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Space Allocation and Management Policy

Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Policy outlines the principles for the allocation and management of University space.

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Section 2 - Accountability

Key Decision-making power under the Policy

(Delegated) Power


Decision for the allocation of University space up to 50m² and/or involving project costs of less than $75,000. Director Capital Projects, Planning and Asset Utilisation
Decision for the allocation of University space between 50m² - 100m² and/or involving project costs of $75,000 - $150,000. Chief Digital Officer and Executive Director Campus Services
Decision for the allocation of University space exceeding 100m² and/or involving project costs exceeding $150,000. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Enterprise and Digital
Decision for the allocation of Specialist Space. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Enterprise and Digital
Binding decision upon appeal for the allocation of University space resources. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Enterprise and Digital
Final decision on all property leases and licences. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Enterprise and Digital
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Section 3 - TEQSA/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) HESF: Standard 2.1 Facilities and Infrastructure

(3) ESOS National Code of Practice 2018: Standard 6.1.5 and 11.2 (11.2.5 and 11.2.6)

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Section 4 - Scope

(4) This Policy applies to all University owned and leased space.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(5) Space Allocation

(6) Space Management

(7) Fully Enclosed Office

(8) Work Space Area

(9) General Space

(10) Teaching Space

(11) Specialist Space

(12) Research Space

(13) Usable Floor Area - The total occupied internal floor area including circulation and ancillary areas and excluding only service areas such as lift wells, stairs, toilets and plant rooms.

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Section 6 - Policy Statement

Principles for the Allocation of Space

(14) University space is a valuable resource and its allocation is based on the following principles:

  1. The allocation of space will:
    1. Support the University’s strategic planning objectives.
    2. Prioritise the provision of high quality space to deliver teaching, learning and research outcomes. 
    3. Be managed in a consistent and equitable manner using processes outlined in the Space Allocation and Management Procedure
  2. All space is deemed to be University space and will not be controlled by Colleges, business units, officers or individuals.
    1. Use of general space will be centrally managed by Facilities.
    2. Use of teaching space will be centrally managed by Facilities.
    3. Use of research space will be centrally managed by Facilities in collaboration with VU Research.
  3. Space allocation is not permanent and all allocations are subject to review as required.  Periodic re-allocations may be made to ensure the provision of space remains strategically aligned with the evolving priorities of the University. Reasons for reallocation of space may include but are not limited to: 
    1. Consolidation of space to improve efficiencies; 
    2. To enable the closure of a building or campus; and/or
    3. To enable capital or minor works projects to be undertaken in or nearby the space.

      See Space Allocation and Management Procedure for further details.
  4. Space will be managed effectively and efficiently:
    1. The efficient use of existing space will take precedence over the provision of new space.
    2. Space utilisation and sharing of space are to be maximised.  
    3. In planning for current needs, flexibility must be maintained in order that future needs can be easily met.
    4. New and refurbished office space will be configured in a flexible manner, i.e. open plan rather than in the single enclosed office format.
    5. Control of vacated space (including office space) will revert from the relevant organisational unit to the Facilities Department to be managed on behalf of the University.
  5. Specialist space and research space will be allocated in consultation with stakeholders with consideration to:
    1. The need for the space and alignment with University strategic objectives,
    2. Approval from the relevant bodies / overseeing committees, and
    3. Be compliant with OHS legislation and any other legislative or regulatory standards according to the
      proposed activities associated with the space.

(15) The University is committed to the best practice standards of the Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association.

(16) Decisions involving the relocation of student load from one campus to another require endorsement of the University Senior Executive Group.

Leases, Licences and other Agreements for Space

(17) All property leases and licences are to be negotiated by the Facilities Department and are to be reviewed and approved by the Vice President, Students, Infrastructure and Digital Technologies.

(18) No organisational unit other than the Facilities Department may enter into a lease, licence or other agreement for space.

(19) All leases and licences to external organisations are to be negotiated by the Facilities Department and approved by any two of the Senior Executive Group (in accordance with the Financial Delegations Schedule).

(20) Space may be leased to external organisations but University requirements for space will take precedence. In considering space requests from external organisations, relevant factors to be considered include:

  1. the quantum and value of the space,
  2. the benefits to the University,
  3. the length of time involved
  4. future University needs, and
  5. compliance with all relevant legislative and regulatory requirements including OHS.
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Section 7 - Procedures

(21) See Space Allocation and Management Procedure.

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Section 8 - Supporting Documents and Information

(22) See VU Standards for the Design of Formal Learning Spaces.