Unit of competency details

PMASUP236 - Operate vehicles in the field (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to PMASUP236B - Operate vehicles in the fieldSupersedes and is equivalent to PMASUP236B Operate vehicles in the field 01/Jun/2016

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 02/Jun/2016

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
PMA30116 - Certificate III in Process Plant OperationsCertificate III in Process Plant OperationsSuperseded
RII31815 - Certificate III in Drilling OperationsCertificate III in Drilling OperationsSuperseded
PMA30120 - Certificate III in Process Plant OperationsCertificate III in Process Plant OperationsCurrent1-3 
RII32020 - Certificate III in Drilling Oil & Gas (Onshore)Certificate III in Drilling Oil & Gas (Onshore)Current1-2 
PMA40116 - Certificate IV in Process Plant TechnologyCertificate IV in Process Plant TechnologyCurrent1-5 
PMA20116 - Certificate II in Process Plant OperationsCertificate II in Process Plant OperationsCurrent1-4 
RII32220 - Certificate III in Well Servicing OperationsCertificate III in Well Servicing OperationsCurrent1-2 
RII32018 - Certificate III in Drilling Oil/Gas (Onshore)Certificate III in Drilling Oil/Gas (Onshore)Superseded
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030515 Automotive Vehicle Operations  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030515 Automotive Vehicle Operations  14/Oct/2016 
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Unit of competency

Modification History

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to PMASUP236B Operate vehicles in the field


This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required to prepare and operate vehicles and related equipment to patrol pipelines or otherwise drive across a variety of terrains.

This unit of competency applies to operators who are required to check their vehicle daily for damage, ensure fuels and lubricant levels are maintained, effect minor repairs, prepare and maintain field equipment, and communicate with their base station.

In a typical scenario an operations technician patrols areas of pipeline or follows pipelines across a variety of terrains looking for problems which require maintenance or reporting, or drives to remote facilities. During the course of their work they must check the vehicle for mechanical soundness before leaving base, ensure it is securely and adequately packed, make certain their communications equipment and contact schedule are in order and generally be prepared for long periods off-road.

Generally the operations technician would be part of a team during field trips, though they may be required to undertake limited trips. At all times they would be liaising and cooperating with their base station.

Operators must have the appropriate class of driver's licence before taking charge of the vehicle.

No other licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Pre-requisite Unit


Competency Field


Unit Sector

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.


Prepare vehicle and secure load 


Conduct vehicle familiarisation checks before starting journey


Note and rectify any defects, where possible, or report vehicle for further attention/repair


Ascertain that all required fuel, water and other supplies required for the journey are available and in useable order


Inspect all ancillary equipment and operational accessories to ensure they have been attached or secured in a safe and agreed manner


Secure load, including external loads, rear tray, roof racks, and any loads within the vehicle, using appropriate securing equipment


Undertake journey 


Familiarise oneself with the route to ensure that an appropriate route has been determined


Interpret access manuals and topographical maps in order to obtain required information for journey


Obtain relevant authorisations/notifications and accesses before starting the journey


Confirm and/or clarify or communicate journey details with relevant company personnel


Monitor driving conditions and requirements constantly, to meet any changes in terrain, weather conditions and road conditions and requirements


Monitor and maintain fluid levels and air pressures to ensure safe and efficient vehicle operations


Monitor vehicle constantly for any malfunctions or factors that may affect vehicle performance


Maintain vehicle speeds within all stated limits and road condition limitations to minimise the risk of personal injury, environmental damage and load damage


Maintain communication as required with the relevant company personnel to advise of progress and journey status


Ensure seatbelts are worn by all personnel while the vehicle is in motion


Operate vehicle 


Apply knowledge of vehicle differences to the driving requirements of 4WD and conventional vehicles


Adhere to general principles of four wheel driving in negotiating a variety of terrains and driving conditions


Use defensive driving techniques


Observe additional precautions for night driving


Drive to suit road conditions


Observe rules prohibiting driving under the influence of alcohol and other performance inhibiting substances


Finalise journey 


Communicate and confirm termination of journey with the relevant company personnel


Visually inspect the vehicle to ensure that vehicle is in good repair and order


Unsecure trailer loads and prepare for unloading utilising the agreed uncoupling process


Report faults or damage to vehicle to appropriate personnel


Recover vehicle 


Identify and assess options for recovery of an immobilised vehicle


Select and apply appropriate method of vehicle recovery


Operate recovery equipment safely


Perform a battery 'jump start' safely


Observe safety precautions when rigging cables and chains


Change a wheel on a properly jacked vehicle


Maintain vehicle safety 


Observe appropriate speeds for the road conditions


Observe site-specific vehicle entry restrictions


Follow appropriate search and rescue notification procedures


Follow appropriate procedures for passing large or heavy vehicles

Foundation Skills

This section describes those language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills that are essential to performance.

Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency.

Range of Conditions

This field allows for different work environments and conditions that may affect performance. Essential operating conditions that may be present (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) are included.

Regulatory framework  

The latest version of all legislation, regulations, industry codes of practice and Australian/international standards, or the version specified by the local regulatory authority, must be used, and include one or more of the following:

  • legislative requirements, including work health and safety (WHS)
  • industry codes of practice and guidelines
  • environmental regulations and guidelines
  • Australian and other standards
  • licence and certification requirements

All operations to which this unit applies are subject to stringent health, safety and environment (HSE) requirements, which may be imposed through state/territory 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.


