Unit of competency details

MSL913002 - Plan and conduct laboratory/field work (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 01/Mar/2016

Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to MSL913002A - Plan and conduct laboratory/field workSupersedes and is equivalent to MSL913002A Plan and conduct laboratory/field work 29/Feb/2016
Is superseded by and equivalent to MSL913004 - Plan and conduct laboratory/field workRange of conditions removed. Assessment requirements amended. Equivalent outcome. 19/Jul/2018

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 019909 Laboratory Technology  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 019909 Laboratory Technology  09/Aug/2016 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to MSL913002A Plan and conduct laboratory/field work


This unit of competency covers the ability to plan and complete tasks individually or in a team context. The tasks involve established routines and procedures using allocated resources with access to readily available guidelines and advice. Work plans may need to be modified with supervisor agreement to suit changing conditions and priorities.

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

While no specific licensing or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication, laboratory operations are governed by relevant legislation, regulations and/or external accreditation requirements. Local requirements should be checked.

Pre-requisite Unit


Competency Field


Unit Sector

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.


Plan and organise daily work activities 


Clarify allocated work activities and required resources if necessary


Prioritise work activities as directed


Break down work activities into small achievable components and efficient sequences


Review work plan in response to new information, urgent requests, changed situations or instructions from appropriate personnel


Update work plan and communicate changes to appropriate personnel


Complete allocated work 


Locate relevant workplace procedures for required tasks


Undertake tasks following prescribed and routine work-related sequences


Seek assistance from relevant personnel when difficulties cannot be handled


Record completion of activities to confirm outputs in accordance with plan


Identify and resolve work problems 


Recognise problems or opportunities for improved work performance


Apply agreed problem-solving strategies to consider possible causes and solutions


Identify and access appropriate sources of help


Consider available alternatives and keep them open before agreeing on the most appropriate action


Work in a team environment 


Cooperate with team members to negotiate and achieve agreed outcomes, timelines and priorities


Recognise personal abilities and limitations when undertaking team tasks


Confirm personal role and responsibility within the team for particular outputs


Demonstrate sensitivity to the diversity of other team members' backgrounds and beliefs


Update knowledge and skills as required 


Recognise own strengths and weaknesses and take advantage of skill development opportunities

Foundation Skills

This section describes those language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills that are essential to performance.

Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency.

Range of Conditions

This field allows for different work environments and conditions that may affect performance. Essential operating conditions that may be present (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) are included.

Standards, codes, procedures and/or workplace requirements  

Standards, codes, procedures and/or workplace requirements include the latest version of one or more of:

  • Australian and international standards covering safety in laboratories, and quality and environmental management
  • national work health and safety (WHS) standards and codes of practice

Ethical and professional work performance  

Ethical and professional work performance includes:

  • following workplace policy and procedures, regulations and legislation
  • behaving honestly and openly
  • respecting others and treating them with courtesy and impartiality
  • working diligently and responsibly
  • ensuring confidentiality of information, including client information and test results
  • ensuring proprietary rights, intellectual property (IP) and copyright are protected

Workplace activities  

Workplace activities include, but are not limited to, one or more of:

  • set-up and pre-use checks of laboratory equipment
  • calibration status checks
  • sampling and testing following standard procedures
  • maintenance and cleaning tasks

Workplace procedures  

Workplace procedures include, but are not limited to, one or more of:

  • standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • job descriptions, job cards, batch cards and production schedules
  • test methods, recipes, procedures and protocols

Problem-solving strategies 

Problem-solving strategies include one or more of:

  • accessing relevant documentation
  • identifying inputs and outputs and sequencing a process
  • identifying and rectifying a problem step
  • obtaining timely help
  • implementing preventative strategies wherever possible


Teams include one or more groups:

  • with ongoing responsibility for particular services or functions
  • who are project based
  • who have a mixture of full and part-time employees and contractors, laboratory, construction and production personnel
  • who are separated by distance and work at sites outside laboratory facilities

Team operation 

Team operation occurs within one or more of:

  • small, medium and large contexts
  • internal and external environments
  • workplace guidelines covering access and equity principles and practices, licensing requirements, industrial awards, workplace bargaining agreements and codes of practice
  • agreed responsibility and accountability requirements
  • appropriate goals, objectives and allocated resources

