Unit of competency details

CULINS501A - Research and analyse information to meet customer needs (Release 1)


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

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to BSBLIB511 - Research and analyse information to meet customer needsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages Unit moved from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 CULLB003B - Research and analyse information to meet customer needsCULLB003B Research and analyse information to meet customer needs. Minor word changes to unit descriptor, application of unit and required skills. Changes also made to performance criteria, required knowledge, range statement and critical aspects for assessment. 19/Dec/2011

Training packages that include this unit


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 provide customers with access to diverse and complex sources of information.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to individuals working in library and information services contexts who respond to complex information needs. They may be working in public, corporate or institutional libraries, record management units, government departments, tourist information centres or community advisory organisations.

Work is undertaken autonomously, with limited guidance from others.

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. Analyse information needs

1.1 Determine complete nature of information needs  with reference to relevant documentation or information from customers

1.2 Conduct reference interviews with customers to determine specific information needs, including level, type and amount of information required

1.3 Confirm with customers the level of complexity  of their information needs

1.4 Formulate complex search strategies  using sound knowledge of a broad range of potential information sources

1.5 Identify and assess customer expectations in relation to available resources and likely constraints

1.6 Advise customers of likely outcomes of information search and possible delivery options

1.7 Review and revise  search terms or topics in consultation with customers

2. Implement strategies to locate difficult to find information

2.1 Take access  to information sources into account when evaluating different search strategies

2.2 Select and prioritise information sources 

2.3 Evaluate and select logical and reasonable strategies to locate difficult to find information

2.4 Consult with colleagues, as required, to identify appropriate information sources

2.5 Use effective search techniques  to locate relevant information

2.6 Assist customers to actively participate in search processes through practical demonstration of information-seeking skills

3. Ensure quality of customer service

3.1 Assess information obtained for its validity, reliability and suitability in relation to customer requirements and expectations

3.2 Ensure appropriate packaging and presentation of information  to meet customer requirements and expectations, ensuring inclusion of relevant support information

3.3 Communicate with customers in relation to problems, difficulties, suitable alternatives or follow-up requirements

3.4 Observe cultural sensitivities, ethics, privacy and copyright issues and obligations in meeting customer requirements

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • analytical and evaluation skills to determine relevance and reliability of information
  • communication skills to:
  • liaise with customers
  • discuss complex ideas and concepts
  • initiative and enterprise skills to:
  • expedite search processes and minimise costs
  • find the most efficient and effective way of responding to a range of complex information requests from customers
  • information literacy skills to access and use a wide range of complex information sources
  • problem-solving skills to assess and select strategies to locate hard to find information
  • research skills to undertake complex searches and information analysis
  • self-management skills to:
  • follow workplace procedures
  • prioritise work tasks and meet deadlines
  • technology skills to:
  • assist customers to use different searching tools
  • use current information services industry technology.

Required knowledge 

  • scope and range of available information sources available in print and electronic formats, including databases and technologies, such as current and emerging web applications
  • techniques for searching and retrieving information from a range of sources, including the internet and other electronic sources
  • strategies for obtaining information from external agencies or specialist organisations
  • range of available delivery options for presentation of information resources
  • legal considerations relating to accessing information sources, such as:
  • privacy
  • copyright
  • licensing agreements
  • bibliographic standards
  • reference sources and databases, both print and online
  • protocols associated with culturally sensitive material, including Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural material.

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:

  • analyse information to ensure suitability to meet customer needs
  • apply knowledge of the organisation’s reference, research and general collections
  • apply knowledge of types and scope of databases and other accessible reference tools
  • define, locate, analyse and evaluate information
  • effectively interview, communicate and negotiate with customers about information needs
  • respond to complex and varied information requests
  • use effective search techniques using a range of print and electronic information sources and tools
  • work within time constraints that reflect industry practice and standards.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • use of current industry systems and equipment
  • interaction with others to reflect the communication and negotiation aspects of this unit
  • access to:
  • relevant policies and procedures documents
  • a range of information sources and information systems.

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 candidate’s response to different scenarios to assess ability to research, analyse and present information in response to a range of complex requests
  • review of reports prepared by the candidate in response to a particular information need
  • review of reports prepared by the candidate detailing the development of strategies to respond to a given need, including challenges faced and how these were overcome.

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:

  • CULRSK501A Monitor compliance with copyright and licence requirements.

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.

Nature of information needs  may relate to:

  • commercial sensitivities and implications
  • degree of specialist assistance required
  • delivery or presentation method
  • level, detail and currency of information
  • purpose of requests
  • required formats
  • special requirements
  • timeframes
  • topic or subject definitions.

Level of complexity  may relate to:

  • availability in print or electronic formats
  • clarifying customer requirements
  • content
  • need for sophisticated packaging or presentation of information
  • obscure or difficult to obtain nature of information
  • purpose for which information is being obtained
  • scope of information request
  • specialised access protocols
  • specialised nature of information
  • wide range of information sources, tools and access possibilities
  • wide range of information to which access is required by customers.

Complex search strategies  may relate to:

  • availability of current information
  • commercial sensitivity of search processes
  • complexity of the subject field, its concepts and methodologies
  • cost implications
  • difficulty of finding or obtaining information
  • information belonging to a new or developing field where sources are not well-established
  • limited access to print and electronic resources
  • missing, vague or conflicting information
  • variety of possible sources requiring judgement about the best options.

Review and revise  may include:

  • changing search terms or using different combinations of search terms
  • changing to another topic due to lack of resources
  • limiting by date of publication, language, and country of publication
  • limiting by format
  • narrowing or broadening topics
  • revising list of keywords or phrases
  • use of Boolean operators.

Access  may relate to:

  • constantly changing conditions
  • high cost of electronic databases or datasets
  • network interfaces that are not user friendly
  • poor organisation of information
  • varying quality.

Information sources  may be:

  • biographical sources
  • books
  • conference proceedings
  • databases
  • discussion papers
  • e-books
  • e-journals
  • geographical sources
  • internet websites
  • items in library collection
  • items obtained through interlibrary loan or document supply/delivery options
  • local, state and government agencies
  • newspaper or journal articles
  • periodic indexing databases
  • print or electronic formats
  • reports
  • scientific or technical journals
  • statistical information from sources, such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
  • working papers.

Search techniques  may include:

  • basic and advanced catalogue searches
  • combined searches using federated search engines across multiple databases
  • internet searches
  • limiting search parameters by criteria, such as:
  • date
  • format
  • language
  • place of publication
  • reviewing and revising search terms
  • searching electronic databases using basic or advanced search features
  • searching one database at a time
  • searching other library catalogues
  • seeking assistance from colleagues or external organisations.

Packaging and presentation of information  may include:

  • annotated bibliographies
  • articles supplied through document delivery services
  • electronic copies sent as email attachments
  • physical copies of information resources
  • presentation of information or resources in person to customer
  • printed or electronic copies of newspaper or journal articles
  • providing explanation of search strategy
  • reference lists or bibliographies
  • resources in audiovisual or multimedia formats.

Unit Sector(s)

Knowledge management - Information services

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