Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors

The VBA has released its first Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors, which will improve safety and oversight in the building industry and help keep Victorians safe.

All registered building surveyors in Victoria will be required to comply with the code from 1 January 2021.

View the Code of Conduct

The code has been developed in response to industry demands and was a key recommendation from the Building Confidence report by Professor Peter Shergold AC and Ms Bronwyn Weir.

The code clearly sets out examples of inappropriate conduct and establishes eight key areas of professional conduct that building surveyors in Victoria must follow. It makes it clear that building surveyors must act within the public interest, comply with the law, act with integrity and avoid conflicts of interest, including involving themselves in the design process with builders.

Education and training

We are delivering an education and training program to support the implementation of the new Code.

We encourage building surveyors to participate in these events to better understand their obligations and ensure compliance with the code.

Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors panel discussion webinar

Join our panel of experts as they discuss the Code of Conduct of Building Surveyors and what that will mean for the construction industry.

New enforcement templates for building surveyors

The VBA is making it easier for building surveyors to do their job and keep Victorians safe by updating the enforcement templates.

Find the new templates here.

Discussing complaints and conflict handling for building surveyors

Expert Chris Wheeler joins us to discuss complaints and conflict handling and what it means to act in the public interest, and how it relates to the Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors.

Enforcement of the code

The code will provide a reference against which we will be able to audit building surveying work, and carry out education and disciplinary action where deemed necessary.

Consultation and feedback

In March 2020, we invited building surveyors, the building industry and consumers to provide feedback on a draft of the code. All feedback was carefully considered, with changes made to improve the clarity of the principles, rules and examples in the code.

The new code of conduct is intended to be consistent with the proposed Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors, and further review will occur once the ABCB code is finalised. Consultation has occurred with ABCB to align the Victorian code with the Shergold–Weir Building Confidence recommendations and ABCB’s proposed code.

FAQ – Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors

The Code applies to all registered building surveyors in Victoria, including (but not limited to) relevant building surveyors, municipal building surveyors, private building surveyors and bodies corporate registered as building surveyors.

All registered building surveyors in Victoria have been required to comply with the code since 1 January 2021.

The code has been developed in response to industry demands and was a key recommendation from the Building Confidence report by Professor Peter Shergold AC and Ms. Bronwyn Weir.

Building surveyors have a critical role in identifying issues or non-compliance and ensuring public safety in relation to buildings and building work.

The code of conduct lifts the standard and creates a level playing field for the building surveying profession by providing more certainty for all industry players on acceptable behaviours and practices.

The code makes it clear that building surveyors must act within the public interest, comply with the law, act with integrity and avoid conflicts of interest such as involving themselves in the design process. It clearly sets out examples of inappropriate conduct and establishes eight key areas of professional conduct that building surveyors in Victoria must follow.

The code clearly sets out examples of inappropriate conduct and establishes eight key areas of professional conduct that building surveyors in Victoria must follow. It makes it clear that building surveyors must act within the public interest, comply with the law, act with integrity and avoid conflicts of interest, including involving themselves in the design process with builders.

The Code contains eight (8) core principles that building surveyors must adhere to when providing building surveying services:

  1. Act in accordance with the law and in the public interest
  2. Act with integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality
  3. Perform competently and within the required level of expertise and experience
  4. Act independently
  5. Avoid conflicts of interest
  6. Document and maintain records
  7. Communicate promptly and effectively
  8. Provide a complaint handling process and address issues of non-compliance.

Each core principle has rules of conduct that elaborate on each principle to help building surveyors understand their obligations and apply the Code.

Where applicable, guidance is provided by way of practical examples or notes. These examples and notes are not exhaustive and are not intended to provide guidance on every circumstance or situation.

Yes – the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) released its National Model Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors, which sets out minimum expectations for building surveyors performing statutory functions. The ABCB Model Code does not have effect unless adopted by individual States and Territories.

The VBA has worked closely with the ABCB to ensure the Victorian Code of Conduct aligns with the national model in all areas.

In early 2020 the VBA invited building surveyors, the building industry and consumers to provide feedback on a draft of the code. All feedback was carefully considered, and changes were made to improve the clarity of the principles, rules and examples in the code.

The VBA us urging building surveyors to become familiar with the Code, so they can ensure their practices comply with the Code.

Industry and consumers may make a complaint to the VBA about practitioner conduct matters, or the VBA may become aware of conduct issues through monitoring and enforcement activities such as building audits or proactive inspections.

A breach of the Code may give rise to disciplinary action.