Unit of competency details

CUFAIR501A - Explore issues on air (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 11/Nov/2010

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUAAIR501 - Explore issues on airUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 14/Jan/2016

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100701 Audio Visual Studies 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100701 Audio Visual Studies 11/Nov/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to prepare for and conduct in-depth interviews and discussion forums on radio or television.

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

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Television and radio presenters responsible for conducting in-depth interviews and discussions on a wide range of topics apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. On television, they are often presenting before live audiences, with audience members sometimes participants in discussions.

Presenters understand how the media can be used to explore issues and use a range of presentation and interview techniques to do so.

Even though presenters at this level generally operate with a fair degree of autonomy, they are members of a production team and are expected to contribute to overall program planning and production.

Skills associated with undertaking research in preparation for discussion forums are covered in:

  • CUFRES401A Conduct research.

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



Prepare for discussion forums

1. Prepare lines of questioning based on thorough analysis of research undertaken by production personnel 

2. Where appropriate, discuss forum topics in advance with key participants to identify directions in which on-air discussion might go

3. If necessary, undertake further research to cover additional angles revealed in preliminary discussions with key participants

4. Ensure that participants are briefed about laws and regulations  that may have an impact on what they say on air

5. In consultation with production personnel, identify where key participants will be seated in discussion forums that involve audience participation

6. Rehearse or role-play discussions with production personnel to identify gaps in preparation and refine proposed line of questioning accordingly

Conduct discussion forums

7. If appropriate, do a warm-up session to prepare an audience prior to the start of a discussion forum

8. Introduce topic and follow a line of questioning that allows differing opinions to be aired in a way that stimulates constructive debate among participants

9. Chair the discussion in the planned direction, but at the same time, ask questions  that allow participants freedom to express their views

10. Identify additional lines of questioning by listening carefully to participants' comments and follow-through with questions that demonstrate thorough understanding of the topic under discussion

11. Resolve conflicts that arise between participants in a way that moves the discussion forward while acknowledging the validity of differing viewpoints and paying due respect to the public profile of individual participants

12. Adopt an interview style  that elicits the best possible response from participants

13. Respond to cues  from production personnel without disrupting the flow of discussion

14. Link audio and visual material  as required

15. Wrap up discussions by summarising key points succinctly and clearly, and thanking participants for their contribution

Evaluate discussion forums

16. Participate in debriefing sessions with production personnel to identify strengths and weaknesses of discussion forums

17. Document the outcome of debriefing sessions according to enterprise procedures

18. Reflect on own performance and note areas for improvement

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • communication and teamwork skills sufficient to:
  • ask questions clearly and confidently of interviewees
  • listen critically to what interviewees say and respond creatively with questions to elicit further information/opinions from interviewees
  • moderate discussions where participants have differing points of view
  • project a positive and professional image on air
  • work collaboratively with production personnel
  • analytical and literacy skills sufficient to:
  • interpret research findings
  • formulate questions aimed at stimulating debate
  • summarise information quickly and effectively during the course of interviews and discussion forums
  • initiative and flexibility sufficient to respond effectively to equipment malfunction and unforeseen discussion issues
  • willingness to receive and act on feedback about own performance
  • self-management skills sufficient to work under pressure and meet deadlines

Required knowledge 

  • industry knowledge, including:
  • roles and responsibilities of production team members
  • broadcast language and terminology
  • issues and challenges that arise in the context of moderating on-air discussion forums
  • effective communication techniques, including listening, questioning and non-verbal communication
  • dynamics of group discussions, including techniques for facilitating contributions from participants
  • understanding of how to use the media to explore issues
  • understanding of common law and broadcasting codes of practice sufficient to identify and seek expert advice on issues that could lead to legal action
  • OHS requirements as they relate to the operations of a broadcast facility

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:

  • ability to analyse and use research material effectively in the context of preparing for interviews and discussion forums
  • ability to communicate effectively on air
  • understanding of the consequences of breaching laws and regulations that apply to broadcasting
  • ability to listen critically to what interviewees say and to conduct unplanned lines of questioning
  • ability to integrate a number of different tasks simultaneously
  • discussions recorded over a period of time that demonstrate an ability to moderate forums that involve a number of participants discussing a range of topics
  • collaborative approach to work.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to media production facilities to record discussion forums
  • access to video or audio playback equipment to enable evaluation of recordings of forums moderated by the candidate
  • access to current information about, and personnel able to advise on, laws and regulations that apply to broadcasting
  • access to appropriate learning and assessment support when required
  • use of culturally appropriate processes and techniques appropriate to the language and literacy capacity of learners and the work being performed.

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
  • evaluation of recordings of on-air forums moderated by the candidate to assess candidate's ability to facilitate a wide-ranging, yet focused discussion of topics
  • observation of the candidate moderating an on-air forum
  • written or verbal questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit and to discuss candidate's approach to preparing for interviews and discussion forums.

Guidance information for assessment 

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

  • BSBCRT501A Originate and develop concepts
  • CUFPPM401A Produce programs and program segments.

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.

Production personnel  may include:

  • associate producers
  • content specialists
  • floor managers
  • legal advisers
  • producers
  • reporters
  • researchers
  • technical crew.

Laws and regulations  may include:

  • contempt of court and parliament
  • copyright
  • defamation
  • obscenity
  • privacy legislation
  • racial vilification.

Types of questions  may include:

  • basic, e.g. what, who, where, why, how
  • clarifying
  • closed
  • hypothetical
  • leading
  • open-ended.

Interview styles  may include:

  • comic
  • conversational/casual
  • dramatic
  • objective
  • probing/challenging
  • psychological
  • serious
  • supportive.

Cues  from production personnel may include:

  • instructions/advice received through an earpiece
  • non-verbal signals
  • screen-based.

Audio and visual material  may include:

  • animated sequences
  • audio recordings
  • music
  • still images
  • video clips.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Media and entertainment production - on-air presentation

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

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