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Collective investment in knowledge


The Surveyors’ Trust collect royalties from the sale of plans developed by surveyors (contributors) and apply these pooled funds to finance projects that will:

  • Advance the expertise of surveyors and have the expertise of surveyors recognised by industry stakeholders and decision makers
  • Protect the ongoing sustainability of Australia’s surveying and spatial industry and protect the associated intellectual property

Our vision

The Surveyors’ Trust is a vibrant community of spatial professionals, pooling collective royalties and investing in capital and education projects to achieve sustainability for the surveying and spatial industry.

Why is this important?

To protect the privacy, investment, intended purpose, associated income and value of survey plans and the role of surveyors nationally both now and into the future.Ultimately this will lead to a strong, sustainable sector where the contribution of spatial professionals is recognised, respected and rewarded.

Our role in the spatial industry

1. We deliver funding to partner organisations, aligned with our values, to create awareness of the surveying profession, advance the expertise of spatial professionals and to protect the intellectual property rights of surveyors

2. We deliver our own intellectual property training program to increase awareness, opportunities, skills and drive a culture of IP commercialisation among the spatial sector

3. We advocate for recognition, protection and commercialisation of intellectual property best practices for the spatial industry

How does the Trust work?

Step 1

Surveyors create plans for their clients. These may be plans for subdivisions, other cadastral plans, engineering plans, as-constructed plans etc. The current priority is cadastral plans.

Step 2

The surveyors lodge plans in the appropriate registering authority and also upload these plans to PlanXchange.

Step 3

When stakeholders purchase the plans to use for their own purposes from PlanXchange, a royalty is paid to The Surveyors’ Trust. The Trust currently receives funds from the operations of the PlanXchange (via royalties and transaction fees).

Plans purchased direct from the registering authority incur a royalty payment to Copyright Agency Limited (CAL, the declared collection society under the Copyright Act) and this royalty, less administration costs, is passed on to the Trust.

Step 4

The Surveyors’ Trust pools the royalties and reinvests the funds into projects and initiatives that advance the industry.

Step 5

Members participating in and contributing to PlanXchange have access to plans at reduced costs and to document management systems whereby they can access previously purchased plans as a value-add of membership — in effect, a cloud based secure plan storage facility.

Our core values

The Surveyors’ Trust’s core values are what the organisation stands for, what it believes in, what it is trying to achieve and what it will be known for.

These values underpin the selection criteria of funded projects and strategic decision making. They include:


All surveyors are educated to a high, consistent standard and achieve recognised qualifications.

Professional development

All surveyors continue to expand their knowledge over the life of their career.


Experienced surveyors support less experienced surveyors and advance the "industry of tomorrow".


Surveyors are acknowledged for their contribution to society.


Royalties from centrally stored intellectual property are reinvested in projects to advance the surveying and spatial industry.


We advocate for Surveyors to uphold the integrity of the surveying and spatial industry.

Quality and innovation

Surveyors conduct high quality, evidenced-based work and seek innovative approaches that will advance the surveying and spatial industry.

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