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Accredited Professionals Scheme

Supporting better decision-making and high levels of professionalism in the planning sector


The Accredited Professionals Scheme aims to enhance the reliability, flexibility and accountability of decision-makers in the planning system and give development applicants greater confidence in the way that their development applications are assessed.

Consultation status

The Regulations for the Accredited Professionals Scheme were proclaimed by His Excellency the Governor on 7 February 2019 and will be operational on 1 April 2019.

Consultation on the Accredited Professionals Scheme Draft, comprising of the Accredited Professionals Regulations, the Accredited Professionals Skills and Experience Requirements, and the Accredited Professionals Code of Conduct, closed on 17 October 2018.


Completed In progress Pending

A record of public consultation relating to this planning tool is listed below.

CLOSED: Accredited Professionals Scheme Draft

Consultation closed on 17 October 2018


The Accredited Professionals Scheme Draft (PDF, 916 KB) comprised of the Accredited Professionals Regulations (the Regulations), the Accredited Professionals Skills and Experience Requirements, and the Accredited Professionals Code of Conduct.

Your input was used to develop the Accredited Professionals Scheme via Regulations to the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

It is anticipated that planning and building practitioners will be able to apply for accreditation in mid-2019

A What We Have Heard report was prepared summarising the key messages that were communicated to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (the Department) throughout the consultation process. It also offers some clarification in response to common queries that were received in submissions.

This report has been published on the SA Planning portal and distributed to all engagement participants.

Listed below are links to the submissions for the Accredited Professionals Scheme Draft:

CLOSED: Accredited Professionals Scheme Discussion Paper

Consultation closed on 30 April 2018


The discussion paper on the Accredited Professionals Scheme was made available for public consultation from 4 February – 30 April 2018.

The scheme will create consistency in decisions made, more transparent accountability and more choice for professionals and applicants when engaging with the development process in South Australia.

Accredited professionals under the scheme will need to meet prescribed requirements for qualifications, experience and specialist knowledge relevant to the type of work they are performing.

Your input has been used to develop the Draft Accredited Professionals Scheme via Regulations to the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 and released for consultation in August of 2018.

A What We Have Heard report based on feedback received has been circulated to all engagement participants and published on the SA Planning Portal.

The Accredited Professionals Scheme is a key arm of the new planning system created under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

Under the new Scheme, planning and building professionals who are involved in assessing development applications will be expected to maintain minimum standards of professional practice and produce evidence that they are sufficiently qualified to make key decisions at certain levels.

Once accredited, planning and building professionals will be registered in a central database managed by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

In addition, all Accredited Professionals will be required to hold all necessary insurance, comply with an Accredited Professionals Code of Conduct, participate in annual compliance checks and undertake specified units of Continuing Professional Development.

The Accredited Professionals Scheme will help to facilitate the following:

  • Better decision making
    The Scheme will ensure that planning and building professionals are suitably qualified and experienced to assess development applications and that they adhere to relevant planning requirements and a strict code of conduct.
  • Improved recognition of professionals
    The Scheme will publicly recognise the skills and experience of planning and building professionals and the value they bring to the decision-making process.
  • Faster processing for applicants
    Development applicants will have the choice to engage accredited professionals in the public or private sectors, resulting in faster and more responsive turnaround times on applications.
  • Better management of complaints
    The Scheme will provide a clear auditing and compliance process to ensure that all decisions are transparent and that issues and complaints can be investigated swiftly and fairly.
  • Centralised public register for all accredited professionals
    All Accredited Professionals will be registered on a central directory on the SA Planning Portal, making it easier for users to access up-to-date information on all planning and building decision-makers, including their areas of expertise.

To become an Accredited Professional, practitioners will need to be accredited by the Chief Executive of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), known as the Accrediting Authority.

An application for accreditation will need to be lodged and accompanied by evidence that supports practitioners’ eligibility to become accredited in the class that they request.

There will be several classes of accreditation available under the Scheme and each will require a different level of qualification and experience. The accreditation classes are not dissimilar to the accreditation levels identified by the Planning Institute of Australia, the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute.

All applications for accreditation under the Scheme will be evaluated by either DPTI or a selected service provider (such as those named above) on behalf of DPTI. However, only the Chief Executive of DPTI will have the authority to officially offer accreditation to applicants.

As an ongoing condition of accreditation under the Scheme, practitioners will not only be expected to demonstrate that they have maintained suitable skills, knowledge and qualifications, but will also be required to maintain an appropriate level of insurance; comply with the Accredited Professionals Scheme Code of Conduct; and notify the Chief Executive of DPTI of any change to their professional circumstances.

Under the Accredited Professionals Scheme regulations, those practitioners who are registered and certified with a professional body under a recognised equivalent scheme may receive automatic accreditation under the new Scheme at a reduced fee. They must still apply for accreditation but their existing certification may be taken as evidence that they meet the requirements of the accreditation class in which they wish to operate.

The process for developing the Accredited Professionals Scheme can be viewed at-a-glance in the Infographic: How we have developed the Accredited Professionals Scheme (PDF, 96 KB). Each of the steps involved are described in more detail, below:

Consultation on the discussion paper took place between February to April 2018. It proposed the operational framework for the Scheme. A summary of the feedback we received on the paper is available in the What We Have Heard Report - Accredited Professionals Scheme Discussion Paper (PDF, 749 KB). The Scheme has since evolved to address the feedback received and to support other elements of the planning reform program.

Two workshops were held with key stakeholders to refine and strengthen the Scheme. The first workshop took place on 14 March 2018 and addressed the themes of the Accredited Professionals Scheme Discussion Paper. The second workshop was held on 11 April 2018 and explored the Continuing Professional Development requirements for the Scheme. These workshops were recorded and can be viewed below.


Part 1 - Introduction and presentation


Part 2 - Workshopping and discussion paper


Part 1 - The presentation on a CPD program


Part 2 - Q&A session


Part 3 - Workshopping the CPD methods of training

The Accredited Professionals Scheme Draft (PDF, 916 KB) was released for consultation on 23 August 2018 and submissions were invited until 17 October 2018. The draft Scheme includes the Accredited Professionals Scheme Regulations, the Accredited Professionals Skills and Experience Requirements, and the Accredited Professionals Scheme Code of Conduct.

The administrative procedures for the Scheme are forthcoming and will set parameters for all elements of the Scheme so that it operates smoothly.

The Accredited Professionals Scheme will be implemented in stages. It will become operational under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 on 1 April 2019, however, planning professionals, building professionals and land surveyors will not need to become accredited until the Planning and Design Code (the Code) becomes effective in the council area in which they operate. See the Planning and Design Code page for information about the staged implementation of the Code.

For current, private certifiers in the building sector (already registered with DPTI), transitional provisions will be in place from 1 July 2019. These provisions will allow them to continue practicing at their current level until the anniversary of their existing professional registration, at which point their registration will expire, and they will need to be accredited under the new Scheme.

For the interim period from 1 July 2019 until the expiry of current registration, private certifiers will be deemed to be accredited within the class that most closely corresponds to their current activities.

Page last modified Thursday, 21 February 2019