Unit of competency details

CUAOHS602A - Develop techniques for maintaining resilience in a competitive environment (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUAWHS602 - Develop techniques for maintaining resilience in a competitive environmentUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 20/Nov/2013

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 06/Oct/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 120505 Work Practices Programmes 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 120505 Work Practices Programmes 12/Apr/2012 
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Modification History




This version first released with CUA11 Live Performance Training Package version 1.0

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop an understanding of behavioural principles to help cope with performance anxiety and other aspects of working in a competitive environment.

Application of the Unit

Performers, such as actors, dancers, musicians and vocalists, apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit.

In a highly competitive market place, performers have to apply a range of psychological techniques to perform with the skill and artistry needed to further their careers.

Developing strategies to deal with performance issues is a largely self-directed activity, but may involve some mentored guidance.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

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


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content


Performance Criteria 

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. Refine understanding of behavioural principles

1.1. In discussion with relevant personnel  confirm understanding of the key developmental stages  in perception, cognition and understanding of self and how these relate to performers

1.2. Clarify the difference between psychology and psychiatry and discuss the circumstances in which performers may need to consult with professionals from these disciplines

1.3. Clarify the basic influences  on social, individual and group behaviour with particular reference to competitive environments

2. Develop strategies to overcome performance anxiety

2.1. Develop a clear understanding of the causes  and effects of performance anxiety 

2.2. Discuss with relevant personnel the positive and negative effects of physiological arousal on performance

2.3. In consultation with relevant personnel develop strategies  to cope with performance anxiety and achieve optimal arousal 

2.4. Use rehearsal and performance opportunities to test and evaluate strategies

2.5. Reflect on own experience of, and responses to, a range of coping mechanisms  and adjust strategies accordingly

3. Develop strategies to cope with injuries

3.1. Develop a clear understanding of the psychological effect of injuries on performers

3.2. Recognise the signs of problematic adjustment to injury in self and in other performers

3.3. Apply techniques  to minimise the risk of injuries

3.4. Ensure that strategies to deal with injuries take account of individual differences  in response to injury

4. Develop strategies to enhance performance

4.1. Discuss with relevant personnel strategies and psychological tools  to enhance resilience and improve performance technique

4.2. Incorporate understanding  of the effects of motivation  on physical condition of the human body into performance strategies

4.3. Apply the principles of internal imagery  to improve motivation and performance

4.4. Develop preparation and pre-performance routines

4.5. Reflect on personal responses to motivating stimuli and adjust approach to performance accordingly

4.6. Develop creative ways of coping with working and performing in a competitive environment

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to discuss issues associated with maintaining resilience in a competitive environment
  • critical thinking and analytical skills to:
  • reflect on complex behavioural issues and make judgments and decisions about those issues
  • improve own behavioural and thinking patterns through critical self-analysis
  • initiative and enterprise skills to develop lateral solutions for coping with performance anxiety
  • learning skills to understand and apply psychological theories to improve own performance
  • literacy skills to interpret varied information dealing with complex issues from a range of sources
  • planning and organisational skills to develop and action strategies to deal with aspects of working and performing in a competitive environment
  • problem-solving skills to adjust to constraints and limitations
  • technology skills to use the internet as a research tool.

Required knowledge 

  • cognitive behavioural model of psychology
  • theories of social behaviour
  • terminology associated with psychological research and behavioural theories
  • operation of the nervous system
  • anxiety theories
  • physiological responses to stress and anxiety.

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 ability to:

  • develop strategies to address performance issues that demonstrate understanding of:
  • behavioural principles
  • ways to cope with performance anxiety
  • implement, monitor and adjust strategies in light of self-reflection
  • work collaboratively with others on developing techniques for maintaining resilience in a competitive environment.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to information on behavioural theories
  • opportunities to reflect on effectiveness of strategies developed.

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
  • third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance
  • evaluation of strategies developed to deal with a range of performance issues
  • verbal or written questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit
  • case studies and scenarios as a basis for discussion of issues and challenges that arise in the context of maintaining resilience in a competitive environment
  • direct observation or video recording of candidate in pre-performance situations.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy) and the needs of particular groups (e.g. people with disabilities and people who may have literacy or numeracy difficulties, such as speakers of languages other than English, remote communities and those with interrupted schooling).

Guidance information for assessment 

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

  • CUAPRF503A Prepare for and perform in a competitive environment
  • CUVPRP502A Prepare for sustainable professional practice.

