Unit of competency details

BSBDES402A - Interpret and respond to a design brief (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to BSBDES402 - Interpret and respond to a design briefUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 24/Mar/2015

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 18/Apr/2008

Training packages that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
MEM05 - Metal and Engineering Training PackageMetal and Engineering Training Package 5.0-11.1 
SFL10 - Floristry Training PackageFloristry Training Package 1.0 
BSB07 - Business Services Training PackageBusiness Services Training Package 5.0-9.0 
CUV11 - Visual Arts, Crafts and Design Training PackageVisual Arts, Crafts and Design Training Package 1.0 
CUA - Creative Arts and Culture Training PackageCreative Arts and Culture Training Package 1.0 
CUV03 - Visual Arts, Craft and Design Training PackageVisual Arts, Craft and Design Training Package 3.0 
CUE03 - Entertainment Training PackageEntertainment Training Package 3.1-3.2 
CUF07 - Screen and Media Training PackageScreen and Media Training Package 1.2 

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
CUV40411 - Certificate IV in Photo ImagingCertificate IV in Photo ImagingSuperseded
CUA50513 - Diploma of Live Production DesignDiploma of Live Production DesignSuperseded
CUF50307 - Diploma of Broadcast TechnologyDiploma of Broadcast TechnologyDeleted
CUF50607 - Diploma of Scenery and Set ConstructionDiploma of Scenery and Set ConstructionSuperseded
CUF50107 - Diploma of Screen and MediaDiploma of Screen and MediaSuperseded
CUE60103 - Advanced Diploma of Design for Live Production, Theatre and EventsAdvanced Diploma of Design for Live Production, Theatre and EventsSuperseded1-2 
CUV40211 - Certificate IV in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural ArtsCertificate IV in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural ArtsSuperseded
SFL30110 - Certificate III in FloristryCertificate III in FloristrySuperseded
CUV40611 - Certificate IV in Opal Cutting and PolishingCertificate IV in Opal Cutting and PolishingDeleted
MEM60211 - Advanced Diploma of Jewellery and Object DesignAdvanced Diploma of Jewellery and Object DesignSuperseded1-4 
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Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping

CodeSort Table listing Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping by the Title columnStatus
10309NAT - Certificate IV in Fashion StylingCertificate IV in Fashion Styling Non-Current
10350NAT - Certificate III in Visual Communication (Design Communication / Photo Communication)Certificate III in Visual Communication (Design Communication / Photo Communication) Non-Current
10381NAT - Diploma of Cinemagraphic MakeupDiploma of Cinemagraphic Makeup Non-Current
22091VIC - Diploma of Professional Writing and EditingDiploma of Professional Writing and Editing Non-Current
30992QLD - Certificate IV in Creative Arts in Christian MinistryCertificate IV in Creative Arts in Christian Ministry Non-Current
10343NAT - Advanced Diploma of Professional Game DevelopmentAdvanced Diploma of Professional Game Development Non-Current
80907ACT - Advanced Diploma of PhotographyAdvanced Diploma of Photography Non-Current
10493NAT - Certificate IV in La Moda Marketing and Visual CommunicationsCertificate IV in La Moda Marketing and Visual Communications Non-Current
10220NAT - Diploma of Industrial DesignDiploma of Industrial Design Non-Current


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100501 Graphic Arts And Design Studies 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100501 Graphic Arts And Design Studies 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 interpret and creatively respond to a design brief through the production of work.

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 individuals working in any industry or design context where work is prescribed by a commissioning agent/client in the form of a brief. The unit is holistic in nature and focuses on the integration of the creative, communication and planning processes that support effective response to a design brief.

In practice, this unit supports and is supported by other units describing the specialist skills and knowledge required by specific design disciplines.

Work is carried out independently, although guidance would be available if required. Skills involving the more complex process of negotiating and refining a design brief, or managing the production process are found in BSBDES502A Establish, negotiate and refine a design brief and BSBDES601A Manage design realisation.

