Unit of competency details

AHCILM306A - Follow Aboriginal cultural protocols (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes AHCILM304A - Follow cultural protocolsSupersedes and is not equivalent to AHCILM304A 28/Feb/2013
Is superseded by and equivalent to AHCILM306 - Follow Aboriginal cultural protocolsThis unit is equivalent to AHCILM306A Follow Aboriginal cultural protocols. 26/Jun/2016

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 01/Mar/2013

Training packages that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
CUA - Creative Arts and Culture Training PackageCreative Arts and Culture Training Package 2.0-4.1 
AHC10 - Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land ManagementAgriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management 5.0-8.0 

Qualifications that include this unit

Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090311 Indigenous Studies  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090311 Indigenous Studies  01/Nov/2013 
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Modification History


TP Version 




Initial release. Supersedes and is not equivalent to AHCILM304A

Unit Descriptor

This unit provides an awareness of the protocols involved in Aboriginal culture, including the need to identify the appropriate person/s when approaching a Community and the cultural and social protocols associated with that task.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to following cultural protocols and details the specific cultural, gender and kinship sensitivities of working in Aboriginal communities and on Country with diverse cultural requirements. The unit applies to working with lore/law men and women either autonomously or under the supervision and cultural authority of Traditional Owner/s and/or Elder/s for specific Country. This unit is also applicable to the work of repatriation workers and anthropologists. Cultural beliefs and practices vary across locations and communities however and in some situations non-Aboriginal learners may not be able to access the cultural knowledge and/or materials required to achieve competency in this unit. This applies when restrictions are applied to non-Aboriginal people gaining access to cultural knowledge, material or sites. In these situations the Registered Training Organisation will have to make alternative arrangements for learners that are still consistent with the delivery and assessment requirements for this unit.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

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



Employability Skills Information

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. Identify Aboriginal beliefs and associated cultural protocols for different Country 

1.1 The importance of Aboriginal beliefs  and the relationship of these beliefs with cultural landscapes are identified and documented

1.2 Gender roles are recognised and respected

1.3 Language groups and kinship networks within specific Country that inform the basis of social relationships and Community roles are respected

1.4 Cultural taboos , factions and avoidance relationships are recognised and respected

1.5 The rights of individuals within communities and on Country to hold specific knowledge and ceremony are acknowledged

1.6 The rights of individuals within communities and on Country to hold responsibility for Aboriginal-sites and the cultural rules associated with sharing that knowledge are acknowledged

1.7 The inherent diversity that exists within cultures and communities is respected and affirmed

2. Identify Aboriginal cultural authorities for specific Country in culturally appropriate ways

2.1 Various approaches and resources that can be employed in order to identify cultural authorities for specific Country are applied

2.2 Difficulties in identifying cultural authorities in various states and territories is researched

2.3 The appropriate cultural authorities are identified and consulted

2.4 The identification by cultural authorities  of appropriate persons within communities who hold cultural knowledge relevant to determining the cultural significance of Aboriginal objects and/or places is applied

2.5 The provision of advice by cultural authorities is respected; with advice and decisions by cultural authorities on identifying appropriate persons for consultation implemented

2.6 Rights and responsibilities associated with cultural knowledge, story, song, site, and ceremony are respected and implemented

2.7 Cultural knowledge holders inform the decision-making process to determine the cultural significance of objects and/or places

2.8 Traditional knowledge and practices in managing Country and environment are acknowledged and respected

3. Relate Aboriginal cultural protocols  to Community consultation

3.1 Key protocols required for Aboriginal Community consultation are identified and recorded

3.2 Determination of Aboriginal people as the primary source of cultural information is acknowledged

3.3 Decision making by Aboriginal cultural authorities for when consultation is required, the selection of participants, and ways in which consultations are conducted is determined

3.4 Communication approaches that place Aboriginal cultural protocols and values as a principal concern are implemented

3.5 Participation in Community consultation following appropriate cultural protocols for that Country and Community is undertaken

4. Recognise and administer Aboriginal ownership and intellectual property rights

4.1 Ownership rights and intellectual property rights of Aboriginal cultural information and material is established

4.2 Rights to control cultural heritage by Aboriginal people as custodians of Aboriginal culture are recognised

4.3 Access restrictions to cultural knowledge, information and material are applied

4.4 Confidentiality measures for recording secret, sacred materials are followed

4.5 The ownership of cultural knowledge, information and material, is determined and administered

4.6 Any identified infringement of copyright is reported to appropriate personnel

5. Access, transfer and use cultural information and material

5.1 Permissions from cultural authorities, relevant individuals and organisations for access and use of Aboriginal cultural information and material are sought and may be obtained or denied

5.2 Parameters for processes of transfer of cultural knowledge are established and implemented

5.3 Adherence to cultural restrictions on Aboriginal cultural information and Aboriginal material is observed

5.4 Copyright and licensing issues related to access and use of Aboriginal cultural material and cultural information are acknowledged and observed

5.5 Aboriginal cultural requirements for communications about, and display, access and handling of, Aboriginal cultural information and material are followed

5.6 The implications of consent for accessing, transferring and using cultural information and materials are known and agreed

6. Use appropriate personal and social protocols

6.1 Appropriate use of personal protocols of addressing persons and greetings, personal contact, and gestures is observed

