Unit of competency details

CULINS401A - Assist customers to access information (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 20/Dec/2011

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to BSBLIB405 - Assist customers to access informationUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages Unit moved from Library, Information and Cultural Services Training Package to Business Services Training Package. 13/Jan/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to CULLB401C - Assist customers to access informationCULLB401C Assist customers to access information. Changes made to application of unit, competency field, elements and performance criteria, required knowledge, range statement and evidence guide. Addition to required skills and method of assessment. 19/Dec/2011

Training packages that include this unit

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
PSP42012 - Certificate IV in School Support ServicesCertificate IV in School Support Services 
PSP42010 - Certificate IV in School Support ServicesCertificate IV in School Support Services 
PSP41912 - Certificate IV in Government (School Support Services)Certificate IV in Government (School Support Services) 
PSP41904 - Certificate IV in Government (School Support Services)Certificate IV in Government (School Support Services) 
PSP30712 - Certificate III in School Support ServicesCertificate III in School Support Services 
PSP30704 - Certificate III in School Support ServicesCertificate III in School Support Services 
PSP30612 - Certificate III in Government (School Support Services)Certificate III in Government (School Support Services) 
PSP30604 - Certificate III in Government (School Support Services)Certificate III in Government (School Support Services) 
CUL40111 - Certificate IV in Library, Information and Cultural ServicesCertificate IV in Library, Information and Cultural Services 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 091301 Librarianship And Information Management  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 091301 Librarianship And Information Management  12/Apr/2012 
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Modification History



Release 1

This unit of competency first released with CUL11 Library, Information and Cultural Services Training Package version 1.0

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to help customers obtain information relevant to their needs.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to individuals working in frontline information services roles in any industry sector. They may be working in library and information services organisations, records management units, government departments, tourist information centres or community advisory organisations.

Work relates to information that can be found in readily accessible sources, and is undertaken within established guidelines under general supervision.

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. Clarify customer information requirements

1.1 Use communication techniques appropriate to the form of customer contact  to identify exact nature  of information request

1.2 Confirm purpose  of information request and any special requirements 

1.3 Compile basic search terms, including list of keywords and phrases appropriate to topics

2. Follow search strategies

2.1 Construct and follow appropriate search strategies to locate information using industry-current information sources and equipment 

2.2 Assist customers to develop own information-seeking skills and to become independent learners

2.3 Demonstrate the use of industry-current information sources and equipment in a language and at a level and pace appropriate to customers

2.4 Advise customers on other access arrangements, including interlibrary loans and document delivery and supply services

2.5 Inform customers of constraints  regarding access to information or use of reference tools and equipment

3. Source and provide information

3.1 Source information from readily accessed sources  in response to customer requests 

3.2 Provide information in appropriate format  and confirm with customers that their information need has been met

3.3 Take appropriate action to resolve remaining issues or refer customers to other personnel as required

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • respond to customer needs in a supportive and helpful manner
  • provide information literacy support and basic coaching to customers
  • apply active listening and questioning techniques when communicating with customers
  • initiative and enterprise skills to source information to meet customer needs in a timely fashion
  • literacy skills to:
  • interrogate references
  • interpret and write a broad range of information
  • problem-solving skills to identify the best search strategies to locate information for customers
  • self-management skills to:
  • prioritise work tasks and meet deadlines
  • project a professional image when dealing with customers
  • teamwork skills to work collaboratively with colleagues
  • technology skills to access information using automated systems.

Required knowledge 

  • organisational policies in relation to customer assistance
  • typical customer requests and information sources for responding
  • use of bibliographic tools and industry-current technology
  • techniques for using print and electronic reference resources and tools, including formulating search strategies
  • range of information resources, formats and delivery options, including:
  • document delivery and supply processes
  • electronic and print
  • interlibrary loan
  • copyright, moral rights and intellectual property legislation and issues relevant to information services providers
  • cultural considerations when working with customers and potentially sensitive material
  • scope of information sources available either from within the organisation or from external sources.

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:

  • communicate effectively and efficiently with customers
  • apply well-developed information literacy skills
  • use a range of print and electronic information sources
  • respond to a range of different information requests within established collections.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a range of library and information services and resources
  • industry-current information technologies
  • relevant policies and procedures.

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
  • direct observation or verified evidence of the candidate working with customers and responding to different information requests
  • case studies and problem-solving exercises to assess ability to respond to different information needs
  • verbal or written questioning to assess knowledge of range of available industry-current information resources and technologies.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands and the needs of particular client groups (consider the requirements of different age groups, clients with English as a second language, clients with disabilities, remote library users, etc.).

Guidance information for assessment 

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

  • CUECOR03B Provide quality service to customers.

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.

Customer contact  may be:

  • by fax
  • by phone
  • in person
  • in writing
  • via email
  • via live chat
  • via SMS
  • via website.

Exact nature  may relate to:

  • definition of the subject or topic
  • keywords
  • phrases
  • terms.

Purpose  may include:

  • for general interest
  • for presentation
  • for school or university assignment
  • for self or others
  • for work
  • in response to an information need
  • personal or family reasons.

Special requirements  may relate to:

  • level of detail
  • photocopies
  • printing from internet
  • timelines
  • specific formats, such as:
  • audio or video recordings
  • books
  • images
  • large print books
  • newspaper and journal articles
  • posters
  • to be collected later
  • to be delivered via email.

Information sources and equipment  may include:

  • electronic databases
  • federated search engines
  • internet websites
  • library websites
  • online catalogues
  • other library catalogues
  • print or electronic reference tools, such as:
  • dictionaries
  • encyclopaedias
  • indexing services
  • statistical sources.

Constraints  may include:

  • bookings for computer workstations
  • cost
  • ethical considerations
  • information resources not available for loan
  • limits on number of concurrent users of databases
  • organisational policy
  • restrictions on access to required information
  • terms and conditions of licensing agreements.

Readily accessed sources  may include:

  • catalogues
  • online and other databases
  • organisation’s collection or remote sources of information that are routinely accessed.

Customer requests  may relate to:

  • basic research topics
  • community information
  • current or topical information for customer groups, such as:
  • general interest topics
  • school assignments
  • frequently requested information
  • simple ready reference queries, such as for:
  • basic subject searches
  • specific authors
  • titles.

Appropriate format  may depend on factors, such as:

  • age
  • cultural and language background
  • educational background
  • language, literacy and numeracy levels
  • level of general knowledge
  • physical and intellectual disabilities
  • preference, such as print or electronic
  • readership level.

Unit Sector(s)

Knowledge management - Information services

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