Unit of competency details

AHCARB203A - Perform above ground pruning (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
DeletedDeleted from AHC10 Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management26/Jun/2016
Supersedes RTF2009A - Perform above ground pruningE09/Jun/2011

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 10/Jun/2011


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  04/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit covers the process of aerial pruning of ornamental trees and shrubs and defines the standard required to: carry out pre-operational and safety checks; identify and report site and tree hazards and implement risk controls for pruning; climb using documented safe work methods; perform pruning to AS4373 - 2007 Pruning of amenity trees; drop pruned material safely; record pruning activities.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to the pruning of trees and shrubs in amenity horticulture in urban and regional areas.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Prepare for pruning operations

1.1. Pruning instructions are obtained and confirmed from supervisor.

1.2. Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) hazards are identified, risks assessed and reported to the supervisor.

1.3. Tools and equipment are selected that are appropriate to the task being undertaken.

1.4. Pre-operational and safety checks are carried out on pruning tools and equipment, according to manufacturer's specifications and work procedures.

1.5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for above ground pruning is selected and used.

2. Perform remedial and corrective pruning of trees

2.1. Safety harness is fitted and adjusted according to manufacturer's guidelines and workplace safety requirements.

2.2. Ascent to a given position for the pruning operation is achieved using communication and signage techniques according to enterprise requirements.

2.3. Tools are used to perform remedial and corrective pruning operations according to supervisor's instructions.

2.4. Pruning operations are carried out according to strict OHS requirements, and industry codes of practice and AS4373 - 2007 Pruning of amenity trees.

2.5. Pruning material is dropped in a safe manner into designated drop zone and may include the use of ropes.

2.6. Descent at the conclusion of the pruning operation is completed in accordance with industry safe work standards.

3. Complete pruning operations

3.1. Tools and equipment are cleaned, maintained and stored according to manufacturer's specifications and enterprise Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

3.2. Pruned material is collected and disposed of and/or recycled in a manner that causes minimal damage to the environment.

3.3. Workplace records are maintained according to enterprise guidelines.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • interpret directions and communicate with fellow team members
  • calculate heights and safe working loads
  • dispose of plant debris in an environmentally aware and sensitive manner
  • minimise noise, dust, and high activity vehicle traffic to prevent nuisance-level environmental disturbance
  • use literacy skills to follow sequenced written instructions and record information accurately and legibly
  • use oral communication skills/language competence to fulfil the job role as specified by the organisation including questioning, active listening, asking for clarification and seeking advice from supervisor
  • use numeracy skills to estimate, calculate and record routine workplace measures
  • use interpersonal skills to relate to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities.

Required knowledge 

  • the procedures to be followed for safe use of controlled ascending and descending devices
  • factors affecting the timing and method of tree or shrub pruning
  • basic tree structure and growth patterns
  • employees OHS responsibilities when carrying out above ground pruning
  • the effect of adverse climatic conditions (e.g., rain, hail, wind or very high temperatures), which may prevent or impede above ground pruning operations
  • the relevant industry Code of Practice
  • AS4373 - 2007 Pruning of amenity trees.

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 holistically all of the requirements of the performance criteria and required skills and knowledge and include achievement of the following:

  • carry out pre-operational and safety checks
  • identify and report hazards, and implement risk controls for pruning
  • climb using documented safe work methods
  • perform remedial and corrective pruning to AS4373 - 2007 Pruning of amenity trees
  • drop pruned material safely
  • record pruning activities.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Competency requires the application of work practices under work conditions. Selection and use of resources for some worksites may differ due to the regional or enterprise circumstances.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole.

Trees may include:

  • all species of trees and woody tree like vegetation forms.

Pruning may include:

  • formative or corrective pruning and may be divided into the areas of:
  • crown cleaning
  • crown thinning
  • crown reduction
  • crown lifting
  • crown renewal.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 


Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Competency field

Competency field