Unit of competency details

CULLB002B - Obtain information from external and networked sources to meet customer needs (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CULINS402A - Obtain information from external and networked sourcesCULLB002B Obtain information from external and networked sources to meet customer needs. Changes made to application of unit, performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement, context of and specific resources for assessment, and critical aspects for assessment. 19/Dec/2011

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 05/Apr/2004

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  05/Apr/2004 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to source and obtain information from external and networked sources to meet customer needs.

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

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to individuals working in a frontline information services role in any industry sector. This may include public, corporate or institutional libraries, record management units, government departments or community advisory organisations. Work relates to information requests which cannot be satisfied from sources within the organisation and requires a good knowledge of other external sources. Work is undertaken within established guidelines under general supervision.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 


Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

The required outcomes described in this unit of competency contain applicable facets of Employability Skills. The Employability Skills Summary for the qualification in which this unit of competency is packaged, will assist in identifying Employability Skills requirements.

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 and confirm customer information request /need 


Interview customers  to determine and confirm details of the information need


Discuss options for satisfying the request with the customer including, where relevant, cost and timeframes for delivery


Where appropriate, keep customers informed of progress of delivery and, if necessary, recommend alternative options to fulfil the information need

Determine details of required information resources 


Determine accurate bibliographic and other relevant details  of the required information sufficient to locate resources


Keep customers informed of progress or provide accurate advice on alternative document delivery options


Identify and agree delivery requirements taking into account customer needs


Identify any other customer requirements in relation to required information and take appropriate action

Search external and networked sources 


Complete information search  based on knowledge of appropriate external and networked sources, including those used for commonly requested material


Develop, maintain and access professional/business networks and links with other information sources to facilitate location of required information/material


Identify and implement appropriate, logical and reasonable search strategies to locate unusual or difficult to locate information 

Obtain and return information 


Make accurate and complete requests to external sources  in accordance with organisational standards and procedures


Monitor requests to external sources and take follow-up action as required


Check information/material received from external sources for its relevance to customer needs and for its condition, and take appropriate follow-up action


Take action to recall material, where required, and return it to provider, in the required condition, in accordance with established procedures or prior arrangements


Inform provider of any difficulties in relation to return of material and take appropriate action

Required Skills and Knowledge

Required Skills and knowledge 

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

Required skills 

  • planning and organisational skills to coordinate processes for potentially difficult to access information in a timely manner
  • technology skills to use current information services industry technology
  • literacy skills to conduct a wide range of information searches from multiple sources and in a variety of formats.

Required knowledge 

  • information sources, both standard e.g. other libraries and non-standard e.g. government agencies
  • bibliographic records and their components
  • techniques for using bibliographic tools effectively
  • searching strategies for external and networked sources
  • professional and business networks which facilitate access to external sources
  • copyright, moral rights and intellectual property legislation and issues that apply when using remote sources
  • interlibrary lending policies and standards
  • document delivery options, including electronic options.

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.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • sound understanding and application of customer service skills
  • application of well developed information literacy skills
  • sound knowledge of external sources and bibliographic tools for different types of information, including electronic sources
  • ability to search external sources effectively to meet a range of different information needs.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • use of current industry reference tools and equipment to access external sources
  • access to relevant policies and procedures manuals
  • access to external sources of information.

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 by the candidate
  • evaluation of information sourced from remote and networked sources by the candidate in terms of suitability to meet the identified need
  • evaluation of candidate's response to problem-solving exercises to assess ability to respond to different information needs
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of remote sources.

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

  • CUECOR03B Provide quality service to customers
  • CULLB203C Develop and use information literacy skills.

It is also recommended that this unit be assessed with or after the following unit:

  • CULLB401C Assist customers to access information.

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.

Customers  may be:

  • internal
  • external
  • members of the public
  • other information services providers (local, interstate, international)

Bibliographic and other relevant details  may include:

  • provenance
  • publishing details
  • content details

Information search  may be conducted:

  • electronically
  • manually

Unusual or difficult to locate information  may include:

  • items not held with the collection
  • items held in specialist external collections

External sources  may include:

  • remote storage facility
  • other information agencies in Australia and overseas
  • information sources such as companies, societies, organisations or commercial vendors
  • databases to which the organisation subscribes
  • CD-ROM databases
  • online databases

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field

Competency field 

Library Customer Service