Professional Accountability and Avoiding Misunderstandings

Our members are professional and accountable. They have the education, experience, and expertise to meet your needs. But things don’t always go as planned. Below are some ways to avoid misunderstandings and deal with it should one arise.

Simple ways to avoid misunderstanding

Communication, before, during, and after a project, is the best way to avoid misunderstanding. As a landowner or client, make sure that you have been as clear and detailed as possible about what you need. A professional surveyor can provide a wide range of services to suit your particular situation. He or she will ask questions to determine the product that will provide the best solution and you need to provide answers to the best of your ability.

Fees should be discussed up front including whether the fee is a fixed quote, a threshold, or an estimate and if there will be disbursements for the project (e.g. costs that will be incurred during the work from outside agencies such as registry office, municipality, or lawyer, that are not part of the surveyors quote and you will be responsible to pay).

Timing requires good communication on both sides. Be sure to tell the surveyor you are contracting with if there are any specific timing issues such as closing dates for a purchase or sale, or work by other professionals or contractors on the site that will impact the surveyor’s work.

it is always better to have a contract in writing to provide clarity. A contract can be a simple form or letter or a multipage document depending on the complexity of the project, but everyone will benefit in the end if the expectations are in black and white at the beginning.

If you have questions during the work, whether it is about what is being done, timing, or fees, ask them as soon as possible and insist on answers until you have a clear understanding.

Communication during the course of your project

We find that most issues can be resolved through direct communication between the people involved. Often discussing exactly what was expected, what was done, and the detailed circumstances surrounding the particular project can reveal where the challenges lie and highlight the solution.

We encourage you to contact the professional surveyor directly with any questions or concerns you have about your project.

Consult the Licensing Body

Professional surveyors who determine boundaries are licensed by one or more of the eleven licensing bodies for surveying in Canada. The primary mandate of each of these associations is protecting the public interest related to the professional conduct and quality of work of their members. All have formal legislated processes to follow if their member’s work or conduct is unprofessional.

Surveyors are accountable not only to their client but also to the general public. If you have questions or concerns about licensed professional surveyors you may wish to contact the licensing body in the jurisdiction where the issue arose. Speaking to the executive director, registrar, or secretary of that association, may be able to address your concerns and resolve the issue by providing information specific to your situation.

That representative can also provide you with detailed information about the formal process for resolving an issue with a licensed surveyor through the licensing body. This may include submitting a formal written statement, mediation, investigation, a hearing before a committee, a decision, and an appeal process. The process will vary depending on the regulations and policies in place with the particular licensing body but all are designed to protect the public interest.