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Space Management Policy
The provision of quality physical environments for work, learning and research and the effective and efficient management of space is fundamental to achieving the strategic directions of the University:
  • to create a workplace which attracts, engages and retains staff in a collegial environment
  • to provide a great experience for our diverse student population, and
  • to improve students’ overall satisfaction with their course and with our teaching.
The Space Management Policy ensures the appropriate and sustainable use and management of University space to provide students and staff with a modern, safe, comfortable and fit-for-purpose environment.  Such an environment is conducive to teaching, learning, research and engagement and will support sound administration and financial viability.
This policy establishes:
  • categories of space that determine occupancy, management and maintenance
  • the basis for space charges
  • operational rules for the allocation of space including dispute resolution
  • office space size, fitout and car parking entitlements, and
  • teaching space fitout guidelines.
  1. This policy applies to all University of Canberra space excluding leased tenancies, plant rooms and external landscape space.
  2. This policy informs but does not replace the University capital expenditure budget process, procedures or determination.
  3. The policy does not apply to the development, execution or management of leases and/or licences for the use of University space.
  4. It is the responsibility of all University staff individually and as members of organisational units to uphold this policy.
Space Management
The objectives of space management at the University are to:
  • support and foster effective teaching, learning and research
  • provide appropriate workspaces, common space and social spaces
  • maintain accessible, functional and comfortable environments
  • provide healthy and safe working conditions in accordance with legislative requirements and associated University policy
  • encourage a collegial environment in space allocation and use, and
  • optimise the use of space in a manner that is sustainable and equitable.
Space Categories
  1. The type of space owned, leased and/or managed by the University includes office space, research space, teaching space, meeting and conference space and shared public space.
  2. All University space is categorised as allocated, bookable or common space.
  3. Allocated space:
    1. is that which has been set aside for the sole occupation and use of one or more organisational units (e.g. individual and open plan office space; faculty research space, and some specialised teaching spaces such as laboratories or special outdoor areas, workshops or training rooms);  
    2. is managed by the organisational unit to which it is allocated, and is maintained by Campus Planning and Development to University service standards.  Additional maintenance may be negotiated at a cost to the organisational unit if required. 
  4. Bookable space:
    1. is space formally set aside for short-term use (e.g. lecture halls, general-purpose teaching spaces, tutorial rooms and meeting rooms);
    2. is generally managed by the Timetable Office and is maintained by Campus Planning and Development to University service standards. Some bookable space is marketed and managed as a venue by the University of Canberra Union (UCU Ltd) for conferences, meetings and events (e.g. the Anne Harding Conference Room).
  5. Common space:
    1. includes public areas generally available to all University users (e.g. corridors, lifts, stairs, recreation rooms or staff rooms and amenities such as toilets)
    2. is managed and is maintained by Campus Planning and Development.
    3. in some circumstances common space may also be bookable for events through UCU Ltd (e.g. the Refectory).
  Space Charging
  1. Space charges apply to all categories of space.  The rate of the charges is set by the Vice-Chancellor within the budget context and may be subject to change.  The level of the charge is generally based on a fixed rate per useable net floor area in sq metres.  In some circumstances a percentage premium on the standard rate may be applied where the level of maintenance is high or complex because of the special nature of the allocated space (e.g. space with specialised or sensitive equipment).
  2. Allocated space is charged to the organisational unit occupying the space. A pro-rata rate will apply where it has been agreed that the space is allocated and managed collectively by more than one organisational unit. Charges apply from 1 January 2010.
  3. Bookable space may be charged on an hourly rate (with a minimum of one hour). Such charges would commence only upon authorisation of the Vice-Chancellor.
  4. Common space charges are pooled and distributed to organisational units in accordance with the Cost Allocation Methodology managed by Financial Services.
  5. Leased tenancies, including commercial leases, are not covered by this policy. Charges for leases are determined on a range of criteria including the prevailing market and financial environment.
Changes to Space Allocation
  1. Space occupied by an organisational unit as at 1 January 2010 is presumed to have been allocated to that unit. Space in new buildings (even if purpose-built) will be allocated by the Vice-Chancellor
  2. Changes to space allocation will be made in accordance with the Operational Rules at Annexure 1 to this policy.  These rules require consultation in good faith prior to a decision to change the allocation of any space.
  3. Requests for additional space or to relinquish allocated space will be made on the Space Request Form at Annexure 2 to this policy.  The request must have the support of the head of the unit.
Space Entitlements
  1. Office space entitlements reflect staff responsibilities and requirements and academic or administrative levels and aim to be fair and equitable.  Account will be taken of verifiable special circumstances.  The Office Space Entitlement Guidelines are at Annexure 3 to this policy.
  2. Existing office sq metre areas will only be changed where it can be demonstrated that the change is essential to the responsibilities of the occupant, to meet occupational health and safety requirements and/or to accommodate additional people.
  3. The base standard for furniture and equipment within teaching spaces will provide versatile and supportive space to accommodate contemporary technology.  Teaching Space Fitout Guidelines are at Annexure 4 to this policy.
  4. Spaces requiring special fitout or equipment for teaching, learning or research will be considered in the capital expenditure budget context.
  5. To ensure space is used effectively and is properly maintained, changes to the physical infrastructure of any space, including the purchase of fittings, fixtures or equipment shall be made only with the agreement of a Space and Design Manager, Campus Planning and Development.
Space Monitoring
To ensure that space distribution and quality is effective and equitable Campus Planning and Development will conduct periodic audits and report the findings to VCG.  Heads of organisational units may request special audits of allocated space on a case-by-case basis.  Audit costs will be charged to the relevant unit.
Campus Planning and Development is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the Space Management Policy.
The University Architect determines the allocation of space in accordance with this policy and the Space Allocation Operational Rules.
Space and Design Managers, Campus Planning and Development are responsible for day-to-day liaison regarding the management and maintenance of space.
This policy is subject to relevant Australian legislation, regulations, standards and codes for building and construction and to the provisions of the Australian Capital Territory Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989.
Supporting Information:
 Terms Definitions
Capital Management Advisory Group An internal advisory group to the Vice-Chancellor, whose responsibilities include comprehensive coordination of capital and projects, visibility of reporting and review of procurement processes.
Cost Allocation Model (CAM) The University’s method of reallocating support and infrastructure costs. Refer Financial Services for CAM details.
Operational Rules Define or constrain University business practices. They guide decision-making behaviour and must be in line with policy and procedures. Operational rules are more specific than procedures and do not usually include explanations (as procedures may). Operational rules can change in response to external constraints, new processes or technology, changes to administrative arrangements, or changes in the risks associated with an area.
Organisational unit Includes all faculties and research centres of the University, business and service units, and controlled entities. (Controlled entities usually have their own governing board and may have policies specific to the entity, which may be in addition or instead of a University policy. University policies, unless specified otherwise, would normally apply to such entities.)
This policy addresses space imperatives within the context of the University’s Strategic, Academic and Capability Plans.
This Policy is currently under review, to see all relevant information to this policy please go to: