Unit of competency details

FDFAU4002A - Communicate and negotiate to conduct food safety audits (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to FBPAUD4002 - Communicate and negotiate to conduct food safety auditsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages Minor changes to Application and Performance Criteria to clarify intent 17/Dec/2018
Supersedes FDFFSCOMA - Communicate and negotiate to conduct food safety auditsAs above 30/Jan/2011

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 31/Jan/2011

Training packages that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
MTM11 - Australian Meat Industry Training PackageAustralian Meat Industry Training Package 1.0-4.0 
FDF10 - Food ProcessingFood Processing 1.0-4.1 
DEF12 - Defence Training PackageDefence Training Package 2.0 
DEF - Defence Training PackageDefence Training Package 2.0-2.3 
AMP - Australian Meat Processing Training PackageAustralian Meat Processing Training Package 1.0-3.0 

Qualifications that include this unit

MTM40411 - Certificate IV in Meat Processing (General)Certificate IV in Meat Processing (General)1-6 
MTM40311 - Certificate IV in Meat Processing (Quality Assurance)Certificate IV in Meat Processing (Quality Assurance)1-3 
MTM40211 - Certificate IV in Meat Processing (Meat Safety)Certificate IV in Meat Processing (Meat Safety)1-5 
FDF50311 - Diploma of Food Science and TechnologyDiploma of Food Science and Technology1-2 
FDF40311 - Certificate IV in Food Science and TechnologyCertificate IV in Food Science and Technology1-3 
FDF40110 - Certificate IV in Food ProcessingCertificate IV in Food Processing1-4 
DEF51612 - Diploma of Preventive HealthDiploma of Preventive Health
DEF50617 - Diploma of Preventive HealthDiploma of Preventive Health
AMP40516 - Certificate IV in Meat Processing (Meat Safety)Certificate IV in Meat Processing (Meat Safety)1-3 
AMP40415 - Certificate IV in Meat Processing (Quality Assurance)Certificate IV in Meat Processing (Quality Assurance)1-2 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080317 Quality Management  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080317 Quality Management  03/Aug/2011 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the interpersonal skills and knowledge required to select and use appropriate methods of communication and negotiation to support audit processes.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to regulatory, commercial or internal auditors.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

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. Develop a communication plan to support audit processes

1.1. Roles and responsibilities of the auditee are defined and agreed by both parties to address the audit scope

1.2. Roles and responsibilities of all personnel involved in the audit process are defined, communicated and agreed

1.3. Appropriate communication methods and protocols are determined and specific arrangements, including reporting requirements, are agreed

1.4. A communication plan is developed to identify the communication requirements and responsibilities of personnel involved in the audit process

2. Select and use appropriate communication methods to conduct an audit

2.1. Appropriate communication methods are used to establish and maintain effective client relationships, collect audit evidence, provide and present information, facilitate meeting processes, facilitate issue management and conflict resolution and communicate audit findings

2.2. Communication methods are selected to take account of system owner and food business requirements, workplace culture and individual differences

2.3. Information provided by the auditee is interpreted in the context of the industry sector, language and culture of the business

3. Negotiate to achieve agreement on audit outcomes

3.1. Areas of disagreement over audit outcomes are identified and clarified with the auditee

3.2. Understanding is sought on actions to be followed to resolve outstanding issues

3.3. Communication techniques are applied to encourage all relevant parties to participate and express their views fully

3.4. Auditee views are treated with respect

3.5. Options for resolving differences are explored to reach agreement and meet audit timeline and resource parameters

3.6. Appropriate issue resolution strategies are explored to increase the likelihood of agreement on steps required to conclude the audit

3.7. The negotiation process is managed to maintain constructive client relationships

3.8. Any areas of continuing non-compliance that result from unresolved differences are reported to system owners and appropriate authorities as required

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

Ability to :

  • select, design and use appropriate communication methods and techniques to support the audit process and the needs of the audience
  • apply strategies to communicate with people at different levels of the food business with different English language, literacy and technical skill levels
  • facilitate groups to resolve sensitive and/or conflict-based issues
  • structure and present written and verbal information that is thorough, legible, clear, accurate and appropriate to the purpose and the audience
  • use information systems, technologies and software to manage security, authorisation and distribution of audit data and records
  • communicate information in environments where the recipients may be hostile to the information being presented
  • apply issue resolution strategies

