2Formal points
Practice Management and Professional Conduct
Project Initiation and Conceptual Design

CPD – Town Planning: Navigating the System (2023)

2Formal points
Practice Management and Professional Conduct, Project Initiation and Conceptual Design

CPD – Town Planning: Navigating the System (2023)

The town planning system is often one of the primary frustrations for the architectural profession, but by forming a better understanding of the decisions and framework behind them, we can navigate the process to find better and speedier resolutions for our clients.

But where to start?

The system can often seem daunting and alien, and each jurisdiction is slightly different in the way that information is presented. It is crucially important that we understand our obligations under the relevant legislation and restrictions on the site, but sometimes this information can be difficult to find.

Adding further challenges to this, with national mutual recognition of registration, architects are now more likely to practice in different states, but each state is little different in how this information is accessed.

This presentation offers member the opportunity to see the Victorian Planning system in depth, but crucially it will also introduce participants to the various other planning systems around the country with quick ‘how-to’ guides on where to start.

This session is not a full course on the planning legislation in each state but aims to give participants a good base from which to explore and understand the relevant planning codes and understand their obligations within them.


Main Speaker: Ajith Kuruvilla (Director Grayspace Architecture and Urban Design)
Ajith Kuruvilla is a qualified Architect, Town Planner, and Urban Designer. Having worked on a diverse range of projects across Australia and the United Kingdom, Ajith brings passion and creativity to his work, paired with a keen understanding of project pragmatics and constructability that has been developed through years of industry experience. A thought-leader on the built environment, Ajith’s unique approach builds professionalism, through a commitment to quality and client-focused outcomes.

Ajith will give a detailed discussion which touches on the Victorian Planning system and its role within the Building Regulations. He will be available for questions at the end of the session.


Other Speakers

The following speakers will briefly introduce the various planning systems for jurisdictions outside of Victoria and will provide ‘cheat-sheets’ to participants.

Host: Vincent Choi (Creative Director, Rptecture Architecture)

AACA Units of Competency:



This unit of competency encompasses a holistic understanding of the organisation of the profession, practice and business of architecture, with the objective of providing value through sustainable, timely and effective professional services in accordance with the ethical and legal obligations of an architect to clients, colleagues, employees and to broader communities.

PC1 – Comply with the regulatory requirements and obligations pertaining to practice as an architect, including legislation, professional codes of conduct, obligations for continuing professional development and professional indemnity insurance.

PC2 – Implement practice resources and apply ethical employment practice methods and quality assurance systems to facilitate efficient, consistent and timely delivery of architectural services.

PC3 – Apply principles of project planning, considering implications for Country, environmental sustainability, communities, stakeholders and project costs.


This unit of competency encompasses the intelligent, creative, iterative and culturally responsive processes of initiating a project and the early stages of design. This involves research, analysis and the exploration of approaches, design ideas and alternative solutions. It leads to a design concept that meets the client’s brief, respects Country and is capable of compliance with planning controls and construction codes.

PC24 – Be able to prepare and analyse project development options in response to a project brief – its objectives, budget, user intent and built purpose, risk and timeframes, including environmental sustainability considerations.
PC32 – Be able to apply planning principles and statutory planning requirements to the site and conceptual design of the project.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn about the various different planning portals for different states.
  • Learn about how to navigate the policy documents to discern the relevant information.
  • Understand the planning application process.