Unit of competency details

PMC552003C - Operate grinding equipment (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to PMC552003 - Operate grinding equipmentSupersedes and is equivalent to PMC552003C Operate grinding equipment. 21/Jun/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to PMCOPS203B - Operate grinding equipmentEquivalent 29/Apr/2010

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

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
PMA40113 - Certificate IV in Process Plant TechnologyCertificate IV in Process Plant TechnologySuperseded1-3 
PMA40116 - Certificate IV in Process Plant TechnologyCertificate IV in Process Plant TechnologyCurrent
PMC30110 - Certificate III in Manufactured Mineral ProductsCertificate III in Manufactured Mineral ProductsSuperseded1-2 
PMA20116 - Certificate II in Process Plant OperationsCertificate II in Process Plant OperationsCurrent
PMA30113 - Certificate III in Process Plant OperationsCertificate III in Process Plant OperationsSuperseded1-3 
PMC20110 - Certificate II in Manufactured Mineral ProductsCertificate II in Manufactured Mineral ProductsSuperseded1-2 
PMC40110 - Certificate IV in Manufactured Mineral ProductsCertificate IV in Manufactured Mineral ProductsSuperseded1-2 
PMA20113 - Certificate II in Process Plant OperationsCertificate II in Process Plant OperationsSuperseded1-3 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  30/Apr/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the grinding and size reduction of raw materials, materials in process, product and scrap/recycled material. It involves monitoring the process, ensuring a safe work environment, rectifying problems and facilitating output changes.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit of competency applies to operators who are responsible for preparing materials for grinding; grinding materials and distributing ground materials.

This competency is typically performed by operators working either independently or as part of a work team. At all times they would be liaising with other members of the team.

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 to grind materials

1.1. Check equipment for hazards, danger and isolation tags in accordance with standard operating procedures

1.2. Perform checks to ensure all doors, inspection openings and guards are in position and secure

1.3. Make adjustments to equipment settings to ensure conformance with standard operating procedures

1.4. Notify appropriate personnel of intention to start equipment

1.5. Conduct additional pre-start checks as required in accordance with standard operating procedures

1.6. Ensure an adequate supply of materials is available to meet production requirements

2. Grind materials

2.1. Start equipment in sequence in accordance with standard operating procedures

2.2. Monitor instrument/control panels and adjust as necessary to remain within specified operating parameters

2.3. Make physical inspections of plant and equipment at specified intervals to identify any anomalies in standard operating procedures

2.4. Maximise product throughput and efficiency to maintain target parameters

2.5. Communicate with appropriate personnel regarding the status of operations in line with enterprise requirements

2.6. Employ safe working practices which conform with occupational health and safety (OHS) and enterprise requirements

2.7. Shut down equipment in accordance with procedures and complete required records

3. Rectify routine problems

3.1. Identify the range of faults that can occur during the operation

3.2. Determine and rectify faults caused by procedures

3.3. Identify and rectify equipment failure causes in accordance with procedures

3.4. Make sure appropriate records and log books of equipment operations are maintained to meet procedures

3.5. Identify non-routine problems and report to designated person

4. Distribute ground product

4.1. Distribute ground materials to their correct silo/storage area in accordance with standard operating procedures

4.2. Monitor silo/storage areas to ensure compliance with enterprise storage quality/quantity requirements.

5. Control hazards

5.1. Identify hazards in the grinding work area

5.2. Assess the risks arising from those hazards

5.3. Implement measures to control those risks in line with procedures

5.4. Shut down in an emergency as required

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

Required skills include:

  • recognising process conditions which will lead to out of specification production and taking appropriate action
  • implementing the enterprise's standard procedures and work instructions and relevant regulatory requirements within appropriate time constraints and in a manner relevant to the operation of grinding equipment
  • reading and numeracy is required to the level of interpreting workplace documents and technical information

Required knowledge 

Required knowledge includes:

  • startup and shutdown processes
  • construction and limitations of the grinding equipment and conditions
  • grinding fundamentals
  • out of specification situations
  • physics and chemistry (where appropriate) of process
  • principles of operation of process
  • control philosophy of process
  • distinguish between causes of faults such as:
  • raw material variations
  • mechanical abnormalities
  • electrical/instrument reading variations

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 

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.

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

It is essential that the equipment and process be understood and that the importance of critical material properties is known.

Competence must be demonstrated in the ability to recognise and analyse potential situations requiring action and then in reporting the condition to the appropriate individual.

Consistent performance at the required standard should be demonstrated. In particular look to see that:

  • types of materials to be ground and their additives are identified
  • individual material feed and distribution systems are understood
  • OHS and safe work practices are followed
  • signage, tags and isolation procedures are followed
  • basic maintenance and inspection practices are carried out.

Competence must be demonstrated in the operation of all ancillary equipment to the level required for this unit of competency.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment will require access to an operating plant over an extended period of time, or a suitable method of gathering evidence of operating ability over a range of situations.

Assessment will occur over a range of situations which will include disruptions to normal, smooth operation.

Simulation or case studies/scenarios may be required to allow for timely assessment of parts of this unit of competency. Simulation should be based on the actual plant and will include 'walk-throughs' of the relevant competency components. A bank of scenarios/case studies/what ifs and questions will be required to probe the reasoning behind observable actions.

Method of assessment 

Individual enterprises may choose to add prerequisites and co-requisites relevant to their processes.

Guidance information for assessment 

Assessment processes and techniques must be culturally appropriate and appropriate to the 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.


All operations are performed in accordance with standard procedures and work instructions.

Ground materials 

Ground materials may include:

  • quarried materials
  • cement clinker
  • lime
  • ceramics and clay
  • ground minerals
  • glass
  • concrete waste
  • fibre cement

Equipment and unit operations 

All such items of equipment and unit operations which form part of the grinding system. These may include:

  • ball mills
  • hammer mills
  • roller mills
  • pans
  • edge mills
  • other equipment integral to the operation of the grinding system

Typical problems 

Typical problems may include:

  • out of specification grinding media
  • variations in temperature and moisture
  • variations in feed
  • product discharge problems


The identification and control of hazards and the application of OHS is to be in accordance with current, applicable legislation and regulations, and company procedures. All work is carried out at all times in accordance with these requirements

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 


Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units