Unit of competency details

MSL913001A - Communicate with other people (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to MSL913001 - Communicate with other peopleSupersedes and is equivalent to MSL913001A Communicate with other people 29/Feb/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to PMLCOM300B - Communicate with other people13/Jan/2011

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 14/Jan/2011


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/Aug/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the ability to receive and pass on written and oral messages, provide relevant information in response to requests within timelines and demonstrate effective interpersonal skills.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit of competency is applicable to laboratory assistants and instrument operators working in all industry sectors.

Industry representatives have provided case studies to illustrate the practical application of this unit of competency and to show its relevance in a workplace setting. These are found at the end of this unit of competency under the section 'This competency in practice'.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

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. Receive and act upon instructions

1.1. Listen attentively to instructions and respond appropriately

1.2. Clarify instructions to ensure a complete understanding of the task

2. Receive and convey messages

2.1. Receive verbal and written messages and respond appropriately

2.2. Record and convey information so that messages are understood

3. Demonstrate appropriate interpersonal skills

3.1. Follow enterprise procedures which reflect equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and non-harassment legislative requirements

3.2. Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills during everyday interactions

4. Provide appropriate information

4.1. Deal with inquiries in accordance with enterprise customer service requirements

4.2. Establish details of inquiry by questioning and summarising

4.3. Access and provide relevant information that meets own authorisation and confidentiality requirements

4.4. Redirect inquiries to relevant personnel for resolution if beyond own area of responsibility

4.5. Complete all workplace documents legibly and accurately in accordance with enterprise procedures

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

Required skills include:

  • communicating effectively with people from different organisational levels and diverse cultural backgrounds
  • using available communication equipment (e.g. telephone, online and hard copy directories, email, fax, intranet and internet)
  • listening attentively and clarifying messages and instructions to confirm their meaning
  • responding to calls and messages within accepted enterprise timelines
  • locating relevant sources of information
  • providing accurate information in an effective and timely manner
  • understanding colloquial, scientific and technical terminology appropriate to theexpected level of knowledge in the workplace
  • legibly and accuratelycompleting relevant workplace documents
  • promoting cooperation through personal interactions

Required knowledge 

Required knowledge includes:

  • enterprise customer service standards and procedures
  • standard operating procedures (SOPs) for routine technical tasks undertaken by candidate
  • principles of effective interpersonal interactions
  • equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment requirements
  • communication protocols
  • relevant health, safety and environment requirements
  • products and services provided by the enterprise
  • layout of the enterprise and laboratory
  • role of laboratory services to the enterprise and customers
  • organisational structure

Specific industry 

Additional knowledge requirements may apply for different industry sectors. For example:

Manufacturing, food processing and construction materials testing industry sectors:

  • instructions to production staff when altering production mixes as a result of laboratory analysis

Biomedical industry sector:

  • verification and signature requirements for the receipt and release of human specimens (such as blood transfusion products, blood alcohol samples and urine for drug testing)

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 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Assessors should ensure that candidates can:

  • communicate with people effectively by listening attentively and clarifying messages and instructions to confirm their meaning
  • provide accurate and timely information using appropriate terminology
  • complete workplace documents legibly and accurately
  • use personal interactions to promote cooperation.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

This unit of competency is to be assessed in the workplace or simulated workplace environment.

This unit of competency may be assessed with:

  • MSL933002AContribute to the achievement of quality objectives .

Resources may include:

  • enterprise procedures and documents
  • communication equipment (for example, telephone, online and hard copy directories, email, fax, intranet and internet).

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are suggested:

  • review of messages and workplace documentation prepared by the candidate
  • feedback from peers, customers and supervisors
  • observation of the candidate's performance of a wide range of technical and administrative tasks
  • questions to assess understanding of relevant workplace procedures.

In all cases, practical assessment should be supported by questions to assess underpinning knowledge and those aspects of competency which are difficult to assess directly.

Where applicable, reasonable adjustment must be made to work environments and training situations to accommodate ethnicity, age, gender, demographics and disability.

Access must be provided to appropriate learning and/or assessment support when required.

The language, literacy and numeracy demands of assessment should not be greater than those required to undertake the unit of competency in a work like environment.

