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Department of Education & Communities

The Department of Education improves learning environments for schools

Asset management through a whole of life process

In 2012, the Department of Education & Communities (DEC) identified the need to implement a whole of life asset planning process. The Department identified that majority of schools in NSW were aging and that costs for maintenance of assets were going to increase over a ten year period. A whole of life (WOL) process was required to reduce costs and provide Treasury with an improved model to plan budgets. On speaking with Assetlink, DEC asked us to assist them on achieving the following objectives:

  • Support WOL facility planning from acquisition to disposal
  • Support for future capital and investment requirements
  • Reduce unplanned maintenance and reduce maintenance costs and liability
  • Assist the DEC in developing business cases for minor and major change of capital projects
  • Set appropriate functionality thresholds for asset classes
  • Inform them of asset disposals and acquisition decisions
  • Gain better economies of scale and value for money
  • Complement existing and new funding models developed with Treasury
  • Build on the existing asset management system used by DEC

Whole of life solutions for schools

DEC initially felt they needed a program and Assetlink would provide plan based solution. Through working with the Department and hearing what all the concerns were, we were able to provide an end to end solution. This involved setting up a business management system and managing the assessment process; we also assisted in reporting and submissions to treasury.

The Department required software to integrate with their current system for the reporting. Assetlink listened to how they needed this system to deliver reports and provided a system with a project management component to assist in the roll out of the program. We integrated with their routine program maintenance software (RPM) which is their CMMS system, which enabled DEC to maintain their current maintenance process for each school. Through this integrated system, we were able to calibrate the results to reflect the condition maintenance of the school.

Rather than just providing a person to manage the project, a team of project managers; data analysts; qualified building assessors and a communications team was brought together to assist with the roll out of the whole of life program, execute it and provide reports.

There was transparent communication with schools, the Department and the asset management units to help ensure the success in delivering this project.

Suitable results for all

Schools received a customised report and maintenance plan to assist in planning for scheduled work – aligning with student timetables, exam periods and school holidays.

Through prioritised funding - based on the WOL planning, the health and safety of students today and into the future is improved in both their learning and play environments.

The Department can implement prioritised distribution of funding and has the ability to forward plan for expenditure and capital. This provides the ability to identify high cost asset maintenance and replacement . DEC has the ability to benchmark a school against their functional standards such as insuring particular asset classes are in suitable for student needs.

By knowing the schedule of works required, the department has obtained required funding to carry out asset maintenance and management.

This has provided the NSW Government the ability to plan funding to support asset maintenance in NSW schools with significant cost savings. This can enable the department to redirect funds saved to resources to support the education of students. “quote from the department”

People, places and process

Through listening, learning and understanding the needs of the Department of Education and Communities, Assetlink was able to develop a whole of life process for schools. By providing people with the skills and experience to work with the Department, practical planned maintenance schedules were put in place for schools. This enabled the Department to continue providing better learning experiences to teachers and students.

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