Unit of competency details

HLTAHW407B - Provide nutrition guidance for specific health care (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 25/Mar/2011

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by HLTAHW021 - Provide nutrition guidance for specific health careNew unit in HLT Health Training Package Release 1.0. Significant changes to elements and performance criteria. New evidence requirements for assessment, including volume and environment requirements 30/Jun/2013

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061305 Indigenous Health  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061305 Indigenous Health  04/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit Descriptor 

This unit describes the competencies required to promote healthy nutrition to address the requirements of a range of client groups and to improve community nutrition

Application of the Unit


This unit is intended to address skills and knowledge required by those working with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities at Certificate IV level to deliver a specific range of health care services

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Provide information on nutritional needs at different stages of life

1.1 Explain nutritional requirements for babies and toddlers to carers

1.2 Provide information for older people on nutrition requirements and food preparation issues

1.3 Provide information on nutritional requirements of pregnant and lactating women

1.4 Promote dietary guidelines for children and adolescent, including importance of breastfeeding and appropriate introduction of solid foods

1.5 Provide information on dietary guidelines for adults

2. Inform clients on dietary requirements of specific conditions

2.1 Target clients with specific conditions for counselling on healthy eating

2.2 Give overweight clients information on strategies to achieve long term weight reduction

2.3 Provide information on appropriate nutrition for clients presenting with specific health conditions

2.4 Identify common dietary restrictions for clients with specific health conditions and assist clients to obtain and follow specific dietary advice

2.5 Refer clients to other health professionals and support agencies for nutritional advice as required

3. Work with community agencies to promote nutrition

3.1 Discuss the link between nutrition and health with communities, their agencies, stores and other representatives

3.2 Promote appropriate food storage, hygiene and preparation practices

3.3 Discuss policies that promote good health through nutrition with communities, their agencies, stores and relevant representatives

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Essential knowledge :

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes knowledge of:

  • Food and dietary guidelines in line with 'Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults', including:
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural values and beliefs regarding food
  • five food groups and their function with reference to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating  and publications such as A Guide to Promote Healthy Eating for Aboriginal  &/or Torres Strait Islander people 
  • food values in traditional Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander food
  • relationship between dietary fat and disease
  • value of substituting for saturated fats
  • value of reducing food and drinks high in sugar
  • healthy food preparation methods
  • nutrition education models
  • Australian Guide to Healthy Eating
  • Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults
  • Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia
  • Dietary Guidelines for older Australians
  • Nutritional requirements at different life stages, including the 'Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia' with a focus on breastfeeding and the introduction of solids
  • Nutritional needs of people with chronic diseases
  • Potential for community agencies and representatives (including stores) to improve health by promoting good nutrition

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Communicate effectively in a group and/or one-on-one environment to promote healthy practices and discuss health issues
  • Provide accurate and relevant information and guidance about nutrition in relation to specific health conditions and in line with identified individual and community needs

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes the ability to:

  • Communicate information effectively in clear, simple language
  • Negotiate and solve problems
  • Work as part of a team
  • Network
  • Facilitate group sessions
  • Provide sound nutritional advice to clients with a range of specific needs

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects of assessment :

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over the required range of situations relevant to the workplace
  • Where, for reasons of safety, space, or access to equipment and resources, assessment takes place away from the workplace, the assessment environment should represent workplace conditions as closely as possible

Conditions of assessment :

This unit includes skills and knowledge specific to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander culture

Assessment must therefore be undertaken by a workplace assessor who has expertise in the unit of competency or who has the current qualification being assessed and who is:

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander him/herself


  • accompanied and advised by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is a recognised member of the community with experience in primary health care

Context of assessment :

Competence should be demonstrated working individually, under supervision or as part of a primary health care team working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients

Assessment should replicate workplace conditions as far as possible

Related units :

This unit may be assessed independently or in conjunction with other units with associated workplace application

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. Add any 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.

Cultural respect 

This competency standard supports the recognition, protection and continued advancement of the inherent rights, cultures and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

It recognises that the improvement of the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must include attention to physical, spiritual, cultural, emotional and social well-being, community capacity and governance

Its application must be culturally sensitive and supportive of traditional healing and health, knowledge and practices

Community control 

Community participation and control in decision-making is essential to all aspects of health work, and the role of the health worker is to support the community in this process


Supervision must be conducted in accordance with prevailing state/territory and organisation legislative and regulatory requirements

References to supervision may include either direct or indirect supervision of work by more experienced workers, supervisors, managers or other health professionals

A person at this level should only  be required to make decisions about clients within the organisation's standard treatment protocols and associated guidelines

Legislative requirements 

Federal, state or territory legislation may impact on workers' practices and responsibilities. Implementation of the competency standards should reflect the legislative framework in which a health worker operates. It is recognised that this may sometimes reduce the application of the Range of Variables in practice. However, assessment in the workplace or through simulation should address all essential skills and knowledge across the Range of Variables

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers may be required to operate in situations that do not constitute "usual practice" due to lack of resources, remote locations and community needs. As a result, they may need to possess more competencies than described by "usual practice circumstances"

Under all circumstances, the employer must enable the worker to function within the prevailing legislative framework

Specific conditions to be targeted for nutrition counselling may include :

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood lipids
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Chronic renal failure (mainly for specialist referral)
  • Failure to thrive
  • Dental caries

Specific nutrition guidance may include :

  • Aged care:
  • reduced gut function with age
  • food preparation appropriate to dentition
  • Obesity:
  • maintain a regular physical activity routine
  • emphasise gradual weight loss rather than crash diets
  • promote restriction of dietary fat as well as total caloric intake
  • promote restriction of saturated fat and partial replacement with mono or polyunsaturated fats
  • limit food and drinks high in hidden fat and sugar
  • limit alcohol to safe drinking levels
  • increase fruit and vegetable intake
  • involve the whole family in dietary changes
  • Diabetes:
  • eating regular meals (especially if on oral hypoglycaemic medicines or insulin)
  • promote restriction of dietary fat as well as total kilojoule intake if overweight
  • limit food and drinks high in sugar
  • recommend high fibre carbohydrates, particularly those with a low glycaemic index (slow acting)
  • recommend increasing vegetables and fruits
  • substitute saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils (olive/canola)
  • maintain a regular physical activity routine
  • Chronic renal failure:
  • refer for specialist advice
  • restrictions on total protein and fluid intake
  • restrictions on foods high in potassium
  • Failure to thrive (nutritional requirements for babies and toddlers):
  • promotion of breast feeding
  • introduction of solids (age at introduction, appropriate foods)
  • healthy snack feeding for toddlers and preschoolers
  • Dental caries:
  • reduction of sugar intake
  • Cardiovascular Disease:
  • increase vegetables and fruits
  • substitute saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils (olive/canola)
  • limit salt and foods high in salt

Other health professionals and support agencies include :

  • Particular disease agencies (e.g. Diabetes Australia)
  • Local support groups (e.g. diabetes support groups, weight loss group)
  • Local nutritionist or dietitian
  • Specialists (e.g. renal physician)
  • Dental personnel

Store policies that promote good health through nutrition may involve :

  • Stocking fresh healthy foods
  • Restricting unhealthy food items
  • Labelling and store layout to promote healthy foods
  • Cross-subsidisation of healthy foods
  • Storage
  • Contamination/cross contamination
  • Hygiene

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

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