The Geospatial Council of Australia

Member dashboard

Access your account details and member services

Manage CPD points

View and manage your Continuing Professional Development points

Member events

View and attend our events

Member support

Please contact our Membership Officer with any queries

LOGIN

LOGOUT

ESP-AP Certification

Get certified

APPLICATIONS OPEN –  Prepare your submission NOW!
Download the ESP-AP Application Form | APPLICATIONS CLOSE: –  12 JULY 2024
Next Intake Dates: 12 July 2024 and 15 November 2024

Specialist Certification in Engineering Surveying officially recognises a person has the necessary knowledge and experience to competently perform engineering surveys and associated activities.

It benefits an employee by providing recognition and career opportunities and an employer by increasing their credibility to customers.

The Engineering Surveying Professional – Australasia Pacific (ESP-AP) Certification is open to all persons irrespective of membership status with GCA.

A registered or licensed land surveyor may require ESP-AP certification to conduct engineering surveying work in New Zealand or an Australian State and Territory, if stipulated in infrastructure specifications.

We have recently made significant enhancements to the ESP-AP certification assessment, ensuring the certification maintains its status as the benchmark in engineering surveying.

At TMR, we place great importance on professional certification, viewing it as essential to ensure that individuals possess the required skills and knowledge for engineering surveying tasks. It serves as a reliable benchmark and, for our more complex pre-construction and construction surveying activities, is mandated. This independent assessment of competency reduces risks and adds significant value to both TMR and the broader public. Encouraging more surveyors to obtain this certification will undoubtedly strengthen the overall capability of the surveying industry and help support the successful completion of numerous engineering projects across Australia.

Tony Kirchner
Director, Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR)

Key Changes to the ESP-AP Certification Assessment include:

Refreshed Candidate Guide and Application Form: We have streamlined and simplified the application process with an updated candidate guide with examples, and an updated application form, making it easier for candidates to navigate their certification journey.

Updated Competency Framework: Our competency framework has undergone a review and has been enhanced to reflect the breadth of competencies for Engineering Surveying.

Three Intakes Per Year: Three Intakes Per Year: ESP-AP Certification applications will be taken three times per year in March, July and November. Dates will be published at the beginning of the calendar year. Candidates can request an urgent submission in the event the Certification is required as part of a tender or bid process.  Please email enquiries to certification@geospatialcouncil.org.au.

Annual CPD Focus: Maintaining Annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) submission continues to be a key focus. Membership with GCA is encouraged however, regardless of membership status 15 CPD points must be accrued annually to retain certification, with at least five of those points related to Engineering Surveying.

 

Online payments are now available:

  1. Initial Certification
  2. Certification Retention (annual) – fee relates to non-members 
  3. Re-Certification – member & non-member fees related to lapsed Certifications
ESP-AP Certification

The certification entitles a person to be recognised as an ESP-AP and current certified professionals are listed in the ESP-AP Register.

Under the Engineering Surveying Certification, the process requires a professional to initially demonstrate that an advanced level of expertise has been achieved, including:

  • Successful completion of particular formal tertiary education in a particular spatial science discipline
  • Achievement of further relevant professional experience

To retain your certification, you must undertake Continuing Professional Development.

How to apply

Key documents

We have created a comprehensive application manual to guide you through the process. Please take the time to read this carefully before applying and refer to it regularly while completing your application.

ESP-AP Certification Guide PDF | Doc

Download the ESP-AP Application Form PDF | Doc

The form to apply for certification has fillable fields. Click in the appropriate spaces and type your responses/information.

Applications should not exceed 20MB in size, if larger, applications should be submitted in separate emails. PDF files can be combined prior to submission., PDF files can also be compressed online at Adobe.

