Unit of competency details

MSL974009A - Undertake field-based, remote-sensing monitoring (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 14/Jan/2011

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to MSL974009 - Undertake field-based, remote-sensing monitoringSupersedes and is equivalent to MSL974009A Undertake field-based, remote-sensing monitoring 29/Feb/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to PMLTEST410A - Undertake environmental field-based, remote-sensing monitoring13/Jan/2011

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  02/Aug/2010 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the ability to organise and undertake a defined field-based, remote-sensing monitoring activity. This may include assembling, setting up and checking appropriate monitoring equipment on-site, sampling, data collection and storage, equipment and system maintenance, and associated field testing and laboratory analysis. This unit of competency does not cover developing specific monitoring protocols or detailed design and/or construction of instruments, buildings, structures associated with the remote-sensing monitoring activities.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit of competency is applicable to technical, field and environmental officers working in the environmental services, geotechnical, construction materials testing and mining 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. Confirm monitoring requirements with supervising staff

1.1. Clarify the purpose, objectives and the preferred site for the remote-sensing activities

1.2. Review all emergency and risk assessments, safety and environmental requirements and data quality procedures for the field activities

1.3. Clarify details of all field parameters to be monitored and the preferred monitoring and data quality procedures

1.4. Confirm final data formats will suit stakeholders who receive or use the data

1.5. Clarify details of any statutory requirements that apply to the site and associated field activities

1.6. Review existing remote-sensing monitoring protocols, and siting standards or associated in-house requirements which relate to the field activities

2. Assemble remote-sensing field monitoring system

2.1. Identify required instruments, equipment and consumables and associated maintenance and replacement procedures

2.2. Identify site access, services and security requirements and any site constraints

2.3. Complete all administrative requirements and obtain appropriate approvals

2.4. Confirm required instrument calibration and data storage, handling and transfer systems

2.5. Field-check site suitability for monitoring activities and define alternative sites as necessary

2.6. Assemble remote-sensing monitoring system and check all components under laboratory conditions

3. Organise and establish the remote-sensing monitoring site

3.1. Identify, and confirm with senior staff, all resources required for operation of monitoring system in the field

3.2. Confirm that all safety, emergency and risk assessment requirements and data quality procedures have been correctly applied to the field activities

3.3. Ensure correct packaging and transportation of equipment and instruments to defined field site

3.4. Establish remote monitoring station

3.5. Test operation of total system under field conditions

4. Operate and maintain monitoring site

4.1. Undertake regular or emergency inspections of the site according to set procedures

4.2. Undertake calibration checks according to written instructions

4.3. Inspect and maintain all instruments, equipment and data systems and organise replacement of defective items

4.4. Perform all field and laboratory activities safely and with minimal impact on the environment

4.5. Document all site visits and associated actions

4.6. Review the total monitoring activity on a regular basis and implement any required modifications or improvements

5. Close down field monitoring activities

5.1. Confirm decision to close down site and finalise all data requirements with supervising staff

5.2. Dismantle monitoring system and arrange checking, packaging and transportation of all equipment and instruments back to base

5.3. Close down site in accordance with enterprise and environmental requirements

5.4. Hand back site and inform all relevant authorities

5.5. Test, decontaminate, if required and store all equipment appropriately

5.6. Document all close-down actions

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

Required skills include:

  • assembling, testing, operating and closing down a field-based, remote-sensing monitoring system under laboratory/field conditions
  • automatic and manual sampling and calibration procedures
  • communicatingand negotiating effectively and efficiently with staff and other relevant parties
  • identifying and interpreting statutory requirements accurately
  • confirming type, quantity and quality of data needed for defined monitoring activity
  • undertaking reconnaissance and evaluating monitoring sites
  • identifying and establishing a secure field monitoring site according to defined criteria
  • packaging and transporting supplies, equipment and instruments into the field
  • responding effectively to changed or unforeseen circumstances

Required knowledge 

Required knowledge includes:

