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Space Allocation and Use Policy

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Section 1 - Key Information

Policy Type and Approval Body Administrative – Vice-Chancellor
Accountable Executive – Policy Chief Operating Officer
Responsible Manager – Policy Executive Director, Infrastructure and Operations
Review Date 21/12/2026
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Section 2 - Purpose

(1) La Trobe University invests significantly in its spaces and is committed to using all spaces across the University’s campuses and sites effectively and efficiently.

(2) La Trobe University is committed to improving our use of space, achieving more flexibility and promoting collegiate work settings.

(3) Use of space will support the University’s strategic plan in improving efficiency and productivity and making space available to enable future growth and the University City of the Future transformation.

(4) To this end, the Space Optimisation Program, and principles for La Trobe’s Ways of Working, have been drawn upon to inform this Policy.

(5) As part of this commitment, the University aims to allocate all spaces in a way that promotes effective and equitable utilisation of space.

(6) The purpose of this Policy is to provide the framework for the planning, development, and management of space to support the needs of the users and the goals of the University.

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Section 3 - Scope

(7) This Policy applies to:

  1. staff
  2. students
  3. all members of the University community

(8) This Policy covers:

  1. all sites and campuses controlled or managed by La Trobe University
  2. all indoor and outdoor spaces
  3. all space types
  4. all leased and licenced premises
     
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Section 4 - Key Decisions

Key Decisions  Role
Approve the allocation of space Infrastructure and Operations
Endorse space requests Senior Leadership Group (refer to Appendix A)
Sponsor space requests
Senior Executive Member (refer to Appendix A)
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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(9) La Trobe University is committed to:

  1. providing a work environment which supports a range of activities.
  2. ensuring work environments are safe, inclusive, flexible, equitable, and support a sense of community.
  3. ensuring spaces are planned and allocated by applying the La Trobe University Design Standards and Space Allocation Principles.

(10) All teaching, learning, staff workspaces, and meeting spaces will be controlled and managed centrally by Infrastructure and Operations to ensure effective space utilisation.

(11) New capital projects must effectively improve space optimisation in line with the University’s Strategic Plan or increase profitability for the University.

Learning Environments

(12) All University campuses and sites will provide a range of teaching and learning spaces, to suit a variety of teaching and learning approaches as informed by the Learning Environment Strategy.

(13) These spaces must, where practicable:

  1. Foster student centred learning activities and promote student and staff engagement
  2. Accommodate formal and informal teaching and learning approaches that include, but are not limited to, didactic, collaborative, individual, social, and virtual
  3. Maximise the range of potential uses, including uses beyond teaching and learning, and to be as flexible as possible in configuration where applicable
  4. Cater for all University group sizes, with adequate space per student in relation to pedagogical requirements
  5. Provide consistency in the quality and standards of facilities available to students across all schools and campuses
  6. Provide comfortable, ergonomically designed furniture suitable for required uses
  7. Provide consistent, appropriate, cost-effective technology
  8. Be designed to minimise the University’s ecological footprint within requirements of uses
  9. Be readily accessible by all staff and students
  10. Be available at a wide range of times
  11. Be timetabled to suit pedagogical requirements

Collaborative Environments for Staff

(14) A range of collaborative spaces such as meeting rooms are provided in accordance with current La Trobe University Design Standards.

  1. Medium and large spaces are bookable and available for use by all University staff
  2. Small enclosed spaces (i.e. spaces that have a capacity of 4 people or less) may be bookable and available for use by all University staff.

Staff and Student Workplaces

(15) The Guiding Principles for space design and allocation are:

  1. Spaces will be assigned to support La Trobe’s Ways of Working
  2. Spaces will be assigned to support accessibility needs
  3. Spaces will be designed to best utilise space
  4. Spaces will be designed to increase flexible uses
  5. Spaces will be designed to maximise floor plate capacity, efficiency and use for La Trobe University
  6. All divisions and schools will be provided with access to areas to work from with suitable spaces to support their business needs.

(16) A range of workplaces are available to accommodate workplace-based activities and are suitable for all staff types.

(17) All La Trobe University workplaces, including offices are shared, and unallocated to individuals.

(18) Allocation of areas may include co-location of multiple divisions and schools.

(19) Allocation of workplaces within an area, such as offices or workstations to staff or students, is at the discretion of the division, school or PVC (Regional) Campus Offices.

(20) Allocation is not ownership and is not used to recognise status, worth or tenure.

(21) Unallocated workplaces are available for all staff to use on each campus.

(22) It is the responsibility of a division manager or Head of Campus to inform Infrastructure and Operations when space is not fit-for-purpose, underutilised, vacated, or no longer needed and request an alternate workspace type.

(23) Where there are underutilised or vacant spaces, Infrastructure and Operations can temporarily allocate this space to a division or department to use at their discretion until Infrastructure and Operations advise an alternate use for that space is identified.

(24) Where contractually obligated (for example through funding or grants such as ARC or NHMRC) to provide staff with dedicated workplaces, the assignment of the dedicated space will be reviewed annually or at the end of the grant period. Infrastructure and Operations must be consulted prior to submission of an agreement or contract.

