SPP-08 Field Records

Version 2 - 11/01/2022

This guide is intended as general information only. If you are uncertain of your rights or interests, please seek professional legal advice. Landgate staff are not able to give legal advice or to draft your documents. Please read our Terms of Use above.

1  Contents of Field Records1

Generally, it is highly recommended that each field record only contains the information about a single authorised survey.

However, it is often desirable for authorised surveys using the same alignment to be shown in the same field record at the lodging surveyor’s discretion.

Multiple discrete re-pegs and spike protection surveys are welcome in a single field record.

All field records are perused and cross-indexed as required by the Survey Inspection Team at Landgate

Some are audited by the Inspecting Surveyors as an integral component of monitoring to ensure the stability of the physical and legal cadastre and to support the plan examination function.

2 Standard of Field Records1

The figure size, density and contrast of the field record must allow legible copies to be made by digital scanning and monochrome photocopying.  Pencil must be erased from beneath inked figures.

Each page of the field record should bear the real date or dates of the work and should be initialled by the licensed surveyor and also by the supervised surveyor if relevant.  In the latter case, the supervised surveyor's full name should be recorded at least once in the field record.

Each page of the field record should bear a north point and should be cross referenced to the other pages.

Colour must not be used to impart information, for example:

  • NOT ‘adjusted values in red’,
  • OR ‘measurements in green added on 1.10.2021’,
  • OR ‘amended as in red’.

Coloured text/linework can be used providing it can be reproduced legibly and considering the following factors:

  • some colours may not scan or copy clearly
  • purple text in field records is reserved for Landgate examiners.

The use of coloured borders is permissible provided they are used as follows:

  • should not extend underneath figures or letters because they might obscure the text on the scans or copies,
  • should be separated enough from any lines that their image is separate from the image of the line

Blue highlight pen (e.g., ‘textliner’, ‘textmarker’ etc.) must never be used in field records.

The use of point numbers is a useful method of making field records clear and unambiguous especially in descriptions of adoptions and comparisons and is strongly encouraged in all cases.

Because of the importance of legible copies of the field records for search purposes, lodged field records that do not meet the requirements may be refused lodgement or be delayed until a requisition is satisfied.

See SPP-19 Validation and Examination Practices 2 Inspections for information on field record inspections and examinations.  See APX-03 Field Record Examples for specific examples of field record presentation.

3 Field Record Index1

Field records must have an index, or contents, page which includes a short descriptive title of each survey and contains adequate page number referencing. (See examples 1, 2, 3 & 4 of APX-03.)

The land description should state the outcome of the survey to match that used on the subject plan (plan number to be shown on the index page).  Other information to be recorded for each survey on the index page is as follows:

  • the parent survey plan,
  • WAPC reference number
  • certificate of title number (where applicable)
  • the survey information (search), including any CBD and Survey Index Plans/Keysheets, used.
  • a reference to the suburb/locality and a road name.
  • Geodetic connections effected as part to the survey.
  • For Crown Surveys, the Landgate and/or DPLH file number and job number

To ensure that all jobs in the field record are recorded on the various Landgate indexes, only one index page that lists all the surveys is to be used.  If this list is long, the search and other details can be shown on other pages within the field record.

Each field record for a check survey, amendment survey or additional work should also quote the subject plan on the index page.

The surveyor's company telephone numbers and the postal address should be included for contact purposes, and any ‘in-house’ referencing (e.g., job number or field record reference number) may be recorded.  It is recommended that this information is included on the inside front cover of the field record.

In the case of a job in the field record not being the subject of a survey plan, it is important that the wording in the field record clearly indicates the purpose of the survey.  The use of the wording ‘repeg’, ‘identification survey’, ‘spike protection’, ‘cadastral connection’ or similar will initiate the cross-indexing of the field record.  (See example 1 of Appendix 3.)  The words ‘subdivision’ or ‘survey of’ will defer cross-indexing until a survey plan is lodged, except surveys for strata plans which are cross-indexed immediately. See ‘10 Field Records Lodged for Surveys that do not Proceed’ below for the situation where a field record is prepared for a subdivision that does not proceed through to plan lodgement.

Surveyors who are lodging a field record for a subdivision well in advance of lodging the plan can request that the field record be cross-indexed immediately to enable it to be made available to others in a timely manner.

Details of instruments used (manufacturer, model and serial number) and details of the latest calibration (calibration date, place, certificate number and the results of the calibration) should be recorded in the field record on the index page to assist in legal traceability to the standard for length.

4 Surveyor's Certificate1

It is necessary for the surveyor to ensure that the ‘Surveyor's Certificate’ in the field record has been correctly signed.

Supervised surveyors are to avoid putting their signature and name in the places reserved for the licensed surveyor.

See also APX-06 6 Surveyor’s Certificate on Field Records.

Only licensed surveyors with a practising certificate current at the time of lodging can lodge field records with Landgate.

5 Re-establishment of Alignments1

The nature, age, material and condition of old marks that have been found should be described and it should be stated which ones were adopted.

It is necessary for the surveyor to show all true line/boundary dimensions (distances and angles) of the pickup (calculated from offsets, traverses and radiations).  It is also necessary for a comparison to be shown between these calculated true line/boundary (distance and angle) values and the original values (and possibly other existing values).  This will allow a following surveyor to quickly evaluate each survey.

It is the surveyor's responsibility to demonstrate (preferably in the field record) the proof of the re-establishment of the alignments.  The above information will usually provide that proof, but in some cases the logic of adoptions may need to be described.

