Unit of competency details

HLTHIR501C - Maintain an effective health work environment (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 07/May/2012

Usage recommendation:
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
DeletedDeleted from HLT07 Health Training Package07/Dec/2015
Supersedes and is equivalent to HLTHIR501B - Maintain an effective health work environmentISC upgrade changes to remove references to old OHS legislation and replace with references to new WHS legislation. No change to competency outcome.06/May/2012

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HLT60112 - Advanced Diploma of Western Herbal MedicineAdvanced Diploma of Western Herbal Medicine 
HLT52012 - Diploma of Practice ManagementDiploma of Practice Management 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 120505 Work Practices Programmes 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 120505 Work Practices Programmes 02/Oct/2012 
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Modification History

HLT07 Version 4

HLT07 Version 5


HLTHIR501B Maintain an effective health work environment

HLTHIR501C Maintain an effective health work environment

ISC upgrade changes to remove references to old OHS legislation and replace with references to new WHS legislation. No change to competency outcome.

Unit Descriptor


This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required to maintain an effective work environment in a health setting by monitoring, coordinating and promoting the implementation of ethical, safe and effective work practices in line with established work requirements

Application of the Unit


This unit applies to work in a range of health settings such as:

  • Specific community
  • Community, regional or remote service provider
  • Department of a large institution or organisation
  • Specialised service or organisation
  • Private provider/owner operator

Application of this unit should be contextualised to reflect specific workplace requirements and practices

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. Promote ethical work practices

1.1 Monitor decision-making to ensure ethical guidelines are followed and underlying ethical complexity is recognised

1.2 Ensure understanding and compliance with the principles of duty of care and legal responsibilities in all work undertaken

1.3 Ensure appropriate action is taken to address any breach or non-adherence to standard procedures or adverse event

1.4 Monitor work practices to ensure confidentiality of any client matter in line with organisation policy and procedure

1.5 Promote respect for rights and responsibilities of others through considered application of work practices

1.6 Apply and promote knowledge and understanding of employee and employer rights and responsibilities in all work practices

1.7 Identify potential conflict of interest in the workplace and take action to avoid and/or address

2. Support culture of effective communication

2.1 Monitor and address communication issues in the workplace

2.2 Monitor oral and written communication in the workplace to ensure confidentiality of client and staff matters

2.3 Monitor workplace communication to support accuracy and understanding of information provided and received

2.4 Promote recognition of individual and cultural differences in the workplace and support any adjustments to communication needed to facilitate the achievement of identified outcomes

2.5 Promote and support a client-centred approach to health care throughout interpersonal communication with clients and colleagues

2.6 Promote and assist with the resolution of conflict and interpersonal differences in the workplace

3. Maintain a positive approach to health in the workplace

3.1 Monitor work practices to ensure they contribute to maintaining an effective and client-centred approach to health

3.2 Monitor implementation of work practices to ensure clients are included in shared decision-making as partners in health care

3.3 Support and maintain a workplace culture of promoting good health by sharing health information

3.4 Monitor and maintain workplace focus on preventing ill health and minimising risk

3.5 Monitor and maintain workplace focus on processes and procedures to manage stress and prevent fatigue

4. Monitor professional work standards

4.1 Monitor implementation of organisation policies and procedures relating to awards, standards and legislative requirements of staff

4.2 Identify areas for improving work practices and support implementation in line with organisation policies and procedures

4.3 Monitor compliance with relevant accreditation standards applying to work undertaken and address issues

4.4 Monitor staff understanding and focus on achieving organisation goals and objectives in work undertaken

4.5 Monitor and support staff efforts to respond positively to improved work practices and procedures

4.6 Ensure issues requiring mandatory notification are identified and reported appropriately

5. Work in the health industry context

5.1 Establish effective relationships with workers from different sectors and levels of the industry in line with work role and requirements

5.2 Apply knowledge of the roles and functions of various health care structures, organisations and systems in Australia

5.3 Maintain knowledge of current issues influencing the health care system, including health issues for Indigenous Australians

5.4 Work with an understanding of funding mechanisms, and how the organisation's operations are financed

6. Take opportunities to develop own competence

6.1 Monitor own skills/knowledge in relation to ongoing and changing work requirements

6.2 Identify areas for personal development in line with health industry developments, organisation requirements and personal interest

6.3 Take initiative to access and/or create development opportunities to support organisation need and personal career development

6.4 Undertake available formal and informal skill/knowledge development and maintenance activities

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:

  • Details of accreditation processes and quality improvement practices
  • Implications of relevant legislation, including:
  • access and equity
  • anti-discrimination
  • infection control
  • work health and safety (WHS)
  • privacy
  • Meaning of duty of care, confidentiality of information and ethical decision-making in relation to own and others' work duties and responsibilities; what constitutes a breach of these and potential ramifications of such breaches
  • Principles underpinning client-centred health care
  • Principles of client safety
  • Organisation procedures relating to:
  • emergency response
  • fire safety
  • safe disposal of goods/waste
  • security
  • sustainability in the workplace, including environmental, economic, workforce and social sustainability
  • Role, function and objectives of the organisation, and relevance to specific workplace requirements
  • Terms and conditions of employment for staff members
  • Understanding of relevant organisation procedures, policies, awards, standards and legislation and their application in the workplace

