Ask The Experts
Other articles of interest are by Australian Institute Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) other legislation passed through Government.
- AIQS makes submission to the Senate Review of the Tax Agents Services Bill
- AIQS approaches ACCC about Non QS Misrepresentation
- Restriction on use of AIQS Logo and Name by Student Members
- Why take unnecessary risks?
- Tax Agents Services Act 2009 Passes Through Parliament
- AIQS Membership
- AIQS Lobbies QLD Government on Amended Body Corporate Act
AIQS makes submission to the Senate Review of the Tax Agents Services Bill
A Parliamentary review by a Senate Committee is underway on the amendments to the Tax Agents Services Bill and Regulations and as there are implications in the Bill for QS who undertake property depreciation work, the AIQS made a formal submission in December 2008 to the Senate Committee.This submission followed consultation with a number of senior QS around the country. There was some minor disagreement in the consultation about whether QS needed to be registered or not as tax agents to do depreciation work.
However, there was general agreement that if the Bill was passed with such a requirement, then the AIQS need to become the Recognised Professional Association (RPA) to conduct training programs which would enable us to certify members as competent to practice in property depreciation work. That certification should be accepted under the legislation for registration of the QS member to provide such services.
While another layer of bureaucracy and cost is undoubtedly not welcomed by members, the requirement for those providing depreciation services to be professionally certified by the AIQS, could act as a convenient filter to prevent unqualified people from representing themselves as QS and misleading clients as to their credentials and education/training.
The AIQS submission has now been released by the Senate committee and can be found on their Parliamentary website
(Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Institute News Supplement, Issue No. 49 – March 2009, p2)
AIQS approaches ACCC about Non QS Misrepresentation
Following continued complaints from AIQS members about non QS qualified people claiming to be QS or offering QS services, the AIQS has written to the Australian Competition and Consumer Council (ACCC) to seek their support and advice on how to prevent such misrepresentation.In the past the AIQS has addressed this problem by communicating directly with the people identified by members as misrepresenting themselves as QS. This has generally been successful. However, we are now seeing an increasing number of such cases and wider action is required to both protect the QS professional and also the public who are being mislead (sic) by these non QS qualified people.
We strongly recommend to all AIQS Members hat you take every opportunity to advertise and promote your QS qualifications and especially your AIQS membership, which is the client’s best assurance of receiving an appropriately high level of professional service and protection from those misrepresenting themselves as QS.
(Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Institute News Supplement, Issue No. 49 – March 2009, p3)
Restriction on use of AIQS Logo and Name by Student Members
There have been some complaints from QS clients who claim they have been mislead (sic) about the membership status of the QS with whom they have been dealing. Specifically, the client has understood the QS to be a full corporate member of the AIQS when they have in fact been a Student member.Student members of the AIQS are those members who generally are undertaking tertiary education programs or post graduate studies. Many such Student members are also working in part time employment, some in QS firms.
While AIQS Student members are encouraged to list their student membership status in their CV/resume etc, they should ensure where ever they claim AIQS membership it is made clear that they are Student members. There must be no confusion about their level of membership and no misrepresentation of their status.
The use of the AIQS logo and name by Student members is therefore restricted by the above conditions. Employers of Student members are equally responsible for ensuring that they do not misrepresent the membership level of their employees.
AIQS full corporate members who return to study have the option of retaining their full member status or reverting to Student level. If they so chose (sic) to revert to Student then they are also subject to the above conditions.
(Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Institute News Supplement, Issue No. 49 – March 2009, p9)
Why take unnecessary risks?
Every year I have builders, developers or members of the public ring me seeking advice about how to recover losses from a disastrous building project.In each case their losses have been caused by a poorly prepared and usually very cheap cost estimate or cost plan prepared by an equally dubious person who is NOT an AIQS member. These non-members often have no professional indemnity insurance, have poor qualifications and are not subject to any code of professional conduct.
On reflection the victims of these non-members all agree that they should have used an AIQS member. While there are no guarantees that problems will never occur, using an AIQS member is your best option to reduce such risks.
