Unit of competency details

ACMCAN406A - Assist in establishing and maintaining a plantation (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 11/Nov/2010

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to ACMCAN406 - Assist in establishing and maintaining a plantationUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 28/Nov/2017
Supersedes RUV4405A - Assist in establishing and maintaining a plantationUnit revised and equivalent RUV4405A 10/Nov/2010

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050301 Horticulture  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050301 Horticulture  11/Nov/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the process of assisting other personnel, such as horticulturists, in establishing and maintaining a plantation for animal feed requirements.

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

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

The unit is applicable to senior or more experienced keepers with extensive zoo keeping or related experience.

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. Assist with establishing and maintaining a zoological plantation

1.1. Zoological plantation requirements  are identified and sourced  in consultation with relevant personnel .

1.2. Assistance is provided in establishing a plantation.

1.3. Plantation management strategies  are implemented in accordance with occupational health and safety  (OHS ) and institutional policies and procedures.

1.4. Daily plantation activities  are conducted under supervision.

2. Calculate and harvest animal food requirements

2.1. Animal food requirements are calculated to ensure a constant food supply.

2.2. Plantation is harvested in accordance with sustainable horticultural practices .

2.3. Advice  is provided to relevant personnel in respect to maintaining the plantation to meet animal requirements.

2.4. Plantation records are maintained and stored in accordance with institutional policies and procedures.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • calculate and evaluate dietary needs for a range of animals
  • employ safe, humane and environmentally responsible organisational systems and procedures when handling and working with animals
  • implement institutional policies and procedures
  • maintain records and write workplace documents, including reports to management
  • provide advice on animal food requirements
  • research plantation requirements for specific animals
  • literacy skills to read and follow institutional policies and procedures, including OHS and waste management; implement dietary instructions; record accurately and legibly information collected; and select and apply procedures to a range of defined tasks
  • oral communication skills/language to communicate effectively with team members, supervisors, contractors and consultants and to fulfil job role as specified by the institution, including questioning techniques, active listening, training others, asking for clarification from supervisors and consulting with supervisors
  • numeracy skills to complete arithmetic calculations and weigh and measure feed
  • interpersonal skills to work with others 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 use available resources and prioritise daily tasks.

Required knowledge 

  • animal care and management strategies
  • basic anatomy and physiology relating to nutrition and digestive processes for specific animal species
  • animal groups and their natural diets
  • animal husbandry manuals and other recordkeeping requirements
  • animal nutrition requirements
  • basic physiology of required plant species
  • pest identification and management techniques
  • principles of animal welfare and ethics
  • OHS and animal welfare legislative requirements and codes of practice
  • objectives of a plantation program
  • relevant institutional policies and procedures, including OHS, animal welfare, ethics, hygiene standards and other industry guidelines
  • relevant federal and state or territory legislation and codes of practice
  • safe work practices
  • toxic plants and substances, including control factors affecting toxicity andprotocols for suspected animal poisoning
  • zoological horticulture principles and practices.

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 competence 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:

  • work with others, including horticulturists, to establish and maintain a plantation in accordance with OHS and organisation requirements
  • correctly calculate and harvest food requirements
  • maintain plantation records.

The skills and knowledge required to assist in establishing and maintaining a plantation 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 a captive animal workplace. Workplaces may include small or large captive animal facilities, traditional or open-range type facilities and mobile or theme park environments.

There must be access to the appropriate 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 and where possible, over a number of assessment activities.

The assessment strategy 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 (e.g. plantation records)
  • portfolio.

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.

Zoological plantation requirements  may include:

  • animal needs
  • considerations of location and size
  • environmental considerations
  • equipment and materials
  • plant types
  • planting a mix of evergreen and deciduous for year round supply
  • use of plant simulators.

Plantation requirements may be sourced  from:

  • donations
  • local councils
  • other plantations within the captive animal facility
  • outside contractors for plants and equipment
  • own plant stock
  • roadside verges.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • consultants
  • horticulturalists
  • keepers in charge
  • landscapers
  • project managers.

Plantation management strategies  may include:

  • environmentally friendly and non-poisonous pest management
  • environmentally friendly waste management
  • water conservation techniques.

OHS  risks associated with the plantation may include:

  • biological hazardous waste and sharps disposal
  • handling of chemicals and fertilisers
  • inhalation of aerosol particles
  • manual handling, including carrying, lifting and shifting
  • moving parts of machinery or equipment
  • noise including machinery
  • repetitive strain injury (e.g. secateurs usage)
  • slippery or uneven work surfaces.

Daily plantation activities  may include:

  • canopy reduction
  • controlling pests
  • fertilising
  • mulching
  • pruning
  • removing waste
  • replanting
  • thinning
  • watering
  • weeding.

Sustainable horticulture practices  may include:

  • plantation practices that consider the needs of:
  • environment
  • equipment and materials
  • plant types
  • planting a mix of evergreen and deciduous plants for year round supply
  • specific animals
  • use of plant stimulators
  • safe and effective pest control and waste management strategies.

Advice  may relate to:

  • animal preferences
  • mixed age structure
  • plants known to be toxic to animals
  • plant variety.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Captive animals

Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

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