School operations

Asset Management Roles and Responsibilities Framework


The purpose of this advice is to outline school asset management roles and responsibilities for corporate staff, principals, and school councils.


  • The school Asset Management Roles and Responsibilities Framework is designed to clarify and strengthen school asset governance arrangements by specifying the asset planning and management roles and responsibilities of corporate staff, principals, and school councils.
  • The framework applies to corporate staff, principals, and school councils of all Victorian government schools. The roles and responsibilities apply to most schools, but different roles and responsibilities may apply for schools managed as part of the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
  • Refer to the Guidance tab for a detailed breakdown of key asset management roles and responsibilities in schools. This can also be downloaded and viewed as a Word document in table format. Refer to Key asset management roles and responsibilities (DOCX)External Link .


Shared responsibility model


Victorian government schools are operated and administered by a combination of the Minister for Education, the Secretary of the Department of Education (the department), employees of the department including school principals, and school councils.

The Secretary employs the majority of teaching service staff and is responsible for setting department policy that is applied in government schools, including some of the policies that school councils must apply. School councils are able to employ certain categories of staff that work in schools, such as maintenance workers.

The roles and responsibilities of school councils in the government school system are limited to the functions and powers that are given to them under the legislation and ministerial orders. Some of those roles and responsibilities are explained further in this Framework. Actions taken by school councils that are not within their legislated functions and powers are invalid. The department provides training, advice and support to school councils to support members to understand and undertake their roles effectively.

School asset planning and management is the shared responsibility of principals, school councils and corporate staff. Key asset responsibilities for all 3 parties are outlined in the Guidance tab of this topic.

The 3 parties have both shared and separate accountabilities and responsibilities. To understand the alignment of accountabilities and authorities, refer to 2016 to 17 Victorian Auditor-General’s Office Review: Managing School InfrastructureExternal Link .

To ensure the school environment is appropriate to meet the school’s curriculum needs and asset management practices, school councils must comply with departmental requirements and policies for asset management.

Under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic), there are functions that school councils are exclusively accountable for and others that they share with principals.


In their capacity as departmental employees, principals must comply with all applicable requirements, policies or conditions of funding specified by or referred to by the department including:

  • the planning and performance accountabilities described in this policy
  • asset planning and management policies and procedures issued by the department.

Under the department’s shared responsibility model, principals are the asset managers for their school and responsible for the planning of and delivery of safe and sustainable learning environments.

This includes overseeing, planning and managing the maintenance of school facilities, and ensuring their school site is safe and secure for all staff and students.

As part of their responsibility as asset managers, principles must:

  • ensure compliance with occupational health and safety regulations and policies
  • facilitate the regular inspection, testing and maintenance of Essential Safety Measures
  • facilitate regular inspections, testing and maintenance on other relevant asset management compliance items prescribed by the department
  • maintain buildings, equipment, and infrastructure
  • respond to unexpected events impacting facilities
  • develop and implement School Maintenance Plans
  • participate in the planning phases of state-funded capital works projects.

In addition to their role as departmental employees, principals also act as the executive officer of the school council. Principals and school councils should maintain a strong partnership to support the execution of school council responsibilities.

Other duties a principal may be responsible for, if provided the delegated authority of the school council, include:

  • ensuring that adequate and appropriate advice is provided to the school council in relation to asset management and other related matters
  • ensuring the decisions of the council are implemented
  • ensuring that adequate support and resources are provided for the conducting of school council meetings.

For detailed information of principals’ asset management responsibilities, refer to the Guidance tab.

School councils

Under clauses 1.3.3 and 1.3.4 of the Ministerial Directions for Public Construction Procurement in VictoriaExternal Link , school councils must comply with department’s policies and requirements relating to public construction procurement.

Specific requirements and conditions for school council financial delegates are outlined in the Procuring Low-value Construction Works or Services policy.

Under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic), there are functions that school councils are exclusively accountable for and others that they share with principals.

As part of their responsibility as asset managers, school councils must:

  • provide general oversight of maintenance activities to ensure school buildings and grounds are kept in good order and condition in consultation with the principal
  • ensure that the school (as a workplace) is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health
  • provide for the cleaning and sanitary services that are necessary for the school – refer to the Cleaning policy
  • oversee matters related to asbestos management in consultation with the principal.

The department has a range of policies, guidance and resources to support school councils understand their roles, responsibilities and processes in relation to asset management. For a detailed overview of school councils’ asset management responsibilities, refer to School Council – Overview and the Guidance tab.

Corporate staff

Corporate staff of the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) and the department’s regional offices are responsible for setting standards, allocating funding, and managing delivery of relatively high-risk and high-value projects.

These include building new schools, funding major maintenance activities and delivering capital works for existing schools and facilitating maintenance and repairs that schools cannot undertake themselves, for example, emergency maintenance and asbestos removal.

School funding and additional program funding is provided through multiple sources facilitated by the annual State Budget appropriations process, including:

  • Student Resource Package
  • Planned Maintenance Funding
  • Capital Works Funding.

Corporate staff provide dedicated asset management support to schools and continually work to improve the broader school asset management system by reviewing, updating and communicating the Asset Management Roles and Responsibilities Framework for schools annually.

Asset management planning

To support schools in implementing a longer-term strategic approach to managing the school assets, the department has a continual improvement model for strategic asset planning and performance measures, and principals and school councils are held accountable for the key asset management processes.

