Unit of competency details

CUFIND401A - Provide services on a freelance basis (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUAIND402 - Provide freelance servicesUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Title changed. Minor edits to elements and performance criteria. 14/Jan/2016

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
SIT12 - Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training PackageTourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package 1.0-1.2,2.0 
SIS10 - Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training PackageSport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package 1.2-3.1 
CUA11 - Live Performance Training PackageLive Performance Training Package 1.0 
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 
CUS09 - MusicMusic 1.1-1.2 
SIS - Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training PackageSport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package 1.0-5.2 
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
CUS50109 - Diploma of MusicDiploma of MusicSuperseded1-2 
CUA40213 - Certificate IV in Community CultureCertificate IV in Community CultureSuperseded
CUA50513 - Diploma of Live Production DesignDiploma of Live Production DesignSuperseded
CUF40407 - Certificate IV in Make-upCertificate IV in Make-upSuperseded
CUE40403 - Certificate IV in Venues and Events (Customer Service)Certificate IV in Venues and Events (Customer Service)Superseded1-2 
CUF50307 - Diploma of Broadcast TechnologyDiploma of Broadcast TechnologyDeleted
CUA50211 - Diploma of Musical TheatreDiploma of Musical TheatreSuperseded
CUF50607 - Diploma of Scenery and Set ConstructionDiploma of Scenery and Set ConstructionSuperseded
CUF50107 - Diploma of Screen and MediaDiploma of Screen and MediaSuperseded
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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
22072VIC - Certificate III in Acting (Screen)Certificate III in Acting (Screen) Non-Current
52781WA - Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) (Commercial Dance)Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) (Commercial Dance) Non-Current
10064NAT - Diploma of Fashion StylingDiploma of Fashion Styling Non-Current
10068NAT - Diploma of Screen PerformanceDiploma of Screen Performance Non-Current
10073NAT - Advanced Diploma of ActingAdvanced Diploma of Acting Non-Current
30993QLD - Diploma of Creative Arts in Christian MinistryDiploma of Creative Arts in Christian Ministry Non-Current
22183VIC - Certificate IV in Theatre ArtsCertificate IV in Theatre Arts Non-Current
22184VIC - Diploma of Theatre ArtsDiploma of Theatre Arts Non-Current
10074NAT - Advanced Diploma of Sports TherapyAdvanced Diploma of Sports Therapy Non-Current
10109NAT - Diploma of Circus ArtsDiploma of Circus Arts Cancelled
40629SA - Advanced Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing)Advanced Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing) Non-Current
30992QLD - Certificate IV in Creative Arts in Christian MinistryCertificate IV in Creative Arts in Christian Ministry Non-Current
22307VIC - Certificate III in Acting (Screen)Certificate III in Acting (Screen) Non-Current
10428NAT - Diploma of Styling (Fashion, Image and Media)Diploma of Styling (Fashion, Image and Media) Non-Current
10493NAT - Certificate IV in La Moda Marketing and Visual CommunicationsCertificate IV in La Moda Marketing and Visual Communications Non-Current
22091VIC - Diploma of Professional Writing and EditingDiploma of Professional Writing and Editing Non-Current


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100199 Performing Arts, N.e.c.  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100199 Performing Arts, N.e.c.  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 operate as a freelancer within the creative arts industry.

Success as a freelancer requires a high level of self-motivation and discipline, an ability to develop industry networks and an entrepreneurial attitude when pursuing work opportunities. Freelancers are usually responsible for negotiating their own contracts.

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

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Any person who offers their services on a freelance basis applies the skills and knowledge described in this unit.

Generally speaking, people move into freelance work after consolidating their skills as employees.

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



Promote yourself to potential employers

1. Establish, follow up and regularly maintain business contacts within industry

2. Participate in relevant networks  to support your freelance activity

3. Identify and follow appropriate strategies  to enhance your professional reputation

4. Maximise your reputation by circulating current and succinct information  about your experience

5. Join and maintain regular contact with relevant employment networks 

6. Advertise your services in relevant media outlets as required

7. Produce and distribute promotional material as required

Negotiate work arrangements

8. Establish clear performance outcomes for jobs and agree on fees, schedules and expenses

9. Ensure that contracts contain payment terms and conditions that provide a viable cash flow

10. Ensure that contracts contain a clear statement of the obligations of all parties and a process for varying terms and conditions

11. Ensure that the terms of contracts match agreements and securely store written copies of final signed contracts for reference during the course of jobs

12. Negotiate variations to contracts as required

13. Seek specialist advice in the development of contracts where appropriate

14. Be willing to adapt to the demands of others, but without compromising your personal work ethic and reputation

15. Be prepared to reject work offers that do not provide sufficient financial remuneration or job satisfaction

Manage financial and business aspects of freelance work

16. Seek advice on and determine the most appropriate way of operating as a freelancer

17. Set up and use effective systems for managing budgets, finance and paperwork

18. Establish and maintain effective support services 

19. Establish a realistic fee structure that takes into account all factors  associated with your freelance activity

20. Plan ahead to organise and maintain a viable work and cash flow

21. Send invoices in line with payment terms and conditions and follow up any non-payment of invoices promptly and in a businesslike manner

