Unit of competency details

CUESTA02C - Operate staging elements (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 29/Oct/2010

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUASTA303 - Operate staging elementsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 20/Nov/2013
Supersedes and is equivalent to CUESTA02B - Operate staging elementsUpdated and equivalent 13/Nov/2010

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  28/Apr/2009 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to operate a range of staging elements during a live production.

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

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Mechanists and staging personnel apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. In this role they are responsible for the safe operation of a range of staging equipment, which requires a sound knowledge of stagecraft, as well as the types of issues that may arise during performance and how these affect the work of staging personnel.

This unit has linkages to a range of other staging and general technical units, and combined assessment and/or training with those units may be appropriate.

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. Make staging preparations

1.1. Rehearse technical staging aspects  of the show and communicate relevant information to performers as required

1.2. Plot, rehearse and execute cues in accordance with directions from the relevant personnel 

1.3. Implement any changes correctly and modify cue sheets accurately as required

1.4. Document all modifications in accordance with organisational procedures

1.5. Check the stage prior to performance to ensure that it is set in accordance with performance requirements

1.6. Run appropriate checks on all operable set elements as required to ensure that they are in working order

1.7. Identify and deal with problems and faults  safely and effectively, and inform appropriate personnel as required

2. Operate staging elements

2.1. Execute any scene changes correctly and on cue according to performance requirements

2.2. Identify and rectify any staging  problems or faults promptly or refer to relevant personnel

2.3. Identify and make emergency repairs quickly and efficiently as required

3. Carry out post performance requirements

3.1. Clear stage as required by production requirements and store materials appropriately

3.2. Identify any faulty set elements, repair to working condition or refer to specialist personnel for action to ensure readiness for next performance

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • problem solving in relation to the types of staging challenges that arise during live performance
  • numeracy skills sufficient to calculate timings
  • literacy skills sufficient to both interpret and make modifications to staging documentation

Required knowledge 

  • cue plots, their features, how to action them and make amendments to cues
  • operating techniques for a range of staging elements, including movement of flats, operation of trucks and revolves, movement of weight-bearing elements
  • knowledge of types of control desks which operate stage machinery
  • signals and other communication systems used when operating stage machinery

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 following evidence is critical of the judgement of competence in this unit:

  • ability to operate staging to performance requirements
  • application of safe working practices to the movement of staging elements
  • effective communication skills to achieve efficient operation of staging during a performance.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

The assessment context must ensure:

  • practical demonstration of skills through the operation of staging elements during an actual performance and for more than one production
  • involvement of and interaction with a team to reflect the collaborative nature of staging operation during a performance.

Method of assessment 

Assessment may incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of essential underpinning knowledge, and might include:

  • direct observation of a performance where the candidate is operating staging
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of issues to be considered in the operation of staging, typical problems which occur and how these can be addressed
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands 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 

Assessment of this unit requires access to:

  • a venue for the staging of an actual production
  • staging equipment.

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.

Technical staging aspects  of the show may include:

  • checking that all staging elements meet operational standard for performance
  • quick costume changes

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • designer
  • director
  • production manager
  • stage manager
  • technical staff
  • venue management

Staging faults  or problems may relate to:

  • director making last minute alterations/additions
  • jammed machinery
  • last minute loss of crew team member needed for a heavy scene change
  • loss of communication
  • missing cues

Staging  may include:

  • framed scenery, e.g. flats, profiles, doors, windows
  • furniture and other set props
  • non weight-bearing scenery, e.g. columns, trees
  • revolves
  • soft scenery, e.g. canvas legs, borders, cloths, gauzes, cycloramas
  • trucks
  • weight bearing scenery, e.g. rostra, ramps, steps

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Media and entertainment production - staging

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

It is strongly recommended that this unit be assessed with or after the following units:


Install staging elements


Apply a general knowledge of staging to work activities


Use hand tools

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