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Certification of GIS Professionals – Really?

Over the last 20 years, there has been a recurring debate about the need to “certify” or “regulate” people who do GIS, most recently a survey at

The argument is that because surveying is a heavily regulated industry and Surveyors must have a degree and be Licensed/Registered, and because GIS is closely aligned to surveying, then the people who do GIS should be certified/regulated by the surveying industry.

But surely this is a disconnect.

Most GIS people are not surveyors, but surveyors want to regulate them.  Does this make sense?

Corporate GIS does a lot of GIS consulting work with Government agencies, Councils and Power/Water companies. In these organisations, we deal with the GIS people extensively and with the team leaders of each part of the business that use GIS. Almost none of them are surveyors or have surveying background.

Most of the people using GIS are Engineers (Elec, Civil), Planners, Env Sciences, Arborists, Marine Scientists, Accountants, IT and so on.

And some in the surveying industry argue that to do GIS, one has to have certification and be regulated by surveyors? Really?

Why is this?

What are your thoughts?

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