About this Policy

This privacy policy sets out the information handling practices for the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA, ACN 151 601 937) including our website. We recognise that your personal and sensitive information is important to you and that you are concerned with its collection, use, and disclosure. We are bound by the Australian Privacy Principles as set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) which sets clear standards regarding these activities.

We strive to manage personal information in a best practice way while enabling us to better serve our membership and the community.

Personal information means information or an opinion, true or false and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an identified or reasonably identifiable individual.


Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) is the national body representing planning and the planning profession. Through education, communication and professional development, it is the pivotal organisation serving and guiding thousands of planning professionals in their role of creating better communities.

Our vision is for PIA to be Australia's trusted voice on Planning

The functions and activities we carry out to achieve these goals, and for which we collect and hold personal information include:

  • Managing the membership of PIA and member participation, including disciplinary procedures and the enforcement of conduct standards, and maintaining historical information relating to members for recognition purposes
  • Conducting educational and training courses
  • Holding events such as conferences and briefings on current issues
  • Providing and exchanging information through various channels such as newsletters, printed and online journals, social media sites, our website and mobile applications
  • Lobbying and making submissions to government and others about improving governance laws and planning practices
  • Carrying out a range of research, data collection and analytic activities to
    • identify member and prospective members’ needs and ensure our products and services meet those needs
    • to provide up-to-date information to support Better Planning and make submissions on issues and proposed laws
  • Entering into relationships with sponsors and other partners to financially support PIA activities.

Together, all of the above are our Customer Services.

You do not have a legal obligation to provide any personal information to PIA. However, the consequences if all or some of the personal and sensitive information is not collected by PIA include but are not limited to:

a) not being admitted to membership of PIA or transferred between grades

b) not having your membership administered including compliance with the Continuing Professional Development program and provision of information services

c) being unable to provide you with the Customer Services.

Collection of personal information

PIA collects information to provide services to members and non-members and where it is reasonably necessary to its functions and activities.

PIA will include the following statement at all points where personal information is collected: "PIA collects and maintains personal and sensitive information in line with our privacy policy. To view the privacy policy please visit the PIA website."

PIA will not adopt, use or disclose government related identifiers such as ABNs and TFNs except in situations permitted under the Act.


We collect and hold information from members or prospective members through membership related applications. This information includes name and contact details, date of birth, gender and for relevant membership grades career history. This enables us to uniquely identify members and to assess what products and services may be most suitable and of interest for members. Members are able to login, verify and update this information as one of the steps that we take to keep this information accurate, up-to-date and complete.

We keep information that prospective members have entered when they start, but do not complete, an online membership application form to enable us to contact them about becoming a member.

For ongoing membership management, we collect information from members about the reasons for reducing the level of membership fees such as parenthood, study or travel.


We collect and hold information members and non-members provide through applications to attend events and conferences. This includes, if applicable:

  • Personal information such as dietary or mobility requirements
  • Travel bookings
  • Image (video or photographs) or sound recordings (but only if you have not opted-out from this)

We keep a record of the events and workshops a member or non-member has attended.

Indirect Collection


We collect information indirectly about members, but only in circumstances where a member would reasonably expect it, or where the member has consented.


To expand our membership we collect information indirectly about prospective members through methods which include word of mouth referral, publicly available sources and through our records of attendance at PIA events.


We commission market research about members and non-members, such as the Beaton Benchmarks Report. We only collect and hold the information gained from the research in aggregate form and do not connect it with any records we hold about individual members or non-members.

Notice where you give us information about third parties

If you give us personal information about any other individuals (e.g. guests attending a conference or other event) we ask that you tell the individual that you have done so and make them aware of this Privacy Policy, for example, by giving them the link to it. PIA will only obtain individual’s consent when required to comply with laws or regulations.

Uses of Personal Information

We will not use your personal information for any purpose which you would not reasonably expect unless it is consistent with the Privacy Act. If we think a member may not expect a particular use of information we hold about them, we ask for consent before we use it for that purpose.

Sound and image recordings of events

We use sound and image recordings of our events to enable us to improve our events, and for promotional purposes.

You can contact PIA if you want to express your preference or advise us of any sensitivities in the use of your image or intellectual property on (02) 6262 5933.

Marketing communications

We may use your personal information for the purposes of direct marketing to members and non-members. Such marketing may include, but is not limited to, the products and services that PIA provide for both personal and professional development.

