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University/College

I am a university/college student. How do I become an Alberta Land Surveyor?

To become an Alberta Land Surveyor, students normally enroll in the geomatics program at the University of Calgary or the University of New Brunswick.

In first year university, students are enrolled in common engineering courses within the Faculty of Engineering. Later on, students choose geomatics engineering as their program.

Students may also enter the geomatics program at BCIT, NAIT, SAIT, Lethbridge College or another geomatics program. However, in order to become an Alberta Land Surveyor, you will be required to pass additional exams through the Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors (see below).

Many technical school graduates enjoy good careers working for Alberta Land Surveyors as survey technologists or geomatics technologists.

Check with the educational institution of your choice to get more information about their current entrance requirements.

Before being able to article, you must first obtain a Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors (CBEPS) certificate of completion. The certificate of completion tells the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association that the candidate meets the basic educational requirements to become a land surveyor.

As a university geomatics engineering graduate who was enrolled in the land survey option (usually courses involving survey law and land use planning), you automatically earn your CBEPS certificate of completion but you must contact CBEPS to obtain it.

If you did not take the required courses at university or you are a technical school graduate in geomatics, you will be required to pass additional examinations in order to obtain your certificate of completion.

Upon receiving a Certificate of Completion, a person is eligible to article to an Alberta Land Surveyor.

Candidates who wish to article must find an Alberta Land Surveyor to whom to article. When an Alberta Land Surveyor has agreed to article you, complete the application to article form and pay the prescribed fees and send them, along with your Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors Certificate of Completion, to the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association office.

Before your articles can be approved, you must fill out an articling resume and an action plan outlining your program of training and experience to be undertaken during the proposed period of articles (see “Eligibility for Articles” in the Pupil Handbook).

Candidates are required to article for a minimum of two years which must consist of at least 18 months of field experience and six months of office experience. The pupil must complete the articling requirements within five years unless otherwise approved by the Registration Committee.

During the articling process, the pupil must complete two written professional exams, two project reports and a final qualifying examination.

Articled pupils who have experience in Alberta at the party chief level may apply for prior field service credit towards their articles.

Articled pupils must submit an affidavit of service by January 15 of each year or the articles will be terminated.

In addition to completing the term of articles, the pupil must pass the professional practice examinations prescribed by the Registration Committee on legislation, practical surveying, professional ethics and any other matters considered necessary.

The Principles and Practice of Land Surveying Part 1 is offered each April. Candidates will be examined on their knowledge and ability to apply pertinent acts and regulations as it relates to, but not limited to, land surveying in urban/municipal environments. This examination will include questions on evaluating evidence, measurement science, general business practices, the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association and a variety of real world problems with an ethical component. Typical survey questions that may be included: rights of way, subdivisions, condominiums, real property reports, survey control networks, etc. Emphasis will be placed on situations requiring some degree of discretion and professional judgement.

The Principles and Practice of Land Surveying Part 2 is offered each October. Candidates will be examined on their knowledge and ability to apply pertinent acts and regulations as it relates to, but not limited to, land surveying in oil and gas/rural environments. This examination will include questions on evaluating evidence, measurement science, general business practices, the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association and a variety of real world problems with an ethical component. Typical survey questions that may be included: the DLS township system, unsurveyed territory, wellsites, rights-of-way, hybrid cadastre, natural boundaries, survey control networks and traverse problems, etc. Emphasis will be placed on situations requiring some degree of discretion and professional judgement.

A passing mark is 75%.

Articled pupils shall submit two 4-6 page project reports.

Pupil involvement for all project reports submitted shall be hands on-in every aspect of the project; except for client contact, subdivision authority approval and drafting of the project. The pupil must personally complete the field work for each of the project reports at the party chief or supervisory level. The pupil shall complete each phase of the project under the supervision of an Alberta Land Surveyor. The purpose of completing the project is to familiarize the pupil with each part of a survey project, from the initial inquiry by the client to the final product. One of the most fundamental reasons for doing a project is to provide an opportunity for the principal and the pupil to focus on each aspect of the project.

Registration Committee approved topics are:

  • Subdivision (must be a plan of survey);
  • Bare land condominium;
  • A stand-alone right-of-way;
  • Road survey;
  • Real property report;
  • Well site/pad site;
  • Other (this option will require pre-approval from the Committee).

Land surveyors work with the latest technologies and tools. They were one of the first groups of people to use GPS, LiDAR and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones).

Once an articled pupil has completed their field and office time, two written professional exams and the two project reports, the pupil may apply to take the final qualifying exam. The qualifying exam will consist of general questioning on the surveying profession and practice. For the most part, the questions will address technical and professional matters as they pertain to the practice of cadastral surveying in Alberta.

Upon the successful completion of the qualifying examination, the candidate must pay the prescribed fees, provide proof of professional liability insurance and take and subscribe an oath of office.

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Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3G2
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The Alberta Land Surveyors' Association (ALSA) is a self-governing professional association legislated under the Land Surveyors Act. The Association regulates the practice of land surveying for the protection of the public and administration of the profession.