Unit of competency details

MSS404050A - Undertake process capability improvements (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 02/May/2012

Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to MSACMT450A - Undertake process capability improvements 01/May/2012
Is superseded by and equivalent to MSS404050 - Undertake process capability improvementsSupersedes and is equivalent to MSS404050A Undertake process capability improvements 21/Jun/2016

Training packages that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
SFI11 - Seafood Industry Training PackageSeafood Industry Training Package 1.1-2.2 
PMC10 - Manufactured Mineral ProductsManufactured Mineral Products 1.1 
PMB07 - Plastics, Rubber and Cablemaking Training PackagePlastics, Rubber and Cablemaking Training Package 2.0 
PMA08 - Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining Training PackageChemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining Training Package 4.0-5.0 
PMA - Chemical, Hydrocarbons and RefiningChemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining 1.0 
MSS11 - Sustainability Training PackageSustainability Training Package 2.0-3.0 
MSM - Manufacturing Training PackageManufacturing Training Package 2.0 
MSF - Furnishing Training PackageFurnishing Training Package 1.0-2.0 
MSA07 - Manufacturing Training PackageManufacturing Training Package 8.0-8.4 
MEM05 - Metal and Engineering Training PackageMetal and Engineering Training Package 9.0-11.1 
LMT07 - Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Training PackageTextiles, Clothing and Footwear Training Package 4.1 
FWP - Forest and Wood Products Training PackageForest and Wood Products Training Package 2.0-3.0 
FPI11 - Forest and Forest Products Training PackageForest and Forest Products Training Package 2.0-2.3 
FDF10 - Food ProcessingFood Processing 4.0-4.1 
DEF12 - Defence Training PackageDefence Training Package 2.0 
DEF - Defence Training PackageDefence Training Package 1.0-2.1 
AUM12 - Automotive ManufacturingAutomotive Manufacturing 1.0 
AUM - Automotive ManufacturingAutomotive Manufacturing 2.0 

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
SFI40511 - Certificate IV in Seafood ProcessingCertificate IV in Seafood Processing 2-5 
SFI30511 - Certificate III in Seafood ProcessingCertificate III in Seafood Processing 2-4 
PMC40110 - Certificate IV in Manufactured Mineral ProductsCertificate IV in Manufactured Mineral Products 
PMB40107 - Certificate IV in Polymer TechnologyCertificate IV in Polymer Technology 
PMA60116 - Advanced Diploma of Process Plant TechnologyAdvanced Diploma of Process Plant Technology 
PMA60108 - Advanced Diploma of Process Plant TechnologyAdvanced Diploma of Process Plant Technology 
PMA50116 - Diploma of Process Plant TechnologyDiploma of Process Plant Technology 
PMA50108 - Diploma of Process Plant TechnologyDiploma of Process Plant Technology 
PMA40116 - Certificate IV in Process Plant TechnologyCertificate IV in Process Plant Technology 
PMA40113 - Certificate IV in Process Plant TechnologyCertificate IV in Process Plant Technology 1-3 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080317 Quality Management  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080317 Quality Management  07/Aug/2012 
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Modification History

New unit, superseding MSACMT450A Undertake process capability improvements* - Equivalent

* New prerequisite MSS404052A Apply statistics to operational processes superseding MSACMT452A Apply statistics to processes in manufacturing 

Unit Descriptor

This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required to make process capability improvements, including analysing data from the process, developing improvements to eliminate variation due to assignable causes, and then implementing actions.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to a person who reviews a range of process capability data and information, makes/arranges for changes to be made to procedures, equipment or process and then recalculates the process capability and monitors resulting improvement actions. The person will typically be a technical expert, team leader or be in a role where they have sufficient technical understanding of processes in their own work and that of others to be able to suggest and justify process capability improvements.

Process capability may have been determined using either a six sigma or three sigma processes. This unit applies to the application of statistical methods and the determination of capability based on those methods. Other related units may be MSS404052A Apply statistics to operational processes and MSS404053A Use six sigma techniques

This unit primarily requires the application of skills associated with communication, information gathering and analysis. Initiative, enterprise and problem solving are also required to identify opportunities to improve process capacity. This unit also requires aspects of self-management and learning to validate own analysis.

