To fulfil this role, we report to the Buildings and Estates Subcommittee (BESC), which is responsible to the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee (PRAC) and ultimately to the University’s Council, its principal executive and policy-making body.

Estates Services is one of a number of departments providing professional services to support the University’s students, academics and researchers.

These departments are known collectively as University Administration & Services (UAS). The Director of Estates, Paul Goffin, reports to the Registrar, the University’s senior administrator and head of UAS.

These are the regulations that set out in detail how we manage the functional estate and how we share these responsibilities with the divisions and departments that occupy University buildings and spaces within buildings. They cover repairs and maintenance, the management of space, new buildings and refurbishments, finance matters and car parking on the estate.  

See the full Estates Standing Orders regulations.

Estates Services is represented on a number of steering groups and committees that oversee and make recommendations about the work we do, including the Capital Steering Group, Property Management Sub-committee, Sustainability Steering Group, Car Park Working Group, and the Security Sub-committee.

Capital Projects

Capital building projects fall into three categories:

  • Major projects: £1m and over

The Building & Estates Sub-committee appoints a Project Sponsor Group to manage all major projects.  
Projects up to £15m can be signed off by the Capital Steering Group and the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee.  Projects worth £15m or more must be recommended by the Strategic Capital Steering Group and approved by the University’s Finance Committee.

  • Intermediate projects: £100k to £1m 

The Director of Estates has the authority to decide in each case whether BESC needs to appoint a Project Sponsor Group. If they don’t, the Director of Estates has responsibility for the project.

  • Minor works projects: less than 100k

The Director of Estates can authorise departments to appoint a project manager to undertake projects of this size.
You can find more detail about the governance of capital projects in the Estates Standing Orders.


Steering groups and committees

To make sure that our staff and suppliers work to agreed standards, we publish policies, philosophy documents, guides and procedures on all aspects of our work.

You can find these in the relevant service sections of our website.

We are developing a series of Conservation Management Plans for all our listed buildings. These encourage understanding of our many historic buildings and help us to undertake conservation to the highest standards. They are also a fascinating read for anyone interested in the history of some of Oxford’s finest architecture.

Standing Orders

For general guidance on the split of responsibilities between departments and Estates Services refer to the Standing Orders.


Contact us

+44 (0)1865 2 78750