6.2 Personal presentation and conduct is guided by respect for local and Community traditions

6.3 Personal communication styles for language, non-verbal communication, discussion, meaning, questioning, eye contact and silence reflect the customs and idioms of the local Community

6.4 A flexible attitude is used to address situations of cultural diversity and cross-cultural differences

Required Skills and Knowledge

Required skills include:

Ability to: 

  • respect cultural diversity and sensitivity to social, cultural values and beliefs
  • use technology to access written, oral or visual source material
  • carry out library and internet research
  • comprehend written, oral or visual source material
  • interpret written, oral or visual source material
  • apply listening skills
  • apply oral communication skills
  • relate to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and physical and mental abilities
  • exercise discretion and confidentiality

Required knowledge includes:

Knowledge of: 

  • Aboriginal history, cultural values and interpersonal and Community protocols
  • authentic and authoritative sources for Aboriginal cultural information, material and expression able to be accessed and shared.
  • Cultural and Heritage Legislation or relevant NPWS legislation
  • sustainable environmental practices
  • workplace health and safety requirements

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 delivery and assessment of this unit must comply with Community protocols and be carried out in consultation with and participation with Traditional Owners and/or Elders and custodians of that specific Country.

In accordance with Aboriginal cultural protocols, cultural knowledge copyright considerations and Aboriginal lore/law restrictions, it is essential that this requirement be respected and implemented in the delivery and assessment of Cultural Units  to guarantee cultural authenticity and quality control around the delivery of training and assessment for Aboriginal-sites workers.

Candidates must demonstrate evidence of the ability to:

  • identify and seek participation of appropriate cultural authorities for a Community, place or for a site
  • identify cultural information, material and cultural expression appropriate to be shared
  • describe elements of cultural diversity within Aboriginal communities
  • describe natural resources and how they relate to cultural protocol, spirituality, art, environment, values, beliefs and lore/law
  • describe the cultural rights and responsibilities when using Community knowledge, information and material
  • identify groups to be consulted in relation to owners/custodians of cultural and Community knowledge, information and/or material

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment events must be contextualised to meet the needs of the particular group, including:

  • a Community, educational or workplace setting
  • involvement of people approved by cultural authorities and/or Traditional Owners of the relevant local Community
  • candidates who have gained relevant knowledge and skills through their life experience

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess competency in following Aboriginal cultural protocols. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • observation of the candidate relating to and engaging Aboriginal persons and Aboriginal Community
  • direct questioning combined with third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance
  • verbal or written questioning
  • observation of participation in Ceremony and/or Sites work related to the knowledge and skills outlined in this Unit

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands and the needs of particular client groups (consider the requirements of different age groups, clients with English as a second language, clients with disabilities, remote library users, etc.).

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • AHCILM306A Follow Aboriginal cultural protocols
  • AHCASW308A Apply cultural significance to Aboriginal-sites and landscapes
  • AHCILM404A Record and document Community history

Assessment for this unit should comprise a combination of theory and practical application. Both aspects of assessment are best conducted on Country for this unit.

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.

Aboriginal beliefs  may refer to:

  • connection to Country
  • creation events
  • structure of Community such as lore/law men and women, elders and custodians
  • practicality and purpose
  • appropriate behaviour, protocols and restrictions
  • spiritual value of knowledge and stories
  • communal ownership of some knowledge and material
  • intergenerational ownership of some knowledge and material
  • oral tradition of passing on knowledge and responsibilities
  • roles as custodians of specified knowledge, ceremony, designs, information
  • kinship and relationships
  • storytelling

Different Country  may include:

  • adjoining local Aboriginal Land Council boundaries
  • remote Aboriginal communities in the same or different States and Territories
  • different spaces within the same geographical area

Cultural taboos  may include:

  • anything that is offensive to the group or person in question
  • naming deceased persons
  • speaking of persons and/or places and/or practices that are not to be spoken of in public
  • cross gender practices and/or proximity in some situations

Cultural authorities  may include:

Cultural authority refers to the most appropriate senior person/s that is able to speak for particular Country, cultural objects, ceremony and/or materials in a specific place. A cultural authority could be a Traditional Owner, a Native Title Claimant, Aboriginal Culture and Heritage Body, Elder, Aboriginal Land Council, etc.

A ceremonial/cultural manager in terms of Aboriginal customary law means someone who does the work either under the direct supervision of the Aboriginal Owner or does the work that is authorised by the Owner. In a ceremony for example, the ceremonial manager(s) may provide the food and do the performance (work). Traditional roles and responsibilities swap over depending on a person’s status in any given situation – ie – whose land / estate one is on for business.

Aboriginal cultural protocols  may include:

  • gender roles in relation to knowledge and cultural practices
  • information sensitivity and access
  • appropriate information transfer
  • negotiations with local Aboriginal Community about information transfer
  • cultural diversity
  • natural resources and their importance for economy, religion, spirituality, art, environment, values, beliefs and lore/law.
  • rights and responsibilities associated with cultural knowledge, story, song, Site, and ceremony
  • interpersonal ways of relating
  • the talking of Community politics
  • repatriation of artefacts
  • issues of ownership
  • ownership of intellectual property
  • copyright and copyright infringement
  • acknowledging participation and ownership
  • communicating about cultural material
  • accessing, displaying and handling cultural material
  • identifying appropriate people to be consulted
  • occasions when consultation is required
  • ways in which consultations should be conducted

Unit Sector(s)

Indigenous land management