Unit of competency details

MSL915001A - Provide information to customers (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to MSL915001 - Provide information to customersSupersedes and is equivalent to MSL915001A Provide information to customers 29/Feb/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to PMLCOM500B - Provide information to customers13/Jan/2011

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


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080501 Sales  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080501 Sales  02/Aug/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the ability to respond to both internal and external inquiries of a specialised technical nature. The advice and information requested will require the gathering of information, such as trend analysis, collection of data and samples, confirmation of validity of results, revision of plans or product advice additional to that on data sheets.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit of competency is applicable to technical assistants and officers in all industry sectors. All personnel that conduct sampling and testing are required to communicate appropriately with internal and external customers in order to respond effectively to requests of a specialised technical nature.

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 can be 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. Assess the request for information and/or advice

1.1. Clarify and confirm the source, nature and priority of the request

1.2. Redirect the request to the relevant section, department or person, if appropriate

1.3. Record the receipt of the request in accordance with enterprise procedures

2. Prepare response

2.1. Locate and obtain required information if available

2.2. If not available, decide whether to obtain or generate the required information given the priority and costs involved

2.3. Seek required approval/authority to release information before proceeding

3. Provide information and/or advice

3.1. Ensure that information is accurate, relevant and complies with enterprise/statutory requirements

3.2. Keep the customer informed of progress when it is not possible to answer immediately

3.3. Notify other relevant personnel of request and response in accordance with enterprise procedures

3.4. Use most appropriate communication method given priority, cost and customer facilities

3.5. Provide information in a format suitable to customer

3.6. Check that the response met the customer's needs and take appropriate actions if required

3.7. Deal with customers politely, efficiently and appropriately, and in accordance with enterprise procedures

4. Record details of the request and response

4.1. Record all information details accurately in accordance with enterprise procedures

4.2. Ensure that all written information is accurate and/or legible

4.3. File all records in the designated place and 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:

  • following enterprise procedures for communicating and providing information to customers
  • prioritising requests for information
  • locating and synthesising the required information using appropriate sources
  • providing authorised information that is accurate, relevant, and in the required format
  • using technical terminology appropriate to the customer and avoiding jargon
  • communicating in an efficient and polite manner, taking into account the needs of the customer
  • maintaining security and confidentiality of information
  • recording and filing records of the request and information provided

Required knowledge 

Required knowledge includes:

  • enterprise procedures relating to:
  • customer service for internal and internal customers with cognisance of cultural and social contexts
  • communication protocols
  • occupational health and safety (OHS) and environmental regulations
  • enterprise business goals and key performance indicators as a basis for dealing with customers
  • customer information about enterprise products and services
  • technical details of methods, data and sample collection and the key features of laboratory results
  • relevant health, safety and environment requirements

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:

  • correctly assess and prioritise requests for information
  • locate and synthesise the required information using appropriate sources
  • provide authorised information that is accurate, relevant, and in the required format
  • uses technical terminology appropriate to the customer and avoid jargon
  • communicate in an efficient and polite manner, taking into account the needs of the customer
  • maintain security and confidentiality of information as required by enterprise procedures
  • record and file records of the request and information provided as required by enterprise procedures.

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 any relevant technical unit of competency.

Resources may include:

  • information directories and databases
  • workplace documents
  • equipment, such as telephone, fax and computer equipment (email or online information systems).

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are suggested:

  • examination of written records of advice and information given to a range of customers
  • feedback from customers that the information/advice provided was accurate, timely and in a useful format
  • feedback from supervisors that enterprise procedures were followed.

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 to show its relevance in a workplace setting.


A sales office representative submitted a sample from a customer who had complained that the product was contaminated. A technical officer discussed the problem with the representative and traced the history of the product sample from production batch to the customer's tank. It was found that the product had been delivered to a distributor, who had then sold it to the customer. The technical officer was able to show that the sample should be taken from the distributor's tank rather than the customer's. With a clear understanding of sampling protocols and procedures, the technical officer was able to ensure effort was not wasted on analysing a sample that would not identify the cause of the problem. Direct communication with the representative made sure there were guidelines to prevent the problem happening again.


A technical officer in a government analytical laboratory often provides information to others about how a sample should be collected, received, labelled and its receipt recorded. This may occur when samples are collected:

  • for forensic analysis from a crime scene
  • at sporting events for the purpose of testing urine for performance enhancing drugs
  • for blood-alcohol determination.

The technical officer conveys instructions using a minimum of jargon about the method and times of collection, the holding temperature, chain of custody requirements and documentation of the sample source. In some cases, the officer may also specify additional requirements governing the safe storage and transport of infectious or hazardous materials.

Food processing 

A food processing company has a team of laboratory personnel that perform analysis of food products both for the company and on a fee-for-service basis for other enterprises. The laboratory often receives phone requests for the early release of results when they are needed urgently. Sometimes when this occurs, the individual who performed the analyses is unavailable and no one else is sufficiently informed to provide a verbal report on the data. The laboratory personnel realise that they should organise the way they record their results so that everyone can access, understand and report them quickly. The team develops a centralised system of recording and filing the results. They also organise a series of brief training sessions to share information about the analyses that they perform.

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:

  • information directories (organisational structure and telephone)
  • online database
  • CD-ROMs
  • workplace documents, such as:
  • equipment manuals
  • laboratory records
  • National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) requirements
  • Australian standards
  • certified laboratory reports
  • analysis report sheets (past and present)
  • organisational charts
  • standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • enterprise procedures governing, for example:
  • receipt of requests
  • release of information and results and confidentiality needs of clients and customers
  • sample collection protocols and techniques for preserving sample integrity
  • handling and collection of native fauna and flora (based on animal welfare legislation and codes of practice)
  • filing systems, databases and laboratory records

Items of equipment or systems 

Items of equipment or systems may include:

  • telephone
  • fax
  • email
  • computer software
  • databases
  • spreadsheets
  • Auslan

Information sources 

Information sources may include personnel, such as:

  • scientists
  • technical experts
  • quality managers
  • laboratory and production personnel
  • customer service


Customers may include:

  • internal and external customers
  • members of the public
  • authorities, including regulatory authorities
  • other enterprises, municipalities
  • engineers
  • scientists
  • other specialist staff

Information provided 

Information provided may refer to:

  • a local situation
  • a person with a disability
  • a person from a particular cultural group
  • material classification and characteristics
  • technical and/or manufacturing knowledge of procedures
  • analysis and/or test results and their interpretation where authority permits
  • risk assessment, monitoring and minimisation
  • cost, quantity and time estimation
  • contractual variations and claims
  • site assessment and problems
  • data analysis and statistical interpretation

Manufacturing and food processing sector variables 

Manufacturing and food processing sector variables may include:

  • assessing requests for changes to formulations and alterations to production processes
  • determining variations and their significance for compliance with relevant standards

Biomedical and environmental sector variables 

Biomedical and environmental sector variables may include:

  • providing responses to inquiries regarding sample collection and recollection protocols from:
  • patients, doctors, nurses and environmental health officers
  • collection staff and couriers

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