(25) To ensure effective space utilisation,

  1. Space will not be allocated to staff who are on leave or are on approved outside studies programs for over six months.
  2. Workplaces including workstations and offices can be temporarily reassigned, as required, during periods of leave or approved outside studies programs of two months or greater.
  3. Infrastructure and Operations can temporarily assign underutilised or vacant spaces to a division or department for their use until Infrastructure and Operations identify and advise an alternate use for that space.
  4. Any staff member can make use of assigned workplaces if staff are not on campus, with the exception of spaces with specialised uses.
  5. Not every staff member will be given a designated workstation, whether in a shared area or an enclosed office. The allocation will depend on specific work arrangements, including hours spent on campus.

(26) Shared work areas will be provided with lockable storage options on an as-needed basis to store personal items or sensitive materials.

(27) Postgraduate and Higher Degree by Research candidates, Post-Doctoral Fellows and students in Post Graduate and Honours programs will have access to shared workstations and office facilities, proportionate to their actual on-campus working hours, and suited to the fulfilment of their tasks. Where possible, students will be provided access within the vicinity of researchers in their discipline, subject to available resources.

(28) Undergraduate students will not be provided with dedicated shared space except in special circumstances. Undergraduate students will have access to quiet study spaces throughout the University.

(29) All University staff members (including Emeritus, Adjunct and Honorary Staff) will have access to shared workstations and office facilities, proportionate to their actual on-campus working hours and/or Flexible Working Plan, and suited to the fulfilment of their tasks.

Specialised Workspaces

(30) As a starting point, specialised workplaces such as lab spaces are deemed suitable for all disciplines and for multi‚Äźdisciplinary use.

(31) Specialised labs for research that cannot be shared will require strong justification and approval from the Dean or Office of Provost, (Facilities and Technical Services), and the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement).

(32) Supporting lab facilities such as cool rooms and storage facilities are to be shared.

(33) Event spaces shall be controlled and managed by the Business Development team at the Melbourne (Bundoora) campus and the Head of Campus Office at regional campuses. 

(34) Workplaces for Research and Industry Precinct Partners, such as labs, offices and collaboration spaces will be managed by the Research and Industry Engagement team. 

Leased Spaces

(35) Space allocated to and/or occupied by parties external to but associated with La Trobe University will pay for the space through a commercial lease/licence, in accordance with the “Commercially Lettable Space Report approved by PRC (July 2011)” or other non-financial beneficial arrangement.

(36) The Leasing Department manages all aspects of leased/tenanted space on all University campuses and stand-alone off-campus locations. The Leasing Department are to be consulted on all spaces to be leased prior to any discussions with external parties to ensure lease acquisition, negotiation, preparation, review and management are undertaken with due diligence. 

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - General

(37) This procedure sets out the following process for staff in respect of requesting space, for managers to consider and respond to such requests and for Infrastructure and Operations to authorise.

(38) Infrastructure and Operations is solely responsible for the planning and allocation of workplace areas to a division.

(39) Infrastructure and Operations will work closely with the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Regional) and Head of Campuses on regional campuses to plan and allocate space. In Albury-Wodonga, Mildura and Shepparton, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Regional) office will be responsible for changes to allocating space, and will only involve Infrastructure and Operations on an as needs basis.

Part B - Requests for Space – Process Overview

(40) All space requests are to be lodged through Archibus via the intranet. Staff should select the category ‘Project Work Request’.

(41) Space requests for newly commencing staff must be confirmed via the HR system to ascertain position details.

(42) Requests for space to accommodate the core job functions of staff or students with a disability may necessitate deviations from standard policy. In line with La Trobe’s Disability Policy, Diversity and Inclusion (Staff) Policy and the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, these requests will be reviewed when information on an individual’s registered disability support and/or Learning Access Plan is made available. Reasonable adjustments will be made in accordance with the University’s Staff Workplace Adjustment Policy, with the approval of the Executive Director, Infrastructure and Operations.

(43) The request for space is a formal process and does not guarantee allocation of additional space or alteration of existing space. Requests must be endorsed by a member of the Senior Leadership Group, after consultation on specific campus space needs. These requests must also be sponsored by a Senior Executive Member, refer to Appendix A.

Part C - Booking Spaces

(44) For details on how to book teaching, meeting, and collaboration rooms, please visit the relevant Intranet page.

(45) For booking function and event spaces, please contact the Business Development team (functions@latrobe.edu.au) in Melbourne (Bundoora) or the Head of Campus Office in the regions.

