What is Draftsperson work?

This guide explains the typical tasks for draftsperson work. If you are asked to an assessment interview, some of your interview questions will be based on this information.

A registered draftsperson is responsible for preparing plans for building work or preparing documentation relating to building permits or permit applications. A draftsperson does not need to be registered if they engage only in preparing plans/documentation for permits for domestic building work valued at $10,000 or less; or if preparing civil, mechanical or electrical plans or other documentation for permits if that work is done for an engineer.

What are the three classes of draftsperson?

This category of building practitioner has three classes:

  • Building design (architectural)
  • Building design (interior)
  • Building design (services).

Building design (architectural)

People registered in Building design (architectural) are responsible for producing plans and documentation for building work, or for applications for building permits and other permits associated with the construction of all classes and types of construction.

In some cases, Building designers (architectural) are engaged to develop plans and documentation to enable builders to tender for construction.  Practitioners work closely with engineers to produce compliant designs and drawings that can help obtain building permits and guide service installation.

This class of registration does not include hydraulic calculations or modelling work.

Building design (interior)

People registered in Building design (interior) work are responsible for preparing plans and specifications for building interiors that affect the structure of the building. This work class does not include works related to the external elements of the building envelope.

These practitioners may be engaged by a building owner or a builder to prepare plans and supporting documentation (specifications and schedules) to help establish a building contract between the builder and the property owner, and to ensure the design intention is met.

In addition, they may be engaged by the building owner to liaise with the builder on behalf of the property owner to ensure construction decisions are consistent with design intentions.

Building design (services)

People registered in Building design (services) are responsible for producing working plans, drawings and specifications for the design of mechanical, electrical or hydraulic services for all classes of building and all types of construction. They design services for new buildings, as well as for retrofitting existing buildings or individual floors within buildings.

Practitioners work closely with engineers to produce compliant designs and drawings that can help obtain building permits and guide service installation.

This class of registration does not include hydraulic calculations or modelling work.

What do registered practitioners need to know and do?

Building design (architectural)

A registered practitioner in this work class must have capacity to undertake the following activities in a competent manner and to a professional standard:

  • advise building owners and/or builders on building materials and construction methods
  • apply knowledge of the requirements of the relevant building legislation, regulations and Australian standards to the design (including plans and specifications) of all classes of building and types of construction
  • brief and coordinate a range of secondary consultants (such as engineers and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) consultants) to provide specialist advice and recommendations on the design of all types of building and their components
  • enable builders to prepare tenders for building projects
  • ensure a project’s design, specifications and documentation consider energy rating reports.
  • ensure a project’s design, specifications, and documentation consider Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) ratings from AS 3959 Construction of buildings in bushfire‐prone areas
  • initiate applications for building permits and liaise with the relevant building surveyor to produce the documentation needed for the permit application
  • prepare plans and related documentation for the design and construction of all types of building, for use in relation to building permits. Documentation must include sufficient detail for obtaining building permits and for tender and contractual use
  • undertake project administration and monitoring for projects that the practitioner has documented, on behalf of clients.

Building design (interior)

A registered practitioner in this work class must have capacity to undertake the following activities in a competent manner and to a professional standard:

  • advise building owners and/or builders on building materials and construction methods
  • apply knowledge of the requirements of the relevant building legislation, regulations and Australian standards to the design (including plans and specifications) of all classes of building and types of construction
  • brief and coordinate a range of secondary consultants (such as engineers and HVAC consultants) to provide specialist advice and recommendations on the design of all types of building and their components
  • ensure a project’s design, specifications and documentation consider energy rating reports
  • initiate applications for building permits and liaise with the relevant building surveyor to produce the documentation needed for the permit application
  • prepare documentation on behalf of clients so builders can prepare tenders for building projects
  • prepare plans and related documentation associated with building interiors affecting the structure, for all types of building and for use in relation to building permits. Documentation must include sufficient detail for obtaining building permits and for tender and contractual use
  • undertake project administration and monitoring for projects that the practitioner has documented, on behalf of clients.

Building design (services)

A registered practitioner in this work class must have capacity to undertake the following activities in a competent manner and to a professional standard:

  • apply knowledge of the requirements of the relevant building legislation, regulations and Australian standards to the design of services for all classes of building and types of construction
  • brief and coordinate other technical project consultants to provide advice and recommendations on related services
  • ensure a project’s design, specifications and documentation consider energy rating reports
  • prepare plans and related documentation for the design of services for all classes of building and types of construction. Documentation must include sufficient detail for obtaining building permits and for tender and contractual use
  • provide information to clients on costs.

What knowledge do you need to demonstrate?

Building design (architectural)

If you have successfully completed Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) (22268VIC), you will satisfy the knowledge required for registration in the class of Building design (architectural).