PURCHASE CERTIFICATION

Certification Fees (inc GST)
GCA Member
Non-member
Initial Certification
$330
$850

Certification Retention

NB. Members and Non-Members must meet the minimum CPD requirements

$0

NB. Must be a current financial member

$385
OR
$215  (if 6 or more CPD points from GCA hosted events)
Re-Certification
$220
$605

 

Retention of certification

To retain your ESP-AP Certification, you must undertake Continuing Professional Development. Please visit the ESP-AP Retention section for all the details.

Note, CPD points DO NOT need to be achieved in the financial year certification achieved e.g. if a professional is awarded certification in February, they don’t need to begin tracking CPD until 1 July that year

Further information

Enquiries regarding your ESP-AP Certification can be addressed to the ESP-AP Certification Program Lead on certification@geospatialcouncil.org.au or phone +61 (0) 2 6282 2282.

Competency Framework

Assessing Competency
The ESP-AP Competency Framework is used by industry including governments (local, State and Federal), building and construction, engineering, civil infrastructure, town planning, utilities, asset managers and surveying to guide recruitment, training, development and performance management processes and indicate the quality of contractor services to undertake engineering surveying projects. It informs the eligibility for issuing a certification for a professional issued by the Geospatial Council of Australia.

The Framework outlines specific competencies that are necessary to successfully perform duties as an Engineering Surveyor and provides a clear and objective framework for assessing an individual’s level of competence. The Framework includes categories or domains of competencies, specific descriptors for each competency, performance criteria for assessing competency and allocated points or level of proficiency and evidence of Qualification and or Degree attained.

The ESP-AP Competency Framework has been developed by industry and endorsed by the Geospatial Council of Australia (GCA). GCA will assess applications based on evidence provided aligned to the Performance Criteria, which is a component of the Certification application.

 

Evidence of attained Degree and or a Qualification as set out below:

QUALIFICATION BASED PROVISION

  • a) AQF/NZQF Level 7 surveying related qualification and a minimum of four years of documented work experience OR
  • b) AQF/NZQF Level 6 certification and five additional points from education along with a minimum of four years of documented work experience.

LONG-TERM PRACTICE PROVISION

  • a) AQF/NZQF Level 6 surveying related qualification along with 10 years’ documented work experience OR
  • b) AQF/NZQF Level 5 surveying related qualification obtained during or before 2015, along with 10 years’ documented work experience.

The Geospatial Council will continue offering the Long-Term Practice Provision as part of the ESP-AP Certification, until further notice.

 

Survey Control (overarching) – this category can be stand-alone or incorporated into other categories

Category Sub-category Descriptors Performance criteria Evidence examples
Survey control Survey control networks (Primary control) Primary survey control networks for large scale projects. Connected to appropriate Geodetic datums. If incorporated in other work categories, then pro rata time against those projects

Performance criteria should include majority of the following:

  • Control network design.
  • GNSS observations
  • GNSS processing by Least squares adjustment for Minimally constrained and Constrained adjustment.

Evidence should include:

  • GNSS network design
  • GNSS network adjustment reports
Survey control networks (medium) Terrestrial observations (for example, for bridge control networks). If incorporated in other work categories, then pro-rata time against those projects
  • Control network design.
  • Terrestrial observations (for example, for bridge control networks).
  • Levelling networks.
  • Least squares adjustments
  • Validate any existing survey control

Evidence should include:

  • network design
  • network adjustment reports
  • leveling reports
Survey control networks (simple) Could include infill control between primary survey control by traversing methodology. If incorporated in other work categories, then pro rata time against those projects
  • Terrestrial observations
  • Bowditch adjustment
  • Levelling
  • Validate any existing survey control

Evidence should include:

  • network design
  • survey control adjustment reports
  • leveling reports

 

Construction Surveying  (minimum 2 categories e.g. Bridge is one category)

Category Sub-category Descriptors Performance criteria Evidence examples
Bridge Bridge (large/complex) Medium /complex activities plus majority of the following: Significant fabricated steel superstructures, balanced cantilever construction, very heavy foundations, construction over navigable waterways