Part D - Responsibilities

Infrastructure and Operations

(46) Infrastructure and Operations is responsible for:

  1. planning and allocating space to achieve; well planned, sustainable, equitable, efficient, and effective space utilisation;
  2. the management and/or coordination of new and refurbished spaces;
  3. periodically reviewing space utilisation, or act upon reports from division managers concerning spaces that are not fit-for-purpose, underutilised, vacated, or no longer needed;
  4. managing the process of updating and implementing the La Trobe University Design Standards, and consider input from Division Managers for policy alignment as appropriate;
  5. applying Information Services standards (as embedded in Design Standards) in all infrastructure project works and liaise with Information Services to provide communication and AV facilities, as required;
  6. the management and accuracy of the space allocation data through Archibus and its database. Infrastructure and Operations will manage Archibus and its database. The Archibus database is used to inform Timetabling, Room-bookings, and Event bookings. To fulfill these duties, Infrastructure and Operations may periodically consult stakeholders regarding the management and usage of spaces.

(47) Infrastructure and Operations is also responsible for:

  1. Business case preparations
  2. Space Master Plan and Campus Master planning exercises
  3. Reviews of existing and potential space needs
  4. Design and construction of new and refurbished spaces 
  5. Reporting on utilisation to TEFMA (Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association)

Information Services

(48) Information Services will provide Audio Visual (AV) and communication standards for all teaching, learning, collaboration, and meeting spaces.

Timetabling

(49) The Academic Services team are responsible for timetabling teaching spaces, via the TimeEdit system.

(50) Refer to the Timetabling of Teaching and Learning Space Policy for information on how the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) will produce and maintain a central timetable. 

Division Managers

(51) Division Managers are required to monitor the drivers of space change, such as changes in service delivery, growth, reduction or increase in staff numbers and re-classification of staff.

(52) Those responsible for monitoring space change within their departments/divisions are required to update changes in Archibus. Where there are significant changes, Infrastructure and Operations are to be notified as soon as possible.

Part E - Appendix A

Request Area Endorsement Sponsor
Provost
  1. Office of the Provost
  2. La Trobe Business School
  3. La Trobe Law School
  4. La Trobe Rural Health School
  5. School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport
  6. School of Agriculture, Biomedicine & Environment
  7. School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  8. School of Education
  9. School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  10. School of Nursing and Midwifery
  11. School of Psychology and Public Health
Executive Director, Operations Provost
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
  1. Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students)
  2. Health, Wellbeing and Inclusion
  3. Indigenous Strategy & Education
  4. Student Administration
  5. Student Life
  6. Student Success 
  7. Clever Learning Program
  8. Education Services
  9. Library
  10. Quality and Standards
Director or equivalent
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Future Growth)
  1. Office of DVC (Future Growth)
  2. Marketing Digital & Insights
  3. Media and Communications
  4. Recruitment & International Operations
Director Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Future Growth)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Regional) Head of Campus Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Regional)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Industry Engagement)
  1. Office of DVC (Research & Industry Engagement)
  2. Graduate and Global Research 
  3. Industry Engagement
  4. Research Capability
  5. Research Office
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Executive Director or equivalent Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement)
 
Office of the Vice-Chancellor
  1. Alumni and Advancement Office
  2. La Trobe Art Institute
  Chief of Staff
Chief Operating Officer
  1. Office of Chief Operating Officer
  2. Infrastructure and Operations
  3. Commercial, Legal and Risk
  4. Finance, Procurement and Data and Performance Analytics
  5. Human Resources
  6. Information Services
  7. Strategy Realisation Office
Executive Director or equivalent
Chief Operating Officer
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Section 7 - Definitions

(53) For the purpose of this policy and procedure:

  1. Archibus: a suite of facility and infrastructure management software applications used for storage, analysis, and reporting of data relevant to University Spaces.
  2. External client(s): any individual, company, organisation or similar not established under the La Trobe University Act 2009 or any subsequent revisions.
  3. Internal client(s): the Colleges, departments, divisions, centres, units, schools, and institutes of the University (however designated) that the Council from time to time specifies under the La Trobe University Act 2009 or any subsequent revisions.
  4. Hybrid work: work model where employees are expected to attend their workplace a number of days a week and permitted to work from a location other than their workplace (generally working from home) for the remainder of the week.
  5. Functions and venue space(s): managed by the Business Development team at the Melbourne (Bundoora) campus and the Head of Campus or Director of Campus at regional campuses and have financial charges applicable to hosted space and services in these spaces. (Commercially chargeable space)
  6. Flexible workspace: versatile areas that can be adapted to meet a variety of needs, such as collaborative workspaces, hot desks, and shared workstations.
  7. Meeting Room(s) or Collaborative Rooms: space designed to be utilised by administrative staff for meetings, presentations, and other ad hoc purposes.
  8. Resources: additional services available in conjunction with spaces, including but not limited to AV Facilities, catering, etc.
  9. Space optimisation: ensuring the most efficient and effective use of space, whereby utilisation is maximised.
  10. Space types: includes Teaching and Learning spaces, workstations such as flexible desks or hot desks, offices, meeting rooms, and research areas.
  11. Space utilisation: the frequency at which a particular space is occupied or in use at any given time.
  12. Specialised space(s): includes laboratories, event spaces, spaces for specialised uses such as wellbeing or counselling rooms, or spaces used to fulfil contractual obligations.
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Section 8 - Authority and Associated Information

(54) This Policy is made under the La Trobe University Act 2009.