Building design (interior)

If you have successfully completed one of the following qualifications, you will satisfy the knowledge required for registration in the class of Building Design (Interior):

  • Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) (22268VIC)
  • Advanced Diploma of Interior Design (MSF60113), including the following required units of competency:
    • Design for large scale commercial or institutional interiors (MSFID6003)
    • Identify materials, construction techniques and methods used in building interiors (MSFID4007)
    • Investigate legal design requirements (MSFFDT5014)
    • Monitor and manage small business operations (BSBSMB405)
    • Select and instruct contractors and consultants (MSFID6007)
    • Specify structural elements, systems and services for interior spaces (MSFID5004)
    • Use CAD applications to complete models and documentation for interior design projects (MSFID5014)
    • Work safely (MSMWHS200).

Building design (services)

If you have successfully completed one of the following qualifications, you will satisfy some of the knowledge required for registration in the class of Building Design (Services):

  • Diploma of Fire Systems Design (CPC50509)
  • Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology (Mechanical) (22228VIC), including the following required units of competency:
    • Apply hydraulic principles in engineering (VU21203)
    • Apply pneumatic principles in engineering (VU21204)
    • Design fluid power controlled engineering systems (VU21202)
    • Generate design solutions (VU21154)
    • Perform computations (MEM12024A)
    • Perform mechanical engineering design drafting (MEM09157A)
    • Produce an engineering design for sewerage reticulation scheme (VU21133)
    • Produce an engineering design for stormwater reticulation scheme (VU21132)
    • Produce an engineering drainage design of pipes and culverts (VU21131)
    • Produce engineering drawings for a stormwater reticulation scheme (VU21143).
  • Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology (Electrical) (UEE62111), including the following required units of competency:
    • Prepare engineering drawings using manual drafting and CAD for electrotechnology/utilities applications (UEENEEE190A)
    • Prepare electrotechnology/utilities drawings using manual drafting and CAD equipment and software (UEENEEE191A)
    • Provide advice on effective and energy efficient lighting products (UEENEEG181A).
  • Advanced Diploma of Engineering (MEM60112), including the following required units of competency:
    • Contribute to the design of commercial refrigeration system (MEM23146A)
    • Contribute to the design of industrial refrigeration systems (MEM23146A)
    • Contribute to the design of commercial and industrial exhaust systems (MEM23149A)
    • Contribute to the design of heat exchanger systems (MEM23153A)
    • Contribute to the design of heating systems (MEM23150A)
    • Contribute to the design of hydronic systems (MEM23147A)
    • Evaluate thermal loads in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (MEM23129A)
    • Perform mechanical engineering design drafting (MEM09157A)
    • Produce basic engineering detail drawings (MEM23129A).

What experience do you need to demonstrate?

Building design (architectural)

You must demonstrate that you have at least two years of practical experience undertaking activities associated with the class of Building Design (Architectural).
This experience must have been:

  • supervised by a person registered in the category of Draftsperson, class of Building design (architectural), or an architect registered by the Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV), or a person registered as a Domestic builder (unlimited) (if the builder was the direct employer), and
  • obtained in the seven years before your application for registration is made.

To demonstrate your experience, you must provide a portfolio of documentation. The portfolio must include detailed plans and specifications for three building designs that you produced and that demonstrate your capacity to design buildings in compliance with building legislation and Australian standards.

Of the three projects:

  • at least one must be a class 1 building as defined in the National Construction Code (NCC)
  • at least one must be in classes 2–9 and of Type A or B Construction, as defined in the NCC.

Building design (interior)

You must demonstrate that you have at least two years of practical experience undertaking all the activities associated in the class of Building design (interior).
This experience must have been:

  • supervised by a person registered in the category of Draftsperson, class of Building Design (Architectural), or an architect registered by the Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV) or a person registered as a Domestic Builder (Unlimited) (if the builder was the direct employer), and
  • obtained in the seven years before your application for registration is made.

To demonstrate your experience in preparing plans and specifications for building interiors that affect the structure of a building, you must provide a portfolio of documentation. The portfolio must include detailed plans and specifications for three interior building designs that you produced and that demonstrate your capacity to design structural interiors in compliance with building legislation and Australian standards.
Of the three projects:

  • at least one must be a class 1 building as defined in the Building Code of Australia (BCA)
  • at least one must be in classes 2–9.

Building design (services)

You must demonstrate that you have at least two years of practical experience undertaking all the activities associated in the class of Building design (services).
This experience must have been:

  • supervised by a person registered in the category of Draftsperson, class of Building design (architectural), or an architect registered by the Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV), or a person registered as a Domestic Builder (Unlimited) (if the builder was the direct employer), and
  • obtained in the seven years before your application for registration is made.

To demonstrate your experience, you must provide a portfolio of documentation. The portfolio must include detailed plans and specifications for three service designs that you produced and that demonstrate your capacity to design building services in compliance with building legislation and Australian standards.

Your designs must relate to at least one of the following areas:

  • mechanical services
  • electrical services
  • hydraulic services.

Of the designs:

  • at least two must relate to projects in classes 2–9, as defined in the National Construction Code (NCC)
  • at least one must relate to a project in classes 2–9 and of Type A or B Construction, as defined in the NCC.