Unit of competency details

PSPBORD303A - Deploy detector dog (Release 3)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to PSPBDR003 - Deploy detector dogUnit code updated. Content and formatting updated to comply with the new standards. All PC transitioned from passive to active voice. Assessment Requirements created drawing upon specified assessment information from superseded unit. 06/Mar/2016

ReleaseRelease date
3 (this release) 01/Nov/2012
(View details for release 2) 07/Mar/2012
(View details for release 1) 05/May/2009


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 099905 Security Services  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 099905 Security Services  24/May/2005 
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Modification History


TP Version 




Unit descriptor edited.



Layout adjusted. No changes to content.



Primary release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers the skills and knowledge required in the use and deployment of a detector dog. It includes selecting and applying a search methodology, deploying the detector dog, conducting follow-up search activities, maintaining records, gathering and reporting information, and receiving and acting upon feedback.

In practice, deploying a detector dog may overlap with other generalist or specialist public sector workplace activities such as acting ethically, complying with legislation, working effectively, using teamwork, applying workplace safety procedures, etc.

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

Application of the Unit

Not applicable.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements are the essential outcomes of the unit of competency.

Together, performance criteria specify the requirements for competent performance. Text in bold italics  is explained in the Range Statement following.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1 . Select and apply a search methodology 

1.1 Approach is chosen to maximise the potential outcome of the search .

1.2 Risks  likely to be encountered are identified.

1.3 The tasking is analysed and the situation assessed to identify the most appropriate method for deploying the dog.

2 . Deploy the detector dog 

2.1 The detector dog is deployed in accordance with legislation , policies , procedures and guidelines .

2.2 Risks are managed in accordance with risk management policies and guidelines.

3 . Conduct follow-up search activities 

3.1 Ongoing risks are identified and managed to achieve identified outcomes.

3.2 Persons of interest are questioned in accordance with legislation, policies and guidelines.

3.3 Searches are conducted in accordance with legislation, procedures and guidelines.

4 . Maintain records 

4.1 Information  relating to searches is collected, collated and exchanged with other personnel in accordance with organisational policy and procedures.

4.2 Contemporaneous notes are maintained in accordance with legislation, policies and guidelines.

4.3 Documentation is completed accurately and in a timeframe that meets legislative and organisational requirements.

5 . Gather and report information 

5.1 Initiative is used to identify possible information.

5.2 Relevant information  is recorded accurately in accordance with legislative and organisational requirements.

5.3 Privacy and other legislative requirements are complied with.

5.4 Information is reported to relevant personnel  in an accurate and timely manner.

6 . Receive and act upon feedback 

6.1 Feedback on search processes is sought on a regular basis.

6.2 Process and approach are improved based upon assessment of feedback received.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Skill requirements 

Look for evidence that confirms skills in:

  • conducting searches thoroughly in accordance with legal and policy requirements
  • dog handling
  • identifying and addressing occupational health and safety and environmental risks issues associated with deployment of detector dogs
  • liaising, consulting and communicating with diverse audiences, conveying sometimes complex information orally and in writing
  • negotiating and applying conflict resolution
  • responding to diversity, including gender and disability
  • applying observation techniques
  • accurately recording and reporting information
  • applying decision making using sound judgment
  • responding effectively to feedback
  • suggesting improvements to procedures

Knowledge requirements 

Look for evidence that confirms knowledge and understanding of:

  • risk management principles and risk assessment techniques and the application of these to a range of circumstances relating to the deployment of detector dogs
  • principles of detector dog training and deployment
  • enabling and allied legislation
  • policy, procedures, guidelines, protocols and work instructions/standard operating procedures
  • jurisdictional and organisational values/ethics and codes of conduct
  • the organisation's corporate planning cycle and risk management policy and practices
  • confidentiality, privacy and security issues
  • equity and diversity principles
  • occupational health and safety and environment legislation, policies and guidelines
  • communication systems relevant to the workplace including communications network and radio protocols
  • equipment operation, usage and maintenance procedures
  • reporting procedures
  • evidence handling and storage
  • profiles and trends
  • workplace and industry environment

Evidence Guide

The Evidence Guide specifies the evidence required to demonstrate achievement in the unit of competency as a whole. It must be read in conjunction with the Unit descriptor, Performance Criteria, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Public Sector Training Package.

