Unit of competency details

MSL952001A - Collect routine site samples (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to MSL952001 - Collect routine site samplesSupersedes and is equivalent to MSL952001A Collect routine site samples 29/Feb/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to PMLSAMP200A - Collect routine site samples29/Apr/2010

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 30/Apr/2010

Training packages that include this unit

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
MSA30208 - Certificate III in Manufacturing TechnologyCertificate III in Manufacturing TechnologyCurrent1-4 
PMA40113 - Certificate IV in Process Plant TechnologyCertificate IV in Process Plant TechnologySuperseded1-3 
FDF30411 - Certificate III in Wine Industry OperationsCertificate III in Wine Industry OperationsSuperseded1-3 
PMA40108 - Certificate IV in Process Plant TechnologyCertificate IV in Process Plant TechnologySuperseded1-3 
PMA20108 - Certificate II in Process Plant OperationsCertificate II in Process Plant OperationsSuperseded1-3 
MSL20109 - Certificate II in Sampling and MeasurementCertificate II in Sampling and MeasurementSuperseded1-2 
MSS50211 - Diploma of Environmental Monitoring and TechnologyDiploma of Environmental Monitoring and TechnologySuperseded
PMC30110 - Certificate III in Manufactured Mineral ProductsCertificate III in Manufactured Mineral ProductsSuperseded1-2 
MSL30109 - Certificate III in Laboratory SkillsCertificate III in Laboratory SkillsSuperseded1-3 
FDF20411 - Certificate II in Wine Industry OperationsCertificate II in Wine Industry OperationsSuperseded1-3 
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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  02/Aug/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the ability to collect samples at field or production sites using specified equipment and standard or routine procedures.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit of competency is applicable to production operators, field assistants and laboratory assistants 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. Prepare for sampling

1.1. Confirm the purpose, priority and scope of the sampling request

1.2. Liaise with relevant personnel to arrange site access and all necessary clearances/permits

1.3. Identify site hazards and review enterprise safety procedures

1.4. Confirm what samples are to be collected, from where, how and when

1.5. Assemble all specified sampling equipment, safety equipment, materials and containers

1.6. Conduct pre-use and cleanliness checks of all items to ensure they are fit for purpose

1.7. Check all items against given inventory and stow them to ensure safe transport

2. Conduct sampling

2.1. Locate sampling points and services at the site

2.2. Remove security devices, such as locks and covers as required

2.3. Seek advice if the required samples cannot be collected or if procedures require modification

2.4. Select and use required sampling equipment in accordance with given procedures

2.5. Closely follow sampling procedures to obtain required samples and maintain their integrity

2.6. Record all labelling information in accordance with enterprise/legal traceability requirements

2.7. Record sample appearance, environmental conditions and any other factors that may impact on sample integrity

2.8. Replace security devices, such as locks and covers as required

3. Finalise sampling

3.1. Follow enterprise procedures for the cleaning/decontamination of equipment and vehicle as necessary

3.2. Check all equipment, materials and samples against inventory and stow for safe transport

3.3. Liaise with relevant personnel to restore normal production and/or services as necessary

3.4. Maintain integrity of samples during transportation

3.5. Deliver samples to the required collection point and complete all documentation to ensure traceability

3.6. On return, check and document serviceability of equipment before storage

4. Maintain a safe work environment

4.1. Use established work practices and personal protective equipment to ensure personal safety and that of others

4.2. Minimise environmental impacts of sampling and generation of waste

4.3. Dispose of all waste 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:

  • collecting a variety of samples at a range of sites closely following sampling procedures
  • collecting samples safely with minimal environmental impact
  • maintaining the integrity and security of samples
  • demonstrating enterprise and/or legal traceability requirements
  • liaising with others to access sites and conduct sampling efficiently
  • recognising own limitations the seeking timely advice

Required knowledge 

Required knowledge includes:

  • key terminology and concepts, such as sample, contamination, traceability, integrity and chain of custody
  • concepts of metrology
  • the international system of units (SI)
  • purpose for which the samples have been collected
  • the function of key sampling equipment/materials and principles of operation
  • hazards, risks and enterprise safety procedures associated with routine sampling undertaken
  • enterprise procedures dealing with:
  • sampling
  • waste management, clean up and spillage
  • handling, transport and storage of dangerous goods
  • 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 follow sampling procedures and plans when collecting samples
  • collect samples efficiently, safely and with minimal environmental impact
  • maintain the integrity and security of samples following the traceability requirements
  • recognise limitations and seek timely advice.

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:

  • MSL972001AConduct routine site measurements .

Resources may include:

  • variety of sample types
  • sampling procedures
  • a selection of sampling containers, equipment and documentation.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are suggested:

  • review of sampling documentation completed by the candidate
  • review of the quality of samples collected by the candidate
  • observation of the candidate collecting a variety of samples at a range of sites
  • feedback from supervisors and clients that sampling plans were followed
  • oral/written questioning about sampling and safety 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.

Construction materials testing 

A laboratory assistant takes daily tar samples from the company's retort which is used to heat tar to reduce its moisture content. The purpose of this sampling program and subsequent testing is to ensure that the water content of the hot tar is at a safe level before the tar is transferred to a road tanker and used for road construction. Serious accidents can occur during the transfer or use of tar as high water content can cause an explosion due to escape of steam. One day, the retort operator was running behind schedule and tried to convince the laboratory assistant that the water content of the tar was the same as yesterday and didn't need to be tested. The laboratory assistant was able to explain that a high water content could lead to a serious explosion and burns for the operator.