  • purpose and objectives of the monitoring, including:
  • information and analysis required
  • end users of information
  • significance of outcomes for broader programs
  • terminology relevant to field monitoring activities
  • field monitoring aims and objectives
  • remote-sensing monitoring protocols
  • statutory requirements regarding monitoring activities
  • technical capabilities and limitations of remote-sensing equipment and instruments
  • fundamentals of field-based, remote-sensing monitoring systems
  • fundamentals of field instrument fault identification and rectification procedures
  • data storage, analysis and presentation procedures
  • data quality procedures
  • field safety requirements and emergency plans
  • environmental requirements regarding field activities
  • enterprise and/or legal traceability requirements
  • 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:

  • demonstrate understanding of purpose and objectives of the monitoring, including:
  • information and analysis required
  • end users of information
  • significance of outcomes for broader programs
  • communicate effectively and efficiently with staff and other relevant parties
  • identify and interpret statutory requirements accurately
  • confirm type, quantity and quality of data needed for defined monitoring activity
  • demonstrate ability to assemble test, operate and close down a field-based, remote-sensing monitoring system under laboratory/field conditions
  • undertake reconnaissance and evaluate monitoring sites
  • identify and establish a secure field monitoring site according to defined criteria
  • demonstrate ability to appropriately package and transport supplies, equipment and instruments into the field
  • negotiate with staff and stakeholders and reach satisfactory agreements, where possible
  • respond effectively to changed or unforeseen circumstances.

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:

  • MSL935004A Maintain instruments and equipment .

Resources may include:

  • vehicles, monitoring and communication equipment, consumables and manuals
  • work program, enterprise procedures, codes of practice and field protocols.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are suggested:

  • review of data and results obtained by the candidate
  • feedback from supervisors and peers
  • observation of work carried out under laboratory conditions with a focus on:
  • automatic and manual sampling and instrument calibration procedures
  • assembling, checking and operation remote-sensing monitoring systems
  • recording, storing, analysing and presenting basic monitoring data
  • observation of work carried out in the field with a focus on:
  • identification of monitoring site according to defined criteria
  • identification and recording of required services and security requirements for the site
  • identification and recording of potential environmental impacts associated with operation of a defined monitoring site
  • simulation exercises with a focus on:
  • accident and emergency situations
  • basic environmental impact assessment of a field site
  • loss of communication system and implementation of alternative procedures
  • demonstration of calibration, use, and general maintenance of monitoring equipment
  • oral and/or written questions to assess underpinning knowledge.

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 study below to illustrate the practical application of this unit of competency and to show its relevance in a workplace setting.


A report by an environmental consultant indicates that a major regional city requires two remote-sensing air quality monitoring stations to adequately meet its air quality monitoring objectives. In conjunction with senior staff, a senior technical officer is instructed to relocate the existing monitoring station in the central business district, as it does not meet the new Australian standard for locationing and siting of such a monitoring station and to develop a new station in an outer suburban area.

The two remote-sensing monitoring stations must meet all siting and location standards, operate unsupervised for up to seven days, produce data in a form suitable for direct inclusion into the Territory's State of Environment Report, and meet all statutory and enterprise requirements. The technical officer is required to clearly identify and document the above requirements, negotiate with all relevant authorities regarding siting, supply of services, access and security, as well as design, assemble and establish the remote-sensing monitoring system. Ongoing operation, maintenance and annual evaluation are also the responsibility of the senior technical officer in conjunction with senior staff.

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 1678 Emergency procedure guide - Transport
  • AS ISO 17025-2005 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories
  • AS/NZS 2243 Set:2006 Safety in laboratories set
  • AS/NZS 4501 Set:2008 Occupational clothing set
  • Australian code of good manufacturing practice for medicinal products (GMP)
  • Australian Dangerous Goods Code
  • Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) Codes of Practice
  • calibration procedures
  • data quality procedures
  • enterprise sampling and monitoring protocols
  • equipment manuals and warranties, supplier catalogues and handbooks
  • equipment operating manuals
  • field protocols, procedures, note books and log books
  • general maintenance and repair procedures
  • government policy (e.g. sustainable development and impact assessment)
  • incident/accident/injury report forms
  • instrument fault finding procedures
  • material safety data sheets (MSDS)
  • national environment protection measures
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Guidelines
  • national measurement regulations and guidelines
  • occupational health and safety (OHS) national standards and codes of practice
  • principles of good laboratory practice (GLP)
  • remote-sensing monitoring protocols
  • requirements related to protection of the environment
  • site-specific requirements
  • specific environmental standards
  • standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1009

