National standards for the survey of Canada Lands

This document provides professional Canada Lands Surveyors with the technical standards that apply to surveys undertaken on Canada Lands and for lands required to be surveyed under provisions of the Canada Lands Surveys Act. It constitutes the instructions of the Surveyor General for surveys of Canada Lands as specified in Section 24(2) of the Canada Lands Surveys Act.

Specimen Plans - PDF [Click to view/hide]
Specimen Plans - DWG [Click to view/hide]

Note: In order to properly view the AutoCAD files, the following fonts are required [Click to download]

Guidelines [Click to view/hide]

Information on the administrative requirements and procedures for surveys on Canada Lands is provided in Getting a Survey Done. This guide is for government departments and Indigenous nations or communities who administer Canada Lands, as well as Canada Lands surveyors and those requiring a survey. It clarifies the survey process and regulations for surveys on Canada Lands.

Additionally, the guide Surveying of First Nation Lands managed under a Land Code is intended to provide First Nations that have a Land Code in effect, with information, tools and links to additional resources when considering having land survey work conducted on their lands.

Regional chapters

These official statements on local survey requirements support the national standards. Each one went into effect on its approval date.

British Columbia [Click to view/hide]
New Brunswick [Click to view/hide]
Newfoundland and Labrador [Click to view/hide]
Nova Scotia [Click to view/hide]
Ontario [Click to view/hide]
Prince Edward Island [Click to view/hide]
Quebec [Click to view/hide]

Interdepartmental and intergovernmental agreements

Latest updates

This is a chronological listing of updates, amendments and announcements related to the Surveyor General's instructions.

Title Date
Official release of the National Standards for the Survey of Canada Lands (1.2) 2022-01-01
Update of Specimen Plans #18 and #19 and removal of Specimen Plan #17 2021-11-26
New Specimen Plans #20A, #20B and #20C; and removal of Specimen Plan #20 2021-03-29
New Regional Chapter (Ontario) - Regional Chapter 2021-01 2021-03-24
New Specimen Plan: Plan of Survey of Easement (Flooding) 2021-03-24
Specimen Plans update - New AutoCAD and PDF files for Specimen Plan #32 2021-02-01
New Specimen Plans #35 and #36 2021-02-01
Specimen Plans update - New AutoCAD and PDF files for Specimen Plans #10, 11 and #11A 2020-07-14
Regional Chapters update - Regional Chapter No. 2020-02 2020-07-09
Regional Chapters update - Regional Chapter No. 2020-01 2020-03-03

Historical publications

Historical general instructions of the Surveyor General.

How to propose changes to the national standards

Individual Association of Canada Lands Surveyors (ACLS) members, regional groups, client departments or agencies, and specific working groups of the ACLS may submit a proposal for changes to the national standards. An ACLS Standards of Practice Committee working group assesses each proposal and may wordsmith it or make recommendations before sending the final results to the Surveyor General Branch. Addenda that are approved by the Surveyor General are published on this website and eventually integrated into the standards.