Strategies to maintain work flow  

Strategies to maintain work flow include, but are not limited to, one or more of:

  • communicating critical events on shift
  • recognising shortages in reagents and problems with equipment
  • communicating quality breakdowns
  • recognising urgent and abnormal results to be processed
  • communicating and behaving in a courteous manner
  • being punctual

WHS and environmental management requirements  

WHS and environmental management requirements include:

 complying with WHS and environmental management requirements at all times, which may be imposed through state/territory or federal legislation. These requirements must not be compromised at any time

 applying standard precautions relating to the potentially hazardous nature of samples

  • accessing and applying current industry understanding of infection control issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and State and Territory Departments of Health, where relevant

Unit Mapping Information

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to MSL913002A Plan and conduct laboratory/field work


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.education.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=5c63a03b-4a6b-4ae5-9560-1e3c5f462baa


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to MSL913002A Plan and conduct laboratory/field work

Performance Evidence

Evidence of competence in this unit must satisfy all of the requirements of the elements and performance criteria, and include demonstration of:

  • clarifying tasks and recognising resource needs
  • planning, prioritising and completing tasks individually or in a team context
  • following workplace procedures consistently to achieve quality outputs within required timelines
  • identifying and resolving work problems
  • recognising potential disruptions or changed circumstances and modifying work plan in conjunction with relevant personnel
  • working effectively with team members who may have diverse work styles, cultures and perspectives
  • promoting cooperation and good relations
  • conducting work based on ethical values and principles
  • adjusting to a variety of working environments
  • seeking assistance from relevant personnel if difficulties arise.

Knowledge Evidence

Must provide evidence that demonstrates knowledge of:

  • workplace procedures covering:
  • customer service and quality
  • work health and safety (WHS) and environmental legislative requirements relevant to job role
  • technical work that the candidate routinely performs
  • ethical issues relevant to the nature of the candidate s work
  • problem-solving strategies
  • interpersonal communication and conflict resolution techniques.

Assessment Conditions

  • Judgement of competence must be based on holistic assessment of the evidence. Assessment methods must confirm consistency of performance over time, rather than a single assessment event.
  • This unit of competency is to be assessed in the workplace, or a simulated workplace environment. A simulated workplace environment must reflect realistic operational workplace conditions that cover all aspects of workplace performance, including the environment, task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job role environment skills.
  • Foundation skills are integral to competent performance of the unit and should not be assessed separately.
  • Assessment processes and techniques must be appropriate to the language, literacy and numeracy requirements of the work being performed and the needs of the candidate.
  • Knowledge evidence may be collected concurrently with performance evidence or through an independent process such as workbooks, written assessments or interviews (provided a record is kept in each case).
  • This unit of competency may be assessed with:
  • MSL913001 Communicate with other people
  • MSL943002 Participate in laboratory or field workplace safety
  • technical units related to the tasks undertaken
  • Holistic assessment methods include:
  • review of documents detailing completed tasks, such as completed job cards, a report or suggestions for quality improvements
  • feedback from supervisors, peers and team members
  • review of a flowchart prepared by the candidate to show efficient sequencing of tasks
  • written or oral questions to partly assess the candidate s ability to handle a range of contingencies and work in a team environment
  • observation of the candidate performing a range of technical tasks over sufficient time to demonstrate their handling of a variety of contingencies.
  • Access is required to instruments, equipment, materials, workplace documentation, procedures and specifications associated with this unit, including, but not limited to:
  • workplace procedures, equipment and materials for relevant technical tasks.
  • Assessors must satisfy the assessor competency requirements that are in place at the time of the assessment as set by the VET regulator.
  • The assessor must demonstrate both technical competence and currency.
  • Technical competence can be demonstrated through:
  • relevant VET or other qualification/Statement of Attainment AND/OR
  • relevant workplace experience.
  • Currency can be demonstrated through:
  • performing the competency being assessed as part of current employment OR
  • having consulted with a laboratory about performing the competency being assessed within the last twelve months.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.education.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=5c63a03b-4a6b-4ae5-9560-1e3c5f462baa

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