22. Keep simple but accurate and up-to-date accounts and records 

23. Submit annual tax returns, using the services of an accountant as required

24. Comply with regulatory , taxation and insurance requirements  relevant to freelance activities

Undertake strategic planning

25. Identify and implement strategies that help identify work opportunities at an early stage

26. Seek constructive feedback from relevant people  about your performance and evaluate feedback to identify personal development needs

27. Identify opportunities for ongoing professional development and take appropriate action to ensure that your skills and knowledge keep pace with industry developments

28. Identify and act on opportunities to expand your client base, either alone or in partnership with other freelancers

29. Regularly revisit, review and set realistic objectives 

30. Continually monitor and analyse work options against quality of life, and artistic and commercial outcomes

31. Identify risk factors and take action to minimise risk when planning work activities

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • communication literacy skills sufficient to:
  • establish and maintain industry networks
  • write resume's and other promotional material for potential employers
  • clarify work requirements
  • negotiate with clients or employers to achieve mutually acceptable outcomes
  • present confidently in a job interview situation
  • seek and act on feedback from others
  • problem-solving skills sufficient to factor in a range of costs when establishing fee structures
  • planning and organising skills sufficient to:
  • plan work to maximise cash flow
  • prepare and circulate self-promotional material to potential clients or employers
  • establish and maintain personal financial and work record-keeping systems
  • plan for contingencies
  • develop personal budgets and monitor income and expenditure against budgets
  • initiative and enterprise in the context of:
  • being proactive in identifying and following through on work opportunities
  • developing a strategic approach to maximising return from freelance activity
  • balancing work and personal commitments
  • self-management skills sufficient to:
  • prioritise work tasks
  • complete work according to contract terms and conditions
  • make decisions within level of own responsibility
  • seek expert assistance when problems arise
  • learning skills sufficient to:
  • keep breast of industry developments relevant to own area of work
  • participate in professional development activities
  • technical skills sufficient to:
  • use the internet as a source of information
  • use standard word processing, spreadsheet and database applications

Required knowledge 

  • well-developed understanding of the relevant industry sector, including:
  • profile of major employers
  • industry networks
  • issues and challenges that arise in seeking freelance work
  • industry codes of practice
  • licensing requirements
  • sources of information about regulatory, taxation, insurance and OHS requirements in relation to offering services as a freelancer
  • typical formats for presenting resumés

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:

  • preparation of resume's and other material to promote oneself to potential clients or employers
  • ability to:
  • negotiate work contracts
  • develop and maintain industry contacts
  • participate in industry networks
  • develop and maintain an effective financial record-keeping system
  • develop work plans that take account of the need for adequate cash flow.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to a range of relevant and current industry information and networks
  • access to office equipment and resources
  • access to examples of work contracts
  • 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
  • observation of the candidate negotiating a work contract or being interviewed for a job
  • written or oral questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit
  • case studies to assess ability to undertake strategic planning when developing freelance work opportunities.

Guidance information for assessment 

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

  • CUFIND402A Develop screen and media specialist expertise
  • BSBREL401A Establish networks.

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.

Networks  may include

  • chambers of commerce
  • community organisations
  • industry professional associations
  • lobby groups
  • unions.

Strategies  may include:

  • developing a personal website to showcase your achievements and to promote your services
  • entering competitions
  • offering your services to educational institutions as a guest tutor or lecturer
  • seeking industry awards.

Information  may include:

  • achievements
  • availability
  • awards
  • client list
  • contact details
  • past work
  • portfolio of work
  • rates
  • referees
  • show reels
  • skills
  • testimonials
  • URL of personal website.

Employment networks  may include:

  • agents
  • Centrelink
  • industry professional associations
  • online employment agencies
  • unions.

Support services  may include:

  • accountants
  • couriers
  • design services
  • equipment repair and maintenance services
  • film laboratories
  • financial planners
  • government agencies
  • printers
  • tax consultants.

Factors  may include:

  • advertising and promotional costs
  • equipment costs such as:
  • purchase of new equipment
  • maintenance
  • hire and leasing arrangements
  • insurance
  • materials
  • overheads, e.g.:
  • telephone
  • rent
  • superannuation
  • workers' compensation
  • rates recommended by industry bodies
  • travel time and car expenses
  • any other work-related expenses.

Records  may include:

  • computer-based:
  • spreadsheets
  • accounting software applications, e.g. MYOB and Quicken
  • databases
  • project management software applications
  • filing system for receipts and invoices
  • manual:
  • financial ledgers and journals
  • petty cash records
  • invoices
  • receipts.

Regulatory , taxation and insurance requirements  may include:

  • insurance:
  • third-party insurance on motor vehicles
  • workers' compensation
  • comprehensive insurance for vehicles, property or equipment
  • public liability insurance
  • professional indemnity insurance
  • other insurance cover as required by state or federal legislation, or contractual obligations
  • regulation:
  • OHS legislation
  • business registrations and licences
  • planning and other permissions
  • environmental legislation
  • duty of care
  • equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation
  • anti-competition regulations
  • taxation:
  • tax file number
  • ABN
  • GST registration
  • BAS and GST returns
  • PAYG and withholding arrangements
  • other taxation obligations.

Relevant people  may include:

  • clients
  • colleagues
  • employers
  • mentors
  • officers at employment agencies.

Objectives  may relate to:

  • business and financial targets
  • job satisfaction
  • performance and progress
  • quality of life
  • training needs
  • use of time and other resources in achieving objectives.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Industry capability - industry context

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units