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Estates management 2018/19 - Occupancy rate - D18OccupancyRate

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Estates management 2018/19

Fields required from institutions in All fields

Occupancy rate - D18

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Short nameOccupancyRate

The fields in this entity contain data about the occupancy rate of teaching space.

Applicable toEngland Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

All higher education providers (HEPs).


The Occupancy Rate represents the usage of teaching space as a percentage of total actual occupation. As an example, a room with a capacity of 20 may be occupied by 10 people during each hourly slot across the whole working day (as defined by the HEP), which would be an occupancy rate of 50%. If, however, no people were in the room for each hourly slot between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm, and 10 people were in the room for each hourly slot between 1.00 pm and 5.00 pm, then the occupancy rate would still be 50% over the working day as the period between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm is not included as part of the actual occupation.

Applies only to teaching space under teaching other, as appropriate to the coverage of the Space Utilisation Survey.

It should be noted that the definitions and accompanying good practice guidelines are in accordance with the advice produced in the NAO report 'Management of Space in higher education Providers in Wales' (1996).

An updated review of utilisation called 'Review of Space norms' by SMG is also available.

Because it is recognised that data generated from room bookings/time-tables is likely to be less accurate than that collected using the Survey-based approach, as the actual numbers in the room will not be known, nor will it be known whether the room was actually used when booked out or timetabled for use, HEPs are discouraged from using this approach to produce the data.

In all cases, if there is a room that is not being occupied at a particular point in time during the survey but is still part of the survey, it should not form part of the analysis. Thus, if a room is occupied for half of one day, but not for the other half of the day, then the periods it is not in occupation should not be used in calculating overall occupancy.

The year and month that the survey or room booking/timetabled analysis was carried out should be specified in the data return.

The following comments are provided as general good practice guidance in carrying out the survey and analysis:

The survey period used

A full teaching week period should be used in collecting data and should form the basis of the return. Factoring-up the results of a one-day survey is not acceptable for the return.

The time frame

A survey count based on an hourly frequency should be used, rather than, say, one count in the morning and one count in the afternoon. This will produce more accurate and usable results. Only data based upon an hourly count should be returned.

The occupancy rate should exclude time blocks when the occupancy is zero within either a 9-5 week, or the standard working week as appropriate.

Counting method

In terms of accuracy, a full headcount method will be the most accurate (i.e. counting all people in a room). If it is not possible to use this method, then the next most accurate method is to carry out a headcount up to a specified level (for example, 40 people) and estimate numbers beyond this point. A third method is to assess if the room is full/empty in proportionate terms (e.g. 25% full, 25-50% full etc.). Other methods are available, but the three previously mentioned indicate the range of options generally available. HEPs should choose an approach that suits their needs.

The lecturer should not be included in the recording of room capacity.

Scope of survey

It may not be possible to survey all the teaching space identified under Teaching not offices NIA, as HEPs are likely to have various arrangements and management of space in place. However, it is recommended that both 'central' or 'pooled' space and 'local' or 'departmental' space is covered in a survey.

The Teaching area covered by the Space Utilisation Survey should be the same space used in making the Occupancy rate return.

Also enter the basis of calculation of Occupancy rate - see Teaching not offices occupancy rate calculation.

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Element: OccupancyRate
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