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Membership Benefits


The direct and indirect benefits of being a BDAV member are invaluable. The BDAV should be regarded as a critical addition to your current resources.

Belong to a True Non-Profit Association

The BDAV is run by the volunteers, who are members running their own design practice, or who work within a design practice.  They do this voluntarily, in the interests of ALL members, and to advance the profession of building design. All funds achieved by the BDAV are used for the benefit of the membership and for the continuing growth and stability of the Association.

Weekly Update

The BDAV issues a weekly electronic update each Friday recapping on any key issues, legislative changes and industry news that may have occurred in the preceding week that is relevant for our membership.

Monthly Journal

The BDAV produces a monthly journal 'BDAV News', specific to the interests of building designers, which is packed with topics, news, issues on the latest industry happenings and events. Back copies of the BDAV's newsletter are able to be downloaded by members from the MEMBER pages of this website.

Continuing Professional Development

The BDAV is an industry leader in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and has won industry awards for its CPD delivery.  The BDAV has developed a very successful structured CPD program, which is well supported by members. The Association presents an informative series of monthly seminars on issues such as the latest industry reforms, innovations and tools vital to the success of a professional design practice. Guest speakers are chosen for their expertise and ability to impart knowledge that will be of benefit to members. The philosophy of the BDAV is that our CPD events are not to be treated as revenue-generating activities and therefore the cost to attend our CPD seminars are at nominal rates to defray actual expenses. Some events are presented at no charge, due to the support of major suppliers to the industry.

In 2004, the BDAV commenced videotaping its Professional Development seminars, to enable remote location members, or those members unable to personally attend such events, to purchase a DVD of the proceedings, and thereby keep up-to-date on professional topics. Details of available DVDs are located at both the CPD section of this website, as well as at the Webshop.

In 2009, the BDAV introduced a CPD Loyalty Scheme for Members, to encourage more members to attend our CPD activities.  Under the Scheme, Members who attend three BDAV CPD evening events may attend their fourth one at no charge.

A CPD Certificate of Attendance is issued to each person attending a BDAV CPD event.

The BDAV records details of CPD attendance for members and, once a year, issues a monthly statement to members who have attended any BDAV CPD events within the preceding 12 months.  This is of assistance to members when renewing their BPB registration, and in instances where some insurers offer discounted premiums to those practitioners who regularly attend CPD activities, as, by continually upskilling their knowledge, such practitioners are deemed a “lesser risk” than non-CPD-attendees.

BDAV Publications

The BDAV offers members project specifications, engagement agreements, indemnity documents, standard form contracts for residential and non-residential projects, which are backed up by advice and training workshops. The BDAV Engagement Agreement is now widely accepted as an industry standard, and is a valuable contract form between designer and client. These items are not available to persons who are not members of the Association. Members may purchase these items from the Webshop at this website.

Practice Notes

The BDAV regularly provides Practice Notes on issues that impact upon the day to day operations of design professionals, ranging from technical, legal, design and office practice. These may be downloaded free of charge by members in the MEMBER pages of this website.

Free Business Advice

The BDAV provides advice free of charge to members on a range of issues including:

  • Copyright Law;
  • Contracts;
  • Wages and conditions;
  • Legislative and regulatory requirements, including professional conduct issues;
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance;

and much more.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

The BDAV has its own insurance scheme, in an alliance with Webber Insurance. The BDAV Insurance Package is only available to Full Members of the Association. The package provides a comprehensive insurance program, which includes Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance, for those Members who are registered building practitioners under the Victorian Building Act 1993. Further details are available in the Member section of this website.

Lobbying and Representation

The BDAV is represented on a number of key Victorian State Government and industry peak bodies, in order to represent members on issues that relate to their professional practice.  The Association's views are regularly sought and respected by Government. A BDAV member represents all registered draftspersons on the Building Practitioners Board. The BDAV also lobbies, when required, on issues that impact the design profession, and engages a well-respected Lobbyist to assist us with our lobbying activities.

Research and Development

The BDAV research and development grant programs enables members to be key stakeholders in cutting edge issues such as waste minimisation, energy efficiency, and design and planning reforms.

Annual Design Awards   

The BDAV conducts an annual Building Design Awards competition which commenced in 1996. The Awards enable Full Members to showcase their design skills to their peers, government agencies, industry suppliers and manufacturers and, through our Awards magazine – Winning Design – to the general public. The competition culminates in a Gala Presentation Event, at which the Awards are announced and presented. Entrants' work is on public display at Federation Square in the lead-up to the Gala Presentation event.

Membership Promotion

The BDAV promotes the services of building designers at trade exhibitions, industry forums, and career expos, which provide display promotions and handout material that promotes the role and professionalism of building designers. 

Website Listing

Full Members of the BDAV are entitled to be listed free of charge in the 'Find a Designer' section of this website. This section is accessed regularly by consumers seeking building designers to assist them with their various building design projects.  Applicants for Full Membership who choose not to be listed at the BDAV website should advise the Association accordingly at the time of applying for membership.

Free Position Placements

Members of the BDAV are able to list, free of charge, vacancies they are seeking to fill within their design practice. Student Members seeking work may also list a free entry. These will appear in both the BDAV's monthly journal, and in the 'Job Market' section of this website. Such listings, which should be sent via email to the BDAV, should be restricted to approx 50 words, and must include contact details for the listing.  Non-members may avail themselves of this service at a fee.

Student Mentoring

The BDAV, in conjunction with RMIT University's School of Built Environment, conducts a workplace learning Program which enables second year Building Design students to be mentored by BDAV members. The BDAV is acknowledged as an Association that genuinely takes an interest in students who are studying building design and drafting. The workplace learning Program assists students in obtaining a better understanding of how the industry operates and provides students with valuable advice from experienced industry practitioners.

In 2008, the BDAV introduced a Student Scholarship program, which offers a scholarship of $1,000 to a worthy student from each of the 11 TAFE Institutes in Victoria who offer Building Design courses, to assist high-achieving students studying building design to further their education in their chosen profession.

As can be seen, there are many worthy benefits in being a member of the BDAV.