The Association of Ontario Land Surveyors (AOLS) was established in 1892. It is a self-governing association, responsible for the licensing and governance of professional land surveyors, in accordance with the Surveyors Act. As with all self-governing professions, the AOLS has a responsibility to ensure that the public interest is paramount. Section 2(2) of the Surveyors Act states:
"The principal object of the Association is to regulate the practice of professional land surveying and to govern its members and holders of certificates of authorization in accordance with this Act, the regulations and the by-laws in order that the public interest may be served and protected."
Refer to Public Protection for additional information.
The AOLS is governed by a Council, composed of nine Ontario Land Surveyors elected by the membership, the Surveyor General of Ontario, and three to five appointees, or lay members, who are not surveyors (one of which is a barrister and solicitor). It does not include members of the AOLS staff. The lay members are representatives of the public, appointed by the government to help ensure that the public interest is protected. Council holds regular meetings throughout the year.
The day-to-day operations of the Association are handled by a permanent staff including an Executive Director, Registrar, Deputy Registrar, Survey Review Department Manager, and support staff.
The Regulations under the Surveyors Act include the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Practice, which must be adhered to by all members of the AOLS. In addition, there are Standards for Surveys and Guidelines for Surveys, which the AOLS has established in order to ensure that the public receives consistently reliable surveys.
To become a member of the AOLS, an applicant must fulfill the academic requirements, acquire the practical training required by the Association, and complete the oral and professional written examinations to be licensed as an Ontario Land Surveyor (OLS) or registered as an Ontario Land Information Professional (OLIP).