Unit of competency details

ACMATE302A - Carry out institution containment and exclusion procedures (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to ACMATE302 - Carry out institution containment and exclusion proceduresUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 28/Nov/2017
Supersedes RUV3301A - Carry out institution containment and exclusion proceduresUnit updated and equivalent RUV3301A 10/Nov/2010

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 11/Nov/2010


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  11/Nov/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the process of carrying out institution containment and exclusion procedures that are designed to exclude pathogenic organisms from entering an aseptic site and to contain organisms in a particular site.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit is applicable to junior or assistant level animal technicians working under the supervision of a senior or more experienced staff member and according to established policies and procedures. Containment and exclusion may apply to physical, specific pathogen free, gnotobiotic, genetically modified organisms and infectious microbiological organisms. Containment and exclusion procedures are followed as a routine part of one's own work and are applied to visitors to the site.

In addition to legal and ethical responsibilities, all units of competency in the ACM10 Animal Care and Management Training Package have the requirement for animals to be handled gently and calmly. The individual is required to exhibit appropriate care for animals so that stress and discomfort is minimised.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Prepare to carry out containment and/or exclusion procedures

1.1. Items requiring decontamination  are treated in accordance with institutional policies and procedures.

1.2. Where required, personal and work vehicles are decontaminated before entering a containment or exclusion site .

1.3. Personal decontamination tests and procedures  are carried out before entering a containment or exclusion site.

1.4. Contact with potential contaminants  is reported in accordance with institutional requirements .

1.5. Hands are washed and gloves are changed before handling animals, feed, plant stock or other products.

1.6. Appropriate clothing, footwear and personal protective equipment  are put on before commencing work and 'street clothing' is securely stored away from animals, feed or other products.

2. Carry out site containment and exclusion procedures

2.1. Chemicals and/or medications are handled and stored appropriately.

2.2. Different feed mixes, soils, growing media and/or other products are kept separate and appropriately marked in accordance with institutional procedures.

2.3. Any cases of pest infestation  are identified and reported to the supervisor.

2.4. Any breaches of containment and/or exclusion procedures are identified and reported to the supervisor.

2.5. Any occupational health and safety  (OHS ) hazards are identified and appropriate action is taken in accordance with institutional policies and OHS legislation and codes.

2.6. All waste products  are disposed of in accordance with institutional procedures.

2.7. Information relating to work in containment and exclusion sites is recorded as required by institutional procedures.

3. Carry out animal care in a containment and/or exclusion area

3.1. Animal health and wellbeing requirements are provided for in accordance with the institution's standard operating procedures and codes of practice.

3.2. Animal isolation housing areas are maintained in accordance with animal wellbeing and containment and/or exclusion requirements.

3.3. Physical health and behaviour of animals is monitored and recorded in accordance with institutional requirements.

3.4. Regular hygiene, feeding, exercise and enrichment procedures are carried out in accordance with the institution's standard operating procedures.

3.5. Disease or illness treatments are provided when appropriate and as directed by the supervisor .

4. Assist in maintaining site containment and exclusion procedures

4.1. Procedures and protocols for restricted access are followed by and explained to visitors.

4.2. Incoming and outgoing goods are decontaminated in accordance with institutional procedures.

4.3. Any observed breaches of containment and exclusion procedures by visitors are noted and reported to the supervisor.

4.4. Gates and doors are kept locked, where required, in accordance with institutional procedures and supervisor's instructions.

4.5. Where installed, security fencing is maintained in accordance with supervisor's instructions.

4.6. Where appropriate, deliveries to site are checked to ensure that established procedures are followed for vehicle decontamination, unloading, receipt and holding or storage of stock and/or supplies.

5. Respond to site containment and/or exclusion breach or problem

5.1. The specific problem and its location are identified and reported to the supervisor.

5.2. Problems are secured in accordance with institutional procedures.

5.3. Containment and/or exclusion site and location of breach are cleaned and disinfected as required in accordance with the specific nature of the problem and institutional procedures.

5.4. Livestock and plant stock suspected of being exposed to contaminants are isolated and monitored for evidence of contamination in accordance with institutional procedures.

5.5. All contaminated stock and materials are treated and/or disposed of in accordance with institutional procedures.

5.6. Contaminated persons are treated in accordance with institutional procedures.

5.7. Information about the breach or problem is recorded in accordance with institutional procedures.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communicate with visitors about containment and exclusion procedures
  • complete relevant workplace documents
  • comply with project protocols or report problems or concerns to workplace supervisor or project manager in accordance with workplace protocols and procedures
  • employ safe, humane and environmentally responsible organisation systems and procedures when handling and working with animals and feed
  • maintain the highest standards of hygiene and infection control at all times to reduce the risk of infection and cross-infection
  • report unresolved concerns related to project or workplace procedures using appropriate animal welfare and ethics protocols
  • select and apply appropriate cleaning and disinfection agents
  • use equipment, materials and machinery correctly and in accordance with manufacturers' specifications
  • literacy skills to read, interpret and follow institutional policies and procedures, including OHS, infection control and waste management; follow sequenced written instructions; record accurately and legible information collected; and select and apply procedures for a range of tasks
  • oral communication skills/language to fulfil the job role as specified by the institution, including questioning techniques, active listening, clarifying information and consulting with supervisors
  • numeracy skills to estimate, calculate and record routine workplace measures
  • interpersonal skills to work with and relate to people from a range of cultural, social and religious backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities
  • problem-solving skills to address containment breaches or other issues within scope of responsibilities
  • use personal protective clothing and equipment correctly
  • use safe manual handling techniques and/or equipment
  • use safe waste handling and disposal procedures.

