Unit of competency details

PMAOMIR321B - Manage communication systems during an incident (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 11/Nov/2010

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to PMAOMIR321 - Manage communication systems during an incidentSupersedes and is equivalent to PMAOMIR321B Manage communication systems during an incident 01/Jun/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to PMAOMIR321A - Manage communication systems during an incidentEquivalent 10/Nov/2010

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  28/Apr/2009 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit covers the management and availability of effective communication systems during an incident. The person would typically respond to the incident coordinator or the incident manager.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

In a typical scenario the person may estimate the communication needs and set about to provide them. Depending on the nature of the incident, this may include a wide range of communication processes. It could, for instance, include the provision of a telephone centre to handle media requests, inquiries from families, and secure lines of communication between the incident centre and outside authorities.

The likelihood of the communications being disrupted by the incident would need to be planned for and the provision of alternative radio communication equipment and facilities may be required.

Key aspects of the competence include:

  • identifying the stakeholders and their communication needs
  • provision of the communications systems required
  • establishing the communication channels to keep the stakeholders linked
  • being able to prioritise the needs and availability of resources.

The individual may be:

  • able to prioritise and respond to requests and requirements
  • familiar with communication equipment and systems available
  • able to work in a stressful environment

Generally the individual would be part of an incident team during an emergency situation though may be required to take independent action. At all times they would be liaising and cooperating with the incident manager.

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. Check existing communications systems

1.1. Check that the available communications systems are operable

1.2. Ensure that personnel are available and trained to use the existing facilities

1.3. Ensure that recording systems are in place to enable accurate recording of data.

2. Provide necessary communications systems

2.1. Identify stakeholders in the incident management process

2.2. Identify the communication needs of these stakeholders

2.3. Plan for the acquisition and deployment of the systems necessary to provide the communication needs

2.4. Acquire, set up and put into operation the communications systems as required

2.5. Allocate and train personnel as required to support the communication systems provided.

3. Prepare contingency plans

3.1. Review the incident information available to estimate possible future communication requirements

3.2. Prepare contingency plans for communication requirements, including all equipment, facilities, resources and people

3.3. Manage the contingency plan to ensure that systems are provided as required

3.4. Review and update the requirements throughout the incident

4. Keep a record of the incident

4.1. Maintain a chronological record of the incident, the needs, resources and solutions as the incident progresses

4.2. Prepare a report, including recommendations for the future, at the conclusion of the incident

5. Control hazards concerned with the communications systems

5.1. Identify hazards in the work environment

5.2. Assess the risks arising from those hazards

5.3. Implement measures to control those risks in line with procedures and duty of care

6. Respond to problems

6.1. Identify possible problems in equipment or process

6.2. Determine which problems need action

6.3. Determine possible fault causes

6.4. Rectify problem(s) using appropriate solution(s) within area of responsibility

6.5. Follow through items initiated until final resolution has occurred

6.6. Report problems outside area of responsibility to designated person.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

Required skills 

Competence includes the ability to isolate the causes of issues within the incident response system and to be able to distinguish between causes of issues indicated by:

  • difficulties in operations and use of communications systems during an incident
  • failure of equipment
  • lack of suitably trained or specialised personnel.

Required knowledge 

Competence includes an understanding of the communication needs of the organisation and the facilities and equipment which may be able to produce it. In particular it includes:

  • details of the existing communication systems
  • alternative communications systems, their suitability and availability
  • contingency planning
  • acquisition and provision of communications capability
  • reporting procedures of the organisation.

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Assessment for this unit of competency will be by way of simulation or observation under incident conditions. The unit will be assessed in as holistic a manner as is practical and may be integrated with the assessment of other relevant units of competency. Assessment will occur over a range of situations which can include a variety of incident circumstances.

Simulations must, as closely as possible, approximate actual incident conditions and should be based on the actual facility. Assessments should include walk-throughs of the relevant competency components and may include the use of case studies/scenarios and role plays.

This unit of competency requires a significant body of knowledge which will be assessed through questioning and the use of 'what-if' scenarios both in the facility (during demonstration of normal operations and walk-throughs of abnormal operations) and off the site.

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

Competence must be demonstrated in the ability to recognise and analyse potential situations requiring action and then in implementing appropriate responsive action. The emphasis should be on the ability to deal effectively with the incident or to contribute effectively to the recovery from the incident.

Consistent performance should be demonstrated. In particular look to see that:

  • key communication channels are identified and maintained
  • information is supplied to the key personnel involved in the incident
  • appropriate documentation including reports, journal entries, logs and/or clearances are completed in accordance with procedures.

These assessment activities should include a range of problems, including new, unusual and improbable situations which may have been generated from past workplace incident history, incidents in similar workplaces around the world, hazard analysis activities and/or similar sources.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment will require (1) access to an accurately simulated environment in the absence of an on-site incident environment, or (2) a suitable method of gathering evidence of responding ability over a range of situations. A bank of scenarios/case studies/what-ifs will be required as will a bank of questions which will be used to probe the reasoning behind the observable actions.

Method of assessment 

In all plants it may be appropriate to assess this unit concurrently with relevant teamwork and communication units.

Guidance information for assessment 

Assessment processes and techniques must be culturally appropriate and appropriate to the oracy, language and literacy capacity of the assessee 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. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs if the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Codes of practice / standards 

Where reference is made to industry codes of practice, and/or Australian/international standards, the latest version must be used.


This unit of competency includes all such items of equipment and unit operations which form part of the incident response system. In your facility this may include:

  • telephone equipment, including handsets, switchboards, satellites and lines
  • mobile phones, fax machines, video conferencing, messaging/paging
  • computers, Internet, email
  • radio systems (HF, VHF)
  • printers, copiers and supplies.

Typical problems for your facility may include:

  • damage to existing infrastructure
  • availability of equipment and resources
  • lack of specialised and/or trained people
  • volume of communications being received.

Health , safety and environment  (HSE )

All operations to which this unit applies are subject to stringent health, safety and environment requirements, which may be imposed through State or Federal legislation, and these must not be compromised at any time. Where there is an apparent conflict between Performance Criteria and HSE requirements, the HSE requirements take precedence.

Relationship to Major Hazard Facility Legislation 

Organisations within the Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Oil Refining industries may find themselves falling under the provisions of various Major Hazard Facilities legislation. In developing this unit consideration has been given to the requirements of Sections 8 and 9 of the National Standard for the Control of Major Hazard Facilities [NOHSC:1014(2002)] and the National Code of Practice for the Control of Major Hazard Facilities [NOHSC:2016(1996)].

This unit will assist individuals to meet some of their obligations under the relevant State or Territory legislation. Responsibility for appropriate contextualisation and application of the unit to ensure compliance however, remains with the individual organisation.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 


Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

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