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Development Assessment



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Mixed (online and in-person)


5 wks


5 x 8 hrs

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This short course outlines the basic building blocks of the development assessment process and the planning principles that underpin good practice.

About this course

Development assessment is one of the most high-profile and resource-heavy activities in the local government sector. This short course will equip you with a fundamental understanding of the development assessment process and related planning principles.

During this Development Assessment course you’ll also learn to balance planning law and policy considerations with local strategic planning and urban design outcomes – essential knowledge and skills for effective professional practice.

Course structure

Designed for planning professionals, such as engineers, building surveyors, planners and environmental officers who work with urban planners as well as support staff and those relatively new to the field of development assessment, this course outlines the basic building blocks of development assessment process and the planning principles the underpin good practice.

Designed to complement experience at work and on-the-job training, this course provides essential knowledge and skills for effective professional practice, balancing planning law and policy with local strategic planning and urban design outcomes.

This course can be delivered as an advanced course for senior development assessment and planning officials and can be customised for in-house training for your organisation.

Session 1

  • Introduction to development assessment
  • The role of the Development Assessment (DA) Planner
  • Strategic framework, state and regional planning
  • Local environmental planning in NSW
  • Local environmental plans and development control plans.

Session 2

  • Development assessment fundamentals
  • The development assessment framework
  • Steps in the development assessment process
  • Case studies of the range of development types and scales.

Session 3

  • Development assessment (DA) in practice
  • Professional practice
  • Specialist input to the DA process
  • Assessment and weighing decisions.

Session 4

  • Development assessment field trip and best practice case studies/workshop
  • Urban design basics.

Session 5

  • Decision-making and Appeal Systems

-  Land and Environment Court

-  How planning panels operate: panel report workshop.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course you should:

  • Understand how the NSW strategic planning and development assessment systems operate
  • Understand the significance of the legal frameworks on which planning is based
  • Be equipped to analyse planning instruments such Local Environmental Plans (LEP) and State Environmental Planning (SEP) Policies, and the accompanying development control plans
  • Understand how development applications (DAs) are processed, including legal requirements, determining key issues and impacts, stakeholder views, weighting of issues and applying conditions of consent
  • Be aware of key examples and worked case studies, considering assessment matters, conflict resolution and negotiation skills
  • Understand the sources of conflict, approaches for dispute resolution; and the role of the Land and Environment Court (including procedures, planning principles and case law).


Full price: $2,990 (GST-free)*

*Price subject to change. Please check price at time of purchase. 

Delivery style

This course will be offered in a mixed mode format consisting of online delivery via a live Zoom link and face-to-face teaching on UTS campus. Location details and teaching materials will be made available to participants prior to the course.

Block one will be offered online via a live Zoom link and block two will be delivered face-to-face on UTS campus. On day four, participants will be accompanied by our presenter(s) on a site visit. Location details will be released in the lead up to the commencement date.

In-house training solutions

This development assessment course can also be customised or delivered in-house.

Enrolment conditions

Course purchase is subject to UTS Open Terms and Conditions. 

COVID-19 information

UTS is undertaking a number of social distancing initiatives, as informed by NSW Health advice, to help reduce social interactions in support of the government’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. As part of this response, some of our short courses may be postponed to a later date.

Please note however, bookings are open for all courses offered by the Institute for Public Policy and Governance (IPPG). If a course needs to be postponed, participants will have the chance to transfer to a later date, a new course or request a full refund. IPPG will also be offering a range of online or blended learning options facilitated via zoom video conferencing. If you have any questions in the interim, please do not hesitate to contact our team at

Who is this course for?

The course has been designed for planning professionals who are looking to further develop their knowledge of the development assessment process including, but not limited to engineers, building surveyors, planners, support staff and those relatively new to the field of development assessment.

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Acknowledgement of Country

UTS acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation, the Bidiagal people and the Gamaygal people, upon whose ancestral lands our university stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.