Role of a Land Surveyor

Association of BC Land SurveyorsHave you ever wondered how land boundaries are legally defined? Or how land disputes get resolved? Have you ever wondered where to go for spatial, boundary and land title information? Or who to approach for advice on land title registration procedures or about statutory requirements for land development?

British Columbia Land Surveyors (BCLS) liaise with municipalities, engineers, architects, planning and legal professionals on a regular basis, providing spatial, boundary, and title information as required for land use, development, and environmental protection. A BC land surveyor is an expert on all statutory requirements of land development, on the provincial land title system and land title registration procedures.

BCLS are charged with the responsibility of carrying out all legal surveys within BC, which include surveys of land (property boundaries), water and airspace, rights of way, condominiums, leases, and mining claims. According to the Land Surveyors Act, only a BC land surveyor may carry out certain tasks, including establish or re-establish property boundaries.

BCLS have a primary responsibility to maintain the integrity of the legal survey fabric (also called the cadastre) because they are the legally appointed caretakers of this system on which titles or rights to land are based. BCLS carry out these responsibilities with impartiality to their client, in all fairness and equity, for the protection of the public interest. BCLS are proud of their profession and their responsibility to the public. They see the benefit of working proactively across sectors and industries.

Land surveyors enter the profession through a rigorous process. After either graduating from an accredited geomatic engineering program (offered at the University of New Brunswick, the University of Calgary or the British Columbia Institute of Technology), or achieving a certificate of completion through the Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors, land surveyors in training enter into an articling period of 12-36 months. Once the articling period and its associated field projects are successfully completed, the candidate must sit professional examinations and a professional assessment interview before one can be commissioned as a BC land surveyor.

A complete list of practicing BCLS, along with further information about the profession and employment opportunities, can be found at the Association of BC Land Surveyors’ website, www.abcls.ca.

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