Short Courses

AS5488 Subsurface Utility Engineering

Understand how to best manage underground utilities and apply this knowledge to engineering design work for construction projects.
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Understand how to best manage underground utilities and apply this knowledge to engineering design work for construction projects.

Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) is an internationally accepted practice to manage underground utilities and ensure they are taken into account during the design phase of a construction project. 

Australia now has a national Standard on SUE, AS5488, allowing engineers and construction professionals to better plan projects and communicate about subsurface utilities. 

This introductory course highlights the main sections of AS5488 and how to use SUE principles to create better engineering designs for construction and infrastructure projects. You’ll learn about: 

  • different types of subsurface utilities 
  • what an engineering design needs to consider 
  • when SUE needs to be applied 
  • what can go wrong if SUE is not adopted 
  • current rules and regulations in Australia, and international best practice 
  • managing utility authorities 
  • processes for utility survey scoping 
  • managing Safety in Design risks 

After completing this course, you’ll know how to apply subsurface utility engineering principles to improve outcomes on construction projects; reducing costs and delays and increasing safety. 

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*1% credit card surcharge applies.

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8 Hours, self-paced
Location & dates

1 January - 31 December

Additional Information

Once you register, you will be provided with access to the EEA Online platform to start this course.

We can arrange bulk registration packages for corporate clients.

This includes the option to set up an access code for your organisation, allowing your team to register for courses on demand, avoiding the need to request individual Purchase Orders.

We can also customise this course to align to your business objectives or L&D needs.

Find out how we can help you and your team by completing an enquiry form or calling us on +61 3 9321 1700.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes

  • List the range of subsurface utilities that can be encountered when undertaking an engineering design
  • Explain why information relating to underground utilities is often inaccurate or incomplete
  • Describe what Subsurface Utility Engineering is and the role of a Subsurface Utility Engineer
  • Explain the Dial Before You Dig process
  • List the range of individuals/organisations that must be considered when undertaking an engineering design
  • Outline what an engineering design plan needs to include to properly consider subsurface utilities
  • Identify what can go wrong if the subsurface utilities are not managed correctly
  • Identify national rules governing other countries and the benefits of operating under that system
  • Identify the Australian national, State and Local government rules governing subsurface utilities
  • Describe the approach to preparing utility survey scoping, quality assessment of the survey, and appropriate level of survey at each stage of a project versus the risk level
Is this course for you?

Is this course for you?

This course suits engineers and professionals involved in construction and civil infrastructure projects such as buildings, roads, rail, water engineering, airports, and defence. Roles include:

  • Design engineers
  • Draftspersons
  • Project managers
  • Architects
  • QA professionals
  • Construction managers

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Topics we'll cover

Topics we'll cover

  • Underground landscape
  • Problems and risks
  • Subsurface utility engineers
  • Subsurface utility engineering process
  • The AS 5488 Subsurface Utilities Australian Standard
  • Lessons from abroad
  • Major infrastructure projects
Roger Collins-Woolcock BE (Civil), MBA
Rob Sansbury BSc (Civil Engineering)
How you'll learn

This course is delivered through EEA Online, our digital learning platform.

You'll learn using a mix of practical case studies, quizzes and reading, audio and video materials. You'll also apply your knowledge in practice with a variety of assessment tasks and learning checks.

It will take approximately eight hours to complete. As it is self-paced, you can start anytime and save your progress as you finish each module.

Once you register for the course, you have 90 days to complete it.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a digital badge as evidence of your achievement. Learn more about Engineering Education Australia’s digital badges including how to claim and share on our Frequently asked questions page.

This also counts towards the number of Engineers Australia Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours you can claim.

EEA Online access

EEA Online is powered by leading Learning Management System (LMS), Canvas by Instructure.

Once you register for a course, you will be provided with access to the EEA Online Canvas platform to start this course.

If you are registering for your first EEA Online course, you will receive an email from [email protected] inviting you to set up your EEA Online account. 

Supported Browsers

For best performance, please use the most recent major release of Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari. Read more about the current supported browsers on Canvas:

Mobile access

EEA Online is mobile friendly, however desktop is preferred. Please read through the following information on mobile access via Canvas:

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