In accordance with the NSW Government Gazette on 21 May 2021, pursuant to section 13 of the Professional Standards Act 1994, The Australian Institute of Building Surveyors (AIBS) Professional Standards Scheme commenced on 01 July 2021 across all states and territories, except for Victoria where it commenced on 01 September 2021. The AIBS Professional Standards Scheme has been approved for five (5) years.
A Professional Standards Scheme is a legislative instrument that obliges AIBS, to monitor, enforce and improve the professional standards of members under the Scheme, thereby reducing risk for consumers of professional services.
In recognition, the Scheme limits the civil liability or damages that professionals under the Scheme may incur if a court upholds a claim against them.
The AIBS Professional Standards Scheme upholds the professional standards of Scheme Members, who are building surveyors, and ensures that clients have access to appropriately qualified and skilled building surveyor practitioners for representation and advice.
The AIBS Scheme ensures that Members are insured appropriately, participate in continuing professional development, adopt appropriate risk management strategies and processes and are subject to a complaints and disciplinary structure.
The benefit to consumers of the Scheme is an assurance that the professional standards of Scheme Members meet those required by AIBS, which include formal education and experience requirements required for registration by state and territory governments, and the Professional Standards Council. This ensures that consumers are well served by appropriately qualified, experienced, ethical, and responsible building surveyors.
The requirement for AIBS Scheme Members to be covered by an approved professional indemnity insurance policy provides another layer of protection for consumers.
Download the AIBS Professional Standards Scheme instrument.
AIBS has developed a Professional Standards Scheme Frequently Asked Questions video, presented by Nic Carr, AIBS’s consultant on governance. The presentation looks at some of the questions we have been asked most frequently about the Scheme and provides detailed answers.
Some of the questions include –
• Why do we need a Scheme?
• How will a Scheme improve Professional Indemnity insurance in the future?
• How do I know if I am a member of the Scheme?
• What happens if I don’t have compliant insurance at the moment?
• How can I extend my liability cap, and what do I have to do - what are the considerations for approval/non-approval of a request?
• What is an Accredited Body Corporate, and how does this work?
• What do I need to be doing now, and what are my requirements?
• Why are there exemptions, and how is it determined who qualifies?
You can access the video below. A transcript of the video is available on pages 28 – 31 of the most recent Australian Building Surveyor magazine which can be viewed here.
Download the Member Information Document.
Download the exempted member declaration.
Download the non-exempted member declaration.
Scheme Members will be required to disclose on their letterhead, web site and other official documentation that their liability is limited by a professional standards scheme.
Scheme Members may also seek a Scheme membership logo from AIBS with the appropriate declarations included.
Download a fact sheet outlining all these requirements.
Only AIBS Practicing Members are entitled to become Scheme Members.
All Practicing Members will be required to become Scheme Members unless they apply for and are granted an exemption from the Scheme.
Practicing Members who work solely for local government or other public entities where the entity employs the Practicing Member and where that entity is not able to meet the professional indemnity insurance requirements may apply for an exemption.
Practicing Members who are able to prove that they do not and will not undertake building surveying work, such as academics, may also apply for an exemption from the Scheme.
Applications for exemption should be sent to [email protected].
Note: Practicing members who are exempt from the Scheme are still subject to the requirements of a practicing member.
Download the exemption application form.
The Australian Institute of Building Surveyors Professional Standards Scheme is not a source of professional indemnity insurance. However, for a Scheme Member to be able to limit liability under the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors Professional Standards Scheme they must hold professional indemnity insurance that meets the requirements of the AIBS Insurance Standards.
A key requirement is that the amount payable under the policy, after legal costs, must not be less that the amount for which liability is limited under the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors Professional Standards Scheme.
Note: Due to the recent spate of claims relating to combustible cladding across Australia, professional indemnity insurers are no longer willing to provide professional indemnity policies that include any form of cladding work. Where a member is unable to acquire professional indemnity insurance in respect of a particular type of work, or where there is a legal exemption from holding professional indemnity insurance for a particular type of work, the scheme will not limit the liability of the member, and it is good practice for the member to advise the client before the type of work is undertaken by the member.
Download the AIBS Insurance Standards.
“Body Corporate” includes a company constituted under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and other forms of entities constituted under State and Territory legislation and which have the status of a legal person in that they can sue and be sued. An AIBS Accredited Body Corporate is accredited to provide building surveying advisory and consultancy services to clients as well as demonstrating consistent, best-practice process and procedures in statutory building surveying services delivered by individual accredited persons who are directors of or employed by the Body Corporate.
A requirement for accreditation as an Accredited Body Corporate of AIBS is that all Directors and staff employed to provide building surveying advisory, consultancy and statutory services, qualified and eligible to be accredited by AIBS, are individually accredited members of AIBS.
An Accredited Body Corporate will have their liability capped in the same way as Practicing member, and must be covered by compliant insurance. An Accredited Body Corporate will be audited in the same way as a Practicing member and will be subject to a membership fee.
To become an Accredited Body Corporate member, please download the application form here.
Download the Accredited Body Corporate form.
In certain circumstances, a Scheme Member may apply to AIBS for a higher liability cap to apply to a specific project and subject to the AIBS being satisfied that sufficient professional indemnity insurance is and will be in place for the duration of the project, that increased cap may be allowed.
Download further information and the application for Extension of liability cover.
Any alleged breach of the Code of Professional Conduct by a Scheme Member will, when brought to the notice of the board of the AIBS, be actioned in accordance with the process set out in clause 1.12 of the AIBS By-Laws. If the Scheme Member is proven to be in breach, the board of AIBS may impose a range of disciplinary actions as it sees fit, including suspension and expulsion of Scheme Members.
Complaints regarding an alleged breach of the Code of Professional Conduct must be made in writing and addressed to the AIBS CEO.
Download the complaint form.
2021-2022 Schedule of Fees