University of Technology Sydney

C11204v1 Graduate Certificate in Development Assessment

Award(s): Graduate Certificate in Development Assessment (GradCertDevAssmnt)
Commonwealth supported place?: No
Load credit points: 24
Course EFTSL: 0.5
Location: City campus


This course is only offered to local students.

This course is not offered to international students.

Course aims
Career options
Course intended learning outcomes
Admission requirements
Recognition of prior learning
Course duration and attendance
Course structure
Course completion requirements
Further study at UTS
Other information


Development assessment and building certification have become some of local government's most important activities. The planning system has become increasingly complex requiring increased levels of skills and knowledge for those working in the sector.

People from a wide range of professional and technical backgrounds work in development assessment, and many lack specialist training in the field. To meet differing individual needs, the UTS Centre for Local Government has developed a unique, high-quality graduate certificate course that incorporates specialist professional development and technical subjects.

The cornerstone of this course is its flexibility. It allows participants to prepare a personal study plan that matches the specific requirements of their work, career and other commitments. Most subjects can be studied through intensive block mode and, in some cases, by distance.

The course blends research and practical components, and is designed for those seeking to become leaders in the field of development assessment. It complements a first degree or TAFE qualification in planning, building surveying or other related fields.

Course aims

The course aims to provide students with:

  • a sound understanding of principles and practice of development assessment
  • an appreciation of the wider context of planning and assessment systems in local government
  • knowledge and skills in dealing with different types of applications for development approvals, including the ability to undertake merits assessment and consider broader strategic issues
  • enhanced knowledge and skills in selected areas of development assessment, and
  • the capacity to advance to further study and professional development.

Career options

The course is designed for practitioners seeking to strengthen their skills and knowledge to provide advice and assess development applications with an increased level of expertise.

Course intended learning outcomes

A.0 Attitudes and values
A.1 A well-developed appreciation of values and ethics and their application to local government practice
A.2 Ability to reflect on personal views and values, debrief on practice and articulate the impact of these actions on professional judgement and practice
C.0 Communication and groupwork
C.1 Ability to present, and invite feedback on, complex arguments and ideas
C.2 Understanding of sources of conflict and ability to apply conflict negotiation strategies appropriately
C.3 Ability to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams acknowledging varying professional perspectives
C.5 Understanding the impact of organisational structures for communication and outcomes
I.0 Innovation and creativity
I.1 Ability to question, challenge and develop new perspectives for achieving built environment objectives beyond traditional methods
I.2 Ability (to apply urban design principles) to develop creative merits based on solutions for the built and natural environment
P.0 Practical and professional
P.1 Understanding of how the role of urban planning, development assessment and building regulation evolved in response to social, cultural, economic and political forces
P.2 Ability to locate and understand the legislation and regulation relevant to the built and natural environment
P.3 Ability to conduct merits based assessment or find alternative solutions for the assessment of development applications consents.
R.0 Research and critique
R.1 Ability to use evidence-based research to support and develop coherent and logically structured arguments that underpin decisions.
R.2 Ability to draw on political and urban theories to critique current approaches and suggest improved practice

Admission requirements

Applicants must have completed a UTS recognised bachelor's degree, or an equivalent or higher qualification, or submitted other evidence of general and professional qualifications that demonstrates potential to pursue graduate studies.

Applicants must have one of the following:

  • a UTS recognised bachelor's degree or equivalent, or higher qualification in a cognate field (architecture, building or planning), or
  • completion of a TAFE Certificate IV in Planning or a Statement of Attainment in Building Assessment.

In addition to one of the above qualifications, applicants need to provide:

  • a personal statement explaining their reasons for wanting to study the Graduate Certificate in Development Assessment, and
  • a CV clearly articulating local government sector related work with a minimum experience of two years.

Applicants who do not satisfy the academic requirements may be considered on their ability to demonstrate equivalency through a minimum of five years' relevant work experience.

The English proficiency requirement for local applicants with international qualifications is: Academic IELTS: 6.5 overall with a writing score of 6.0; or TOEFL: paper based: 550-583 overall with TWE of 4.5, internet based: 79-93 overall with a writing score of 21; or AE5: Pass; or PTE: 58-64; or CAE: 176-184.

Eligibility for admission does not guarantee offer of a place.

Recognition of prior learning

Students who have completed relevant previous studies (such as relevant postgraduate studies at a recognised institution or eligible UTS short courses) may apply to the course coordinator for recognition of prior learning (RPL).

Course duration and attendance

The course may be completed on a one-year, part-time basis, with students undertaking two subjects a session, or on a two-year, part-time basis, with students undertaking one subject a session.

Course structure

The course totals 24 credit points, made up of four subjects.

Course completion requirements

CBK90560 Development Assessment core choice 12cp
CBK90561 Development Assessment elective choice 12cp
Total 24cp

Further study at UTS

Graduates may apply for admission to the Graduate Diploma in Local Government Management (C06033) and request credit recognition for relevant subjects studied in this course.

Other information

Further information is available from:

UTS: Institute for Public Policy and Governance
email Academic Programs Officer
telephone + 61 2 9514 1659