Manual of Policies and Procedures

G/8.2 External User Charging Policy

Policy Owner

Executive Director, Finance and Deputy Chief Financial Officer

Approval Date


Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review


8.2.1 External user charging
8.2.2 Definitions
8.2.3 Principles for external user charging
Related Documents
Modification History

8.2.1 External user charging

The Vice-President (Finance) and Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for recommending to the Vice-Chancellor and President any proposals for external charging. Any such recommendation will be contingent upon the proper process for establishment of new or revised external charges being undertaken by the responsible organisational area, according to the procedures in G/8.1 .

At the completion of the annual review of user charges, a revised Register of User Charges is submitted via the Vice-President (Finance) and Chief Financial Officer, to the Vice-Chancellor and President for approval, after consideration by University Executive Committee.

A proposed external charge which is not approved and registered may not be levied.


8.2.2 Definitions

An External User Charge is raised when a faculty/division charges an external user of a good or service, produced within the Queensland University of Technology or procured by the University, which is outside or ancillary to the mainstream goods and services of the University.

For the purposes of this policy, an external user is defined as

  • A person not acting on behalf of the University - this includes
    • Employees of the University using goods or services for private purposes
    • Students of the University using goods or services for private purposes
    • Members of the general public
  • A student currently enrolled in a non-award course at the University.

Students enrolled in award courses at the University are considered under G/8.4 .


8.2.3 Principles for external user charging

External users are required to pay for goods or services supplied by the University. However, the University shall not require payment where

  • The service is for the benefit of the general public or is exclusively for the benefit of users assessed as not having the capacity to pay
  • A charge is precluded by legislation or Government direction
  • The transaction is non-routine and immaterial in amount
  • The ongoing administrative costs of charging and revenue collection exceed the expected long term efficiency gains.

Furthermore, where a service provides benefits not only to specific users, but encapsulates a wider community / public benefit, that part considered to be in the public benefit will be provided without charge.

The Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009 requires that in determining the appropriate level of charges, the following should be considered by the organisational area providing the good or service

  • The users have the capacity to pay for the goods or services
  • The users have a choice whether to accept the goods or services
  • The goods or services are available from a supplier other than the department or statutory body
  • Supplying the goods or services is required or permitted by legislation
  • The goods or services are supplied for the benefit of the general public or for the benefit only of users who do not have the capacity to pay
  • The administrative costs of charging and collecting the charges are more than, or may be more than the revenue collected
  • An agreement exists between the department or statutory body and users about charging for the goods or services
  • Charging for the goods or services improves, or may improve, resource allocation through more economical use of the goods or services
  • Other factors exist that the accountable officer or statutory body considers relevant.

In deciding charges for the goods or services, that accountable officer can structure user charges to either cover full cost or decide to charge less than full cost if it is satisfied as appropriate.

Further information in relation to these pricing requirements, including definitions of direct and indirect costs is provided in G/8.1.5 . Information about methods of charge calculation for external charges (including Category A, Category B, Category C, penalties and fines, and donations and contributions) is available in G/8.1.4 .

All pricing options are appropriate for the calculation of external user charges (G/8.1.4 ). GST should be included in the price calculation for all external user charges unless deemed to be GST exempt as per G/8.1.5 (c).

QUT is required to adhere to the requirements and principles of the National Competition Policy in terms of competitive neutrality through full cost pricing of the good / service offered on a competitive basis. Inclusion of all costs will ensure the price is comparable to external providers of a similar good / service.

An analysis of pricing options must be undertaken by the organisational area levying the charge where:

  • An active market exists for the goods or services (in such cases the higher of full cost or market price shall apply)
  • The particular University activity operates as a business undertaking and is seeking to utilise excess capacity, in which case normal commercial pricing considerations apply
  • The State Government has directed that a particular charge or method of charging shall apply
  • Differential pricing for the purposes of cross-subsidisation has been approved by the State Government.


Related Documents

MOPP G/8.1 User charging policy

MOPP G/8.3 Internal user charging policy

MOPP G/8.4 Student user charging policy


Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
23.07.14 G/8.2.1 Vice-Chancellor Revised policy to remove reporting of User Charges to Planning and Resources Committee
04.02.11 All Director, Planning and Budget, Finance and Resource Planning Periodic review - Minor editorial changes only
06.10.05 All Vice-Chancellor Revised policy (endorsed by Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Committee 25.05.05)
31.05.03 All Acting Executive Director, Finance and Resource Planning Updated
20.7.1998 All Vice-Chancellor Revised user charging policy (endorsed by Planning and Resources Committee 25.3.98)