Required knowledge 

Knowledge of :

  • legislation that impacts on acceptable communication methods and conduct, including anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and privacy legislation
  • vocabulary and terms relevant to audit process, including terms and jargon to describe food safety legislation, technical processes and industry standards
  • confidentiality needs and expectations of food businesses
  • strategies to communicate in culturally diverse environments
  • dynamics of conflict and strategies to manage resolution
  • the structure, authority levels and lines of reporting within a food business
  • communication methods relevant to different groups and audiences
  • reporting formats and requirements to meet client and legislative needs

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 

A person who demonstrates competence in this unit must be able to select and use appropriate methods of communication and negotiation to support audit processes. This unit should be assessed together with other food safety auditing units.

Assessment must be carried out in a manner that recognises the cultural and literacy requirements of the assessee and is appropriate to the work performed. Competency in this unit must be achieved in accordance with food safety standards and regulations.

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

Evidence of ability to:

  • design a communication plan to meet the needs of stakeholders in an audit process, specifically where a number of participants have limited English language and literacy skills
  • facilitate and negotiate to seek understanding of audit outcomes in a conflict-based situation where the outcomes are contested by the auditee. This component of assessment must provide opportunities to select and apply appropriate communication methods.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Competency may be assessed in an actual workplace or simulated environment where the simulated context provides access to audit findings which are disputed by the auditee. At least one of the audit scenarios should be assessed in an actual workplace context. A simulated environment must provide access to a typical range of personnel with communication skill levels appropriate to food businesses and to the roles of personnel involved in food safety audit processes.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods should be considered to gather sufficient and valid evidence of competency:

  • observation of communication and conflict management skills
  • a report for a communication plan to conduct a food safety audit
  • questioning to test the level and application of knowledge
  • a journal or report on communication strategies used in conducting a food safety audit.

Assessment methods must satisfy the endorsed Assessment Guidelines of FDF10 Food Processing Industry Training Package.

Guidance information for assessment 

To ensure consistency in one's performance, competency should be demonstrated on more than one occasion over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances, cases and responsibilities, and where possible, over a number of assessment activities.

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.

Licensing /certification requirements 

This unit is part of a set of units that are a minimum requirement for auditors of food safety programs

Communication plan 

A communication plan identifies:

  • the type and purpose of information to be provided through each stage of the audit process
  • audiences for types of information
  • the form or method of communication (e.g. written report, verbal presentation)
  • when/how often the communication will occur reporting procedures and responsibilities, including reporting timelines, formats and procedure for reporting serious/critical food safety hazards

Communication methods and protocols 

Methods of communication may include:

  • written presentations and reports
  • two-way verbal interaction
  • constructive feedback
  • active listening
  • questioning to elicit, confirm and clarity information
  • interview techniques
  • facilitation of meetings and group processes
  • interpreting non-verbal skills and body language

Communication protocols may include:

  • confidentiality
  • objectivity
  • information access and dissemination
  • levels of communication/lines or reporting
  • timeliness of providing information/responding to information requests

Food business requirements 

Business requirements may require that communication is consistent with:

  • confidentiality requirements
  • legal requirements and related policies and procedures relating to communication requirements
  • professional codes of conduct/personal attributes of auditors
  • information that is accurate, thorough and clearly presented
  • resource parameters
  • organisational structure and delegated levels of authority
  • existing communication mechanisms and systems used in the auditee's workplace

Individual differences 

Individual differences may include but are not limited to:

  • age
  • race
  • gender
  • culture
  • religion
  • impairment/disability
  • physical features
  • educational background
  • technical skill level
  • communication styles and skill levels
  • English language and literacy
  • any other individual characteristics that may need to be taken into account in designing communication as covered by relevant legislation

Issue resolution strategies 

Issue resolution strategies may include:

  • establishing open communication practices to encourage the trust and engagement of all parties
  • designing processes that ensure all parties have opportunities to fully express their position
  • involving personnel with additional expertise (this may include other expertise from the auditing body and/or the regulator)
  • validating evidence used to support audit findings

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Food safety auditing

Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units