PIA will always comply with its obligations under the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 (Cth) and the Spam Act 2003 (Cth).

We give you the chance to opt-out of receiving marketing material in communications we have with you, such as forms, letters, Short Message Service (SMS) or emails, or you can contact us using the details below or log-in to our website at

Unless you have opted out, we will provide marketing communications to members and non-members until you advise us you no longer wish to receive such information.

Disclosure (sharing) of Personal Information


We disclose the name, title and post nominal of event participants to speakers, organisers, hosts or facilitators under strict conditions to enable them to carry out their role in relation to an event, for example, to organise table lists, or facilitate introductions. We also disclose this information to sponsors and potential sponsors to enable them to assess whether or not to sponsor an event and disclose this to providers of special member offers from time to time under strict conditions.


We disclose information about members to other members via PIA publications, for example, annual reports, lists of new members, elevations and course completions.

Contractors and partners

We disclose personal information to contracted service providers who assist us with a number of our functions and services including service providers of technology, data processing, contact centre, legal, accounting, business consulting, auditing, archival, delivery, banking, payments, market research, content production and mailing but only for the purpose of fulfilling those services.

We disclose personal information when requested by the Australia Day Council (ADC) and other bodies that recognise achievements and service of PIA members.

Regulatory Schemes

Where matters relate to regulatory schemes (for example the NSW Registered Environmental Assessment Practitioners Scheme) information pertinent to your participation in the scheme will be disclosed to the relevant department.

Disclosure with consent

Except in relation to disciplinary procedures or where authorised or required by law, we will not disclose personal information, including the fact that you are a PIA member, the nature of your membership, the Professional Development courses you have completed and your grades, to domestic or overseas individuals or other organisations without your explicit consent.

When PIA receives such an enquiry, we will notify you that the enquiry has been received and offer to provide you with suitable written confirmation of your membership status and you can choose to respond directly to the enquirer at your discretion.

Where authorised or required by law

As authorised by the Privacy Act we disclose personal information in connection with law enforcement activities by enforcement bodies.

We are required by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) to allow an individual to inspect PIA the PIA Member register and view current and past members’ names and addresses. However, the Corporations Act prohibits the individual from using the information gained to contact or send material to members, and from using it for other prescribed purposes.

Code of Professional Conduct

We disclose information about members, and persons making complaints against members, to Code of Professional Conduct investigation panellists and Board directors for the purpose of fulfilling investigations under PIA’s By-Laws.

We disclose the fact that you are a PIA member, and other relevant details of investigations (such as the outcome), to Complainants where necessary under PIA’s By-Laws. This includes disclosure to Complainants located overseas.

Where appropriate, we may also disclose details of investigations (such as the outcome) to relevant planning institutes or equivalent bodies, including those located overseas.

Where matters relate to regulatory schemes (for example the NSW Registered Environmental Assessment Practitioners Scheme), the relevant department will be notified in accordance with contractual arrangements.

Our Website, Emails and Social media


If you send us an email, that address will be recorded automatically by our e-mail messaging system for the purpose of replying to your e-mail. For normal communication with you we will use the e-mail address you provide in your membership application/renewal, unless you ask us to use a different e-mail address.

When we send you emails or other electronic messages, we record information about your interactions with the email including when and where you open the message and click on particular links.

This helps us to better understand what information is of interest to you and to improve the content.


This section applies to our website under the domain name planning.org.au

We use Associations Online to collect a range of information about your interactions with our website and PIA in general. We also use Google Analytics to collect information from the browsers.

PIA implements a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of personal information when submitting a request or placing an order.

These security measures include: password protected directories and databases to safeguard your information or SSL (Secure Sockets Layered) technology to ensure that information is fully encrypted and sent across the Internet securely.

PIA offers the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway provider’s database. This information is only accessible by those authorised with access rights to such systems, and who are required to keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards etc.) will not be stored on our servers.

The information we collect includes IP address, domain name, date and time of visit, the pages visited and time spent on each page, whether you have visited the site before and what site referred the visitor to the web page. We use this information to evaluate the effectiveness of our website and the level of interest in particular pages or PIA campaigns.

Information about how Google handles personal information is available at .

You can opt out of the collection of information via Google Analytics by downloading the .

Our website may contain links to other sites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or policies of those sites and we suggest that you review their privacy policies.