All operations must be performed in accordance with relevant procedures.

Procedures are written, verbal, visual, computer-based or in some other form, include one or more of the following:

  • emergency procedures
  • work instructions
  • standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • safe work method statements (SWMS)
  • formulas/recipes
  • batch sheets
  • temporary instructions
  • any similar instructions provided for the smooth running of the plant

Routine problems 

Routine problems must be resolved by applying known solutions.

Routine problems are predictable and include one or more of the following:

  • overheating (coolant, exhaust and driveline)
  • low oil pressure
  • electrical discharge/overcharge
  • tyre punctures
  • load shifts

Known solutions are drawn from one or more of the following:

  • procedures
  • training
  • remembered experience

Non-routine problems must be reported according to according to relevant procedures.


Vehicles include one or more of the following:

  • 4WD vehicles, (e.g. utility, troop carrier or station wagon)
  • trucks

Related equipment 

Related equipment includes field operator's kit which includes one or more of the following:

  • communications equipment ,such as two-way radio, mobile or satellite phone and global positioning system (GPS)
  • recovery equipment, such as snatch straps, slings, chains and shackles
  • trailers

Unit Mapping Information

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to PMASUP236B Operate vehicles in the field


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=9fc2cf53-e570-4e9f-ad6a-b228ffdb6875


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to PMASUP236B Operate vehicles in the field

Performance Evidence

Evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to and satisfy the requirements of the elements and performance criteria, and include the ability to:

  • undertake checks and inspections to confirm vehicles, loads, ancillary equipment and supplies meet safety, maintenance and operability requirements
  • interpret topographical maps and access manuals
  • plan and prepare for journey including confirming route, gaining access/authorisations
  • operate communication and recovery equipment
  • apply vehicle recovery techniques
  • apply basic maintenance procedures
  • apply defensive driving techniques appropriate to all legal requirements and range of conditions, including:
  • four wheel drive and conventional vehicles
  • night and day
  • on road and off road
  • changing terrain and conditions
  • wet and dry
  • recognise early warning signs of equipment/vehicles needing attention or with potential problems and take appropriate action
  • distinguish between causes of vehicle problems/alarms/fault indications, such as:
  • instrument failure/malfunction
  • electrical failure/malfunction
  • mechanical failure/malfunction
  • communicate with team and supervisors.

Knowledge Evidence

Evidence must be provided that demonstrates knowledge of:

  • local and company rules and regulations that apply to vehicles, loads and driving
  • routine problems, faults and their symptoms and the corrective action to be taken
  • organisation procedures, including those covering:
  • safety, emergency and hazard control
  • communications
  • use and maintenance of vehicles
  • search and rescue.

Assessment Conditions

  • Competency must be achieved before performing this work unsupervised. Therefore this unit will typically be assessed off the job. Where assessment is undertaken on the job, appropriate supervision and safety precautions must be provided.
  • The unit should be assessed holistically and the judgement of competence based on a holistic assessment of the evidence.
  • The collection of performance evidence:
  • should provide evidence of the ability to perform over the range of situations which might be expected to be encountered including typical disruptions to normal, smooth work conditions
  • must include the driving and recovery of a suitable vehicle in an off-road environment and the use of other appropriate items of equipment requiring demonstration of operation and responding to problems
  • may use industry-based simulation particularly where safety, lack of opportunity or significant cost is an issue.
  • Off-the-job assessment must sufficiently reflect realistic operational workplace conditions that cover all aspects of workplace performance, including environment, task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job role environment skills.
  • Assessment in a simulated environment should use evidence collected from one or more of:
  • walk-throughs
  • demonstration of skills
  • industry-based case studies/scenarios
  • ‘what ifs’.
  • Knowledge evidence may be collected concurrently with performance evidence (provided a record is kept) or through an independent process, such as workbooks, written assessments or interviews (provided a record is kept).
  • Assessment processes and techniques must be appropriate to the language, literacy and numeracy requirements of the work being performed and the needs of the candidate.
  • Conditions for assessment must include access to all tools, equipment, materials and documentation required, including relevant workplace procedures, product and manufacturing specifications associated with this unit.
  • The regulatory framework will be reflected in workplace policies and procedures and is not required to be independently assessed.
  • Foundation skills are integral to competent performance of the unit and should not be assessed separately.
  • Assessors must satisfy the assessor competency requirements that are in place at the time of the assessment as set by the VET regulator.
  • In addition, the assessor or anyone acting in subject matter expert role in assessment must demonstrate both technical competency and currency. If the assessor cannot demonstrate technical competency and currency they must assess with a subject matter expert who does meet these requirements.
  • Technical competence can be demonstrated through one or more of:
  • relevant VET or other qualification/Statement of Attainment
  • appropriate workplace experience undertaking the type of work being assessed under routine and non-routine conditions
  • appropriate workplace experience supervising/evaluating the type of work being assessed under routine and non-routine conditions
  • Currency can be demonstrated through one or more of:
  • being currently employed undertaking the type of work being assessed
  • being employed by the organisation undertaking the type of work being assessed and having maintained currency in accordance with that organisation’s policies and procedures
  • having consulted/had contact with an organisation undertaking the type of work being assessed within the last twelve months, the consultation/contact being related to assessment
  • conducting on-the-job training/assessments of the type of work being assessed
  • being an active member of a relevant professional body and participating in activities relevant to the assessment of this type of work


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=9fc2cf53-e570-4e9f-ad6a-b228ffdb6875