ACA - Vic/Tas August Update

14 August 2018

The ACA – Vic/Tas branch has had a busy few months, with elections, a business toolbox seminar and ongoing feedback on the Victorian Schools Capital Works program.

The ACA – Vic/Tas branch has elected its new Committee for the next two years.

Congratulations to the following:

President Paul Viney
Vice President Stephen Cheney
Secretary David Wagner
Treasurer Matthew Tence


Gary Edwards
Richard Bryant
Daniel Haskell
Kel Greenway

Feedback on Capital Works

A subcommittee of the Vic/Tas branch has undertaken a three-month review of the process and procedures around management of the Capital Works program for the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA), Department of Education. Several architectural firms contributed to the report, with roundtable discussions and feedback from staff informing key recommendations. The findings were presented to Don Burns, Manager, Project Delivery, VSBA, in July 2018.

Key recommendations focused on addressing inefficiencies and delays, and included a review of checklists to minimise repetition within and between phases; clear summaries of changes to major documents, such as NATSPEC and Project Management Framework; increased education for schools during AMP1, including information about the design and construction process, and a request for school and asset information that will impact the design process; a revised approach to reporting; and improvement in the online interface and clearer instruction for principal design consultants, contractors and others.

The VSBA will consider the recommendations and invite the ACA subcommittee to a further discussion group.

Business Toolbox Seminar

On 1 August, ACA – Vic/Tas members convened in Melbourne for the ACA Business Toolbox Seminar, where they were walked through the ACA’s website, with its educative forum, and many tools and templates offered to members. Led by ACA – Vic/Tas President Paul Viney and Vice President Stephen Cheney, the seminar explored various tools, such as the salary calculator, templates like the Short Form Architect Client agreement, and industry advice such as privacy legislation on staff details and how these are kept up to date by annual review. Potential ACA projects were also canvassed, such as the long service leave calculator.

The discussion culminated in a detailed presentation of the latest version of the ACA Time Cost Calculator, which is simpler to use and now incorporates a comparative analysis of office costs based upon the anonymous compilation of data of offices of a similar size. Paul Viney explained how the calculator enables the insertion of staff numbers and office costs, which creates overhead rates and hourly rates as a basis for developing fees. Historical data regarding particular job types provides ranges of time for the stages of the architectural service, from which practices select specific time allowances particular to their business. Together with their rates, a suggested fee is calculated.

Wine, beer, cheese and informal discussion concluded the evening.

Upcoming Event

The Vic/Tas branch’s next big event will be in September, when we will host a discussion of NATSPEC, which is now compulsory for all Department of Education projects over $1 million. We hope to have three participants involved in the discussion: Richard Choy, CEO of NATSPEC; a representative from the Victorian School Building Authority; and a practitioner who uses the process. We will advise members of the exact time, date and venue as details are finalised.

Monthly Meetings

The ACA – Vic/Tas holds monthly meetings, and all members are welcome to attend. Please contact Michelle Eades on for further details.