Cookie/Tracking Technology

The site may use cookie and tracking technology depending on the features offered. Cookie and tracking technology are useful for gathering information such as browser type and operating system, tracking the number of visitors to the site, and understanding how visitors use the site. Cookies can also help customize the site for visitors. Personal information cannot be collected via cookies and other tracking technology, however, if personally identifiable information has previously been provided, cookies may be tied to such information. Aggregate cookie and tracking information may be shared with third parties.

Distribution of Information

PIA may share information with governmental agencies or other companies assisting us in fraud prevention or investigation. This occurs when:

  • permitted or required by law
  • trying to protect against or prevent actual or potential fraud or unauthorized transactions; or,
  • investigating fraud which has already taken place. The information is not provided to these companies for marketing purposes.

Mobile applications

When individual members access our mobile applications via their mobile device, our web development firm collects username details in order to authenticate access to member-only content. We do not review or use this information for any purpose beyond authentication with our membership database. We also do not collect or track information about the pages individual members view. App usage statistics (e.g. page views and time on page) are analysed on an aggregate basis only using online analytics made available by our App’s software provider.

Social media

We participate in social media platforms such as LinkedIn groups, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Flickr. If we think it is relevant to the quality of service that PIA provides or its objectives, we sometimes record the nature of the topic discussed by a particular individual and their name and follow up with further conversation offline about which we take notes.

Social media services also handle your personal information for their own purposes. These sites have their own privacy policies.

Security of Personal Information

We periodically assess the risks of misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure of personal information and ensure that we have adequate measures, including policies, procedures and technology, to address those risks. For example, we limit staff access to personal information to that which they need to carry out their role.

PIA Data Breach Policy

PIA has a Data Breach Response Plan to enable us to respond appropriately if we become aware of any unauthorised access to, modification, disclosure, or other misuse or interference with, the personal information we hold.

The Data Breach Response Plan includes notifying affected individuals and the Australian Information Commissioner if the breach is likely to cause a person serious harm. By following the Response Plan we can contain, assess, and respond to data breaches in a timely fashion to help mitigate potential harm to affected persons.

Retention of Information

Subject to proper use and disclosure, all of the personal information about you that that we have electronically is held on password protected databases or file systems, including cloud servers located in Australia and overseas. Personal Information may also be stored in hard copy in secure storage premises, in facilities that PIA own and operate itself, or that are owned or operated by PIA’s service providers.

Only authorised PIA personnel may access your personal information and even then, only for the purposes set out in this Policy. Some personal information, including but not limited to your name and the period(s) of time you were a PIA member, may be stored indefinitely for historical purposes including recognition.

Once PIA no longer has a need for your personal information we will either destroy or de-identify it, unless:

(a) the personal information is part of a Commonwealth record; or

(b) PIA last provided you with services less than 7 years ago; or

(c) an electronic copy of the record has been generated in accordance with the Electronic Transactions Act 2001; or

(d) the personal information is stored for historical purposes.

Access to and the Accuracy of Personal Information

You have a right to ask for access to the personal information we hold about you. Unless there is a lawful reason not to, we will give you access to it and allow you to correct any wrong information. This can be done via our website with your personal login details or by contacting any PIA office either in writing, by email or phone.

We will ask you to verify your identity to ensure we don’t give information to the wrong person. If we don’t give you access to your personal information or refuse to correct it we will tell you why. You may ask us to make a note of your requested correction to be located alongside information we have not agreed to correct.

Our contact details are at the end of this policy.

Requests for Access and Complaint Resolution Mechanism

In the event that you have a question, concern or complaint regarding the way in which we handle your personal information, you should contact our Chief Executive Officer direct at:

Planning Institute Australia
Unit 16, Level 3
11 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600
Tel: 02 6262 5933
Email: ceo@planning.org.au

We take your privacy concerns seriously. Where you express any concerns that we have interfered with your privacy, or seek access to information about you that we hold, we will respond within 48 hours to let you know who will be handling your matter and when you can expect a further response.

If you are unsatisfied with our response you can complain to the Office of the Information Commissioner Telephone: 1300 363 992. Email: enquiries@oaic.gov.au

Suggestions for improving this Policy

We will amend this policy from time to time and notify you of any amendments through our publications and by posting an updated version on our website

Suggestions about improving this policy are welcome. Please contact us on 02 6262 5933.

Privacy policy version 20220420 - v5.


Click to download a PDF version of this policy.