Unit of competency details

CUVACD514A - Refine carving techniques for creative work (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUAACD514 - Refine carving techniques for creative workUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages and clarify intent. 14/Jan/2016

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 12/Oct/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100301 Fine Arts  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100301 Fine Arts  12/Apr/2012 
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Modification History




This version first released with CUV11 Visual Arts, Craft and Design Training Package version 1.0

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to refine technical expertise in carving stone, wood or other hard materials for sculptural work.

Application of the Unit

Sculptors and designers who work with hard materials such as stone and wood apply the skills and knowledge in this unit. Finished work may be unique pieces of art or functional items.

This unit reflects a situation where the design or idea exists before carving begins. However, the process is not always linear, and sometimes the carving process informs or even creates the idea or design.

At this level, carving work would be undertaken independently with some guidance and mentoring available as required.

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. Evaluate design and production requirements for carving projects

1.1 Establish technical specifications  and creative parameters  for carving projects

1.2 Liaise with relevant people  about the project as required

1.3 Prepare documentation to support the carving process as required

1.4 Develop a plan of work for the project

2. Select and prepare resources for the carving project

2.1 Select material to be carved based on how its particular characteristics  support the design objectives

2.2 Apply techniques to prepare the material to be carved

2.3 Take account of sustainability considerations within the confines of the design brief

2.4 Evaluate carving tools  required to achieve the design outcome

2.5 Select and set up equipment, materials  and tools following all safety requirements  and instructions

2.6 Apply safe strategies for the use, maintenance and storage of carving tools and equipment

3. Carve and finish sculptural work

3.1 Rough out the work and remove redundant material in preparation for detailed carving work

3.2 Mark the material as required to support the carving process

3.3 Define the form of the work through use of varied techniques and tools

3.4 Achieve precision and accuracy in use of carving techniques  as work progresses

3.5 Allow the characteristics of the material to influence the carving process when appropriate

3.6 Recognise and resolve technical and design challenges 

3.7 Inspect the overall items for unwanted flaws and marks, and take action to rectify

3.8 Apply chosen finishing technique  to carved work

4. Evaluate carving work

4.1 Review carving work for its technical proficiency and quality of finish

4.2 Assess the work in terms of its creative and aesthetic objectives

4.3 Identify and act on the potential for adjustment and refinement in future work

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to liaise with others about creative and technical aspects of carving
  • critical thinking and analytical skills to:
  • evaluate ways of achieving required effects and results
  • assess different materials
  • literacy skills to interpret technical data and instructions about use of carving equipment, materials and tools
  • planning and organising skills to select and organise materials and equipment
  • problem-solving skills to identify and resolve technical and design challenges in carving work
  • numeracy skills to use numerical features of equipment and tools
  • self-management skills to evaluate the quality of own work and identify opportunities for improvement
  • technical skills to safely use materials, tools and equipment for carving processes.

Required knowledge 

  • detailed characteristics of stone, wood or other carvable material in terms of:
  • availability
  • cost
  • ease of carving
  • natural features
  • suitability for different purposes
  • range of carving tools available, and their particular features and applications
  • reasons for the use of particular carving techniques to achieve particular effects
  • finishing techniques for particular materials
  • common technical problems that arise in the carving process and how they are resolved
  • safety considerations for the execution of both small and large scale carving projects
  • sustainability considerations for carving work, including selection of materials, minimisation and use of waste, and use of equipment and tools.

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:

  • carve multiple artistic or functional pieces that demonstrate independent technical proficiency in carving technique and meet creative objectives for the work
  • select materials that maximise opportunity to meet design objectives
  • apply safe work practices with carving equipment and materials.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to carving materials, tools and equipment
  • a work space in which items can be constructed safely.

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 observation of the candidate using carving techniques
  • evaluation of carved items made by the candidate
  • questioning and discussion about candidate’s work processes and intentions
  • review of portfolios of evidence
  • review of third-party reports from experienced practitioners.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy) and the needs of particular groups (e.g. people with disabilities, and people who may have literacy or numeracy difficulties, such as speakers of languages other than English, remote communities and those with interrupted schooling).

Guidance information for assessment 

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

  • CUVSCU501A Refine sculptural techniques.

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.

Technical specifications  may relate to:

  • cost of production
  • durability and strength
  • how and where the item is to be viewed, placed or used
  • need for models or maquettes
  • number and size of items to be produced
  • type of material to be used.

Creative parameters  may relate to:

  • extent to which the design may be adjusted during production
  • ideas and messages to be communicated
  • flexibility around use of materials
  • location for the work.

Relevant people  may include:

  • artists
  • designers
  • mentors
  • peers
  • stone or wood experts
  • teachers
  • tradespeople.

Characteristics  may relate to:

  • colour
  • ease of carving
  • direction of the bed
  • grain
  • durability
  • natural patterns within the material
  • shape
  • suitability of location for the work.

Carving tools  may include:

  • angle grinders
  • chisels:
  • flat
  • pointed
  • round ended
  • tooth
  • splitting
  • drills
  • hammers
  • rasps
  • rifflers
  • veiners.

Equipment  may include:

  • bankers or benches
  • fixed machinery
  • lifting equipment.

Materials  may include:

  • stone:
  • metamorphic
  • igneous
  • sedimentary
  • wood:
  • hardwood
  • softwood.

Safety requirements  may relate to:

  • personal protective equipment (PPE), such as:
  • dust masks
  • ear plugs
  • safety glasses
  • use of chemicals
  • use of gas
  • use of tools
  • work space set-up.

Carving techniques  may include:

  • chip
  • flat plane (for wood)
  • relief.

Technical and design challenges  may relate to:

  • aesthetic appeal
  • elements and principles of design
  • holes and cracks
  • joining challenges
  • strength and durability
  • time for production
  • unwanted marks or blemishes and how to remove them
  • ways to turn faults into creative opportunities.

Finishing techniques  may include use of:

  • oxides
  • polishing
  • resins
  • sanding
  • varnishes
  • wax.

Unit Sector(s)

Visual communication – art, craft and design

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.