Unit of competency details

HLTCSD306B - Respond effectively to difficult or challenging behaviour (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to HLTCSD306C - Respond effectively to difficult or challenging behaviour 24/Mar/2011

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 26/Feb/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090513 Counselling  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090513 Counselling  03/Sep/2009 
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Modification History

Unit Descriptor

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to respond effectively to difficult or challenging behaviour of clients and others

These skills are associated with handling difficult incidents rather than managing ongoing behaviour difficulties

Application of the Unit

The unit will be suitable for work roles such as Security Officers, Care Assistance Workers and others exposed to difficult and challenging behaviour

Application of this unit should be contextualised to reflect any requirements, issues and practices specific to each workplace

Licensing/Regulatory Information


Employability Skills Information

The required outcomes described in this unit of competency contain applicable facets of Employability Skills

The Employability Skills Summary of the qualification in which this unit of competency is packaged will assist in identifying Employability Skill requirements

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

Elements and Performance Criteria 


Performance Criteria 


Plan response


Identify appropriate response to potential instances of difficult or challenging behaviour  in line with work role and organisation policies and procedures


Ensure planned responses  to difficult or challenging behaviour maximise the availability of other appropriate staff and resources


Give priority to safety of self and others in responding to difficult or challenging behaviour


Apply response


Ensure response to instances of difficult or challenging behaviour reflect organisation policies and procedures


Seek assistance as required


Deal with difficult or challenging behaviour promptly, firmly and diplomatically in accordance with organisation policy and procedure 


Use communication effectively to achieve the desired outcomes in responding to difficult or challenging behaviour


Select  appropriate strategies  to suit particular instances of difficult or challenging behaviour


Report and review incidents


Report incidents according to organisation policies and procedures


Review incidents with appropriate staff and offer suggestions appropriate to area of responsibility


Access and participate in available debriefing mechanisms and associated support and/or development activities


Seek advice and assistance from legitimate sources as and when appropriate

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Essential knowledge :

Knowledge of organisation's reporting processes

OHS and issues relating to difficult and challenging behaviour

Client issues need to be referred to an appropriate health professional

Essential skills :

Ability to:

Interpret and follow the instructions and guidance of health professionals involved with the care of client

Identify when assistance is required

Maintain personal safety and the safety of others

Foresee and respond quickly and effectively to contingencies

Maintain duty of care

Effectively use techniques for monitoring own service area including client satisfaction

Speak in a firm, diplomatic and culturally appropriate manner

Remain calm and positive in adversity

Think and respond quickly and strategically

Remain alert to potential incidents of difficult or challenging behaviour

Monitor and/or maintain security equipment

Work with others and display empathy with client and relatives

Use literacy skills in reading, writing and oral communication to fulfil job role in a safe manner and as specified by the organisation, including:

understand symbols used in OHS signs

read workplace safety pamphlets or procedure manuals and labels

use appropriate verbal and non verbal communication styles

ask questions

provide clear information

listen to and understand workplace instructions and clarify when necessary

apply literacy skills as required in English or a community language.

Use numeracy skills to complete basic arithmetic calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division to recording numbers

Use problem solving skills to:

effectively utilise available resources

prioritise workload

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 for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this competency unit :

This unit is most appropriately assessed in the workplace (simulating difficult or challenging behaviour) or in a simulated workplace and under the normal range of work conditions

This unit can be assessed independently, but holistic assessment practice is encouraged with other related units of competency

Assessment may be conducted on one occasion but should include a diverse range of sources of difficult and challenging behaviours, as may be expected in the workplace

A diversity of assessment tasks is also essential for holistic assessment

Access and equity considerations :

All workers in the health industry should be aware of access and equity issues in relation to their own area of work

All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment

In recognition of particular health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

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.

Planned responses may be based on :

Own ability and experience

Established organisation procedures

Knowledge of individual persons and underlying causes

Difficult or challenging behaviours may include :


Confusion or other cognitive impairment






Intrusive behaviour

Verbal offensiveness

Strategies for dealing with challenging behaviours may include :

Diversional activities

Referring to appropriate personnel eg supervisor, security officer

Following established emergency response procedures

Selection of strategies for dealing with challenging behaviours may be based on :

The nature of the incident

Potential effect on different parties, clients staff and others

Established procedures and guidelines

Organisation policies and procedures may include :

Incident reporting and documentation

Operational guidelines for handling incidents and/or cases involving difficult and challenging behaviour

Debriefing of staff involved in incident

Unit Sector(s)