Required knowledge 

  • an awareness of containment and exclusion requirements under the Federal Gene Technology Act
  • applicable industry quality assurance requirements and required documentation
  • AS/NZS 2243.3:2002: Safety in laboratories - Microbiological aspects and containment facilities
  • biohazards in the workplace of significance to animals and humans
  • communication procedures and systems, and technology relevant to the organisation and the individual's work responsibilities
  • institutional containment and exclusion policies and procedures
  • organisational policies and safe work procedures, including OHS and emergency procedures
  • personal protective clothing and equipment and when and how it should be used
  • principles of animal welfare and ethics
  • Federal Quarantine Act 1908 and Regulations 2000
  • relevant animal technology codes of practice and regulations, including the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes
  • relevant state or territory legislation and regulations relating to the practice of veterinary science, biosecurity, animal welfare and research
  • reporting procedures for alleged breaches of containment and exclusion procedures
  • workplace hygiene standards, disinfectants, cleaning agents, cleaning techniques and cleaning equipment and materials.

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

The evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit must be relevant to workplace operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this unit. Assessors should ensure that candidates can:

  • apply specific institutional procedures for containment and exclusion, including security requirements and report breaches
  • isolate and monitor animals as required
  • care for, monitor and maintain animals housed in containment and exclusion areas
  • carry out cleaning and disinfection duties, including decontaminating items as required before entering a site
  • assist in responding to containment and exclusion breaches and contamination
  • maintain accurate records related to breaches and problems encountered.

The skills and knowledge required to carry out institution containment and exclusion procedures must be transferable to a range of work environments and contexts and include the ability to deal with unplanned events.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment of this unit is to be practical in nature and will be most appropriately assessed in an animal technology research facility or in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions.

There must be access to a range of animals as well as relevant information, equipment and/or resources to enable one to demonstrate competence.

Method of assessment 

To ensure consistency in one's performance, competency should be demonstrated, to industry defined standards, on more than one occasion over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances, cases and responsibilities, and over a number of assessment activities.

The assessment strategies must include practical skills assessment. Suggested strategies for this unit are:

  • written and/or oral assessment of candidate's required knowledge
  • observed, documented and first-hand testimonial evidence of candidate's application of practical tasks
  • simulation exercises that reproduce normal work conditions
  • third-party evidence
  • workplace documentation.

This unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other units of competency relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role.

Guidance information for assessment 

Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy and numeracy demands) and the needs of particular target groups (e.g. people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, people with a language background other than English, youth and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds).

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Decontamination  requirements may include:

  • items brought onto or being removed from the site:
  • animal feed
  • bedding
  • bottles
  • cages
  • pens and other stationery
  • toys
  • trolleys
  • vehicles
  • conducting decontamination by:
  • autoclave
  • chemicals
  • downtime (isolation)
  • dunk tanks
  • gases or heat
  • ultraviolet light
  • vehicle dips.

Containment or exclusion sites  may include:

  • containment site is the physical location where the organism is being controlled and confined
  • exclusion site is the physical location from which organisms are to be excluded:
  • institution premises or parts of the premises
  • isolation areas or sick bays
  • laboratories
  • research animal holding or breeding facilities
  • whole farms or parts of a farm.

Personal decontamination tests and procedures  may include:

  • tests and procedures may need to be carried out before and after entering the site:
  • nasal swabs to test for viruses and micro-organisms
  • wet or air showers
  • washing hands
  • wearing shoe protection, gowns, caps and gloves
  • time restrictions on when personnel and/or goods can be removed from the containment or exclusion area.

Potential contaminants  include:

  • pathogens entering the site on:
  • clothing, footwear, equipment, vehicles, new livestock, dust, dander, fur, food, food products, toys, cages, lids, pens, water and soil
  • foodstuffs, including food for animal or human consumption
  • fungi
  • pests and parasites
  • vaccines and viruses or bacterial infections from humans and animals.

Institution requirements  may include:

  • AS/NZ 2243.3:2002: Safety in laboratories - Microbiological aspects and containment facilities
  • institution's quality assurance manual and procedures including:
  • biosecurity
  • OHS
  • recycling and re-use guidelines
  • standard operating procedures
  • waste disposal
  • product labels and manufacturers specifications, including material safety data sheets (MSDS)
  • project objectives and production schedules
  • relevant state and territory legislation and regulations relating to the practice of veterinary science and animal welfare and research
  • requirements of the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator in line with the Federal Gene Technology Act
  • work and routine maintenance plans.

Personal protective equipment  may include:

  • clothing and equipment:
  • caps
  • eyewear
  • face masks and respirators
  • gloves
  • gowns
  • shoe covers.

Pest infestations  that might occur include:

  • dogs, cats and feral animals
  • flies and mosquitoes
  • vertebrate and invertebrate pests
  • wild birds in sheds or housing
  • wildlife
  • vermin in food and bedding.

OHS  risks associated with animal technician procedures include:

  • animal bites, kicks, scratches and crush injuries
  • biological hazardous waste and sharps disposal
  • handling of chemicals and medicines
  • gas leakage
  • inhalation of aerosol particles
  • intraocular contamination
  • manual handling, including carrying, lifting and shifting
  • needle pricks and cuts from other sharps
  • release of infective agents (animal and human)
  • zoonoses.

Waste products  that might need to be disposed of include:

  • biological matter:
  • dead animals
  • embryos
  • faeces
  • semen
  • plant cuttings
  • tissue samples
  • feed spills
  • used bedding and nesting materials
  • unused or expired vaccines
  • used personal protective equipment.

Supervision required in providing treatment  will require:

  • any prescription remedies to be administered under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Animal technology

Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units