Unit of competency details

FPICOR3204B - Visually assess materials (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to FPICOR3204A - Visually assess materialsUnit updated and equivalent 19/May/2011
Is superseded by and equivalent to FWPCOR3204 - Visually assess materials 12/May/2016

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 20/May/2011

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
FPI30910 - Certificate III in Timber Truss and Frame Design and ManufactureCertificate III in Timber Truss and Frame Design and Manufacture
FPI30205 - Certificate III in Harvesting and HaulageCertificate III in Harvesting and Haulage
FPI30105 - Certificate III in Forest Growing and ManagementCertificate III in Forest Growing and Management
FPI30605 - Certificate III in Timber MerchandisingCertificate III in Timber Merchandising
FPI30211 - Certificate III in Harvesting and HaulageCertificate III in Harvesting and Haulage1-4 
FPI30505 - Certificate III in Timber Manufactured ProductsCertificate III in Timber Manufactured Products
FPI30305 - Certificate III in Sawmilling and ProcessingCertificate III in Sawmilling and Processing
FPI30911 - Certificate III in Timber Truss and Frame Design and ManufactureCertificate III in Timber Truss and Frame Design and Manufacture1-4 
FPI30311 - Certificate III in Sawmilling and ProcessingCertificate III in Sawmilling and Processing1-4 
FPI30611 - Certificate III in Timber MerchandisingCertificate III in Timber Merchandising1-4 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050501 Forestry Studies  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050501 Forestry Studies  07/Oct/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the outcomes required to visually assess material characteristics for defects and quality

General workplace legislative and regulatory requirements apply to this unit; however there are no specific licensing or certification requirements at the time of publication

This unit replaces FPICOR3204A Visually assess materials

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

The unit involves the visual assessment of materials in a variety of work settings including forest environment, saw mill, wood chip mill, veneer mill. board/plywood mill, timber treatment plants, downstream processing of timber, forest products factory, forest products sales and service, horticultural, domestic, local council, emergency services environment

The skills and knowledge required for competent workplace performance are to be used within the scope of the person's job and authority

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor


Not Applicable

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. Prepare for assessing

1.1. Applicable Occupational Health and Safety  (OHS), environmental , legislative  and organisational requirements  relevant to the visual assessment of materials  are identified and followed

1.2. Work order  is reviewed and clarified with appropriate personnel 

1.3. Visual assessment processes are planned in line with site procedures

1.4. Type and quantity of material to be visually assessed  is acquired from the storage location 

1.5. Equipment  is selected appropriate to work requirements and checked for operational effectiveness in line with manufacturer's recommendations

1.6. Communication  with others is established and maintained in line with OHS requirements

2. Visually assess material

2.1. Material requirements for storage or subsequent processing operations  are selected

2.2. Characteristics and defects  of material are visually assessed against industry standards

2.3. Defects are clearly marked for treatment  or sawing  in line with site requirements

2.4. Assessment outcomes and distribution problems are recorded and reported  in line with workplace procedures

3. Distribute material

3.1. Material is directed and moved to storage or processing operations in line with site requirements

3.2. Sub-standard materials are rejected and disposed of  in line with site requirements

3.3. On -site movement of material  is monitored to ensure intended flow is achieved

3.4. Storage locations are labelled in line with site systems

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit

Required skills 

  • Technical skills sufficient to use and maintain relevant tools, machinery and equipment; recognise and mark defects and sub-standard materials; assess materials to industry standards
  • Communication skills and interpersonal techniques sufficient to interact appropriately with colleagues and others in the workplace
  • Literacy skills sufficient to accurately record and report workplace information and maintain documentation
  • Numeracy skills sufficient to estimate, measure and calculate time required to complete a task
  • Problem solving skills sufficient to identify problems and equipment faults and demonstrate appropriate response procedures

Required knowledge 

  • Applicable Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation, regulations, standards, codes of practice and established safe practices relevant to the full range of processes for visually assessing materials
  • Environmental protection requirements, including the safe disposal of waste material
  • Organisational and site standards, requirements, policies and procedures relevant to visually assessing materials
  • Environmental risks and hazard prevention
  • Methods of visual estimation and assessment, colour identification and tagging
  • Typical material defects and characteristics
  • Distribution processes for assessed materials
  • Storage systems and labelling
  • Established communication channels and protocols
  • Problem identification and resolution strategies and common fault finding techniques
  • Types of tools and equipment and procedures for their safe use and maintenance
  • Appropriate mathematical procedures for estimating and measuring, including calculating time to complete tasks
  • Procedures for recording and reporting workplace information

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 competency in this unit must be able to provide evidence that they can visually assess materials

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

The evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit must be relevant to, and satisfy, all of the requirements of the elements of this unit and include demonstration of:

  • following applicable Commonwealth, State or Territory legislative and regulatory requirements and codes of practice relevant to the visual assessment of materials
  • following organisational policies and procedures relevant to the visual assessment of materials
  • visual assessment of a full range of materials in readiness for storage and/or processing
  • distribution of materials using designated equipment
  • effective communication and safe work practices

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

  • Competency is to be assessed in the workplace or realistically simulated workplace
  • Assessment is to occur under standard and authorised work practices, safety requirements and environmental constraints
  • Assessment of required knowledge, other than confirmatory questions, will usually be conducted in an off-site context
  • Assessment is to follow relevant regulatory or Australian Standards requirements
  • The following resources should be made available:
  • workplace location or simulated workplace
  • materials and equipment relevant to undertaking work applicable to this unit
  • specifications and work instructions

