- A school’s responsibility for delivering capital building projects will vary depending on the project value and complexity.
- For information on capital projects that are funded by schools, refer to the Department’s policy on .
- Schools must work with the VSBA to prepare an Asset Management Plan in line with the before undertaking a capital project.
- Schools must not obtain tenders or quotations, commence works or enter any contracts associated with works estimated to exceed $50,000 (including GST) without written approval from the relevant VSBA project delivery manager.
- Schools engaging in capital works should be familiar with the .
- This policy falls within the 'Build' stage of the School Asset Lifecycle.
The VSBA works with schools to deliver capital building projects identified through asset management planning.
Schools are engaged throughout delivery of all capital projects, but their level of responsibility will vary. The VSBA plays a greater role in more complex projects due to the experience and resources required to manage risk and cover possible liabilities.
Asset management planning and project governance
Schools must work with the VSBA to prepare an Asset Management Plan (AMP) before undertaking a capital building project. The allocated budget must cover every aspect included in the AMP. For more information, refer to the Asset Management Planning Policy.
Authority to enter contracts – Department-funded planned maintenance and capital works
Under the the Department is the only body authorised to enter into contracts and approve capital building project budgets. However, schools have delegated authority to enter into and pay contracts for capital projects valued at $50,000 (including GST) or less.
Schools must not obtain tenders or quotations, commence works or enter any contracts associated with works (capital or planned maintenance) estimated to exceed $50,000 (including GST) without written approval from the relevant VSBA project delivery manager.
The VSBA will assess the project management needs of schools on a case-by-case basis, considering project complexity and the available budget.
In general, schools can manage projects with budgets less than $50,000 (including GST) from start to finish.
Schools may choose their level of involvement in delivering projects between $50,000 and $200,000 (including GST). Note that projects that involve building reconfigurations (for example, structural changes) require a greater amount of documentation, as changes to school design must align to the school’s educational specification.
Projects valued at more than $200,000 (including GST) are managed by the VSBA. The VSBA will determine what specialist expertise is needed, which may include an architect, cost manager (quantity surveyor) and an independent project manager.
- spend all funding for proper purposes
- keep records explaining their financial operations and position
- follow financial processes and procedures that are:
- regularly audited
- designed and managed to reduce risk with a separation of duties.
All templates, forms and procedures for tendering and delivering school infrastructure projects are available through the VSBA’s Project Management Framework (PMF). Schools can (staff login required).
Good neighbour guide
Planning Act and exemptions
The Minister for Education is exempt from obtaining planning permits for government schools under section 16 of the Act. As such, the VSBA and schools do not require local planning permits to undertake capital building projects.
However, the VSBA and schools must:
- consult with relevant municipal councils during the key planning phases of capital projects
- where possible, design buildings that comply with the intent of local planning schemes.
Planned Maintenance Program
Capital building project
Capital building projects involve constructing new school facilities, or refurbishing or reconfiguring existing school facilities. They typically require the development and assessment of a spatial analysis plan (as part of the Asset Management Plan).
Planned Maintenance Program
The Planned Maintenance Program (PMP) supports schools to maintain their facilities through the targeted allocation of funding for school maintenance projects that mostly address priority defects identified by the rolling facilities evaluation (RFE).
Governance for PMP projects is similar to, but distinct from, governance for capital projects. For example, schools do not need to develop an AMP for most PMP projects. For more information, refer to the Building Maintenance Policy and the .
Asset Management Plan (AMP)
AMPs identify projects to be completed using capital project funding allocated through the annual State Budget. Most schools that receive capital project funding are required to develop an AMP in partnership with their Department regional office and the VSBA. This will ensure the funding is spent as each party expects.
AMPs have two distinct stages. AMP 1 outlines the school’s educational directions, educational specification, and facilities analysis (which considers functionality, condition and spatial analysis). AMP 2 involves developing a master plan/spatial analysis in addition to broader site and project requirements. AMPs also link infrastructure funding to specific details set out in the school fact sheet that schools receive when State Budget funding is announced.
Reviewed 20 August 2021