- As a practicing surveyor in another jurisdiction, can I be registered as a Surveying Professional in T&T?
A Surveyor who has been licensed or registered as a land surveyor in another Commonwealth State for more than 15 years can apply for registration. The Act provides for a minimum qualification at the Bachelor of Science level form a recognized tertiary institution in the fieldin which you are applying for registration, plus a minimum of two years post-graduation experience in the field and any examinations as determined by the Board.
- If I have a complaint regarding the work done by a registered surveyor what can I do?
The Board only has authority over persons registered under Act 33 of 1996. Complaints by the Public may only be instituted against a registered surveyor who has either violated the code of ethics or has behaved unprofessionally by engaging in conduct unbecoming of a surveyor. Complaints regarding boundary issues must be supported by independent evidence from another registered surveyor. The Board does not conduct field investigations into the correctness of field work by registered surveyors. If a nonregistered person is involved you can make a report to the Police Fraud Squad.
- What does a Land Surveyor do?
A Land Surveyor conducts surveys in the categories of engineering surveying, geodetic surveying, hydrographic surveying, geographical and land information systems, cartography, land management, photogrammetry, and any other land surveying discipline recognised by the Board and the Institute of Surveyors of Trinidad and Tobago. The Act lists a Land Surveyor as a fit and proper person of good character and reputation who has – been registered as a Land Surveying Graduate; or graduated, or passed an examination entitling him to graduate in a surveying degree accepted by the Board, which must be at least the equivalent of the degree offered by the UWI and has passed the subject in the category of surveying in which he is seeking registration; completed any professional assessment projects as prescribed; completed the practical experience as prescribed; passed any other written or oral examination; undertaken such additional practical experience as the Board may require; and satisfied any other condition specified in Act 33 of 1996 or Regulations.
- Who is a Trinidad and Tobago Land Surveyor?
A Trinidad and Tobago Land Surveyor (TTLS) is the only person authorized to perform cadastral or boundary surveys and certify every map, plan or diagram of any land to be attached to any document tendered for registration under any law relating to the registration of land or title to land in Trinidad and Tobago. The Act lists a Trinidad and Tobago Land Surveyor as a fit and proper person of good character and reputation who has – been registered as a Land Surveying Graduate; obtained at least a First Degree in Land Surveying and has passed the subject cadastral studies; completed twenty-four months practical experience in cadastral surveying under the supervision of a Trinidad and Tobago Land Surveyor approved by the Board; completed a professional assessment project in cadastral surveying approved by the Board; passed any oral or written examination prescribed by the Board; been licensed or registered as a land surveyor in another Commonwealth State for more than 15 years; and satisfied any other condition specified in Act 33 of 1996 or Regulations.
- Who is a Land Surveying Graduate?
A Graduate Land Surveyor is a person registered by the Board who is in the process of training and supervision towards the expressed purpose of becoming a Trinidad and Tobago Land Surveyor. The Act lists a Land Surveying Graduate as a fit and proper person of good character and reputation who has – graduated or passed the examinations entitling him/her to graduate in the degree of Bachelor of Science in Land Surveying from the UWI; or has graduated, or passed an examination entitling him/her to graduate in a land surveying degree accepted by the Board, which must be at least the equivalent of the degree offered by the UWI, may be registered as a Land Surveying Graduate.
- What if a surveyor is not registered under the Act?
The Board only had authority over persons registered under the Land Surveyors Act. Any person impersonating a registered surveyor and/or collecting fees for same should be reported to the Police.
- How can I apply for registration?
The relevant forms for registration in the various categories are available from the Secretariat of the Land Survey Board of Trinidad and Tobago at no cost.
- What type of companies can be registered as providers of Land Surveying Services?