Majority of the following should include:

  • Setting out of works in accordance with contract specifications and tolerances
  • Conformance checking and reporting
  • As constructed survey
  • Processing of measurements
  • Volume measurements
  • Monitoring (if required)

Supplied evidence should include the following:

  • project description

and the majority of the following*: –

  • conformance reports
  • as constructed survey drawings / models?
  • volume measurement reports
  • monitoring reports (if applicable)

* NOTE: Multiple evidence of the same sub-category is not required. For example, if three bridge (large/complex) types are submitted, only evidence of one is needed

Bridge (medium / complex) Simple activities plus majority of the following: Complex geometry, super T’s / T-roffs, major slipform piers, complex earthworks, cast in-situ piles, setting out with horizontal and vertical curve geometry.
Bridge (simple) Cast in situ reinforced concrete flat slab bridges, simple bridges, moderate earthworks, non-complex pile foundations, setting out abutments and piers without horizontal/vertical curve geometry.
Road Road (major – motorways / multiple carriageways) Major arterial activities plus majority of the following – Complex grade separated interchanges. Multiple carriageways. Motorways on new urban alignments. Slipform large scale concrete pavements. Variable message signs & ITS work.
Road (major arterial) Minor arterial activities plus majority of the following: Grade separated intersections. Duplication of major arterial roads. Heavy duty asphalt pavements. Complex service relocations
Road (minor arterial) Low volume rural / urban plus majority of the following: Multi-layer granular or simple A/C pavement. complex urban intersections. Earthworks exceeding 5m cut/fill. Complex drainage works including large size culverts/multiple bays. Moderately
Road (Low volume rural / urban) Activities include majority of the following: Low complex at grade intersections. Multi-layer granular or simple A/C pavement. Low to Medium drainage works. Earthworks up to 5m cut/fill. Non-complex service relocation works
Earthworks Substantial Earthworks on major construction sites. Can include a range of activities from topsoil stripping, excavations and filling. If incorporated in bridge or road categories, then pro-rata time against those projects
Minor Earthworks can include a range of activities from topsoil stripping, excavations and filling. If incorporated in bridge or road categories, then pro-rata time against those projects
Drainage Complex Can include drainage systems and culverts. A drainage system can include an underground network of pipe culverts and / or box culverts connecting between field inlets, gully pits and access chambers. If incorporated in road categories, then pro rata time against that project
Simple Culverts under roadways. If incorporated in road categories, then pro-rata time against that project
Water / Wastewater network Large / Complex Water networks can include water main lines, hydrants, valves, meters, inspection chambers, inspection pits and envelopers. If incorporated in road categories, then pro rata time against that project
Minor / Simple Water networks can include water main lines, hydrants, valves, meters, inspection chambers, inspection pits. If incorporated in road categories, then pro-rata time against that project
Retaining structures Substantial and Complex Can include retaining wall pad / strip footings. Can include horizontal and vertical geometry and multiple lifts during construction. If included in bridge or road categories, then pro-rata time against those projects
Minor / Simple Can include retaining wall pad / strip footings. Simple geometry. If included in bridge or road categories, then pro-rata time against those projects
Tunnel Complex Activities included: Setting out tunnel alignment (including changes in horizontal and vertical geometry), shape and size (profile) of tunnel and monitoring deformation and progress
Simple Activities included: Setting out tunnel alignment (horizontal and grade), shape and size (profile) of tunnel and monitoring deformation and progress.)
Dam Major / complex Applicant may specify details in the work experience examples (See Work Experience template)
Minor / simple Applicant may specify details in the work experience examples (See Work Experience template)
Port Infrastructure Major / complex Applicant may specify details in the work experience examples (See Work Experience template)
Minor / simple Applicant may specify details in the work experience examples (See Work Experience template)
Processing plant Major / complex Applicant may specify details in the work experience examples (See Work Experience template)
Minor / simple Applicant may specify details in the work experience examples (See Work Experience template)
High Rise building High Rise Activities: High precision methodology of transferring horizontal and vertical survey control from ground floor to all floors to maintain building verticality axis and horizontal axis plane for height on columns and all floors. And to avoid twisting of columns.
Low Rise (Generally max. 3 levels) Activities: Vertical survey control to maintain building verticality.
Rail Major Applicant may specify details in the work experience examples (See Work experience template)
Minor Applicant may specify details in the work experience examples
Other (Specify)   Applicant may specify details in the work experience examples