Rolling Facilities Evaluation Program

The Rolling Facilities Evaluation Program delivers condition assessments to each Victorian government school every 5 years, collecting comprehensive and up-to-date information about the condition of school assets to inform infrastructure planning and investment by schools and government.

School Maintenance Plans

School Maintenance Plans are 5-year schedules of maintenance activities prepared by principals in partnership with corporate staff to address issues identified by the Rolling Facilities Evaluation.

The plan sets out the condition-based maintenance activities and schedule of routine maintenance activities that schools need to undertake to support the efficient upkeep of school assets. Priority is given to the actions that pose risk to health and safety.

VSBA monitors the use and implementation of the School Maintenance Plans. For more information, please refer to School Maintenance Plans and Rolling Facilities Evaluations.

Bricks and Mortar Learning and Development Program

The Bricks and Mortar Learning and Development Program is a dedicated asset management professional development program to strengthen the asset management capability of schools. For more information, refer to Bricks and Mortar support and services information for schoolsExternal Link .

Asset management plans for capital works

Asset management plans (AMPs) for capital works are completed when a school receives funding to undertake a new capital works project. AMP focuses on the educational directions of the school and current sufficiency, condition and functionality and asset management and infrastructure needs over a 5-year period that support the identified educational directions. AMPs optimise infrastructure funding by defining projects, budgets, timelines and cash flow.

Principals are accountable to corporate staff and a project control group for their timely contributions to the planning process. School councils should also contribute to the planning process. AMPs for phase 1 of capital works projects are expected to be endorsed by both principals (as departmental employees) and school councils before submission to corporate staff for approval. Requirements, timelines and performance measures are project specific and communicated following the announcement of funding allocations.

Performance and activity is closely monitored by the VSBA and enforced through the department’s regional offices. Schools are supported to meet relevant milestones and there is an established issue resolution process that holds relevant parties to account.

Further information on the above programs can be found on the Guidance tab.

Essential Safety Measures (ESM)

ESM are the fire, life safety, and health items installed or constructed in a building to ensure adequate levels of fire safety and protection from other dangers. ESM items should be inspected and maintained correctly and in accordance with regulations. For more information, please refer to the Essential Safety Measures guidance.

Asset Information Management System

To improve the ability to inform itself and schools of the performance of the school assets, the department developed and rolled out an Asset Information Management System (AIMS). The system is intended to hold a wide range of information and is designed to be the ‘single source of truth’ for both the department and school.

The new system will make it easier for schools to manage their asset within a single portal and was rolled out over 2021 and 2022.

Refer to the Asset Information Management System (AIMS) advice for further information.

Occupational Health and Safety Management System

In addition to infrastructure related policies, all schools must also implement the department’s Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS).

Under clause 11.2.2(8) of Ministerial Order 1038, principals are responsible for ensuring safe work practices at their school in accordance with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic).

To assist principals meet this requirement, the department provides a web based Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS), a telephone support line, and on-site support from consultants and/or regional based support staff. Principals are responsible for ensuring the implementation, continuous monitoring and execution of OHSMS activities.

At the site level, corporate staff audit the implementation of the OHSMS and management of OHS risks and hazards. Principals must follow audit recommendations and ensure evidence of action is uploaded to the OHSMS.

Performance and activity of each school is monitored by the department’s Employee Safety and Wellbeing Unit and reported to the department’s regional offices.

Compliance and monitoring for school infrastructure

Compliance and monitoring for school infrastructure is a joint responsibility of schools and corporate staff through 3 lines of defence which identify, manage and monitor compliance with obligations relating to school infrastructure. This framework outlines critical tasks and responsibilities for both schools and the department.

  • The first line of defence focuses on the operational controls and activities that occur at the school. The school is responsible for implementing preventative and corrective actions to address risks.
  • The second line oversees and supports schools, including legal compliance. These functions are the responsibility of the corporate staff.
  • The third line provides a level of independent assurance that the risk management and internal control of the framework is working – for example, internal audit.

Schools are expected to manage their compliance activities and keep records on mandatory obligations in AIMS.

For more information on compliance and monitoring for school infrastructure mandatory requirements refer to Buildings and Grounds Maintenance and Compliance policy.

Mandatory requirements

To facilitate the department’s ability to demonstrate compliance with the Asset Management Accountability Framework, and support schools to fulfil their responsibilities on critical maintenance activities, legal requirements and compliance, the department has developed specific policies that outline school compliance obligations related to school infrastructure.

For the detailed overview of key asset management responsibilities, please refer to the Guidance tab.

Schools should manage and keep records on mandatory obligations in the system.


For users of the framework to correctly understand and carry out their unique roles and responsibilities, it is important for users to understand the meaning of certain terms used in the framework.

'Must' is used to convey obligation or necessity and is used when the relevant party is required to follow an instruction according to relevant legislation, departmental policy or another mandatory requirement. For example, principals must ensure state funding is spent in accordance with the department’s policies.

'Should', by contrast, is used to convey non-mandatory recommendations consistent with the department’s understanding of best practice for school asset management. For example, school councils should request regular security updates from the principal, but they are not strictly required to do so. This section is optional and provides the opportunity to define technical or specific terms to assist users to understand the policy.

Relevant legislation

Department policy outlining school asset management roles and responsibilities for corporate staff, principals and school councils

Reviewed 16 May 2024

Policy last updated

16 May 2024


  • Schools
  • School councils


Victorian School Building Authority

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