The Association of British Columbia Land Surveyors is created under the Land Surveyors Act. It is delegated authority by the government to regulate the profession and practice of land surveying in British Columbia, on behalf and in the interest of, the public. The Association is committed to ensuring that land surveyors practise ethically and competently.
Before filing a complaint, you should consider discussing your concerns with the land surveyor. The Association can also answer your questions about land surveying. Misunderstandings can arise because of a lack of communication, and often you can resolve these misunderstandings by discussing your concerns.
Concerns and complaints often involve the following:
- Concern that a land surveyor or employee of a land surveyor is trespassing. Under section 59.1 of the Land Surveyors Act, land surveyors and their employees are entitled to pass over any land without hindrance while engaged in the practice of land surveying. However, a land surveyor is required to show identification and proof of registration with the Association of BC Land Surveyors upon request of an occupier of land. Employees must show identification and proof that they are acting for a practising land surveyor.
- Communication between a land surveyor and his or her client is extremely important because survey projects can be complex, and requirements can change during the course of an assignment. The public should be aware that land surveyors are required under the Code of Ethics to regard as confidential any information obtained as to the affairs of a client, to be disclosed to others only as directed or required for the completion of a client’s project.
- Boundary determination is both an art and science. Clients and the public may not understand why a boundary is not where they thought it was. Land surveyors should be aware of possible disagreements in boundary location and should be prepared to provide reasons and evidence supporting boundary determinations.
If your concern cannot be resolved, you can deliver a written complaint against a land surveyor to the Secretary. You may find it helpful to familiarize yourself with the complaints process, the kinds of complaints the Association of BC land Surveyors is authorized to investigate, and the limits of what the Association of BC Land Surveyors can do. A brochure which explains these matters is available at the following link:
How to File a Complaint
Complaints must be made in writing and be signed. The Association of BC Land Surveyors does not investigate verbal or unsigned complaints. The Secretary can assist you if necessary.
You can submit your complaint by printing our complaints form and submitting it by email (by scanning the completed form), by fax, or by postal mail.
Scan the completed form and email it with any supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send the completed form and supporting documents by postal mail or courier to
Association of BC Land Surveyors
#301 – 2400 Bevan Avenue, Sidney, BC V8L 1W1
Send the completed form and supporting documents by fax to 250.655.7223.
Unauthorized Practice of Land Surveying
The Association of BC Land Surveyors is responsible for licensing land surveyors and regulating the practice of land surveying. Those who are unauthorized to practise land surveying put the public at risk by performing unregulated and potentially uninsured land surveying services.
You could be at risk if you entrust matters to unlicensed and unregulated providers of land surveying services. Consider the following:
- Land surveyors have the education and training necessary to determine and give advice on boundaries of interests in land, airspace, natural resources, and structures
- Land surveyors are subject to ethical and practice standards and regulation by the Association of BC Land Surveyors
- Land surveyors are required to maintain professional liability insurance
To find out if a person is registered with the Association of BC Land Surveyors, use the Find a Land Surveyor directory to search our database of all individuals licensed to practise land surveying in BC, and to confirm their practising status.
If you still have doubts, please contact us to inquire about a land surveyor’s practising status.
Once the Association of BC Land Surveyors receives a complaint about potential unauthorized practice, we will review and investigate.
If evidence shows that someone is engaging in the unauthorized practice of land surveying, the Association of BC Land Surveyors will take the following steps:
- Contact the person involved, provide an explanation of the restrictions that apply to the practice of land surveying, and ask them to sign an undertaking to refrain from further unauthorized practice.
- If the person continues to provide unlicensed land surveying services or hold themselves out as a land surveyor, the Association may seek a court injunction to stop the unauthorized practice.
If you wish to file a complaint against someone you believe is providing unregulated land surveying services, contact the Association of BC Land Surveyors at email@example.com.