The Association of Ontario Land Surveyors conducts peer competency reviews of its practicing members through a Survey Review Department.
The Department's role is oriented towards the education of the membership. This is accomplished by reviewing members' work to maintain good survey and business practices in order that the public may be better served. Although the principal object of this process is educational, serious violations of the regulations may be referred to the Registrar for further investigation.
The Survey Review Department was orginially established by Council to further the objects of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors as presently outlined in Surveyors Act, R.S.O., 1990, Chapter S.29. The Department commenced operation in January of 1986 and undertakes Peer Competence Reviews of firms and members practicing cadastral land surveying in the Province of Ontario. Section 40 of Regulation 1026 under the Surveyors Act, R.S.O., 1990, Chapter S.29 requires the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors to have a Survey Review Department. This section outlines the basic structure and responsibilities of the Department, under the heading Inspection Program.
Systematic Review Procedure
At least once each year, the member or members appointed by Council shall inspect at least one plan prepared by each firm. [Surveyors Act, Regulation 1026, Section 40(4)]
Comprehensive Review Procedure
At least once every five (5) years, the member or members appointed by Council shall conduct a comprehensive inspection of the practice of each firm. [Surveyors Act, Regulation 1026, Section 40(5)]
The Survey Review Department (SRD) systematically audits the work performed by all Certificate of Authorization holders, as well government agencies that perform legal surveys, in the province. SRD staff or consultants examine plans, or entire project files, for randomly selected surveys with respect to:
This includes Land Registry Office searches and investigation of other surveyors, agencies and authorities for information regarding previous surveys of the subject or neighbouring properties.
Field Work and the Evaluation of Evidence
The field notes prepared during the course of the survey may be reviewed to confirm compliance with the Regulations under the Surveyors Act or other Standards or Guidelines. In the case of a comprehensive review, SRD staff perform a field examination to ensure that each plan accurately reflects the conditions on the ground.
Plans and Reports
Plans and reports are reviewed with respect to compliance with Regulations and Standards.
The effect of this ongoing peer review is a continued dialogue within the surveying community to maintain consistency, reliability and quality of surveys across the province.
Plan Submission Form (Sticker)
To protect the public from the risk of misrepresentation or of reliance on outdated plans, surveyors append a plan submission form to each plan of survey.
The significant notation on the form is the words: "This plan is not valid unless it is an embossed original copy issued by the surveyor." Plans received directly from the Land Registry Office are valid but If a person needs a certified copy of a plan from the land registration system they can make a request to the Land Registrar through OnLand. There is a fee for this service.
This wording is to alert all persons that only those plans that are impressed with the seal of the issuing surveyor should be considered as original copies. Other than plans received directly from the Land Registry Office, the public should only accept a plan with an embossed plan submission form as an original.
Copies of plans that do not bear an impressed seal may not be valid copies of the original plan, and may have had pertinent information deleted or incorrect information added without the knowledge of the issuing surveyor.