Unit of competency details

AHCNSY305A - Prepare specialised plants (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to AHCNSY305 - Prepare specialised plantsThis unit is equivalent to AHCNSY305A Prepare specialised plants. 26/Jun/2016
Supersedes RTF3025A - Prepare specialised plants09/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 preparing specialised plants for sale and defines the standard required to: identify customer requirements and treatments to achieve the effect; prepare equipment and plants for treatment; carry out plant treatments; maintain the appearance and growth pattern of treated plants.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to the process of production and preparation of specialised, unusual or rare plants in a production nursery or by other organisations, groups and individuals with a wide range of species and cultivars as the specialised plants or individual cultivars under production. This standard involves working under limited supervision from others, with checking only related to overall progress. The work requires the application of horticultural knowledge and a broad range of horticultural skills. Specialist plant preparation is usually done according to established enterprise guidelines where some discretion and judgement is required in the selection of equipment, work organisation, services, actions, and achieving outcomes within time constraints.

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 to treat specialised plants

1.1. Customer requirements are analysed and clarified by market research or with a supervisor.

1.2. Specialist plants requiring treatment are selected for appropriateness to the requirements.

1.3. Treatments appropriate to the specialised plant are selected according to production and/marketing plan of an organisation, or the creative talent of the individual entrepreneur.

1.4. The timing of the treatments is determined according to the seasonality of the plant species and market considerations.

1.5. Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) hazards in carrying out specialist plant treatments are identified, risks assessed and controls implemented.

2. Implement treatments

2.1. Materials, tools and equipment required for the job are selected, prepared and used.

2.2. Treatments are undertaken to meet the aesthetic requirements of the plant.

2.3. Treatments are carried out according to enterprise OHS requirements.

3. Maintain aesthetic appearance of specialised plants

3.1. The health and aesthetic appearance of the plant is monitored to ensure quality standards are met.

3.2. Water is applied according plant requirements.

3.3. Environmental parameters are modified to ensure optimum growth of plant.

3.4. Remedial or preventative measures are applied to the plants to ensure they maintain their aesthetic appearance.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • communicate with work team members, supervisors, suppliers and clients
  • interpret production/marketing plans and plant quality specifications
  • organise and co-ordinate planned activities
  • estimate treatment and plant requirements, sizes and quantities; and calculate ratios, proportions and application rates
  • co-ordinate work group, materials, equipment and own activities to sequentially and effectively complete operations in a timely manner
  • use 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.

Required knowledge 

  • characteristics of a range of potted plants commonly treated for special aesthetic purposes
  • different treatments which are applied to specialised plants to get desired aesthetic appearance
  • optimum timing of treatments
  • aftercare requirements of treated plants
  • nursery industry best practice guide.

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:

  • identify customer requirements and treatments to achieve the effect
  • prepare equipment and plants for treatment
  • carry out plant treatments
  • maintain the appearance and growth pattern of treated plants.

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.

Specialised plants may include:

  • a range of specialised plants including:
  • weeping specimens
  • potted trees and shrubs
  • bulbs
  • bonsai
  • ferns
  • cacti
  • succulents
  • indoor foliage
  • espaliering
  • topiary
  • ready-made hedges.

Specialist techniques may include:

  • formative and decorative pruning
  • staking
  • tying and training
  • working with other aids such as
  • baskets
  • frames
  • specialist tools
  • materials.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 


Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Competency field

Competency field