 

Management (Optional)

Category Sub-category Descriptors Performance criteria Evidence examples
Management Team Leader Can include leading multiple types of engineering surveying categories
  • Assess survey specifications and contractual survey requirements.
  • Determine work procedures.
  • Determine the most fit for purpose surveying equipment that can include terrestrial and GNSS
  • Determine the most appropriate surveying methodologies
  • project description
  • role description
Supervisor Can include supervision of any type of engineering surveying categories
  • Supervising of any of the non-management construction surveying activities
  • project description
  • role description

 

Cadastral (Optional)

Category Sub-category Descriptors Performance criteria Evidence examples
Cadastral Cadastral boundary location

Cadastral boundaries are often required to be shown on engineering drawings and/or electronic models.

A disclaimer should be included to the effect that cadastral boundary information shown is subject to definition by a licenced Cadastral Surveyor.

Majority of the following should include:

  • Undertake sufficient cadastral plan searching from relevant authority
  • Undertake survey connections from survey control to cadastral reference marks and/or cadastral boundary marks
  • Calculate cadastral boundaries from adopted survey information from cadastral plans
  • Draft calculated cadastral boundaries on a plan/s or electronic model
  • Project Description
  • Example: 1 x plan showing cadastral boundaries for a topographical survey
  • Calculation reports
  • Verified by a cadastral (registered/licenced) surveyor

 

Example of calculating points

Road construction project

Category Duration Points per year Sub-Total
Survey control network (simple) 1 month 20 1.7
Road (major arterial) 4 month 30 10
Retaining structure 3 month 30 7.5
Drainage 2 month 25 4.2
Earthworks 0.69 month 20 1.15
TOTAL POINTS 24.55
Re-Certification

If your ESP-AP Certification has lapsed less than three years ago, professionals are able to apply for certification via the process below.

Form
To apply for Re-Certification please email certification@geospatialcouncil.org.au

Review
The application will be reviewed by the Engineering Surveying Certification Panel and providing no further clarification or additional information is required, their review should be concluded within four weeks.

Fees
The fee for Re-Cerification of your ESP-AP Certification is:

  • GCA Members – $220 inc GST
  • Non GCA Members – $605 inc GST

Queries
All enquiries regarding ESP-AP Certification can be addressed to the Certification Coordinator on certification@geospatialcouncil.org.au or phone +61 (0) 2 6282 2282.

ESP–AP Register

Engineering Surveying Professional – Australasia Pacific (ESP-AP) Certification is the official recognition by the GCA that a person has demonstrated the necessary knowledge and experience to competently perform engineering surveys and associated activities.

Please refer to the link below for the current list of ESP-AP Certified Professionals.

ESP-AP Certification Register

If you are seeking to confirm the certification status of an engineering surveying professional and they don’t appear on this list, please feel free to reach out to the Certification Coordinator on certification@geospatialcouncil.org.au

Retention of certification

The Engineering Surveying Professional – Australasia Pacific (ESP-AP) Certification is valid until the end of the first full financial year following initial achievement.

To retain your certification, you must undertake Continuing Professional Development.

MEMBERS
ESP-AP holders who are members of GCA must undertake 15 CPD points each financial year ending 30 June to allow the certification to remain current into the next financial year.