This competency in practice 

Industry representatives have provided the case studies below to illustrate the practical application of this unit of competency and show its relevance in a workplace setting.


A technician in a petroleum refinery asked a laboratory assistant to 'go down to the cat and take a sample of the bottoms,' not realising that the assistant had only just started work with the company. The assistant looked at the technician in amazement, not knowing whether to pretend to understand, maintain self esteem, or clarify the instructions for the task. The assistant decided on the latter - to ask for clarification - and the technician repeated the instructions without using jargon. The laboratory assistant then proceeded to the catalytic cracker to take the sample as per the appropriate standard operating procedures.


The regular collection staff were not present when a flustered client came into the outpatient clinic with a domestic container full of straw coloured fluid. The receptionist knew what urine collection containers usually looked like and this was clearly not one. The receptionist called for help from the laboratory in the absence of collection staff. A technical officer was sent. The officer quickly realised that a recollection would be requested and because this would be inconvenient to the patient, tried to seek an explanation from them as to why the correct container was not used. The technical officer then explained as clearly and gently as possible the reasons for the recollection and why the substitute container could not be used. The officer confirmed that the patient was clear on the collection procedure and checked that the labels on the new container were correct.


The front office staff of a small food processing company were responsible for many tasks and could not always ensure that they were in the office to receive customers and answer phone calls. This meant that urgent inquiries were not always immediately attended to and some customers became irate if they were unfortunate enough to have made several inquiries while the office staff were absent.

The company laboratory was adjacent to the reception area and laboratory technicians would attend to customers if they happened to see them waiting. The laboratory technicians realised that they could improve company-customer relations. They organised for a buzzer to be installed that connected the reception desk to the laboratory and the reception phone to redirect to the laboratory if it was not answered within a reasonable period of time. Since they could not always attend to the specific needs of the callers, they developed a standard format for recording messages that were passed back to the reception staff. The laboratory assistants were also trained to receive personal and phone inquires in an appropriate manner. The company found that, even though the laboratory technicians could not always satisfy the immediate demands of customers, the customer satisfaction level was greater when customers were attended to personally than when they were connected to an answering machine or not received at all.

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.

Codes of practice 

Where reference is made to industry codes of practice, and/or Australian/international standards, it is expected the latest version will be used

Standards , codes , procedures and /or enterprise requirements 

Standards, codes, procedures and/or enterprise requirements may include:

  • Anti-discrimination Acts
  • Australia New Zealand Food Standards (ANZFS) Code
  • Australian code of good manufacturing practice for medicinal products (GMP)
  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986
  • Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1009
  • customer service and telephone protocols
  • information directories for staff access (personnel and telephone), online databases and CD-ROMs
  • workplace documents, such as:
  • SOPs and laboratory methods
  • job (batch) cards and job descriptions
  • equipment manuals and service logs
  • induction manuals
  • supplier catalogues
  • (daily) production schedules
  • laboratory schedules
  • calibration and maintenance schedules
  • guide to relevant acts and regulations (e.g. Food Standards Code)
  • material safety data sheets (MSDS)
  • non-compliance reports
  • quality manuals
  • time sheets and logbooks
  • product specifications
  • text procedures
  • shift handover reports
  • pick lists
  • hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) procedures
  • libraries
  • information which uses:
  • common scientific and technical terminology
  • symbols, charts, signs, written text, tables, graphs and calculations


Communication may include interactions with:

  • supervisors and managers
  • other laboratory and production personnel
  • members of the public, customers and clients

Items of equipment 

Items of equipment may include:

  • telephone, two-way radio, PA system, fax and computer (email)
  • direct display readouts
  • online information systems

Interpersonal communication 

Interpersonal communication includes:

  • active listening
  • including others
  • effective questioning
  • tolerating the view of others, attempting to reduce conflict and to negotiate suitable outcomes

Occupational health and safety  (OHS ) and environmental management requirements 

OHS and environmental management requirements:

  • all operations must comply with enterprise OHS and environmental management requirements, which may be imposed through state/territory or federal legislation - these requirements must not be compromised at any time
  • all operations assume the potentially hazardous nature of samples and require standard precautions to be applied
  • where relevant, users should access and apply current industry understanding of infection control issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and State and Territory Departments of Health

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 


Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units