Unit of competency details

CUFCOS501A - Manage an off-site wardrobe department (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUACOS506 - Manage an off-site costume departmentUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Title changed. Performance criteria edited. 14/Jan/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to CUFCOS05A - Operate an off site wardrobe departmentUnit has been updated and is equivalent to CUFCOS05A. 10/Nov/2010

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 11/Nov/2010


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100103 Drama And Theatre Studies  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100103 Drama And Theatre Studies  25/Sep/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to manage an off-site wardrobe department.

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

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Wardrobe supervisors in the screen, media and entertainment industries apply the skills and knowledge described in this unit. On feature film or television drama shoots, they oversee the day-to-day running and use of the wardrobe on set. They manage on-set staff (e.g. costume assistants) and ensure that costumes are cleaned, ironed and ready for use according to shooting schedules.

Wardrobe supervisors are also responsible for organising the transport of costumes to sets or locations, and for ensuring that all items of equipment, e.g. sewing machines, steamers and irons are available and in working order.

Good organisational skills are necessary, along with attention to detail and the flexibility to deal with last-minute changes to wardrobe requirements. Even though wardrobe supervisors work with a high degree of autonomy, they are members of a production team and generally report to costume designers/supervisors or production managers.

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



Establish an off-site wardrobe area

1. Clarify off-site wardrobe requirements in consultation with relevant personnel  and with reference to production documentation 

2. If appropriate, carry out a site inspection to determine the most appropriate location for an off-site wardrobe department

3. Document plans for the establishment of off-site wardrobe departments according to enterprise procedures

4. Ensure that power supply and facilities  are sufficient to meet wardrobe needs for productions 

5. Ensure that wardrobe areas are linked to sets via communication lines/phone and that light quality is suitable for working

6. Conduct pre-departure checks on equipment  to be used off-site

7. Complete required stock  orders and ensure availability in time for productions

8. Coordinate the safe and efficient transport  of wardrobe equipment and costumes  to off-site locations 

Coordinate wardrobe operations

9. Check and document the condition of items transported to production sites, including those from specialist manufacturers and hirers

10. Check and document the condition of hired items or specially manufactured items, on receipt

11. Document shortages or damaged items according to enterprise procedures

12. Secure costume items and accessories to minimise theft or damage

13. Supervise the maintenance and cleaning of costumes and accessories as required.

14. Oversee costume continuity, taking into account last-minute changes to production schedules or scripts

15. Deal with operational problems promptly and efficiently and, as required, alert relevant personnel to action taken

16. Liaise with colleagues in other departments during productions to ensure a coordinated, holistic approach to production services e and cleaning of costumes and accessories as required

Disassemble off-site wardrobe department

17. Clean and safely pack wardrobe equipment and costumes to avoid damage and prepare for transport as required

18. Document equipment that is damaged and requires maintenance and report to relevant personnel

19. Leave worksites in the original or improved conditions, ensuring that there has been no adverse impact on sites

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • communication, literacy and teamwork skills sufficient to:
  • interpret production documentation
  • liaise with a wide range of production staff
  • supervise team members
  • convey changes to wardrobe requirements in an effective and efficient manner
  • complete workplace documentation
  • initiative and flexibility in the context of:
  • dealing with last-minute changes to wardrobe requirements
  • undertaking a range of tasks concurrently
  • capacity to solve problems while under pressure with minimum disruption to work flows
  • technical skills sufficient to:
  • use standard word processing, database and spreadsheet applications in the context of coordinating wardrobe operations
  • supervise costume maintenance
  • self-management skills sufficient to:
  • work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • follow manufacturer specifications and enterprise policies and procedures
  • numeracy skills sufficient to interpret budgets and cost estimates

Required knowledge 

  • a well-developed understanding of administrative procedures associated with providing wardrobe services
  • industry knowledge, including:
  • structure of the relevant industry sector
  • roles and responsibilities of personnel in the relevant industry sector
  • broad understanding of the artistic and technical elements of productions
  • duty of care to colleagues and the general public, especially on location
  • OHS procedures as they relate to providing wardrobe services

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 operation of an off-site wardrobe department that demonstrates an ability to:
  • correctly interpret production documentation
  • take into account factors such as venue and transport requirements, type of production, and resource and budgetary constraints
  • meet production requirements
  • supervise others
  • effective verbal and written communication skills
  • attention to detail
  • collaborative approach to work.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • practical demonstration of skills through operating an off-site wardrobe department for at least two productions
  • access to productions that require an off-site wardrobe department
  • 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 documentation prepared by the candidate to determine whether relevant factors have been identified and dealt with appropriately
  • observation of the candidate managing a wardrobe department on location
  • written or verbal questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit and to evaluate the processes used in developing and realising creative concepts.

Guidance information for assessment 

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

  • CUETEM01C Coordinate production operations
  • BSBMGT515A Manage operational plan.

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:

  • costume designer
  • costume production staff
  • director
  • director of photography
  • floor manager
  • head of department
  • make-up and hair personnel
  • other technical/specialist staff
  • performers
  • producer
  • production designer
  • supervisor
  • technical director
  • wardrobe department personnel.

Documentation  may include:

  • budgets
  • confirmation of receipt and dispatch notes
  • continuity documentation
  • costume break-down lists
  • costume plots
  • descriptive costume checklists
  • fault reports
  • hire agreements
  • manufacturer specifications/instructions
  • memos of instruction
  • operational/project plan
  • production schedules
  • running sheets
  • scripts
  • stock orders
  • stock reports.

Facilities  may include:

  • dressing-rooms
  • fitting rooms
  • furniture and equipment
  • production space
  • storage units and space.

Productions  may include:

  • commercials
  • documentaries
  • feature films
  • filmed events or performances
  • live or prerecorded television productions
  • live performances
  • music videos
  • short films
  • television productions
  • theatrical productions.

Equipment  may include:

  • clothing storage and transportation bags
  • coat hangers
  • conversion tables
  • cutting boards and tables
  • dressmaker's dummies
  • dyeing facilities
  • glue guns
  • hand-held cutting machines
  • hanging racks
  • industrial or domestic irons, presses and steamers
  • laundry facilities, e.g. washing machines, dryers
  • measuring tapes
  • overlockers
  • portable or fixed sewing machines, industrial or domestic
  • scissors and cutters
  • spray guns
  • tools, e.g. wire cutters, hammers, pliers
  • wardrobe base: studio/location or production office.

Stock  may include:

  • cutting blades
  • fabric
  • fasteners
  • haberdashery
  • pattern paper
  • solutions
  • thread
  • trim.

Safe and efficient transport  involves ensuring that:

  • costume items are packed and handled in a way that avoids damage to items
  • costume items arrive in time at the correct location
  • instructions to transport provider are clear, accurate and complete
  • transportation method is:
  • suitable for the nature and quantity of costumes
  • appropriate for the location.

Costumes  may include:

  • accessories
  • character costumes
  • contemporary wear
  • corsetry
  • costume jewellery
  • dance wear
  • female, male, child and animal costumes
  • millinery
  • padding
  • period costumes
  • tailored costumes
  • undergarments.

Locations  may include:

  • day
  • entertainment venue
  • exterior
  • interior
  • night
  • outside broadcast
  • sound stage
  • studio
  • theatre.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Visual communication - Costume

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units