For a qualitative approach to improvement (one not using statistics) see MSS403051A Mistake proof an operational process.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


MSS404052A Apply statistics to operational processes

Employability Skills Information

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


Obtain required data


Identify process for study


Obtain/organise process to obtain required data/information


Analyse information


Analyse data and determine assignable causes


Develop possible improvements to eliminate assignable causes


Incorporate own experience and learning into proposed process improvement proposals


Develop process improvement proposals


Improve process capability


Obtain required authorities to implement improvements


Liaise with relevant people to implement improvements


Obtain/organise required data for improved process


Recalculate process capability


Implement revised data collection/processing and new capability information


Monitor improvement actions and make adjustments, as necessary

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

Required skills include:

  • performing relevant mathematical operations
  • identifying and using relevant statistical methods
  • communicating and explaining data- related changes and procedures to individuals and groups
  • negotiating with other employees and managers on proposed improvement actions
  • analysing procedures and data to establish variation
  • solving problems to root cause where assignable cause of variation is not obvious
  • working in a team
  • using computer software relevant to required analyses and process

Required knowledge 

Required knowledge includes:

  • data collection methods
  • data processing techniques required
  • variability and normal distribution
  • three sigma or six sigma processes, as relevant
  • random and non-random results (recognition of assignable causes)
  • causes of different types of non-random results
  • causes of random variation
  • process understanding sufficient to translate the data into variations in the process and determine methods of controlling them

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.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

A person who demonstrates competency in this unit must be able to provide evidence of the ability to:

  • analyse process information
  • calculate process capability/trial limits
  • improve process capability (or organise for it to be improved)
  • analyse revised process information and recalculate process capability.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment of performance must be undertaken in a workplace using or implementing one or more competitive systems and practices.

Access may be required to:

  • workplace procedures and plans relevant to work area
  • specifications and documentation relating to planned, currently being implemented, or implemented changes to work processes and procedures relevant to the assessee
  • documentation and information in relation to production, waste, overheads and hazard control/management
  • reports from supervisors/managers
  • case studies and scenarios to assess responses to contingencies.

Method of assessment 

A holistic approach should be taken to the assessment.

Competence in this unit may be assessed by using a combination of the following to generate evidence:

  • demonstration in the workplace
  • workplace projects
  • suitable simulation
  • case studies/scenarios (particularly for assessment of contingencies, improvement scenarios, and so on)
  • targeted questioning
  • reports from supervisors, peers and colleagues (third-party reports)
  • portfolio of evidence

In all cases it is expected that practical assessment will be combined with targeted questioning to assess underpinning knowledge.

Where applicable, reasonable adjustment must be made to work environments and training situations to accommodate ethnicity, age, gender, demographics and disability.

Guidance information for assessment 

Assessment processes and techniques must be culturally appropriate and appropriate to the oracy, language and literacy capacity of the candidate and the work being performed.

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.

Competitive systems and practices 

Competitive systems and practices may include, but are not limited to:

  • lean operations
  • agile operations
  • preventative and predictive maintenance approaches
  • monitoring and data gathering systems, such as Systems Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) software, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Materials Resource Planning (MRP) and proprietary systems
  • statistical process control systems, including six sigma and three sigma
  • Just in Time (JIT), kanban and other pull-related operations control systems
  • supply, value, and demand chain monitoring and analysis
  • 5S
  • continuous improvement (kaizen)
  • breakthrough improvement (kaizen blitz)
  • cause/effect diagrams
  • overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)
  • takt time
  • process mapping
  • problem solving
  • run charts
  • standard procedures
  • current reality tree

Competitive systems and practices should be interpreted so as to take into account:

  • the stage of implementation of competitive systems and practices
  • the size of the enterprise
  • the work organisation, culture, regulatory environment and the industry sector

Process capability 

Process capability is:

  • the measurable ability of a process to reliably produce within calculated limits (the limits depend on the variation of the process)


All processes have variation. The approach in this unit is to separate random variation (no assignable cause) from non-random variation (which has an assignable cause). By finding and eliminating assignable causes, total variation is reduced and process capability will be improved

Six sigma 

Six sigma refers to:

  • a statistical tool for recording defects and determining capability. Six sigma limits equate to 3.4 defects per million opportunities for each product or service transaction. Six sigma is also used as a general term covering a competitive systems and practices approach. Six sigma training typically covers several units of competency in this Training Package

Three sigma 

Three sigma refers to:

  • a traditional statistical process control. Three sigma limits equate to 3 defects per thousand opportunities for each product or service transaction

Required data 

The calculation of three sigma or six sigma limits requires process data. The data required depends on the nature of the limits being calculated

Assignable cause 

Any non-random variation is said to have an assignable cause . The methods of data analysis common to statistical capability analysis as well as other methods of root cause analysis should be used to determine the cause of this non-random variation

Improved process capability 

Improvements to process capability result from eliminating the causes of non-random variation. The improvements made may be:

  • as a result of continuous improvement with the process capability being recalculated periodically
  • as a result of an improvement project with the process capability recalculated as part of that project


Procedures may include:

  • work instructions
  • standard operating procedures
  • formulas/recipes
  • batch sheets
  • temporary instructions and similar instructions provided for the smooth running of the plant
  • good operating practice as may be defined by industry codes of practice (e.g. good manufacturing practice (GMP) and responsible care)
  • government regulations

Procedures may be:

  • written, verbal, computer-based or in some other format

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector

Competitive systems and practices

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.

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