Unit of competency details

CUVOPA12B - Identify the requirements for establishing an opal-cutting workshop (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 18/Apr/2008

Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to CUVOPA12A - Identify the requirements for establishing an opal-cutting workshopUpdated and equivalent 19/Apr/2008
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUVOPA406A - Identify the requirements for establishing an opal-cutting workshopThis unit replaces CUVOPA12B Identify the requirements for establishing an opal-cutting workshop 11/Oct/2011

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080301 Business Management  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080301 Business Management  18/Apr/2008 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit covers the skills and knowledge required to identify the requirements for establishing an opal-cutting workshop.

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 requires the application of knowledge and skills to determine the specifications for an opal-cutting workshop and to research and select the equipment and consumables required based on sound business principles.

Where appropriate the outcomes of this unit could be contextualised to apply to other gemstones. Examples of aspects of the unit that may need to be adjusted would include:

  • the specific properties of each gemstones
  • industry and market requirements
  • underpinning knowledge
  • Range Statement.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor


Prerequisite units 

This unit may be assessed on its own or it may be assessed with other units that cover related skills and knowledge.

Evidence is most relevant when provided through an integrated activity which combines the Elements of competency for the unit, or a cluster of units of competency.

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



1 Determine the requirements for setting up an opal cutting workshop .

1.1 Decide what the workshop is to be used for and how many people will be working there.

1.2 Determine the fixtures and fittings  needed for the workshop.

1.3 Identify essential and desirable machinery  needed for a cutting and polishing workshop.

1.4 Determine the consumables needed for an opal cutting workshop.

1.5 Explain the OHS issues  for an opal cutting and polishing workshop and determine control measures required.

1.6 Determine the environmental protection requirements and plan compliance.

1.7 Develop the specifications for the building needed for an opal cutting workshop including size, and electrical , water and drainage  requirements.

2 Identify suppliers of machinery and consumables and establish set up cost .

2.1 Identify manufacturers and suppliers /agents  for new and second hand lapidary equipment.

2.2 Compare prices and advantages and disadvantages of new and second hand equipment and the costs  in obtaining machinery or equipment.

2.3 List suppliers of consumables and compare prices.

2.4 Obtain estimates of the cost of services  required to set up the workshop.

3 Investigate resources needed to set up the workshop .

3.1 Develop a draft budget and cash flow for the first year of operation.

3.2 Use appropriate research techniques to investigate sources of finance  and repayment schedules.

4 Document the information .

4.1 Record the information gained.

4.2 Organise the information so that it can be used as the basis for making a decision on whether to proceed with the option to set up an opal cutting and polishing business.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills :

  • basic research skills including internet searching skills
  • documenting and accessing information on opal cutting equipment, manufacturers and the setting up of an opal-cutting workshop
  • sourcing suppliers and costing landed equipment.

Required knowledge :

  • knowledge of opal cutting workshop requirements
  • knowledge of the manufacturers and suppliers of opal-cutting equipment.

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 

To achieve competency in this unit, a person must be able to determine the requirements for setting up and financing an opal-cutting workshop and organise the information in such a way that it can be used as a basis for decision-making.

Assessment must confirm:

  • accurate identification and description of the requirements for the setting up of an opal-cutting workshop
  • ability to locate and procure the equipment necessary for the workshop
  • accurate documentation of the information collected including projected cost of set up, sales and cash flow.

Competence in this unit must be assessed over a period of time in order to ensure consistency of performance over the range of variables and contexts applicable to the work environment.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

This unit may be assessed in a work environment, in a simulated work environment or in a combination of these situations.

Method of assessment 

For valid and reliable assessment of this unit, evidence should be gathered through a range of methods to indicate consistent performance.

Assessment of this unit of competence will usually include observation of processes and procedures, oral and/or written questioning on underpinning knowledge and skills and other methods as required.

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).

Assessment of this competency requires access to:

  • various reference materials
  • internet
  • lapidary magazines and catalogues
  • a qualified workplace assessor or assessment team.

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.

Fixtures and fittings  may include:

  • air conditioning
  • benches
  • chairs
  • chemical cupboard
  • cupboards
  • floor coverings
  • safes
  • security requirements such as locks (door and window) alarms
  • shelving
  • telephone
  • windows and doors.

Machinery  and equipment may include:

  • bench grinder 6 or 8
  • combination units, for grind, sand and polish
  • diamond grinding, sanding and polishing units
  • drum or belt sanders
  • dry sanding units
  • free-hand saw
  • grinding arbours with belt drive
  • leather or felt polishing units
  • multi blade saw
  • slab saw
  • trim saw
  • ventilation system and filters
  • wet sanding units.

OHS issues  may include:

  • chemicals
  • clean work areas
  • clothing
  • dangers of using electricity and water in the same environment
  • dust and fumes
  • ergonomics
  • fire extinguishers

  • first aid kit
  • footwear
  • guarding for machinery
  • lighting
  • naked flames
  • noise
  • safety glasses
  • ventilation.

Electrical  fittings may include:

  • cabling and machine wiring
  • exhaust fans and dust extraction
  • hardwired control and fuse box
  • lighting primary and secondary
  • switches and safety stops
  • waterproof power outlets.

Water and drainage  requirements may include:

  • hosing to machinery
  • sludge traps
  • splash guards
  • taps
  • water drainage and disposal
  • water supply, mains or gravity fed
  • water trays.

Manufacturers and suppliers /agents  may include:

  • Ashworths Pty. Ltd.
  • Contempo Lapidary
  • Covington
  • Des Liston Lapidary
  • Diamond Pacific
  • Embel Lapidary
  • Gemmasta
  • Gem-tec
  • Graves
  • Lapcraft
  • Raytech
  • Robilt
  • Shelleys Lapidary Supplies
  • T. F. Lapidary
  • Thompson's Lapidary
  • Western Lapidary Supplies.

Costs  may include:

  • bank charges
  • currency exchange
  • duty or excise
  • freight
  • GST
  • initial cost of machine
  • insurance
  • on-going maintenance
  • postage
  • set up costs.

Services  may include:

  • electrician
  • plumbing.

Sources of finance  may include:

  • banks
  • credit unions
  • partnerships
  • private loans.

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

Competency field

Competency field 

Opal cutting and polishing

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