A partnership, association of persons or corporations intending to engage in the practice of Land Surveying are registerable as a Land Surveyor or a Trinidad and Tobago Land Surveyor when it applies to the Board for registration. A corporation, partnership or association of persons may apply for registration by fulfilling the following requirements: an application to the Board for registration; evidence of its professional responsibility to the satisfaction of the Board that the practice of surveying will be carried out under the direct responsibility of a full-time permanent employee who is registered under this Act in the appropriate field; the applicant’s registration number, current office or registered address; the fees prescribed in the Second Schedule; the name or names of the surveyors who will be personally responsible for surveying services; any other material required by the Board. A registered corporation has an annual certificate of registration which identified the category(s) in which they may provide land surveying services to the Public.
- Why hire registered surveyor to do a survey job?
Only a registered surveyor is allowed to conduct surveys in the areas of Cadastral, Engineering and Hydrographic Surveys in T&T. Any person holding themselves out as being able to provide such services without being registered and collecting fees is guilty of impersonating a surveyor and carries a $10,000 fine and 6 month imprisonment. In the remaining categories not currently registered by the Board, (geodetic surveying, geographical and land information systems, cartography, land management and photogrammetry) the onus is on the client to ensure that the surveyor is qualified and suitable to conduct the job.
- How do I file a complaint against a registered surveyor?
Obtain a complaint form from the Secretariat of the Land Survey Board of Trinidad and Tobago and fill out the form attaching copies of relevant evidentiary documents and plan. The complaint must be sworn before a commissioner of affidavits or Justice of the Peace and submitted to the Secretariat.
- What happens to a complaint once it is filed?
The Registrar/Secretary (R/S) of the Land Survey Board can be appointed to screen or pre-examine all complaints submitted to the Board. The R/S determines if the complaint made is cause for disciplinary action by being either (a) a violation of the Code of Ethics or construed as conduct unbecoming a surveyor as defined in the Land Surveyors Act; (b) registration by mis-representation; or (c) registered person being convicted of a crime involving dishonesty. After screening, the R/S may recommend to the Board if a charge should be laid against the registered or no further action be taken when he is of the opinion that the complaint is frivolous or without basis or, if proven, would not constitute conduct unbecoming a Land Surveyor. The Board may if it so determines, instruct the R/S to lay a charge of conduct unbecoming of a surveyor and the details of the charge. Then the complaint and charge is referred to the Land Surveyors Disciplinary Committee for hearing and determination. The Board is obligated to give effect to any award or decision of the Disciplinary Committee.
- What remedies to the complaint can the Disciplinary committee order?
The Disciplinary Committee (Committee) cannot order a refund of fees. However, it may – (a) admonish the person in relation to whom the hearing was held; (b) reprimand that person; (c) require him to give an undertaking to refrain from continuing or repeating the conduct which is found to have constituted conduct unbecoming a surveyor; (d) impose a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars; (e) order him at his own cost, to correct within such time as the Committee directs, any work that was the subject of the hearing and was found to be defective or, where the Committee finds that the actions or instructions of the complainant have contributed to deficiencies in the work, apportion the cost of any necessary correction between the complainant and the surveyor in proportion to their responsibility; (f) order that he pays, within such time as the Committee directs, the whole or any part of the cost of correction of any work that was the subject of the hearing and was found to be defective; (g) order that his registration be suspended either absolutely or conditionally or in the case of the holder of a certificate of authorisation that the certificate be suspended either absolutely or conditionally; (h) order that his registration be revoked or in the case of the holder of a certificate of authorisation that the certificate be revoked.
Where the Committee is satisfied that cause for disciplinary action exists and imposes any of the penalties in (a)-(h), it may further order the surveyor to pay the whole or any part of the expense of investigations made by or on behalf of the Committee, the expenses incurred by the Committee in conducting the hearing and expenses incidental to the hearing of any person who complained to the Committee or appeared at the hearing and where the complaint is dismissed on the ground that it is frivolous or vexatious, the Committee may order the complainant to pay the surveyor such costs as the Committee thinks just.
- What are the penalties for impersonating a registered surveyor?
