FIG Commission 1 - Professional Standards and Practice

Term 2011-2014

Highlights Commission Chair
Commission 1 continueed the work on the changing nature of surveying work and the role of the professional, worked at connecting with other like professional commissions operating in regional organizations, built supporting knowledge and materials for surveying professionals. The Commission continued its work in the Standards and Young Surveyors Networks. Ms. Leonie Newnhamn

In the term of office 2011-2014 Commission 1 focused on:

  • Share understanding on the challenges facing professional practice in a changing environment of work and within a changing world.
  • Provide opportunities for an ongoing exchange of information around issues on professional standards and practice using new technologies.
  • Share knowledge of professional practices around ethical delivery of services.
  • Connect with other groups in member associations that promote and develop surveying professional standards and practice to share knowledge and develop possible joint activities.
  • Work with Commission 2 to develop ongoing pathways of professional education that support the concept of ongoing professional development.
  • Promote cooperative development opportunities and the development of new initiatives by growing knowledge from working together with other commissions on the current and future role of the surveyor, the definition of the surveyor as well as the age-structure within the profession.
  • Build activities with world wide standards development and certification through the Standards Network.
  • Build activities with Young Surveyors through the active support of the Young Surveyors Network.

The Commission hosted the inter-commission working group to consider the current and future role of the surveyor, the definition of the surveyor as well as the age-structure within the profession. The other joint working group hosted by Commission 1 studied the technological, methodological and practical as well as legal aspects on the demarcation of international boundaries.

Work Plan

Terms of reference

  • Professional practice, legal aspects and organisational structures
  • Codes of ethics and applications
  • Changes to society and ways of working and the corresponding impacts on professional practice
  • Community perceptions and understanding about the surveying profession
  • Participation in FIG Standards Network and Young Surveyors Network

Mission statement

The mission of Commission 1 is to:

  • build the capacity of professionals to adapt to changing circumstances: Changes are affecting the operation of surveying practices, their management and their professional structures under the challenges of widening professional activities and a changing world.
  • create a community of practice to share knowledge about professional standards and practice challenges and responses by surveying professions.
  • build links to regional and world structures for surveying professionals that focus on issues around professional standards and practice.
  • support professionals in their work by providing them with tools and approaches to dealing with common practice issues.
  • develop individuals as professionals and provide opportunities for them to continue to develop as part of the surveying community.

Work Plan

Key Documents


Working Groups

Working Group 1.1 - Changing Nature of Work and the Role of a Surveyor (Joint Working Group with Commission 2 )

Policy issue
  • To consider the current and future role of the surveyor
  • To review the definition of the surveyor
  • To study the age-structure within the surveying profession and prepare proposals how to response to the competition to market the profession for new generations
  • Surveying professionals work in a variety of work environments and are required to respond to constant changes in how they deliver services. This creates challenges to them in how they practice and challenges on how to adapt to change. Identifying and sharing new ways of working from around the world will provide practical examples of ways others have successfully adapted and will build a set of case studies on change.

Winnie Shiu
Hong Kong SAR, China
wshiu[at] m 


Curtis Sumner
United States

Working Group 1.2 – Regulation Approaches that Provide Secure Tenure

Policy issue
  • Regulation is a way to develop secure land tenure and through this the alleviation of poverty through one of the basic principles of a secure tenure – integrity of the system and the control (elimination) of corruption.
  • Reviewing practice around the world provides an opportunity for professionals to share ideas on what has been done in various countries, consider how it was done and learn from others experiences of implementing regulation.

Brian Coutts
New Zealand


Working Group 1.3 – Community of Practice on Professional Standards and Practice

Policy issue
  • All professionals face professional standards and practice challenges and find ways to respond effectively. Anyone facing a problem or issues can be certain that somewhere in the world, someone has solved a problem that might be very similar. Developing a way to share practice issues using Web 2 technologies would provide a way for surveying professionals to develop a place where they can share the knowledge of others in dealing with current issues. This will be supplemented by professional standards and practice issues workshops held at each Working Week and the Regional Conference. Through this regular updates on emerging issues around the world can be obtained.
  • There are regional and other structures in place where members also interested and committed to issues around professional standards and practice for surveying professionals. These groups develop ideas and produce papers and possibly publications that are part of a world wide knowledge bank that FIG could access. Building links to regional and world structures for surveying professionals that focus on issues around professional standards and practice will expand our understanding and access to knowledge and resources.

Stephen Djaba

Working Group 1.4 – International Boundary Settlement and Demarcation (Joint Working Group with Commissions 4, 5 and 7)

Policy issue
  • To deal with theoretical, methodological and some legal aspects and analysis of a few practical cases in international and national boundaries
  • To prepare an FIG publication on international boundary settlement and demarcation all over the world.

Haim Srebro

Working Group 1.5 – Social Media and Surveyors (Joint Working Group with the Young Surveyors Network)

Policy issue
  • Survey and recommendations on the use of social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter etc.) in surveying community for member associations
  • Raise the understanding of new communication tools within surveying community
  • Prepare proposals on using social media in marketing the profession and reaching new generations
  •  Initiate opportunities for participating in social media at FIG events using skill sharing with Young Surveyors Chair

Bill Robertson
New Zealand