Health & Safety Department

Multi occupancy building user groups

Buildings which are jointly occupied by different Schools and units should establish a Multi Occupancy Building User Group (MOBUG) to oversee fire safety and other building related issues.

Whilst this guidance was written for MOBUGs, it can also be used for building user groups where all occupiers come from the same School/Management unit.

Remit of a multi occupancy building user group

MOBUGs are designed initially for building occupiers from different schools or management units to discuss fire safety issues, and then move on to other communal building issues, such as security. Issues to consider at meetings include;

  • Fire safety including escape routes, signage, emergency lighting, weekly fire alarm checks etc
  • Annual fire drill report
  • Security of the building
  • Normal and out of hours for the building
  • First aid provision in the building
  • Managing your CO2 emissions and any other environmental issues
  • Maintenance issues, for example scaffolding on the building or carpet replacement works
  • Visitor access to building
  • staff and student health and wellbeing
  • staff and student social events

Frequency of meetings

When first set up, this group should meet at least every two months until all fire safety matters are confirmed and in place. Thereafter, meetings can be called as and when fire safety or other building issues arise but should be held at least twice a year. Each group must also arrange a meeting after the fire drill each year.


The MOBUG should consist of the following;

  • Convenor – from the school/management unit occupying the most floor space in the building
  • Secretary - from the school/management unit occupying the most floor space in the building
  • Fire Safety Unit representative – University Fire Safety Adviser or Fire Safety Supervisor
  • Estates and Buildings representative – Premises Manager or similar
  • One representative for each school/management unit within the building – senior member of staff with sufficient authority to implement any decisions made by the MOBUG

Roles and responsibilities

Head of School

The convenor of this group is appointed by the Head of School who occupies the largest floor space in the building.

Other Heads of Schools must appoint a representative for their School or Unit. Heads of Schools and their representatives must fully support and enforce fire safety issues determined by the MOBUG members.

Heads of Schools should inform the convenor of the named representative of their School/Unit.


The group’s convenor is appointed by the Head of the School or equivalent occupying the largest floor space in the building.

The convenor must be given the authority to ensure all fire safety, security etc matters relevant to the building are maintained. All the building’s occupiers and Heads of School or equivalent must recognise and support the convenor on all fire, security etc safety matters.

On initial appointment, the convenor should determine the multi-occupancy of the building. They should supply the University Fire Safety Adviser with names and addresses for each Head of School or equivalent whose staff occupy the building.

The convenor should appoint a minute secretary and should chair the meeting. They should also retain a list of the MOBUG members and ask for agenda items when arranging meetings.

Once established, the convenor should be the first point of contact for all fire safety, security etc matters relating to the building. They should be informed of fire drill dates and disseminate this information to Heads of School or equivalent who occupy the building.

Specific duties for convenor detailed in the Health and Safety Policy;

Framework: Arrangements, section 2.2 Building hours and occupancy

Heads of Schools or Conveners of Multi-Occupancy Building Users Groups will specify who shall be allowed access to the parts of the University under their control and the appropriate closing arrangements applicable to occupation of their school or building. Unless specified differently by the Head of School or Multi-Occupancy Building Users' Group, evening and weekend hours will be considered as:

  1. weekdays from 18.00 hours to 08.30 hours;
  2. weekends from 18.00 hours Friday to 08.30 hours Monday;
  3. any day on which a school or building is closed, for example, on a University or Public Holiday.

Heads of Schools and/or Conveners of Multi-Occupancy Buildings Users' Groups must formulate a policy to specify the permitted occupancy of individual University premises by undergraduates.

Framework: Arrangements, section 4.11 Fire drills

It is essential that the fire alarm system and a pre-arranged plan specific for the evacuation of each building should be tested regularly. Heads of Schools or Conveners of Multi-Occupancy Building Users' Committees must ensure that fire drills are held, at least annually, within each University building. Fire drills will normally be arranged for each building by the University Fire Safety Adviser in consultation with the Head of School or Convener of the Multi-Occupancy Building Users' Committee.

Framework: Arrangements, section 5 First Aid

Where a School and/or building is occupied outwith normal working hours, the Head of School or Convener of the Multi-Occupancy Building Users' Committee must make arrangements to provide adequate and suitable First Aid cover for potential accidents or injuries taking into account the type of activities being carried out during these times.


Organise date and room for meetings and inform all MOBUG members accordingly. Assemble agenda and distribute prior to meeting. Take minutes and distribute after the meeting in a timely manner.

Ensure agenda and minutes are sent to Schools or management units who do not have a representative on the MOBUG, see below under School/Unit representative.

Administer MOBUG membership, ensuring that the convenor invites new occupiers to the building to send a representative.

University Fire Safety Adviser

The UFSA will contact all Heads of Schools or equivalent concerned with the building, informing them of the convenor and invite them to nominate a person from the School or management unit to form part of the MOBUG.

Fire Safety Unit representative

Attend all meetings if possible and advise on fire safety issues.

Estates and Building representative

Attend all meetings if possible and advise on building issues such as security and maintenance.

School/Unit representative

Attend all meetings if possible or send a deputy. Participate in the MOBUG decision making process and ensure they are all carried out within the area occupied by the School/Unit represented.

Schools or management units with a very small number of staff on site do not necessarily have to have a representative on the MOBUG if this is not convenient. They should, however, receive a copy of the agenda and minutes for information and be informed of any significant building issues by the convenor if applicable.