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SVY4309 Practice Management for Spatial Scientists

Semester 1, 2013 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Surveying & Spatial Science
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Shane Simmons
Moderator: Glenn Campbell


It is important for surveying and GIS graduates to realise that they are part of a profession that has responsibilities to their clients, the community, and their peers. This course is designed to provide the necessary fundamental knowledge for students to understand these professional responsibilities as a member of a multi-disciplinary team or as a sole consultant. These concepts include some knowledge of project coordination, project management, legal requirements, and the costs involved in carrying out projects. The Project Management section of this course draws together many areas of surveying and GIS in order to simulate the operations of large projects. A number of case studies are discussed in terms of both project planning and the technical operations of the projects. Practical advice is provided on the primary management functions of planning, leading, organising, and controlling operations on large projects. This course will also provide graduates with the knowledge necessary to recognise 'hidden' costs on projects, and to plan for a profitable and well-balanced business. It will also provide the ability to recognise possible difficulties that might arise, to analyse the relevant issues, and to take appropriate action where necessary.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. relate the surveyor's role in land development throughout the ages and assess the spatial scientist's continuing contribution as an active member of the general community;
  2. define the purpose, powers and function of various professional bodies including the Surveyors Board, and the Spatial Sciences Institute, and evaluate the advantages that may be gained by membership of, or registration with, these bodies;
  3. define professional ethics, and demonstrate and debate the role of ethics in the surveying and GIS professions;
  4. assess the liability of professionals with respect to their professional responsibilities, their responsibility to the public, and the Workplace Health and Safety Act;
  5. describe quality assurance, evaluate the benefits of its use in the efficient and effective management of professional operations, and prepare a specific project quality plan;
  6. explain the link between employee satisfaction and human resource management and analyse various situations and events from a human resource management perspective;
  7. apply sound financial management techniques used in professional organisations;
  8. prepare time and cost estimates for projects, and assess the economics (by a cost benefit analysis) of projects to assist clients in their decision making;
  9. select and justify the use of various strategies for promoting and developing a professional practice;
  10. demonstrate an ability to plan operations, coordinate activities and resources, and develop contractual arrangements on a project.


Description Weighting(%)
1. History of the Profession 5.00
2. Professional Bodies 5.00
3. Ethics 5.00
4. Firm Management 10.00
5. Risk Management and Loss Prevention 10.00
6. Human Resource Management 5.00
7. Financial Management 10.00
8. Business Development 10.00
9. Project Management 10.00
10. Cost Management 5.00
11. Time and Resource Management 10.00
12. Project Control 10.00
13. Quality Management 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 48.00
Directed Study 48.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 57.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 300 30 13 May 2013
2 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION 700 70 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course

  6. Examination information:
    In a Closed Examination, candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the examination period at the end of the semester of the next offering of this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time, may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the Examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.