Unit of competency details

FPICOT3229B - Mechanically stress grade panels (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to FPICOT3229A - Mechanically stress grade panelsUnit updated and equivalent 19/May/2011
Is superseded by and equivalent to FWPCOT3229 - Mechanically stress grade panels 12/May/2016

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 20/May/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030305 Materials Engineering  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030305 Materials Engineering  07/Oct/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the outcomes required to mechanically stress grade panels with mechanical stress graders and high speed mechanical graders to test panels for strength and durability against set classifications

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 FPICOT3229A Mechanically stress grade panels

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

The unit involves mechanically stress-grading panels in a forest products factory setting

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 stress-grading

1.1. Applicable occupational health and safety  (OHS), environmental , legislative  and organisational requirements  relevant to mechanically stress-grading panels are identified and followed

1.2. Work order  is reviewed and clarified with appropriate personnel 

1.3. Type and quantity of panels  to be stress graded  are assessed and acquired from the storage location 

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

1.5. Stress-grading process is planned in line with site procedures and environmental requirements

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

2. Stress grade panels

2.1. Pre -startup checks  are carried out on equipment in line with site requirements

2.2. Spray guns or branding rolls  are set up for use in line with site procedures and environmental requirements

2.3. Calibration  procedure is performed using verification panels  and grade thresholds  set in line with industry standards and site procedures

2.4. Grading process is performed automatically and material flow to the machine is monitored and adjusted

2.5. Machinery is monitored to ensure consistent grade marking and that appearance on panels meets industry standards

2.6. Samples for independent testing  are withdrawn and prepared in line with testing procedures

2.7. Stress-grading process and equipment faults are recorded and reported  to the appropriate personnel

3. Conduct operator maintenance

3.1. Equipment lock-out procedures are followed in line with OHS legislation and site procedures

3.2. Photo -electric cells and reflectors  are regularly checked and cleaned

3.3. Spray guns or branding rolls are checked and refilled in line with site procedures

3.4. Mechanical stress grade rollers, auto-feed and load pressure are adjusted and maintained

3.5. Stress-grading area is kept clear of dust, shavings and debris in line with OHS and environmental requirements

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; efficiently perform calibration procedures; prepare samples for testing
  • Communication skills sufficient to use appropriate communication and interpersonal techniques with colleagues and others
  • Literacy skills sufficient to record and report workplace information; maintain documentation
  • Numeracy skills sufficient to measure, estimate and calculate time required to complete a task
  • Problem solving skills sufficient to identify problems and equipment faults; 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 mechanically stress-grading panels
  • Environmental protection requirements, including the safe disposal of waste material (including preservative treated timber), the safe use and storage of chemicals, and the cleaning of plant, tools and equipment
  • Organisational and site standards, requirements, policies and procedures for mechanically stress-grading panels
  • Environmental risks and hazards
  • Mechanical stress-grading techniques
  • Grading markings and standards
  • Methods of visual inspection
  • Characteristics of panels
  • Stress-grading equipment calibration and grade thresholds
  • Storage systems and labelling procedures
  • 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 safely and efficiently mechanically stress grade panels in line with organisational requirements

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 mechanically stress-grading panels
  • following organisational policies and procedures relevant to mechanically stress-grading panels
  • mechanically stress-grading panels in readiness for storage and/or processing
  • setting stress grade equipment calibrations and grade thresholds
  • conducting operator maintenance on mechanical stress-grading equipment

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, maintenance and storage requirements
  • environmental management requirements (waste minimisation and disposal, recycling and re-use guidelines)

Work order  is to include:

  • instructions for the mechanical stress-grading of material

and may include:

  • type
  • width
  • length
  • thickness
  • quantity
  • instructions for the environmental monitoring of work and procedures
  • environmental care requirements relevant to the work

Appropriate personnel  may include:

  • supervisors
  • suppliers
  • clients
  • colleagues
  • managers

Panels  may include:

  • laminated veneer
  • medium density fibreboard
  • chipboard
  • fibreboard
  • plywood

Stress-grading  includes:

  • mechanical methods of testing panel strength and durability
  • marking and classifying panels to a grade of quality

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  is to include:

  • procedures for equipment lock-out, such as protecting operators and co-workers from accidental injury by isolating the machine from the power source

and may include:

  • mechanical stress graders or high speed mechanical graders
  • spray guns
  • branding rolls

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

Pre-startup checks 

are conducted to ensure:

  • equipment has been set up correctly
  • systems are performing accurately
  • equipment is operating to optimum performance

Spray guns or branding rolls 

are used to mark panels automatically with grade-related dyes


is the setting of the machine to the desired stress grade level using verification panels in line with industry standards

Verification panels :

  • are used to ensure the calibration is correct
  • have been previously assessed as being accurate

Grade thresholds 

are the variations between one grade level and another determining if a panel is considered in the higher or lower grade

Independent testing 

is the process of randomly selecting stress graded panels for independent testing, ensuring that enterprise calibrations and grade thresholds are accurate and that grades follow industry standards

Records and reports  may include:

  • stress-grading requirements
  • product type
  • size
  • inspection information
  • grading and marking outcomes
  • storage locations
  • quality outcomes
  • hazards
  • incidents
  • equipment malfunctions

and may be:

  • manual
  • using a computer-based system
  • other appropriate organisational communication system

Photo-electric cells and reflectors 

are sensory devices that calculate stress levels of panels

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

Competency field

Competency field 

Common Technical