New ALTA/NSPS Survey Standards in the Works

Posted by Evolve October 24, 2019

ALTA/NSPS Minimum Standard Detail Requirements are Being Determined

Discussions have begun within the NSPS (National Society of Professional Surveyors) regarding potential revisions to the ALTA/NSPS Minimum Standard Detail Requirements. The standards typically update about every five years and the tentative plan is to have the final version ready to be adopted by both ALTA (American Land Title Association) and NSPS in the fall of 2020 with the new standards going into effect sometime in February of 2021.

NSPS Will Consider All Comments and Suggestions

The NSPS review board will consider and discuss all comments and suggestions offered, mostly by surveyors, across the country at their meeting this month. Currently, there are about 80 suggestions. They range from minor verbiage and punctuation changes to defining what constitutes an update of survey, clarifying locating utilities and appurtenant easement responsibilities (which became a bit muddled in the 2016 standards), adding and revising some Optional Table A Items and further efforts to make some of the responsibilities less open to interpretation. After reviewing and whittling down the list of suggestions the formal NSPS committee will meet later this month with the ALTA committee to begin their process of reviewing suggested changes to the ALTA/NSPS survey.

As an industry leader, NV5/Bock and Clark keeps current with potential alterations in any new versions of the Minimum Standard Detail requirements. As with past ALTA standards revisions, there is always a period of adjustment for both surveyors as they learn of new or different responsibilities and end users who rely upon and interpret what a surveyor is reporting.

New ALTA/NSPS Survey Standards Effective February 2021

The new proposed standards will likely have an effective date in February 2021. Prior to that date, if a surveyor receives a written authorization to proceed the survey will still be performed to the 2016 standards regardless of the date of survey. Surveyors engaged by a written authorization after the effective date will be required to provide surveys reflecting the new standards. For the purpose of proposal and engagement on these projects, the 2016 standards become null and void.

When the FINAL draft of the new standards is adopted and approved by ALTA and NSPS, NV5/Bock & Clark will post the new ALTA survey requirements on its website and share it on multiple platforms. We typically prepare highlights of the most critical changes and will make that available. As in the past, we will be offering seminars, classes, webinars, etc. to help the industry to become familiar with the changes.

Getting a good understanding of the changes is vital to anyone who reviews and relies on ALTA/NSPS survey products to avoid delays and miscommunications. Please feel free to reach out to either your NV5/Bock & Clark Project Manager or Client Service Representative with any questions. We will begin scheduling training sessions for our clients that qualify for CLE credits in some states beginning in the fall of 2020.