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2. Assessing performance requirements process

Process for assessing performance requirements

The process detailed below is to be followed when determining the level of engineering services and facilities required at each site. Refer to the checklist for assessing performance requirements.

Engineering services and facilities
Engineering services and facilities

Facility category

For each facility:

  • Clarify Department of Health of Human Services requirements and plans for health and community services to be delivered by the facility.
  • Confirm existing and anticipated loads, capacity and performance requirements for critical health and community service delivery. This may represent only a portion of the normal operating requirements when non-essential engineering services, e.g. air-conditioning to offices or public spaces, are discounted.
  • Agree with the department the facility category to be applied to the site.

External supplies to the site

To determine the engineering services that are required within a site it is first necessary to assess the security of the relevant engineering services available to the site. The following should be considered for each of the services:

  • number of independent sources of supply
  • whether the supplies are taken from a main ring
  • historic vulnerability of the supplies
  • any planned service upgrades.

Risk analysis

An essential engineering services (EES) review is required as part of an asset management plan. An analysis must be conducted of the service supply requirements applicable to the buildings, site or property category based on the assessment of the need for reliability of supplies to the site and consideration of the particular circumstances of each site. This analysis is to be conducted using a risk management approach as contained in Australian Standard AS 4360.

Guide to site services by facility category

EES planning and proformas, provide general guidance on the level of capability to be provided to sites according to their criticality category.

Security of supplies

For each essential engineering service determine the security of supplies required to meet the service delivery requirements appropriate to the category of the facility. Infrastructure considered critical to the state of Victoria will need to be confirmed by public health and / or the departmental risk management branch.

System design / review

For each EES, the design of the system is to reflect that which best meets the security requirements. For existing facilities, review the design of the engineering services to assess their ability to meet the security requirements.

Capital works

Where capital works are required to meet the assessed security requirements, initiate and progress appropriate projects in accordance with the procedures contained in the Planning and Development Guideline series.

Contingency plans and emergency procedures

It should be considered that supply failures will still occur in spite of all risk assessment and facility planning processes undertaken. All sites must undertake a risk assessment and maintain and periodically exercise appropriate contingency plans and emergency procedures. Contingency planning must include the following:

  • Development of the detail of the plans and procedures, for an example refer to: Office of Housing - essential building services - emergency procedures.
  • Dissemination of the plan to all levels and areas of the organisation.
  • Regular testing of the plans - Tests must be ‘real’ tests rather than simulations. Real tests involve turning off the engineering service, e.g. electricity / gas / water at the point of supply into the facility and observation of the results. Refer to the example of electricity supply tests.
  • Review the plans and procedures after each test and amend as necessary.
  • Document, regular maintenance and updating of the plans, tests and reviews.
  • Periodic auditing of contingency plans and tests, preferably by an external organisation.

This guideline is intended to provide guidance on the levels of reliability to be achieved. The means of achieving that reliability will vary depending on the circumstances pertaining to each site.

Reporting requirements

Facilities are to maintain records of EES and risk assessment and when required provide Department of Health and Human Services / Infrastructure Planning and Delivery (IPD) with current information on the essential engineering services at each facility (refer to the EES data proforma) and reports on the results of Annual Black Start Tests.

The information on essential engineering services is to be considered when the department seeks infrastructure upgrade requests annually and whenever facility development and redevelopments are undertaken. This will enable the IPD branch and divisional representative to prepare their own contingency plans and responses.

Periodic review

The security of essential engineering services to the site are to be reviewed by health service / agency boards following these processes at least every 3 years, or whenever significant changes occur to the facility site or to external supplies to the site.

Incident reporting

An incident report is to be prepared by the facility management for the chief officer or board of management whenever an incident occurs that involves the essential engineering services or invokes the operation of the emergency contingency plans. The report is to provide details of the incident, including the cause, the effects and the actions taken to prevent recurrence. Where a complete investigation of the incident is likely to take considerable time to complete, an interim incident report is to be compiled from the information available and a final incident report compiled when the investigations are complete.

A copy of the interim incident report, where applicable, and a copy of the final report are to be forwarded to the IPD branch as soon as practicable after the incident.


Failures of essential engineering services will occur. It is the responsibility of management of each site to ensure that all risks have been considered and assessed and that appropriate actions have been taken to safeguard their duty of care. Those engaged in the planning, design and delivery of hospital facilities must ensure that their designs (and the implementation thereof) match the responsibilities of the facility management for patient and client safety and for the delivery of health and community care services. This guideline aims to assist management in meeting those responsibilities. It also serves to remind management of their obligations for contingency planning and for the continued provision of basic data for departmental planning purposes.