Remote-sensing monitoring activities 

Remote-sensing monitoring activities may include:

  • meteorology (e.g. temperature, humidity and wind)
  • geology/mining (e.g. movement of structures, vibration and blast shock waves)
  • hydrology (water flow and water depth in catchment)
  • environmental (e.g. air quality, water quality and noise)
  • civil engineering (e.g. temperature, displacement and/or hydrostatic pressure on structures and movement of ions in structures)

Communication and /or consultation strategies 

Communication and/or consultation strategies may include:

  • face-to-face
  • telephone
  • written documents
  • meetings

Purpose of field monitoring activities 

Purpose of field monitoring activities may include:

  • single or multiple site monitoring
  • component of enterprise environmental management plan
  • remote-sensing monitoring of physical/chemical and mechanical/geotechnical parameters
  • monitoring of consolidation of soils, foundations
  • monitoring the durability of structures (e.g. roads)
  • requirement to comply with statutory requirements
  • requirement to comply with industry sampling/monitoring protocols/codes of practice

Related plans and procedures 

Related plans and procedures may include:

  • risk assessments
  • safety and accident/injury plans
  • emergency plans and procedures, and access to nearest medical services
  • environmental impact assessment procedures
  • pollution prevention procedures
  • first aid and survival procedures


Hazards may include:

  • solar radiation, dust and noise
  • personnel getting lost
  • accidents, emergencies and incidents, such as snake, insect or animal bites
  • exposure to severe weather conditions
  • manual handling of heavy objects
  • power tools, generators and moving machinery
  • vehicle and boat handling in rough/remote conditions

Safety procedures and control measures 

Safety procedures and control measures may include:

  • use of personal protective equipment, such as sunscreen, hats, safety glasses, gloves, coveralls and safety boots
  • 'stay with vehicle' and other survival techniques
  • regular communication schedule
  • global positioning system (GPS), maps and aerial photos
  • handling, storage and disposal of all hazardous materials/waste in accordance with MSDS, labels, enterprise procedures, codes and regulations

Administrative requirements and appropriate approvals 

Administrative requirements and appropriate approvals may include:

  • travel requisitions
  • authority for use of vehicles and equipment
  • permits
  • insurance

Instruments and equipment 

Instruments and equipment may include:

  • navigation and communication equipment (e.g. compass, maps, GPS, two-way radio and mobile phone)
  • sampling and autosampling equipment for air, water, storm water, waste water and sewage
  • instruments that measure air pollutants (e.g. oxides of carbon, oxides of sulphur, oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and particulates (PM10, PM2.5 total suspended, ozone))
  • instruments that measure water quantity and/or hydrological parameters (e.g. flow, dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity, pH, turbidity, nitrates, phosphates and temperature)
  • instruments that measure meteorological parameters (e.g. pressure, minimum and maximum temperature, wet and dry bulb temperatures, humidity, rainfall, and wind speed and direction)
  • instruments that measure sound pressure levels (e.g. noise or sound pressure meter)
  • instruments that measure displacement or durability of civil engineering structures, consolidation (e.g. load cells, inclinometers, pieziometers, strain gauges and accelerometers)

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 

Training component details
The following details are displayed for each different NRT:-

Training packages

- Training package details
- Training package components


- Qualification details
- Qualification components

Accredited courses

- Accredited course details


- Module details

Units of competency

- Units of competency details
- Unit components

Skill sets

- Skill set details
- Skill set components

Click on the Export link to export the NRT information to MS Word or PDF.

Click on the Manage notification link to create or change a notification for this NRT.

When selecting the Display history check box a set of tables will appear displaying a log of historical values describing what has changed and when over time.

If you have access to make changes to an NRT, click on the Edit link on the upper right hand side of the summary box.