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. Interpret design brief

1.1. Correctly interpret the specifications  of the design brief 

1.2. Establish and clarify user or client for the proposed product/service to inform design decisions

1.3. Identify and clarify specifications, parameters or constraints  of the design brief in consultation with relevant colleagues

1.4. Source and evaluate information pertinent to design brief 

2. Explore and develop design concept

2.1. Generate ideas for design concept through research, exploration and experimentation

2.2. Develop initial design concept consistent with design brief parameters

2.3. Evaluate and explore options for refining the concept to best meet design brief parameters

2.4. Refine options and select the approach which best meets design brief requirements

3. Liaise with client

3.1. Agree on communication process and frequency of communication with the client

3.2. Present concepts for work  at appropriate stages during design process as required

3.3. Present and explore different options and creative ideas with client when appropriate

3.4. Pro-actively seek and act on client feedback

3.5. Reach agreement on concept  for work which complies with design brief

4. Plan production of work

4.1. Assess specific design production risks

4.2. Identify all components required to produce a prototype

4.3. Assess technical requirements for production against specified guidelines

4.4. Identify and consult with support services  required for production

4.5. Produce a prototype and evaluate against design brief requirements

4.6. Analyse prototype and determine any further adjustments to production requirements

4.7. Finalise production specifications supported by accurate and complete documentation 

5. Complete production of work

5.1. Collect and/or organise required components for the work

5.2. Produce or monitor the production of work ensuring all parameters of design brief are met

5.3. Accurately document work progress in a format appropriate to the nature of the design and requirements of design brief

5.4. Seek client approval for work where appropriate

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to liaise with clients and colleagues on design concepts, and to effectively present potentially complex ideas
  • creative thinking skills to generate and explore a range of possible responses to design brief requirements
  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills to work out different ways of meeting different design and production challenges
  • Research, literacy and analytical skills to interpret a brief and to source and evaluate information pertinent to the brief
  • planning and organisational skills to integrate and coordinate creative, communication and planning issues into the work process
  • self-management skills to take pro-active responsibility for all the elements involved in responding to a design brief.

Required knowledge 

  • copyright, moral rights and intellectual property issues and legislation relevant to the ways design concepts are developed and presented
  • different ways of presenting, communicating and documenting design concepts (as relevant to the context of work)
  • format of design brief typically used in the relevant industry or design context
  • principles and key features of project management relevant to a design project
  • specific project management factors that apply to a design project
  • terminology typically used in a range of design briefs.

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:

  • effective response to the requirements of at least two design briefs, including interpretation, concept development, communication and production planning
  • knowledge of copyright, moral rights and intellectual property issues and legislation relevant to the ways design concepts are developed and presented.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to the materials resources and equipment needed to interpret design brief, source information pertinent to design brief and to respond to design brief within its parameters
  • interaction with others to reflect the communication and collaboration aspects of this unit.

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 design documentation and completed work undertaken by the candidate
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of typical parameters and constraints for work in a given context, including practical production issues
  • evaluation of presentation made by the candidate to present concepts and to articulate the creative and other processes that lead to the development of final design concept.

Guidance information for assessment 

The design process does not occur in isolation. Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

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.

Specifications  may refer to:

  • budget
  • location
  • materials
  • media
  • quantity
  • scope of work
  • site
  • size
  • target group
  • timeframes

Design brief  may be:

  • written
  • diagrammatic
  • visual
  • verbal

Parameters or constraints  may refer to:

  • budgeting and financing arrangements
  • cost of production
  • legislative and regulatory requirements
  • outlets
  • number of items
  • purpose of item
  • timeframes

Information pertinent to design brief  may be about:

  • current trends in the application of materials, techniques, tools and equipment
  • design standards
  • health and safety
  • industry standards
  • legal, contractual, ethical and copyright considerations
  • material characteristics and capabilities
  • new technology and innovation
  • stylistic considerations

Concepts for work  would usually be in written format and may include:

  • computer generated text or diagrams, for example MS Word PowerPoint presentation
  • diagrams
  • drawings
  • photographs or digital images
  • text
  • video

Agreement on the concept  may involve:

  • development of an artist statement
  • discussion with client
  • discussion with other specialists (e.g. technical or production)
  • formal contract for the work
  • negotiation

Support services  may involve:

  • agencies
  • digital services
  • engineers
  • fabricators, for example for models, props, sets
  • hire studios and/or equipment
  • other specialists, for example make-up, stylists
  • production facilities
  • work assistants

Documentation  may include:

  • charts/diagrams
  • CD
  • data sheets with notes
  • drawings/sketches
  • illustrations
  • material samples
  • photographs or digital images
  • slides
  • specifications for fabricators
  • storyboard and text
  • video or DVD
  • written rational or description

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Design - Design Process

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units