising Licensed Surveyor by law. Surveys conducted by unlicensed practitioners do not have any legal standing and may compromise the future development of your property.


Similarly, when you consider buying or selling your house or land, it is important to be aware of any encroachments involving your neighbouring properties. Major discrepancies between boundaries and fencing are not uncommon and can sometimes be very difficult to rectify. A boundary dispute can result in expensive litigation, particularly if major improvements you are undertaking need to be removed or relocated. Using a Licensed Surveyor wilt provide an important safeguard against this. 


If you engage a surveying firm, check that the company uses a surveyor who is licensed in South Australia and legally entitled to define the boundaries of your property. 


The Surveyors Board of South Australia has the power to investigate and prosecute unauthorised people who undertake property boundary surveys.

To view the Code of Ethics CLICK HERE


What does a Surveyor do?

In South Australia, Licensed and Registered Surveyors are professionally qualified practitioners who have satisfied the training and examination requirements of the Surveyors Board of South Australia and are permitted to practice in Australia and New Zealand. 


Licensed Surveyors have specific expertise in the identification and measurement of property boundaries. They undertake surveys and planning applications for land subdivision and community titles. They are qualified to conduct surveys and authorise your legal documentation.


Registered Surveyors have recognised expertise in areas other than land boundary definition. They specialise in engineering surveying, mining surveying and hydrographic surveying. 

To view the Survey Regulations CLICK HERE

To view the Settled Rules CLICK HERE

Services Provided by Surveyors

Surveyors work with a wide range of other professionals such as Architects, Engineers, Planners, Land Developers, Conveyancers and Solicitors providing vital information for many South Australian projects like the Flinders Link, RAH Hospital and 0-Bahn City Access.

Their services can include:

+    Property boundary surveys 

+    Land subdivision and management

+    Community title and strata development 

+    Planning and environmental management 

+    Engineering and construction surveys 

+    Petroleum and mineral exploration

+    Mining surveys 

+    Topographical mapping 

+    Control surveys 

+    Hydrographic surveys 

+    Photogrammetric surveys

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Cadastral Surveying

Cadastral Surveyors

Cadastral surveying specialises in the establishment and re-establishment of real property boundaries. It is an important component of the legal creation of properties.

Cadastral data, also known as a Cadastre, contains official, legal documentation concerning the quantity, dimensions, location, value, tenure, and ownership of individual parcels of land.

The Cadastral Surveying profession is concerned with land management, and more specifically with issues of land ownership, measurement and delineation of property boundaries.

Cadastral surveys are performed for the re-establishment of existing property boundaries and the creation of new property boundaries in the land division process. In South Australia, only licensed surveyors can undertake a boundary survey or place a survey mark that defines a property boundary.​

Licensed Surveyors must complete legislated qualifications as set out in the Survey Act 1992 The licensing  process includes:

  • attainment of the required academic qualifications.

  • the satisfactory completion of the Registered Surveying Graduate program.

  • the successful undertaking of a Professional Assessment Project by the candidate.

To view the Survey Act 1992 CLICK HERE

The Registrar

The Registrar

The Board is required to maintain a register containing lists of Licensed and Registered Surveyors. To check if a surveyor is licensed or registered in South Australia, you can contact the Registrar Joy Oddy by email or by phone (08) 8212 0343.

Find a Surveyor

Find a Licensed Surveyor

Licensed and Registered Surveyors are noted and published in the South Australian Government Gazette.  This publication is updated annually in July following the required License Renewal process and again in January to amend and add newly Licensed Surveyors. 

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