Units to be assessed together 

  • Pre-requisite units that must  be achieved prior  to this unit:Nil
  • Co-requisite units that must  be assessed with  this unit:Nil
  • Co-assessed units that may  be assessed with this unit to increase the efficiency and realism of the assessment process include, but are not limited to:
  • PSPBORD304A Maintain detector dog proficiency
  • PSPETHC301B Uphold the values and principles of public service
  • PSPGOV301B Work effectively in the organisation
  • PSPGOV302B Contribute to workgroup activities
  • PSPGOV307B Organise workplace information
  • PSPLEGN301B Comply with legislation in the public sector
  • PSPOHS301A Contribute to workplace safety.

Overview of evidence requirements 

In addition to integrated demonstration of the elements and their related performance criteria, look for evidence that confirms:

  • the knowledge requirements of this unit
  • the skill requirements of this unit
  • application of the Employability Skills as they relate to this unit (see Employability Summaries in Qualifications Framework)
  • deployment of a detector dog in a range of (3 or more) contexts - re-qualification is periodically required

Resources required to carry out assessment 

These resources include:

  • legislation, policy, procedures and protocols relating to deployment of a detector dog
  • case studies and workplace scenarios to capture the range of situations likely to be encountered when deploying detector dogs

Where and how to assess evidence 

Valid assessment of this unit requires:

  • a workplace environment or one that closely resembles normal work practice and replicates the range of conditions likely to be encountered when deploying a detector dog, including coping with difficulties, irregularities and breakdowns in routine
  • deployment of a detector dog in a range of (3 or more) contexts
  • periodic re-qualification

Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands, such as literacy, and the needs of particular groups, such as:

  • people with disabilities
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • women
  • young people
  • older people
  • people in rural and remote locations

Assessment methods suitable for valid and reliable assessment of this competency may include, but are not limited to, a combination of 2 or more of:

  • case studies
  • demonstration
  • observation
  • questioning
  • scenarios
  • simulation or role plays
  • authenticated evidence from the workplace and/or training courses

For consistency of assessment 

Evidence must be gathered over time in a range of contexts to ensure the person can achieve the unit outcome and apply the competency in different situations or environments.

Range Statement

The Range Statement provides information about the context in which the unit of competency is carried out. The variables cater for differences between States and Territories and the Commonwealth, and between organisations and workplaces. They allow for different work requirements, work practices and knowledge. The Range Statement also provides a focus for assessment. It relates to the unit as a whole. Text in bold italics  in the Performance Criteria is explained here.

Search  may include:

  • a search with the detector dog and any follow-up search by the handler of the following:
  • small craft
  • commercial vessels
  • aircraft
  • cargo containers
  • cargo
  • vehicles
  • postal items
  • accompanied or unaccompanied baggage
  • premises

Risks  may include:

  • methods of concealment
  • nature of packaging
  • occupational health and safety issues
  • types of goods (in particular, dangerous goods)
  • types of narcotics
  • workplace environment
  • time constraints
  • availability of resources for follow-up activities
  • strengths and weaknesses of individual detector dog teams

Relevant legislation , policies , procedures and guidelines  may include:

  • enabling legislation, such as:
  • Customs Act 1901 and regulations
  • Quarantine Act 1908 and regulations
  • organisational policies and procedures, particularly those relating to:
  • detector dog program training
  • operational and training aid control
  • occupational health and safety acts, regulations and guidelines
  • national and regional policies and procedures
  • procedural guides/standard operating procedures/work instructions

Information  may include:

  • details of those searched
  • characteristics of persons of interest
  • points of origin
  • type and nature of goods
  • types of substances

Relevant information  may include:

  • addresses
  • business cards
  • invoices/bills of lading/or other documents
  • letters
  • maps/charts
  • names
  • photographs
  • reasonable grounds for search
  • telephone numbers
  • any combination of the above

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • intelligence
  • managers/supervisors
  • research and analysis
  • staff in other agencies
  • staff in other work areas
  • targeting and analysis
  • colleagues
  • employees of other agencies
  • training and analysis

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field

Border Protection.