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.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • teacher
  • medical practitioner
  • psychologist
  • counsellor
  • psychiatrist
  • physiotherapist
  • dietician
  • mentor
  • qualified fitness instructor
  • supervisor
  • colleague
  • fellow student
  • performer.

Key developmental stages  may relate to:

  • Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development:
  • sensorimotor period
  • preoperational period
  • concrete operational stage
  • formal operational stage
  • relationship between motor, perceptual, cognitive and social development
  • role of the nervous system in the transmission of information.

Basic influences  may relate to:

  • attitudes, including:
  • envy of others’ success
  • resentment at not being selected for a role
  • ambition.

Causes of performance anxiety  may include:

  • lack of confidence
  • fear of not meeting audience’s expectations
  • fear of being judged
  • fear of failure
  • negative thinking.

Effects of performance anxiety  may include:

  • physical symptoms, such as:
  • racing heart
  • dry mouth
  • shaky voice
  • blushing
  • trembling
  • sweating
  • nausea
  • ‘butterflies’ in the stomach
  • hyperventilating
  • bodily response, such as:
  • release of adrenaline into the blood stream causing ‘flight or fight’ syndrome with physical characteristics, such as:
  • contraction of neck muscles
  • back muscles drawing the spine into a concave position
  • tensing of muscles
  • feeling of cold in fingers, toes, ears, nose
  • increased blood pressure
  • dilation of pupils
  • increased breathing
  • behavioural effects, such as:
  • not knowing what to do or say
  • inability to read notes due to temporary impairment of close vision
  • increased awareness of members of the audience due to temporary improvement in long range vision
  • feeling embarrassed.

Strategies  may relate to:

  • cognitive restructuring, such as:
  • reducing the perceived or imagined power of audience members to make negative judgements
  • reducing anxiety by perceiving performances as challenges rather than threats
  • recognising and eliminating negative self-talk
  • making affirmations to eliminate the tendency to imagine negative outcomes
  • reducing the significance of the event causing anxiety by placing it in the bigger context of one’s whole life
  • focusing on the present
  • focusing on a single element or action at a time
  • managing physiological arousal symptoms
  • stretching
  • deep breathing
  • light aerobic exercises
  • meditative techniques, such as:
  • yoga
  • tai chi
  • creative visualisation
  • meditation related to kinaesthetic awareness
  • drug therapies, such as:
  • beta blockers
  • anti-depressants.

Coping mechanisms  may include:

  • breathing exercises
  • visualisation and imagery
  • self-talk
  • internalising or self-focus
  • centring
  • cue words
  • pre-performance routines
  • distraction
  • self-monitoring
  • using feedback
  • goal setting
  • cognitive restructuring
  • relaxation
  • thought stoppage
  • feedback from others
  • concentration and attention.

Techniques  may relate to:

  • exercise program
  • nutrition and diet
  • warm-up and cool-down procedures
  • appropriate clothing and footwear.

Individual differences  may relate to:

  • dancer identity
  • support network
  • severity of injury
  • secondary gain
  • additional life stressors
  • thinking style
  • coping style.

Psychological tools  may relate to:

  • relating examples of the four attention dimensions to personal strengths and weaknesses:
  • internal narrow
  • internal broad (analysis)
  • external narrow
  • external broad
  • distractors and strategies to help maintain focus
  • progressively relaxing muscles
  • relating the stages of change to individual life experience:
  • pre-contemplation
  • contemplation
  • preparation
  • action
  • relating learned life skills to past and future change.

Understanding  may relate to:

  • attribution theory
  • self-efficacy
  • internal and external locus of control
  • arousal and effect
  • self-determination 
  • goal orientation and goal setting 
  • creative visualisation techniques 
  • mind body education options, such as:
  • tai chi
  • meditation
  • martial arts
  • common factors that affect motivation, such as:
  • lifestyle
  • perceptions or beliefs
  • work or family commitments
  • injury and health issues
  • nutrition.

Motivation  may relate to:

  • attribution theory and belief systems and cause and effect
  • self-efficacy
  • internal and external locus of control
  • arousal and effect
  • neuromuscular facilitation (muscle memory)
  • aggression
  • interpersonal behaviour.

Internal imagery  relates to:

  • visuo-motor imagery, including use of:
  • mental imagery to improve motor behaviour
  • one’s imagination to simulate an action.

Unit Sector(s)

Performing arts - OHS

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.