Focus On: Licensed Surveyor | The Start of the Next Journey

Posted on November 23rd, by Kathryn Kutchel in Our people, Subdivision, Survey, Urban Development.

At Taylors, we encourage the professional development of all our team members and regularly participate in workshops, seminars, industry membership and affiliate activities to provide a wealth of experience and expertise to our clients.

Our Survey and Subdivision team is one of the largest in Victoria with over 25 Survey professionals and 10 Licensed Surveyors from a range of diverse backgrounds and experiences. As major contributors to the Survey profession, we often have surveying graduates on Professional Training Agreements to obtain their Licence and continue the Taylors legacy.
One of two most recent graduates, Craig Lyons, talks about the process of his Professional Training Agreement and what the achievement now means for him.

Now a Licensed Surveyor, Craig Lyons, discusses his challenges and progress.

What was the process you underwent?

I started the professional training agreement (PTA) seven and a half years ago, and that involved submitting four projects to the board – the Professional Assessment, Urban Cadastral, Rural Cadastral and Law projects – and sitting the interview at the end, and I did all of this progressively.
I took a little longer than others might due to family commitments and life circumstances and it was a bit difficult at times, especially when it came to crunch time for projects. Everyone has commitments outside of work, and a lot of the projects happen outside of work, but Taylors did provide a lot of support as well for allocating training time and that helped to alleviate the pressure.

And what did your family think of the process?
Through the process? It was challenging. But after I had the interview at the end of the process and I found out, my two- and half-year-old daughter said, “Good job Daddy!” (laugh)

What does getting the registration at this age mean?
There’s a lot of experience there from the surveyors that are retiring, and you don’t want to lose their knowledge of this industry, and as a Licensed Surveyor you’re always learning, so I see this more as the start of the next journey. It’s not an intimidating thing, it’s just another part of the job, another part of the career. While the older generation is still there in the industry, we’ll leverage off that and gain as much experience and knowledge from them as we can. It’s about the older generation passing down the wealth of information they have. I got a lot of that knowledge from Leo, my supervising surveyor, he’s a very knowledgeable person and he passed that along to me and supported me.

“I got a lot of that knowledge from Leo, my Supervising Surveyor.”

Supervising Surveyor and General Manager of Urban Development Survey and Subdivision, Leo Bateman, has spent many years in the industry and is well known among many committees and initiatives as a leading voice of the surveying industry.

Leo, what was most rewarding about mentoring Craig?
In the age of the millennial, there is an app for everything, but there is no app for the reward you get from hard work. To see the attitudinal development and the positivity through understanding that the process is not about just getting to the milestone, or just getting a tick at the end, was exciting. The process is to develop professionally to a point where at the end of it all you present yourself and your work to the board and let them assess you on whether you are fit for qualification.

The greatest success is being able to deliver a professional that is excited about what they do and are confident about what they can do. If you’ve done the job properly, then there is the success story, because then you can create a repeat process. They will become a supervising surveyor down the line, and you get return out of your investment through a pay it forward method. They’re not just giving back to the business, they’re giving back to the industry as a whole.

And are there any challenges along the way?
The biggest challenge is communicating that the task at hand is a series of steps they need to tick off, and it’s not as hard as you may think it is. You need to motivate them to look through all of the perceived difficulties of completing a task and focus on a single objective and reason for completing the task. Once you start the process and apply yourself to it, you’ll complete it in the timeframe. There is no point in looking for shortcuts or completing the projects for the sake of due dates, the focus needs to be learning the fundamentals properly, enjoying the highs and learning from the lows, and being able to pull it all together and make the most of the opportunities presented to them by the board and the business.
They need to find a way, so they don’t become overwhelmed by the incredible amount of information. There is a constant theme through businesses that when a surveyor comes from university, they know nothing, and that’s not true at all. The only difference between a graduate and a senior, and that’s one word, experience, that’s the only thing that separates the two.

“We need to build leaders within our teams.”

Craig, how does getting this registration change your role at Taylors?
It’s a great thing for Taylors to have that many Licensed Surveyors and to also be promoting that they encourage the training for graduate surveyors, it’s quite empowering that you’re entrusted to sign plans and do the heavy lifting. You get responsibility from the Surveyors Board and from Taylors as well, you get put in that role to manage the project and make decisions. I was very fortunate to have that guidance from Leo to support me through the projects and process, it was very rewarding – the board even congratulated him on the level of support he had provided. I like to recognise that having a very strong supporter is key and helps greatly. The support from Taylors was great as well, organising study leave, arranging time to go to seminars, it was all extremely helpful.

And Leo, what does passing this knowledge on mean for Taylors?
We need to build leaders within our teams, and we’re only going to do that by creating surveyors that are comfortable in their own skin and who can relate well to the clients they deal with. They are contributing to very significant projects within the state, and these have real value in the space of community building.

Putting the time and effort into them is all done with the aim of building their confidence and shaping their minds toward a positive attitude and a sense of value for the meetings, the projects and the relationships ahead of them. We don’t want our surveyors to be focused on just surveying, we want them to add value to the project as a whole – a big picture approach. Community building is about relationship building, and to be a part of that process, you need to go out with the mindset that you are an important part of that process, you are valuable.

“I feel very privileged that I’m being trusted by the state and Taylors to have more responsibility.”

Craig, any final words?
I feel very privileged that I’m being trusted by the state and Taylors to have more responsibility and manage those projects, it’s a very proud moment. It’s great for the clients as well who see you progress and all the clients I’ve spoken to have been excited, it helps to build the relationship more as well knowing that you have more expertise under your belt.