Victorian Policy & Advocacy Update 210524

The latest Victorian advocacy and policy updating including the building reform discussion paper, heritage advocacy and more.


Members are reminded to have their 10 informal and formal CPD points for 2020/21 completed and filled in a diary by June 30 2021.

Some excerpts from the ARBV website:

If you are registered as an architect (practising) for the full registration year, the ARBV CPD framework sets out for architects to complete:

  • at least 20 hours of CPD per registration year (1 July to 30 June)
  • at least 10 hours of formal CPD activities, out of the total 20 hours. The framework details formal and informal activities.

The framework does not specify CPD activities architects (practising) must complete. Architects (practising) should develop their own CPD plan to address their individual needs.

 If you are registered as an architect (practising) for part of the year, the ARBV CPD framework: states that you should complete CPD activities proportionate to the part of the year for which you are registered. This is also the same for individuals who experience special circumstances such as illness or extended leave (including parental leave) for part of the year. For example:

  • an architect (practising) who is registered for 6 months (50%) of the registration year needs to complete 10 hours (50%) of CPD activities
  • an architect (practising) on parental leave for 9 months (75%) of the registration year needs to complete 5 hours (25%) of CPD activities. The architect may also wish to become an architect (non-practising).
  • Architects (practising) who are registered for part of the year or with special circumstances should take their circumstances into account when making the declaration.

For further information visit here.


A submission to the Expert Panel advising the Victoria Government on Victoria’s Building Reform, in response to the Framework for Reform discussion paper will be lodged this week. Preparation of the submission has benefitted from the input of many members through various committees and forums as well as external stakeholders who operate either a Victorian or national context.

The 44-page submission responds to four key aspects of the Framework for Reform discussion paper* in relation to the building regulatory system: 

Practitioner registration

In this section the opportunity has been taken to consider where Graduates and Students should be registered if all people who even prepare design work are required to be registered. The need for various unregistered ‘practitioners’ to become registered and hold professional indemnity insurance has been recommended by the Institute including project managers, superintendents, quantity surveyors, design managers and construction managers. In this section the Institute has recommended principles for the adoption of the National Registration Framework, as the final version has not yet been publicly released by the Australian Building Codes Board. We have recommended final registration and scope of work be determined under State legislation utilising, competency frameworks with robust and independent methods of assessment, codes of conduct, mandated professional indemnity insurance, ongoing CPD and mechanisms to manage breaches of professional conduct including appropriate sanctions 

Building approvals

The Institute has recommended that the frequency and staging of inspections is reviewed to develop a framework of inspection protocols that are proportionate to the risks that might be associated with different building classes, construction types and building complexity. In addition, there should always be a provision for random and unannounced inspections (similar to visits by workplace health and safety inspectors).

Regulatory oversight

The discussion paper has signalled loudly that the separate regulation of Architects and other design practitioners is problematic. The Institute’s draft submission provides analysis of three possible options the Institute has put forward to regulate design practitioners, including moving Architects under the VBA, the present status quo of an ARBV for Architects only that sits outside of the VBA or an expanded board for Architects and other Design Practitioners. The last option has been positioned as the Institute’s preferred option to provide the best conditions to protect the public. This is achieved ensuring that all design practice is well regulated and has appropriate oversight linked to our recommendation on the National Registration Framework (as per Practitioner Registration). In its submission the Institute supports design declarations similar to those being introduced in NSW, on the proviso of their being reciprocal declaration by the builder.

Consumer protection.

Our submission’s positions and recommendations are all  focused towards increased quality and accountability to the public and protections for consumers. We have demonstrated the extent of consumer involvement in the ARBV including the Board itself and the tribunals which are established to hear matters which come before the board regarding a complaint of professional misconduct.


The Chapter and the Policy and Advocacy team have been attending forums convened by the expert panel. The Institute has been putting forward its position about the need to address Design and Construct with novation procurement, procurement contracts, products certification and more frequent inspections suited to modern construction methods. This position is and theme is repeated in the draft submission.

*The discussion paper is available on the Engage Victoria website.


New infrastructure investment in the 2021-22 Victorian State Budget handed down on Thursday 20 May includes:

  • $1.4 billion in 13 new schools, school upgrades and maintenance, and $72 million to redevelop and upgrade TAFEs;
  • $507 million to build mental health facilities in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System;
  • $368 million to deliver enabling infrastructure for Melbourne’s Next Generation Trams; and
  • $240 million to upgrade rail infrastructure in the city’s south-east to allow for increased train speeds, better reliability and improved service outcomes.
  • new emergency department paediatric zones at University Hospital Geelong, Maroondah, Casey, Northern and Frankston hospitals; 10 community hospitals in Craigieburn, Cranbourne, Pakenham, Phillip Island, Sunbury, Torquay, Mernda, Eltham, Point Cook and the inner‑south of Melbourne; $95 million to upgrade Maryborough Hospital; and $99 million to expand the Angliss Hospital with a new in-patient unit.

Reminder - VICTORIA’S 2021 DRAFT BETTER APARTMENT STANDARDS (BADS) for Architects, Designers, Draftspersons and Landscape Architects, Friday 28 May 12pm AEST


Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Australian Institute of Architects invite you to a design discussion about how to create higher density suburban housing that meets the updated 2021 Better Apartments Design Standards:


  • How do we make our streets less windy (Dr Michael Eaddy – Director, MEL Consultants)
  • How do we create welcoming buildings (James Legge – Director, Six Degrees Architects)
  • How to create a landscape setting (Simone Bliss – Director, Simone Bliss Landscape architecture)
  • How to create great shared and private spaces (Jeremy McLeod – Founder and Design Director, Breathe Architecture)


The seminar will take the form of an informal conversation between the host and a panel of technical experts, discussing four key elements of apartment building design:

Attendance via face to face is booked out, but there are still spaces available to attend via Zoom. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.

This is a complimentary event but registration is essential as there are limits on the face to face and Zoom attendance.

(Please note – this is not a catered event).  

Face to face venue: Australian Institute of Architects Level 2, 41 Exhibition St, Melbourne. Booking via here.

To obtain link for Zoom attendance, email with ‘RSVP BADS Expert Panel 28 May via Zoom’ in the subject line.