Unit of competency details

FPICOT2238A - Cut materials with a hand-held chainsaw (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 28/Oct/2013
(View details for release 1) Replaced20/May/2011

Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to FPICOT2206A - Cross cut materials with a hand-held chainsaw 06/Apr/2011
Supersedes and is equivalent to FPICOT2206B - Cross cut materials with a hand-held chainsaw 19/May/2011
Is superseded by and equivalent to FWPCOT2238 - Cut materials with a hand-held chainsaw 12/May/2016

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  07/Oct/2011 
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Modification History

Release 2

Release 2 created to reflect that FPICOT2238A supersedes both FPICOT2206A and FPICOT2206B. Equivalent

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the outcomes required to prepare and cut materials with a hand-held chainsaw. This unit includes basic operator maintenance checks

More comprehensive servicing and maintenance procedures are covered in FPICOT2237A Maintain chainsaws

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

This unit replaces FPICOT2206B Cross cut materials with an hand-held chainsaw

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

The unit involves cutting materials with a hand-held chainsaw in a variety of work settings including a construction, saw mill, forest products factory, timber retail yard or horticultural environment

The skills and knowledge required for competent 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 operation

1.1. Applicable Occupational Health and Safety  (OHS ), environmental, legislative , organisational requirements  and manufacturer's specifications relevant to cutting materials  with a hand-held chainsaw are identified and followed

1.2. Job requirements  are reviewed and clarified with appropriate personnel 

1.3. Tools and equipment  are selected appropriate to job requirements and checked for operational effectiveness in line with manufacturer's recommendations and site procedures

1.4. Tasks are identified and planned in line with job requirements

1.5. Communication  with others is established and maintained in line with OHS requirements and site procedures

1.6. Requirements for recycling or disposal of waste material are identified

2. Cut material

2.1. Work area is prepared, checked and cleared  in line with OHS requirements and site procedures

2.2. Supports  are placed as required to ensure a stable base

2.3. Material is visually assessed for defects in line with site standards

2.4. Cutting techniques  are used to maximise volume and quality of recovery in line with work order and industry standard lengths

2.5. Material is cut within site standard tolerances for length and angle relative to centre line in line with OHS requirements

2.6. Chainsaw is operated in line with OHS and site procedures, and manufacturer's recommendations

2.7. Debris is cleared and disposed of in line with site procedures and environmental requirements

2.8. Production and quality records and reports  are processed in line with site procedures and organisational requirements

2.9. Problems  are identified and reported in line with site procedures

3. Conduct chainsaw maintenance

3.1. Damaged saws or cutting attachments are identified and dealt with according to site procedures and manufacturer's recommendations

3.2. Chainsaw is cleaned, maintained  and stored in line with manufacturer's recommendations and site procedures

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • Technical skills sufficient to safely and efficiently use a hand-held chainsaw and carry out lock-out procedures on associated machinery; use and maintain relevant tools, machinery and equipment; use appropriate methods to cut materials with a hand-held chainsaw and maximise volume and quality recovery
  • Communication skills sufficient to interact effectively with colleagues and others
  • Literacy skills sufficient to review and accurately identify work requirements and accurately locate, record and report information
  • Numeracy skills sufficient to estimate and measure lengths and calculate time to complete a task
  • Problem solving skills sufficient to identify defects and problems and 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 cutting materials with a hand-held chainsaw
  • Organisational and site standards, requirements, policies and procedures for cutting materials with a hand-held chainsaw; organisational communication channels and protocols; and procedures for the recording and reporting of workplace documentation and information
  • Environmental protection requirements including the safe disposal of waste material
  • Operation and maintenance requirements of a hand-held chainsaw including consequences of blunt or damaged saws
  • Effects of defects on recovery
  • Common industry terminology
  • Communication and interpersonal techniques
  • Industry standard length dimensions
  • Problem identification and resolution strategies and common fault finding techniques
  • Types of tools and equipment and procedures for their use, operation and maintenance

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 use a hand-held chainsaw while demonstrating the correct procedures for cutting materials in line with organisational guidelines

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, including OHS and environmental, relevant to cutting materials with a hand-held chainsaw
  • following organisational policies and procedures relevant to cutting materials with a hand-held chainsaw
  • following applicable licensing or certification requirements
  • effective communication and safe working practices
  • safe cutting of materials using a hand-held chainsaw
  • cutting materials to maximise volume and quality of recovery according to job requirements
  • cleaning, maintaining and storing saw
  • identifying and reporting faults, malfunctions or irregular operation of hand-held chainsaw
  • appropriate recycling or disposal of waste materials

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 essential underpinning knowledge, other than confirmatory questions, will usually be conducted in an off-site context
  • Assessment is to comply with 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 underpinning knowledge
  • Assessment must be by direct observation of tasks, with questioning on underpinning 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 essential underpinning 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
  • awareness of danger zone for kickback
  • manual handling including shifting, lifting and carrying
  • potential falling objects
  • procedures for cutting on slopes
  • location of other workers

Legislative requirements :

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

  • Australian Standards
  • OHS
  • the environment
  • equal opportunity
  • relevant industry codes of practice
  • award and enterprise agreements
  • industrial relations
  • confidentiality and privacy
  • duty of care
  • heritage and traditional land owner issues

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
  • fire prevention procedures
  • recording and reporting requirements
  • equipment use and maintenance and storage requirements
  • environmental management requirements (waste disposal, recycling and re-use guidelines)
  • access and equity principles and practices

Materials  may include:

  • logs
  • packs of timber
  • individual pieces of timber

Job requirements  relate to:

information and instructions relevant to cutting operations including:

  • processing location details
  • materials to be cut
  • environmental requirements and features
  • site plan

and may be verbal

Appropriate personnel  may include:

  • supervisors
  • clients
  • colleagues
  • line management

Tools and equipment  may include:

  • chainsaws
  • specific safety attire
  • maintenance tools

Communication  may include:

  • verbal and non-verbal language
  • hand or other agreed signals
  • eye contact with other operators or personnel
  • use of electronic devices


refers to work area and may include:

  • clearing the work area of off-cuts and shorts
  • ensuring saw clearance around material
  • depositing off-cuts, shorts and debris in recognised areas
  • clearing surfaces of debris likely to cause saw damage in the cutting area


are timber or mechanical apparatus that are put under material to stabilise and give clearance to ground and may include:

  • timber bearers
  • specific frames/benches
  • timber/steel trolleys

Cutting techniques  may relate to:

  • cutting positions
  • work order requirements
  • industry standard lengths
  • cutting patterns
  • maximising volume and quality of recovery
  • securing the section on each side of the planned cut
  • cutting procedures to ensure saw clearance around the material to minimise capping and splitting of material

Records and reports  may include:

  • log book recording of maintenance outcomes, faults, malfunctions and damage, hazards and incidents
  • may be compiled using a computer-based system or other appropriate organisational communication system to record and report


may occur in relation to:

  • defects in material
  • performance of chainsaw
  • communication
  • hazards and risks at the work site
  • capping and splitting of material
  • danger zone for kickback


refers to maintenance during operation to optimise saw performance and includes:

  • refuelling
  • bar checks and oil top up
  • air filter check, clean and replacement
  • cleaning of saw body, air intake vents and cooling fans
  • fitting spare chain and tension chain

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

Competency field

Competency field 

Common Technical

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