Only a small sample of lodged field records is fully examined, so any surveyor using your work as pickup needs to be satisfied as to its reliability from the information you provide in that field record.  Providing that visible proof in your field record will enhance your reputation.

6 Closures1

To allow rapid appraisal of the survey, it is desirable that the surveyor record the misclosure of any figures for which a closure has been calculated (pickup as well as new parcels) (see SPP-03 Survey Guidelines Clause 12 Closures).  It is especially important that any miscloses outside the specified limits are recorded together with an explanation of why the miscloses were accepted.  It is useful to record brief details about the extent of the investigation that led to that decision.

7 Bearings in Lieu of Angles in Field Records1

It is acknowledged that the use of plane/grid bearings is compatible with modern surveying equipment, computational software, the use of coordinates and field practices, but care must be taken in the way they are recorded.

The use of plane/grid bearings instead of angles in field records is a means of showing the positions of lines unambiguously but the traditional method of showing the angles which were measured records an additional redundancy.  In the event of a mistake, the extra redundancy helps to locate it.

The recording of only bearings in field records cannot indicate how many angles were observed or which angles were observed.  The risks in recording only bearings are magnified when some of these recorded bearings are not calculated from observed angles but are calculated from linear closures.

The situation is even more risky if some of these bearings are calculated from original work.  If either of the above two sources of bearings are used, they should always be clarified by annotations such as ‘cal’, ‘cal from closure’, ‘adj’, ‘cal from orig’, or similar.

Where bearings are set out the annotations ‘obs’ or ‘set’ could be used for clarity.

It is accepted that on a Special Survey Area subdivision (or a job based on a control network and with layout made at various times during progress of construction) it is not practicable for the surveyor to record the layout of new work.  In that situation the surveyor's responsibility for the survey is recognised and the unrecorded observations are accepted, and the use of bearings instead of angles is accepted as a legitimate practice.

The recording of clearly labelled directions from a single station is different from the recording of bearings.  Recording of directions is acceptable if there is no ambiguity in their use.  Directions can be clear while being economical of space.

8 Improvements1

Improvements of a permanent nature (e.g., buildings and brick walls) within one metre of a surveyed boundary should always be located and shown in the field record.  They are excellent reference marks.

Connections to buildings and walls are regarded as monuments and have precedence over measurements, so the recording of such connections will allow the surveyor's intention to prevail if discrepancies are found in the future.

Connections to fencing, with a description of the nature of the fence, especially on rural surveys, is very useful information for later surveyors.

In all cases, the nature of the improvement/s must be clearly described.

In the Perth CBD, building fascias are often renovated so it is important to indicate the type of material connected to and the height of the connection.

9 Mark Gone1

The term ‘gone’ should not be used unless the mark has conclusively been proven, after a competent search has been made, to be gone.  When any doubt remains, the term ‘not found’ should be used with a suitable description (e.g. ‘not found at 0.4 deep’), or an alternative (e.g. ‘presumed gone’ or ‘did not search, brick wall at location’) if a competent search was not made.

This could include a statement as to whether metal detectors have been used in the search.  E.g. ‘no signal at 0.4 deep’.

10 Field Records Lodged for Surveys that do not Proceed1

Occasionally surveyors lodge field records for surveys of subdivisions that for some reason do not proceed and no plan is ever lodged at Landgate.  In this situation, the field record would never get cross-indexed onto the Survey Index Plan layer (SIP view) within the spatial system, because subdivisional field records are linked to plans for automatic cross-indexing when the plan is lodged.  If the index page of the field record indicates a ‘Subdivision’ is proposed, Landgate would expect a plan to follow the field record to trigger the automatic cross-indexing.

If this situation arises (or has occurred in the past), surveyors should contact the Survey Inspection Team at Landgate and request the field record be cross-indexed onto the SIP View.

If for some reason a subdivision does not proceed and a field record has been prepared, surveyors are encouraged to lodge the record at Landgate but strikethrough the word ‘Subdivision’ and add the words ‘Spike Protection’ or ‘Repeg’.  This will ensure the field record is cross-indexed as soon as it is lodged.

Surveyors are also encouraged to request that a field record be cross-indexed if it is lodged a long time (e.g., several months) before the plan is expected to be lodged.  This will ensure that the survey information is available to others at the earliest possible time.

11 Making Amendments and Additions to Field Records2

For legal traceability, the standard practice when amending, adding to or replacing information held within a lodged field record is:

  • Line through the incorrect information (make sure the information can still be read).
  • Make the change or addition.
  • Date and initial the change or addition.

The original date on the Surveyor’s Certificate cannot be removed but an additional date can be placed alongside.  When dating and initialling the change, the stated date is to be the date when the amendment was made.

The use of whiteout or removing information from any page or removing any page is not permitted.

The whole field record is lodged as an amended field record through the NLR-Plan Surveyor Portal.

If large changes are required, the page can be cancelled with notation “Cancelled see page...”, (the cancelled page remains part of the amendment) and the new pages can be added to the end of the field record.

If the change or amendment is requested from the Survey Inspection Team, then a further notation such as “information added at the request of Inspecting Surveyor <name of Inspecting Surveyor> on <date>” is required on each of the pages that required amendment or additions.  This date cannot be earlier than the lodgement date of the field record.

1Section updated 11/01/2022

2New section added 11/01/2022

This page was last updated on: 25 Feb 2022