A new field assistant was collecting samples of environmental run-off during wet weather. To successfully complete the activity, the assistant made sure that they included a sample thief, pipette, or similar to extract the sample, a container with a secure lid, and an indelible marker to write on the label. In addition, the assistant remembered to take sealable, waterproof plastic bags in which to put the containers once the samples were collected and a spare bag to protect the field notebook from rain damage.


A production operator has been given the task of collecting samples of the recent batches of blended products, prior to drumming and customer delivery. In addition, the operator is required to sample the bulk raw materials stored on-site, and the drummed blend ingredients, including some powdered pigments.

The operator knows that the lab needs the blend samples first and after putting on chemical gloves and safety glasses, accesses each sample point on each of the blend tanks. Because the products are under pressure in the tank manifold, it is important to guard against splashes. Some of the products are flammable hydrocarbons, so the operator ensures that static leads are connected from the tank to the sample vessel during pouring. To sample the drummed product, a sample thief is used and again, safety glasses and chemical gloves are important. The pigments present a dust hazard when being sampled, so the operator applies a protective mask over their nose and mouth, to prevent ingestion while they use a small purpose-built shovel to empty the contents into the sample container.

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:

  • Australian and international standards, such as:
  • AS ISO 1000-1998 The international system of units (SI) and its application
  • AS ISO 17025-2005 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories
  • AS/NZS ISO 14000 Set:2005 Environmental management standards set
  • AS/NZS ISO 9000 Set:2008 Quality management systems set
  • calibration and maintenance schedules
  • enterprise recording and reporting procedures
  • enterprise sampling procedures for specific samples, sites and clients
  • environmental legislation and regulations
  • equipment manuals
  • equipment startup, operation and shutdown procedures
  • industry codes of practice
  • maps and site plans
  • material safety data sheets (MSDS)
  • material, production and product specifications
  • National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) documents regarding construction materials testing
  • national measurement regulations and guidelines
  • occupational health and safety (OHS) national standards and codes of practice
  • quality manuals
  • safety procedures
  • standard operating procedures (SOPs)

Site hazards 

Site hazards may include:

  • solar radiation, dust and noise
  • wildlife, such as snakes, spiders and domestic animals
  • biohazards, such as micro-organisms and agents associated with soil, air and water
  • chemicals, such as acids and hydrocarbons
  • sharps and broken glassware
  • manual/handling of heavy sample bags and containers
  • crushing, entanglement and cuts associated with moving machinery and hand tools
  • falling objects, uneven surfaces, heights, slopes, wet surfaces, trenches and confined spaces
  • vehicle handling in rough terrain and boat handling in rough or flowing water

Safety procedures 

Safety procedures may include:

  • use of MSDS
  • use of personal protective equipment, such as hard hats, heavy protection, gloves, safety glasses, goggles, faceguards, coveralls, gowns, body suits, respirators and safety boots
  • correct labelling of hazardous materials
  • handling and storing hazardous material and equipment in accordance with labels, MSDS, manufacturer's instructions and enterprise procedures and regulations
  • regular cleaning and/or decontamination of equipment
  • machinery guards
  • signage, barriers, service isolation tags, traffic control and flashing lights
  • lockout and tag-out procedures

Types of samples 

Types of samples may include:

  • grab samples
  • disturbed or undisturbed materials
  • composite samples, such as time, flow proportioned and horizontal/vertical cross section
  • quality control samples, such as controls, background, duplicate and blanks

Materials sampled 

Materials sampled may include:

  • gas or air samples
  • water, wastewater, stormwater, sewage and sludge
  • soils
  • construction materials
  • solid wastes, such as commercial, industrial and mining
  • raw materials, start, middle, end of production run samples and final products for a wide range of manufactured items, including food and beverages
  • hazardous materials and/or dangerous goods

Sampling tools and equipment 

Sampling tools and equipment may include:

  • front-end loader, backhoe, excavator and drill rig
  • shovels, augers and bucket
  • sampling frames, sampling tubes, dip tubes, spears, flexible bladders and syringes
  • access valves
  • sample thief
  • weighted sample bottles, bottles, plastic/metal containers and disposable buckets
  • sterile containers, pipettes, inoculating loops and disposable spoons
  • pumps and stainless steel bailers

Maintenance of integrity of samples 

Maintenance of integrity of samples could include:

  • appropriate containers and lids (e.g. glass, plastic, amber and opaque)
  • sealing of sample containers
  • purging of sample lines and bores
  • decontamination of sampling tools between collection of consecutive samples
  • use of appropriate preservatives (e.g. sodium azide, toluene or antibiotics)
  • wrapping container in foil or wet newspaper
  • temperature control, which may involve prevention of direct contact between the sample and coolant
  • transfer of sterile sample into sterile container
  • monitoring of storage conditions
  • enterprise/legal traceability through appropriate sample labelling and records


Services may include:

  • water supply, gas and electricity
  • telecommunications
  • irrigation, stormwater and drainage systems
  • production plant

Minimising environmental impacts 

Minimising environmental impacts may involve:

  • replacement of soils and vegetation
  • driving to minimise soil erosion and damage to fauna and vegetation
  • disposal of surplus, spent or purged materials
  • recycling of non-hazardous wastes
  • appropriate disposal of hazardous waste
  • cleaning of vehicles to prevent transfer of pests and contaminants

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