Australia: National Model Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors

WOBO is pleased to provide the link to the National Model Code provided by the Australian Building Codes Board in response to the Building Confidence Report of Australia.

Melbourne, Australia, city skyline with many buildings under construction against a blue sky with light clouds.

The National Model Code sets the standards of behaviour for building surveyors performing statutory functions.

At their November 2020 meeting, Building Ministers agreed to release the National Model Code of Conduct for Building Surveyors. It addresses recommendation 10 of the Building Confidence Report (BCR), which expressed the need for clear standards of behaviour across jurisdictions for building surveyors with statutory responsibilities.

The Model Code is intended to establish a consistent basis for education, audit and compliance activities undertaken by regulators. It can also assist building surveyors to meet their statutory obligations and manage the expectations of others.

You can read the communique from the Building Ministers’ Meeting on the Department of Industry’s website.


The code is a model, and does not have any force or standing until it is adopted by a jurisdiction. State and Territory building administrations may choose to develop a new Code of Conduct based on the Model, or to align an existing Code of Conduct that applies to building surveyors who perform statutory functions in their jurisdiction.


The Model Code was developed by the BCR Implementation Team and included a six-week public consultation periodthrough March – April 2020.

Forty-five submissions were received. Most were supportive of a national Code of Conduct that applied to registered building surveyors, and combined minimum obligations with information on how to meet them. Constructive feedback on reducing overlap was also provided, as well as suggested improvements to obligations for reporting and transparency.

The Model Code

Following consultation, the BCR Implementation Team merged and re-grouped the original 21 obligations to remove duplication and clarify their purpose, resulting in 16 obligations of conduct in the final Model Code. These obligations are categorised into four areas:

1. Comply with the law and act in the public interest
2. Professionalism
3. Honesty and integrity, and
4. Transparency and accountability.

In direct response to submissions, the Model Code was also restructured to combine the obligations with information on how to meet them. A suggested compliance strategy is also included to support consistent application of the Model Code by regulators, if adopted.

The Model Code can be downloaded from the ABCB Resource Library.

As the Code is a model and does not have any force until it is adopted, it is recommended that you contact your state or territory building administration for information on how standards of conduct are applied in your state or territory.

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