Unit of competency details

BSBCRT101A - Apply critical thinking techniques (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to BSBCRT101 - Apply critical thinking techniquesUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 24/Mar/2015

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 10/Mar/2009

Training packages that include this unit

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
CUV30411 - Certificate III in Arts AdministrationCertificate III in Arts AdministrationSuperseded
CUA10113 - Certificate I in DanceCertificate I in DanceSuperseded
CUV20111 - Certificate II in Visual ArtsCertificate II in Visual ArtsSuperseded
CUV30211 - Certificate III in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural ArtsCertificate III in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural ArtsSuperseded
CUA10111 - Certificate I in DanceCertificate I in DanceSuperseded
CUV10111 - Certificate I in Visual ArtsCertificate I in Visual ArtsSuperseded
CUF30107 - Certificate III in MediaCertificate III in MediaSuperseded
CUF20107 - Certificate II in Creative Industries (Media)Certificate II in Creative Industries (Media)Superseded
CUV30111 - Certificate III in Visual ArtsCertificate III in Visual ArtsSuperseded
CUV20211 - Certificate II in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural ArtsCertificate II in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural ArtsSuperseded
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 120599 Employment Skills Programmes, N.e.c. 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 120599 Employment Skills Programmes, N.e.c. 25/Jul/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to use fundamental critical thinking skills.

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

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to all individuals who need the capacity to think critically and apply that thinking to a range of situations and challenges. It is relevant to all work and life situations, and focuses on the conscious development of skills to ask essential questions and to consider answers to those questions.

'A mind with no questions is a mind that is not intellectually alive. No questions (asked) equals no understanding (achieved).' Foundation for Critical Thinking

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. Examine the value of curiosity and questioning

1.1. Appraise the value of curiosity and questioning  in both work and life situations

1.2. Consider how different types of questions  and styles of questioning apply in diverse situations

2. Develop the habit of asking questions and wondering why

2.1. Reflect on and wonder about issues and situations

2.2. Ask questions of self  to challenge and expand individual thinking

2.3. Ask questions of others  in a constructive way to seek broader knowledge and understanding

2.4. Identify situations when too much wondering and questioning may be inappropriate or ineffective 

2.5. Assess the best ways to structure questions for different situations

3. Contribute to answers as well as questions

3.1. Take responsibility for answering questions  as well as for asking them

3.2. From many possible questions, determine the key question to be answered 

3.3. Identify and access information needed to answer the question 

3.4. Sort the facts from other information  in developing a response

3.5. Check own preconceptions and assumptions  and determine their validity

3.6. Reach a well-considered conclusion or answer, without ruling out more questions or further exploration

3.7. Use conclusions and answers in positive, practical and timely ways

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to actively listen and to ask questions of others in a constructive way
  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills to formulate and ask relevant questions, and come up with appropriate answers
  • comprehension skills to interpret and distil key information of relevance to a given situation.

Required knowledge 

  • different types of questions and their relevance to different situations
  • techniques to assist in forming the habit of asking questions and taking responsibility for answers
  • typical blockers to the critical thinking process
  • why questions are important and the benefits of asking good questions for individuals, businesses and communities (the importance of critical thinking).

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 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • application of a conscious process of questioning to achieve new understandings
  • knowledge and understanding of how critical thinking and questioning impacts on individual lives, the broader community and work situations.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • interactions with specific challenges and situations to demonstrate the application of critical thinking (this would usually involve interactions with others).

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate
  • evaluation of a candidate blog exploring different ideas and questions
  • review of candidate response to scenarios that allow the candidate to apply critical thinking techniques to a particular life or work situation, and to demonstrate ability to portray curiosity and exploration of new concepts
  • evaluation of candidate response to the challenge of adopting different perspectives on a situation, and ability to both develop and respond to questions from those perspectives
  • observation of the candidate participating in a group problem-solving session
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of typical blockers to the critical thinking process.

Guidance information for assessment 

Critical thinking always occurs in a specific context. Therefore holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is highly recommended. Assessors must, however, retain a strong focus on the critical thinking skills as described in 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.

Value of curiosity and questioning  might relate to:

  • developing a more efficient way of doing something
  • developing a new idea
  • developing and improving products and services
  • enhancing skills and career opportunities
  • enhancing the physical environment
  • financial benefit
  • greater personal satisfaction
  • improving interpersonal relationships

Different types of questions  may include questions about:

  • accuracy
  • breadth
  • clarity
  • depth
  • emotion
  • fairness
  • logic
  • meaning
  • precision
  • relevance
  • significance
  • social engagement
  • society
  • style
  • taste

Questions of self  may include:

  • am I being distracted by irrelevant information?
  • are claims warranted?
  • are there any unstated assumptions?
  • could I do this differently or better?
  • do I have any ideas to share about this?
  • have I seen something that may have application here?
  • how can I do that?
  • how can I fix this?
  • how long will that take?
  • if they are doing that, could I?
  • is this a reliable source?
  • is this relevant to me?
  • was I fair?
  • what are the real facts of this situation?

Questions of others  may include:

  • do we have a budget?
  • how did you come up with that?
  • how do you feel about that?
  • how does that work?
  • what does it mean?
  • why do you want me to do it like that?
  • why do we do it like that?
  • why is it so?

Situations when too much wondering or questioning may be inappropriate or ineffective  may relate to:

  • contractual agreements
  • extreme time pressure or non-negotiable deadlines
  • financial limitations
  • procedures determined by laws or other regulations
  • safety issues
  • when others are totally closed to new ideas

Responsibility for answering questions  may involve:

  • acknowledging shared responsibility
  • adopting a positive 'can do' attitude
  • following up on practical details
  • pro-actively seeking information
  • suggesting a new approach
  • talking to others about possible answers

Key question to be answered  may be determined by:

  • constraints of the broader context and environment
  • overall goal - what needs to be achieved
  • personal hopes and expectations

Information needed to answer the question  may be:

  • accessed by observing people
  • already inside own head
  • in journals, books or other printed materials
  • in workplace documents
  • in a hardware store
  • on the internet
  • with colleagues
  • with friends or family

Other information  may be:

  • opinions
  • own assumptions or those of others
  • personal prejudice
  • spin or public relations

Preconceptions and assumptions  may relate to:

  • assumptions about the way others are thinking
  • established ways of doing things
  • existing ideas, products and services
  • risk aversion
  • self-imposed limitations on what is possible

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Creativity and Innovation - Creative Thinking

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units