Method of assessment 

  • Assessment must satisfy the endorsed Assessment Guidelines of the FPI11 Training Package
  • Assessment methods must confirm consistency and accuracy of performance (over time and in a range of workplace relevant contexts) together with application of required knowledge
  • Assessment must be by direct observation of tasks, with questioning on required knowledge and it must also reinforce the integration of employability skills
  • Assessment methods must confirm the ability to access and correctly interpret and apply the required knowledge
  • Assessment may be applied under project-related conditions (real or simulated) and require evidence of process
  • Assessment must confirm a reasonable inference that competency is able not only to be satisfied under the particular circumstance, but is able to be transferred to other circumstances
  • Assessment may be in conjunction with assessment of other units of competency
  • The assessment environment should not disadvantage the candidate
  • Assessment practices should take into account any relevant language or cultural issues related to Aboriginality, gender or language backgrounds other than English
  • Where the participant has a disability, reasonable adjustment may be applied during assessment
  • Language and literacy demands of the assessment task should not be higher than those of the work role

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.

OHS requirements :

are to be in line with applicable Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation and regulations, and organisational safety policies and procedures, and may include:

  • personal protective equipment and clothing
  • safety equipment
  • first aid equipment
  • fire fighting equipment
  • hazard and risk control
  • fatigue management
  • elimination of hazardous materials and substances
  • safe forest practices including required actions relating to forest fire
  • manual handling including shifting, lifting and carrying

Environmental requirements may include :

  • legislation
  • organisational policies and procedures
  • workplace practices

Legislative requirements :

are to be in line with applicable Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation, regulations, certification requirements and codes of practice and may include:

  • award and enterprise agreements
  • industrial relations
  • Australian Standards
  • confidentiality and privacy
  • OHS
  • the environment
  • equal opportunity
  • anti-discrimination
  • relevant industry codes of practice
  • duty of care

Organisational requirements  may include:

  • legal
  • organisational and site guidelines
  • policies and procedures relating to own role and responsibility
  • quality assurance
  • procedural manuals
  • quality and continuous improvement processes and standards
  • OHS, emergency and evacuation procedures
  • ethical standards
  • recording and reporting requirements
  • equipment use and maintenance and storage requirements
  • environmental management requirements (waste disposal, recycling and re-use guidelines)

Materials  may include:

  • hardwood and softwood logs and timber
  • boards
  • panels
  • veneer
  • laminated veneer
  • imported species
  • native species
  • recently felled or stored materials
  • wood chips
  • plywood
  • particle board
  • fibreboard
  • medium density fibreboard

Work order  is to include:

  • instructions for the environmental monitoring of work and procedures
  • instructions for the receipt/despatch and visual assessment of materials to/from the designated storage location or processing operations

and may include:

  • type
  • size
  • quantity
  • environmental care requirements relevant to the work

Appropriate personnel  may include:

  • supervisors
  • suppliers
  • clients
  • colleagues
  • managers

Assessment  is to include:

  • visually assessing the quality of materials for characteristics, defects and imperfections

and may include:

  • measuring the amount of moisture contained in a log to determine if it falls within specifications for conversion and drying or other processing operations

Storage locations  may include:

  • storage racks
  • storage bays
  • bins
  • stacks
  • pallet boxes
  • modularised storage components
  • temporary stacking bays (stand, frame or ground)

and may be divided into:

  • standard product classification
  • product designation
  • size
  • dimension
  • stack number
  • weight
  • grade
  • shelf life
  • stock rotation position

Equipment  may include:

  • moisture meters
  • lifting equipment for the movement of materials

Communication  may include:

  • verbal and non-verbal language
  • constructive feedback
  • active listening
  • questioning to clarify and confirm understanding
  • use of positive, confident and cooperative language
  • use of language and concepts appropriate to individual social and cultural differences
  • control of tone of voice
  • body language

Processing operations  may include:

  • sawmilling
  • panel production
  • wood chipping
  • pulp and paper production

Defects  may include:

  • water damage
  • chips
  • splits
  • warp
  • wane
  • cupping
  • shakes
  • insect defects or attack
  • resin pockets
  • contamination
  • burls
  • cracks
  • dry rot
  • wet rot
  • breakage from felling
  • dents
  • loose surface
  • lifting coatings
  • poor adhesion
  • thin or missing coatings
  • chipped edges
  • surface bubbles
  • pin holes
  • grain angles
  • gum veins
  • loose or missing knots

Treatment  may include:

  • chemical treatment of materials to eradicate insect attack or other defects

Sawing  may include:

  • cutting out sections of the material (if practical) to retain good quality sections

Records and reports  may include:

  • product type
  • size
  • visual inspection
  • labelling outcomes
  • storage locations
  • quality outcomes
  • hazards
  • incidents
  • equipment malfunctions

and may be:

  • manual
  • using a computer-based system or another appropriate organisational communication system

Disposing of rejected sub-standard materials may include :

  • environmentally effective, efficient and safe waste management, recycling and re-use practices and guidelines

On-site movement of material :

lifting equipment may include:

  • fork lifts
  • slings
  • trolley jacks
  • gantry cranes
  • loaders

assistance with lifting may include:

  • the involvement of two or more personnel to lift materials manually or to guide the movement of mechanical equipment

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

Competency field

Competency field