Methods of Accrual
The CPD points can be obtained through any of the methods outlined the CPD Policy,  It is important to note that ESP-AP holders are required to achieve at least five (5) of the 15 CPD points that must be related to engineering surveying specifically.

CPD Period
The CPD year is the Australian financial year, that is 1 July – 30 June. You can only include activities undertaken in that period (i.e. if a webinar is held live on 15 June 2023 but you don’t watch the recording until 3 July 2023, that counts in 2023-24 CPD period).

Recording CPD
Members should record all CPD undertaken via their profile in the online membership portal.

Note, CPD points do not need to be undertaken or recorded in the financial year certification is achieved but must begin in the financial year immediately after.

Fees
No fee applies for GCA Members to retain their ESP-AP provided they meet the annual CPD requirements.  Non-GCA Members are required to pay a fee upon submission of their CPD.

Audit
The GCA will undertake a randomly chosen spot check audit of 10% of all GCA member ESP-AP holders at the end of July each year, to ensure they have met the required 15 CPD points. This gives certificants four weeks following the end of the financial year to ensure their records are in order.

Should an ESP-AP holder believe they will not be able to obtain the required annual CPD points by 30 June, they should email the ESP-AP Certification Program Lead requesting an extension in order to comply. The extension will not normally be greater than three (3) months. The request must be received by 30 June to be considered – and request does not guarantee acceptance. For non-GCA Members, 100% audit will be conducted. The same conditions relating to request for submission applies for non GCA Members as it does for GCA Members.

Non-Compliance
Should it be found via the audit process that an ESP-AP holder has not met the requirements, GCA will contact the certificant to advise and provide them a four-week grace period to obtain the required points.

If this is not completed in line with CPD Policy and to the satisfaction of GCA, the ESP-AP holder will be removed from the ESP-AP Register. Should the professional wish to hold ESP-AP Certification again within the next three years, they can undertake the process of Re-Certification of certification.

If your certification has lapsed for more than three years, a new certification process will be required.

NON-MEMBERS
ESP-AP holders who are not members of GCA must undertake 15 CPD points each financial year ending 30 June to allow the certification to remain current into the next financial year. There is no limit to this, i.e. as long as certificants complete the 15 CPD points per year and pay the required annual fee, the ESP-AP Certification remains valid.

Methods of Accrual
ESP-AP holders must undertake 15 CPD points each financial year ending 30 June to allow the certification to remain current into the next financial year.

CPD Period
The CPD year is the Australian financial year, that is 1 July – 30 June. You can only include activities undertaken in that period.

Recording CPD
Non-member ESP-AP holders must record all CPD undertaken in the financial year via this form. The form is to be emailed to certification@geospatialcouncil.org.au by no later than 30 June each year.

Fees
There is a Retention Fee of $385 (inc GST) per year to retain ESP-AP Certification for non members. This fee will be reduced to $215 if 6 or more CPD points are achieved via official GCA programs and events.

Payment of the fee can be made via the online Shop.  Payment must be made within 14-days or the ESP-AP holder will be removed from the ESP-AP Register.

Once removed from the register, should the professional wish to hold ESP-AP Certification again within the next four years, they can undertake the process of renewal of certification. If applying more than four years after lapse, a new application will need to be completed.

Audit
An audit will be undertaken for all non-GCA member ESP-AP holders at the end of July each year, to ensure they have met the required 15 CPD points.

This gives certificants four weeks following the end of the financial year to ensure their records are in order and submitted.

Should an ESP-AP holder believe they will not be able to obtain the required annual CPD points by 30 June, they should email the ESP-AP Program Lead requesting an extension in order to comply. The extension will not normally be greater than three (3) months. The request must be received by 30 June to be considered – and request does not guarantee acceptance.

Non-Compliance
Should it be found via an audit that a non-member ESP-AP holder has not met the CPD point requirements, GCA will contact the certificant to advise and provide them a four-week grace period to obtain the required points.