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to

  • Apply knowledge of the ramifications of breaches of duty of care, confidentiality, ethical guidelines and other relevant policies and legislation
  • Apply understanding of good personal hygiene and risk associated with poor hygiene
  • Identify own responsibilities within the workplace

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:

  • Analyse implementation of workplace procedures and their outcomes to identify areas for improvement
  • Apply functional literacy skills needed for written and oral information about workplace requirements
  • Apply high-level decision-making and problem solving skills as required to monitor decision-making processes and provide constructive input to assist others
  • Create and promote opportunities to enhance sustainability in the workplace
  • Use high-level communication skills as required by specific work role, including:
  • interpreting and implementing complex verbal and/or written instructions
  • providing information and ensuring understanding
  • reporting incidents in line with organisation requirements
  • seeking clarification of information provided by others

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:

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over a range of workplace situations

Context of and specific resources for assessment:

  • Assessment should relate to specific work role and associated workplace conditions
  • Resources essential for assessment include any documents specific to the work context such as:
  • instructions for the use of equipment
  • specific instructions for staff
  • emergency response procedures
  • fire safety policies and procedures
  • security procedures
  • relevant accreditation standards
  • waste management policies and procedures

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.

Requirements of own work role may include:

  • Level of responsibility
  • Organisation guidelines
  • Individual awards and benchmarks
  • Legislation relevant to work area
  • Accreditation standards

Organisation policy on confidentiality may relate to:

  • Storage of records
  • Destruction of records
  • Access to records
  • Release of information
  • Verbal and written communication

Organisation procedures, policies, awards, standards and legislation may include:

  • Australian Council on Healthcare Standards
  • Home and Community Care Standards
  • National Association of Testing authorities (NATA)
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines for infection control in health care settings
  • Federal and state/territory legislation
  • Quality management policy and practice
  • Current Australian Standards
  • Aged care accreditation standards
  • Accreditation and service provision standards of other relevant industry organisations
  • Relevant health regulations and guidelines, policies and procedures, including child protection

Communication strategies may include:

  • Active listening
  • Appropriate language
  • Appropriate communication aids
  • Appropriate modes of communication
  • Appropriate demeanour and body language
  • Appropriate tone and presentation
  • Observation
  • Questioning, clarifying and advising
  • Providing appropriate and accurate information

Promoting positive client relationship may include:

  • Acknowledging and greeting courteously
  • Identifying client needs and attending to them in a timely manner
  • Handling complaints sensitively, courteously and in accordance with practice protocols
  • Demonstrating respect for clients' time

A client-centred approach to health includes:

  • Putting clients and carers at the centre of service delivery
  • Including clients in decision-making relating to their health care
  • Involving clients in discussions about service delivery options and issues
  • Obtaining client consent to examine, treat or work with them
  • Effective customer service

Employee rights and responsibilities may relate to:

  • Duty of care responsibilities
  • Leave entitlements
  • Attendance requirements
  • Obeying lawful orders
  • Confidentiality and privacy of organisation, client and colleague information
  • Adherence to WHS
  • Protection from discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace
  • The right to union representation

Issues requiring mandatory notification may include:

  • Protection of children and others identified to be at risk
  • Issues defined by jurisdictional legislation and/or regulatory requirements
  • Issues specifically identified by under organisation policies

Improved work practices may relate, for example to:

  • Enhancing outcomes for clients
  • Enhancing sustainability of work, such as efficient and effective work practices in relation to:
  • use of power
  • use of resources, including for administration purposes
  • waste management and recycling practices
  • Enhancing safety of staff and clients

Identifying and implementing improved work practices may include:

  • Reporting and implementing suggested improvements
  • Seeking and addressing customer feedback
  • Monitoring tasks
  • Responding to surveys and questionnaires
  • Assessing/observing/measuring environmental factors
  • Checking equipment

Employer rights and responsibilities may relate to:

  • Legislative requirements for employee dismissal (i.e Workplace Relations Act)
  • Legislative requirements to provide a safe work environment free from discrimination and sexual harassment (see state/territory and Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation)
  • Enterprise workplace agreements
  • Relevant state and territory employment legislation (i.e. wage rates and employment conditions)

Designated knowledge/skill development may relate to:

  • Hazard control
  • WHS
  • Manual handling
  • First Aid
  • Cultural awareness
  • Infection control
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation emergency response and notification protocols
  • Fire emergency response procedures for notification and containment of fire, use of fire fighting equipment and fire safety procedures
  • Security procedures
  • Quality improvement policy and practice
  • Discrimination, harassment and bullying in the workplace
  • Formal and informal resolution of grievances
  • Waste management
  • Customer service
  • Communication, conflict resolution
  • Others

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

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