Unit of competency details

MSL915002A - Schedule laboratory work for a small team (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to MSL915002 - Schedule laboratory work for a small teamSupersedes and is equivalent to MSL915002A Schedule laboratory work for a small team 29/Feb/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to PMLORG500B - Schedule laboratory work for a small team10/Nov/2010

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 11/Nov/2010


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 089999 Management And Commerce, N.e.c.  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 089999 Management And Commerce, N.e.c.  02/Aug/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the ability to schedule laboratory work for a small team to meet operational requirements. It covers the ability to identify resource requirements and then document, monitor and adjust schedules in response to operational variations and in consultation with relevant personnel.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit of competency is applicable to technical officers and laboratory technicians who have responsibility for the work outputs of a small work team 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 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. Determine work requirements and laboratory resources

1.1. Determine and prioritise demand for laboratory services in work area for the planning period

1.2. Access and verify information on orders/service requests, stocks and delivery

1.3. Determine the personnel, material and equipment required to deliver services

2. Develop schedules in consultation with relevant personnel

2.1. Prepare schedules which meet the demand for services and balance the best use of available resources with skill development opportunities

2.2. Distribute work schedules to team or appropriate personnel and confirm contents with them

3. Monitor schedules

3.1. Monitor workflow and outputs against schedules and recognise any variations or potential disruptions

3.2. Identify possible causes for the variations and discuss possible adjustments with senior personnel

4. Adjust schedules in consultation with senior personnel

4.1. Adjust schedules in response to operational variation

4.2. Maintain or renegotiate outputs in accordance with work requirements

4.3. Update documented schedules and distribute to appropriate personnel

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

Required skills include:

  • scheduling the work activities of a small team to meet operational requirements
  • determining required resources
  • recognising non-standard behaviour in samples and equipment
  • compensating for a variety of work environments (e.g. outdoors or night work)
  • adjusting schedules and resource requirements efficiently in response to variations and disruptions
  • communicating and documenting schedule variations in accordance with procedures
  • recognising and using capabilities of team members
  • communicating effectively with team members

Required knowledge 

Required knowledge includes:

  • sufficient knowledge of the enterprise's information systems, procedures and equipment to schedule the laboratory work for a small team to meet operational requirements
  • enterprise business goals as a basis for decision making and actions
  • basic planning strategies
  • accurate scientific and technical terminology
  • scientific and technical details underpinning the processes or techniques involved
  • enterprise standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the processes or techniques involved
  • production schedules and analysis times for product range
  • operational factors that may affect the type of tasks scheduled
  • resource requirements of the work to be scheduled
  • hazards of operations, equipment and materials involved
  • enterprise procedures relating to occupational health and safety (OHS), access and equity, relevant sections of industrial awards and enterprise agreements
  • quality requirements for the tasks scheduled
  • 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:

  • schedule the work activities of a small team to meet operational requirements
  • determine required resources accurately
  • plan schedules that are efficient and satisfy operational requirements without compromising safety, quality, accuracy and ethics
  • adhere to timelines whenever possible
  • recognise non-standard behaviour in samples and equipment
  • recognise potential disruptions to planned timetable
  • compensate for a variety of work environments (e.g. outdoors or night work)
  • handle a variety of schedules and contingencies
  • adjust schedules and resource requirements efficiently in response to variations
  • communicate and document schedule variations in accordance with procedures
  • recognise and use capabilities of team members
  • communicate effectively with team members.

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 technical units of competency relevant to the work of the team.

Resources may include:

  • workplace procedures
  • workplace documentation (e.g. production data).

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are suggested:

  • review of documented work schedules prepared by the candidate which successfully meet a variety of operational requirements
  • feedback from managers, supervisors and customers serviced by the team involved
  • feedback from team members regarding the effectiveness of team interactions
  • questions to check underpinning knowledge of relevant policies, procedures and scheduling principles and handling of possible contingencies
  • scenarios simulating disruption to workflow
  • questions to check scientific and technical details underpinning the processes or techniques involved.

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 illustratethe practical application of this unit of competency and to show their relevance in a workplace setting.

Construction materials 

A consulting laboratory working with construction industries receives 10-15 samples to test daily. The technical officer schedules the work for three other laboratory team members depending on the type of tests and equipment required. One of the technical officer's main tasks is to determine daily and weekly work priorities and distribute the work among team members to maximise their output and use of laboratory equipment. The technical officer monitors work outputs against the schedule and takes corrective action, if required, to ensure that customers receive results within the agreed timeframe.


At a regular team meeting a technical officer announced changes to the team's work schedules for the following week. The technical officer explained that the changes were part of a strategy to enable the team to become multi-skilled. However, the technical officer neither documented nor distributed written confirmation of the changes, as required. On the set date, confusion and conflict arose as a number of team members insisted on using the old schedules. Valuable time was taken up resolving the problem and confirming the changes with personnel individually. Afterwards, the laboratory supervisor reviewed the relevant communication protocols with the technical officer to emphasise their importance.


The annual wastewater audit for a company required analysis of water samples collected at one-hourly intervals over a 24-hour period. The technical officer called his team together to find out what work priorities individual team members had and whether they had any personal commitments for the following two days. Afterwards, the officer drew up a roster for the annual audit, taking into account the commitments of team members. Following the audit, the officer analysed the results and compared them with the previous year's data.

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

Laboratory work 

Laboratory work may include:

  • setup, pre-use and calibration checks of equipment
  • preparation and standardisation of solutions
  • maintenance of laboratory facilities, equipment and stocks
  • collection, preparation and storage/dispatch of samples
  • testing and analysis of raw materials, products and specimens
  • preparation of products (e.g. sterile media) and product batches
  • trial and modification of methods

Scheduling for a small team 

Scheduling for a small team may include:

  • identification of resources to maintain work flow including:
  • interpreting production data
  • analysing job tasks
  • prioritising tasks within a work schedule
  • determining appropriate human resources in terms of skills and numbers
  • determining material and equipment requirements
  • monitoring information regarding orders, stocks and deliveries
  • monitoring of work outputs
  • adjustment of work schedules as agreed with senior personnel to accommodate unexpected events, such as:
  • processing abnormal and urgent results
  • delays in arrival of samples
  • seasonal variations and bad weather
  • analysing and solving operational problems resulting in unacceptable test results
  • unexpected events, such as equipment failure and sudden personnel absences
  • communication with senior personnel including:
  • determining and organising work priorities and schedules
  • analysing and solving problems affecting work schedules
  • adjusting work schedules as necessary
  • identifying possible problems for following shift
  • appropriate communication with team members in relation to:
  • explaining work schedules, priorities and sequences
  • distributing work schedules
  • maintaining required output
  • documentation of outputs and resource usage
  • quality and quantity of outputs
  • supplies of stock materials
  • maintenance and servicing of equipment

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