BAC+5+2T+SE - 26/04/2011

Durk Haarsma, Publishing director, Geomares Publishing

The overall opinion is that the gathering of geo-data is becoming easier through automation. It’s almost a ‘push the button’ and there’s your dataset. Of course this is something of an oversimplification, but since the advent of gps, rtk and automated total-stations, surveying is no longer difficult. On building sites it’s often not even anymore the surveyor who’s in charge of the total-station, but an engineer or building professional acting as data gatherer. Pessimists might view this with horror: the profession of surveyor on the verge of dying out. But believe me, it’s not. The reverse is true.

The profession is on its way up towards new heights. From data gatherer the surveyor is turning into data manager. Another new role the modern surveyor needs to take on is that of consultant. Advocating this new role of the surveyor with me is Jean-Yves Pirlot, president of the Council of European Geodetic Surveyors (CLGE). Pirlot is based in Brussels in order to best represent almost 50,000 European surveyors, through member associations in 33 countries, at the centre of power. Interviewed in this issue of GIM International about the work of the CLGE, Pirlot ponders on the important role of the surveyor in the economy of a country and wants to build a clear and strong vision of this professional in order for the legislative powers to recognise the surveyor’s key role and reckon with it in developing new sets of laws and directives.

To underpin the importance and growth of the role, the CLGE has developed the formula BAC+5+2T+SE, laid down in the Accord Multilateral. The formula might look somewhat mysterious; actually it embodies the Council’s feeling that international requirements should stipulate that a candidate wishing to be granted the official of title of ‘Surveyor’ should have under their belt a master’s degree in Land Surveying or Geomatics (bachelor degree course extended to five years) plus two years of traineeship culminating in a State Examination. CLGE bases its formula on the German and Swiss model, which has proved itself over many years, providing for a stable cadastral system.

According to the CLGE, these requirements should be applied throughout the countries represented within its council, and even beyond. It will set a cadre within which the profession can grow to new heights of professionalism, doing full justice to the complexity of all of those aspects of the job that go beyond data gathering. I quite agree with CLGE: complying with this formula will greatly strengthen the basis of the surveying profession and make it more resilient for the future, as well as doing justice to the significance of the role. Why should we treat surveyors any differently in terms of academic training than, for instance, notaries or lawyers? I look forward to hearing what you think.


Last updated: 27/01/2021