If this is not completed in line with CPD Policy, the ESP-AP holder will be removed from the ESP-AP Register. Should the professional wish to hold ESP-AP Certification again within the next three years, they can undertake the process of re-certification.

If applying more than three years after lapse, a full new certification process will need to be completed.

FAQs

When can I apply?
The current application window is open now and will close on the 12 July 2024.

When will the new process/changes take effect?
The enhanced ESP-AP Certification process will begin from Friday 13 October 2023.

What are the main differences between the old process and the new one?
The key changes relate to refreshing the Application Form and accompanying Candidate Guide. We updated both documents to make them more user-friendly by simplifying the format, making the forms clearer, adding work experience examples and providing the option of paying application fees via our website.

How long will it take to process my application?
Once an application has been submitted for assessment you should receive written confirmation of the outcome within four to six weeks, provided no additional information/evidence is required. Requests for more information and the time taken to respond may prolong the overall assessment period.

What are the Certification Fees?
For new applications, the respective rates inclusive of GST are: –
GCA Member AUD $330
Non-member AUD $850

Do I have to be a GCA Member to apply?
No, although membership is encouraged you are not required to be a GCA member to apply for ESP-AP Certification.

Where can I find the application form and relevant documents?
Details on the Certification including all the forms and supporting guides are available on our website here.

Can I start preparing an application even if the intake period is closed?
Yes, you can begin preparing your application at any stage. You will find all the forms and documents on our Certification pages.

How do I retain my Certification?
To maintain the currency of the Certification, all certificants are required to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and by the end of each financial year accrue a minimum of 15 CPD points, five (5) of which must relate to engineering surveying.

Non-members are to send their CPD record to GCA and also pay a fee of $385/$215 (dependant on GCA events attended) by the end of each financial year.

There is no additional cost for current financial GCA members however, CPD points must be recorded via the online membership portal.

Do I have to send certified copies of documents?
We require any documents you submit as supporting evidence of your application, to be certified as a true and accurate copy of the original. A Justice of the Peace (JP) is most commonly used to certify documents without charge and are widely available in local communities. There are other individuals and entities that can also certify documents e.g. Solicitors/Lawyers, Medical Practitioners, Registered Accountants, Public Notaries but they may charge a fee for their services.

How many Work Experience examples do I need to submit?
In accordance with the Competency Framework in the Candidate Guide, you will need to submit Work Experience examples/templates in a minimum of four mandatory categories:

  • Survey Control: at least one sub-category
  • Topographical: at least one sub-category
  • Construction Surveying: choose a minimum of any two sub-categories
  • Management (optional)
  • Cadastral Surveying (optional)

I’ve since changed jobs/organisations and no longer have access to the evidence for that work experience. What can I do?
If you’re unable to provide the supporting evidence demonstrating your competency in respect of the competency framework category and the example you have chosen to use in your application, we recommend that you select an alternative work experience example where you are in a position to provide evidence of those competencies.

While your Work Experience examples outline the “what” and “how” The supporting evidence underpins your application and will inform judgement on whether you have demonstrated competence.

Do I need to submit photos/diagrams/communications?
To support the details in your application you will need to provide a range of evidence, in any format or from a variety of sources. The key is to supply evidence that demonstrates your competency in accordance with the competency framework.

What if I have a question or need to speak to someone about the Certification/application?
Feel free to send enquiries to our mailbox certification@geospatialcouncil.org.au or alternatively telephone +61 (0) 2 6282 2282.

How will you share updates about the full redesign of the Certification?
GCA will communicate updates about the redesign via a number of methods e.g. via our digital newsletter GeoMessage, our website, direct to our subscribers or via the Surveying Area of Practice.

What happens if I have an urgent application that falls outside of the intake periods?
We appreciate that there may be extenuating circumstances where an applicant requires Certification outside of the published intake periods. If this is the situation, please email certification@geospatialcouncil.org.au outlining why your case should be considered.