Terry L Sanders
AIQS General Manager
(T Sanders – AIQS General Manager, The Building Economist, March 2009 / June 2009, p6)
Tax Agents Services Act 2009 Passes Through Parliament
As reported in the March issue of INS, the Tax Agents Services Act 2009 was being considered by Parliament earlier in the year.It has now been passed by Parliament and received royal assent on 26 March 09.
A further Bill is being prepared for Parliament which will cover the transitional arrangements which will be necessary for the introduction of the Act. The transitional period is likely to be between 6 to 12 months from the enactment of the Act.
The AIQS has now written to the Commissioner of Taxation to seek advice on the implications of the Act for QS and what actions QS and the AIQS need to now take to comply with the Act in relation to registration as tax agents, if members are providing property depreciation advice/services for taxation purposes.
We will keep members informed on this issue through the AIQS Email Bulletins.
(Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Institute News Supplement, Issue No. 50 – June 2009, p8)
Members of the AIQS are bound by a strict Code of Conduct and are required to maintain high standards of ethics and professionalism in their dealing with clients and each other.Fellows are members of the AIQS who have been elevated to this highest grade in recognition of their levels of education, professional service and contribution to the AIQS. [Post nominals FAIQS – LFAIQS for Life Fellows].
Associates are members of who have appropriate recognised tertiary qualifications, the required years of practice and passed an Assessment of Professional Competence. [Post nominals AAIQS].
Probationers are members of the AIQS who are Graduates or other appropriately qualified people (including members of recognised QS Institutes in other countries). They are entered as Probationary Members until they satisfy certain experience requirements and pass the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).
Students are members who are undertaking appropriate full time or part time studies.
Technician membership is provided for persons who have obtained TAFE diplomas from recognised courses who intend making a career in Quantity Surveying or persons with diplomas in Quantity Surveying and some practical experience.
(The Building Economist, June 2009, p10)
AIQS Lobbies QLD Government on Amended Body Corporate Act
“As the regulatory and standards body for the QS in Australia, the AIQS pursues the highest level of professional services by its members for industry and the public.We understand that the Queensland government recently updated the regulations to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act to make it mandatory for bodies corporate to have building insurance competed every five (5) years.The AIQS supports such requirements, particularly in times when the costs of construction change significantly over relatively short periods.
To accurately estimate (or value) such costs for property/building replacement requires the expertise of an industry professional who has the necessary knowledge and skills in
- Construction cost estimation
- Building design
- Building codes and specifications
- Future building and site rehabilitation cost data
A properly qualified QS has such expertise, knowledge and access to data. Over the last few years the AIQS has liaised with the Insurance Council of Australia on the topic of replacement cost insurance and our members include such services within their core competencies.
We therefore strongly believe that the QS is by far the most appropriate building professional to provide such a service to bodies corporate in Queensland.
We also feel that it would be in the best interests of them and the owners they represent if the Queensland legislation was amended to include recognition of the QS as being the most appropriate provider for such services.
In order to avoid the problem of unqualified and inexperienced people attempting to misrepresent themselves as being appropriately qualified to undertake such work, we further recommend that the legislation describe the minimum requirements for anyone to undertake such services, for example – the minimum requirement for those undertaking such works should be qualifications and experience which make the person eligible for full membership of the AIQS.
To be eligible for full membership of the AIQS, a person must have:
- A tertiary qualification at degree level which is accredited by the AIQS
- Undertake 2 years of professional work experience supervised or mentored by an AIQS full member (or other person approved by the AIQS)
- Pass an assessment of professional competence panel
The AIQS strongly believes that such action in amending the Queensland legislation will offer the people of Queensland the best assurance of satisfactory professional service in meeting their requirements under the Act.
The AIQS Queensland Chapter President would be pleased to discuss this matter with you or provide any further information that may be required.”
(Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Institute News Supplement, Issue No. 50 – June 2009, p4)