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Managing a co-location

A successful co-location needs to be well managed at the operational level, and have good governance in place.

Developing a governance framework

Your governance framework should support:

  • operational issue identification and management
  • good ongoing decision making
  • community management at a local level.

What’s right for your co-location will depend on the size and number of agencies involved.

Mandated agencies can contact us for help developing the right governance framework.

Check if you're a mandated agency

Contact us

Key operational groups

We've grouped topics together here in a way that could represent logical working groups – but feel free to do what works for your particular co-location set-up.

Lease management and workplace decision making

Decisions and key activities

  • Agree operational matters arising in connection with the lease, including rent reviews and lease renewals.
  • Approve the operating procedure documents.
  • Approve the Site Emergency Response Plan.
  • Agree agency area allocation changes in accordance with the Co-location Agreement.
  • Facilitate agencies joining or leaving the co-location.

Who's responsible

Property managers or those responsible for their agency’s property matters.

Establishing a representative group to agree these decisions is required under the co-location agreement. The group should meet at least six monthly to ensure the smooth operation of the site.

Day to day operational decisions and facility management support

Decisions and key activities

  • Reception duties (if applicable).
  • Meeting room management and technical support, repair and maintenance.
  • Manage building communications.
  • Manage the landlord relationship (either directly or through its agency’s appropriate central property manager).
  • Manage physical changes to the working environment (team moves, furniture moves, fit-out modifications).
  • Manage the site’s hazard register.
  • Other centralised building support duties as agreed by the agencies – for example, travel bookings or catering coordination.

Who's responsible

The building management team forms part of the service offering agreed as part of the co-location agreement, and should be established before moving into the building. They are employed by the lead agency but included in the fixed operational costs allocated to all agencies in the building.

The size of any roles required will be determined by the lead agency, and influenced by the tenancy size, and level of services provided and agreed as part of the co-location agreement. All the co-locating parties should agree the general structure and roles and responsibilities.

Site user groups

Decisions and key activities

  • Agree space use protocols at the site.
  • Identify opportunities to leverage cross-agency cooperative work.
  • Monitor health and safety issues for appropriate escalation within respective agencies.
  • Resolve user issues at the site, including establishing appropriate escalation paths if required.

Who's responsible

A group of local representatives, with representation from each agency.

A health and safety representative should sit on this group. In small sites, this function could be combined with the health and safety committee.

Health and safety coordination

Decisions and key activities

  • Supports ongoing improvement of health and safety at the building site.
  • Creates process for identifying and managing hazards.
  • Feeds into overall risk management for the site.

Who's responsible

Each agency must be represented by suitably qualified local representatives. Agencies must agree how any required training will be provided to representatives.

You may also need separate health and safety committees for each agency, particularly in larger tenancies.

Site Emergency Response Team (SERT)

Decisions and key activities

  • Ensure site emergency plans are in place.
  • Regularly review, test and refresh the plan – site emergency response plans need to be reviewed at least annually.
  • Each representative ensures their agency’s incident management processes reflect their responsibilities in the site emergency response plan.

Who's responsible

This function is a requirement of the co-location agreement. The group should be established before occupation, and each agency must be represented by suitably qualified employees.

The lead agency appoints a Site Emergency Response Manager who is responsible for the development and ongoing maintenance of the Site Emergency Response Plan and leads activation of the plan.

Business Continuity planning remains with each agency. However, there may be times when the SERT requires business continuity-related information to assist in planning and leading site emergency responses.

Other ways to support the co-location community

During the engagement process, staff will identify the aspects of their organisation’s culture that are important to them. This gives participating agencies an opportunity to combine activities or resources.

The Public Service Association 

If the Public Service Association (PSA) is active within your site, they can:

  • be a conduit for concerns and issues facing employees
  • help to test operational aspects of the co-location that require an end user perspective
  • promote co-location objectives, and
  • communicate key information.

Social and network groups

Creating a cross-agency social club provides an opportunity for staff to broaden their professional and personal networks.

Agencies may also have other groups that, if made cross-agency, could provide useful networks to help manage the co-location and positively support a sense of community.

Professional development and knowledge sharing activities

A key co-location benefit for staff is the opportunity to extend business relationships and open up professional development opportunities.

You could:

  • hold knowledge sharing and professional development activities, like lunchtime presentations
  • promote secondments or new job opportunities within the co-location.