Within two years – A persons who (a) assumes, either alone or in conjunction with any other words or letters, the name or title of “Land Surveying Graduate”, “Land Surveyor”, or “Trinidad and Tobago Land Surveyor”; (b) does anything, or causes, suffers or permits anything to be done, that is likely to cause a person reasonably to believe that he is registered as a Land Surveyor or Trinidad and Tobago Land Surveyor; or (c) engages in the practice of surveying and is not acting under the personal supervision of a person registered under the Land Surveyors Act, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten thousand dollars and to imprisonment for six months. Further, every person who is convicted of such an offence shall, in addition to any penalty to which he may be liable, be liable to pay the cost, including associated survey costs of repairing, replacing, or restoring to its proper position any survey mark or restoring the markings on any survey mark that is the subject of the offence for which he is convicted and such cost shall be assessed by the Magistrate and recoverable as if it were a fine.
- What are the penalties for illegally interfering with a survey marker?
Within two years – Any person who, without lawful excuse— (a) alters, moves, disturbs, or wilfully damages or destroys any boundary beacon/monument, bench mark, reference mark, signal station, trigonometrical station or other survey mark intended to be permanent and erected or placed for the purpose of or in connection with any survey operations, whether such boundary beacon/monument, bench mark, reference mark, signal station, trigonometrical station or other survey mark, is upon his own land or not; or (b) erects or places any boundary beacon/monument on land except under the supervision of a Trinidad and Tobago Land Surveyor, whether his intention is to alter the boundary of any land or to cause deception as to any boundary line or not, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten thousand dollars. Further, every person who is convicted of such an offence shall, in addition to any penalty to which he may be liable, be liable to pay the cost, including associated survey costs of repairing, replacing, or restoring to its proper position any survey mark or restoring the markings on any survey mark that is the subject of the offence for which he is convicted and such cost shall be assessed by the Magistrate and recoverable as if it were a fine.
- How can I become registered as a Land Surveyor?
At this time the category of Land Surveyor covers the practice of Engineering and Hydrographic Surveying. To apply for registration as a Land Surveyor an applicant must have a B. Sc. Degree in Land Surveying or an equivalent degree recognized by the Board and had been practicing for a period of at least two (2) years. Applicants must submit a form for registration and pay the required fee. Applicants are also required to submit at least six projects and reports representative of their duties and work outputs on projects completed. Detailed submission requirements can be obtained from the Secretariat upon request.
- Is it an offence to move a boundary marker to construct a fence?
No, it shall not be an offence against the land surveyors regulation to remove any survey mark defining a boundary to allow a fence wall or other permanent improvement to be erected along the boundary, but due notice in writing shall be given to the Director of Surveys.
- Can a TTLS damage property to find a survey mark?
It is lawful for a Trinidad and Tobago Land Surveyor to break up the surface of any land whether paved or not to the extent necessary to reveal any survey mark which he believes to be buried under the surface.
- Can a surveyor survey a piece of State land?
Except for redefinition surveys, no surveyor shall survey State lands without obtaining a Survey Order from the Director of Surveys.
- What type and period of notice is required before a survey can be done?
Before commencing any survey, the Trinidad and Tobago Land Surveyor, shall cause notice to be given to all proprietors of lands lying adjacent to the parcel being surveyed. The notice to be given shall include the name of the surveyor who will be carrying out the survey, and the date and the
time of the survey. Where lands are to be brought under the provisions of the Real Property Act, the purpose of the survey shall be stated and the period of the notice shall be seven clear days but in all other instances three clear days’ notice shall be given. Any proprietor(s) of lands lying adjacent to the parcel being surveyed may also waiver their right to notice of survey in writing. Nothing in the Land Surveyors regulations regulation shall prevent a Trinidad and Tobago Land Surveyor from carrying out a survey after giving reasonable notice to any neighbouring proprietor, in unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances.