Unit of competency details

PSPGOV202B - Use routine workplace communication techniques (Release 3)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to PSPGEN002 - Use routine workplace communication techniquesUnit code updated.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 Assessment Requirements created drawing upon specified assessment information from superseded unit. 06/Mar/2016
Supersedes PSPGOV202A - Communicate in the workplace 04/May/2009

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 120505 Work Practices Programmes 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 120505 Work Practices Programmes 05/Jul/2004 
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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 use of communication techniques for interacting with internal and external clients and following instructions. It includes handling routine enquiries, following and relaying routine instructions and engaging in workplace discussions. Though the prime focus of the unit is on speaking, listening and reading non-verbal cues, if reading, writing and visual literacy are intrinsic to the workplace communication these are included. Where reading and writing are the prime focus of the workplace function these are addressed in PSPGOV208A Write routine workplace materials.

In practice, workplace communication overlaps with other generalist or specialist public sector work activities such as working in a public sector environment, delivering client service, handling information, participating in change, using resources, using technology, etc.

This is one of 5 units of competency in the Working in Government Competency Field that deal with communication. Related units are:

  • PSPGOV312A Use workplace communication strategies
  • PSPGOV412A Use advanced workplace communication strategies
  • PSPGOV512A Use complex workplace communication strategies
  • PSPGOV605A Persuade and influence opinion

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 . Handle routine enquiries 

1.1 Enquiries  are acknowledged and details recorded in accordance with organisational etiquette and standards.

1.2 Urgency of the enquiry is determined and responsive action  is initiated promptly or the matter referred in accordance with organisational procedures.

1.3 Effective listening and speaking  skills are employed including confirming understanding.

1.4 An understanding of individual differences  is reflected in spoken and non-verbal communication to meet the expected standards of the workplace.

1.5 Problems are resolved in accordance with standard procedures or referred to others in accordance with organisational policy and procedures.

1.6 Records of verbal enquiries and resulting action are made and stored in accordance with organisational policy and procedures for recordkeeping and information security.

2 . Follow and relay routine instructions 

2.1 Instructions  are acted upon within the timeframe and to the standard required by the workgroup/team leader.

2.2 Difficulties in understanding instructions are referred for clarification in accordance with organisational policy and procedures.

2.3 Notes are made of oral instructions, the intent and outcomes required, and the timeframe for completion, and used to carry out instructions at a later date when required.

2.4 Instructions for others are noted and relayed in accordance with organisational requirements, and feedback provided on successful relating of requirements.

2.5 Established communication channels are used as required.

3 . Engage in workplace discussions 

3.1 Oral interactions with other staff are used to exchange information, explore issues and solve routine problems.

3.2 Participation in and contributions to formal and informal meetings are made in accordance with personal knowledge and meeting requirements.

3.3 Meeting protocols  are observed and colleagues are encouraged to participate where relevant.

3.4 Issues and ideas which affect work within the group are raised with the appropriate person.

3.5 Unresolved conflicts which affect work in the group are referred through the appropriate channel.

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:

  • speaking and listening relating to routine communication exchanges
  • eliciting and giving factual information
  • clarifying meaning, exploring issues and problem solving or referral
  • listening for relevant information from oral discussions
  • taking personal notes
  • observing - reading non-verbal cues especially those relating to culture, ethnicity, emotional state
  • using communication technology such as telephones, computers with audio, message bank, answering machines, email, short message service, pagers
  • responding to diversity, including gender and disability

Knowledge requirements 

Look for evidence that confirms knowledge and understanding of:

  • legislation, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines relating to workplace communication in the public sector
  • principles of effective communication
  • knowledge of organisation processes
  • procedures manuals for dealing with enquiries
  • channels of communication
  • organisational etiquette for oral communication
  • conflict resolution techniques
  • equal employment opportunity, equity and diversity principles
  • public sector legislation such as occupational health, safety and environmental requirements in the context of workplace communication

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 any of the generalist public sector specific units at Certificate II or above, particularly:
  • PSPGOV201B Work in a public sector environment
  • PSPGOV203B Deliver a service to clients
  • PSPGOV204B Access and use resources
  • PSPGOV205B Participate in workplace change
  • PSPGOV206B Handle workplace information
  • PSPGOV207B Use technology in the workplace
  • PSPGOV208A Write routine workplace materials
  • PSPOHS201B Follow workplace safety procedures

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 Employability Skills as they relate to this unit
  • routine communication techniques used in a range of (3 or more) contexts (or occasions, over time)

Resources required to carry out assessment 

These resources include:

  • legislation, policy, procedures and protocols relating to workplace communication
  • case studies and workplace scenarios to capture the range of verbal communication situations likely to be encountered in the public sector

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 using routine workplace communication techniques, including coping with difficulties, irregularities and breakdowns in routine
  • routine communication techniques used in a range of (3 or more) contexts (or occasions, over time)

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
  • portfolios
  • 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.

Enquiries  may be:

  • face-to-face
  • by telephone
  • via technology and other media, such as:
  • computers
  • email
  • short message service (SMS)
  • facsimile
  • pagers
  • teletype machines
  • from internal or external clients
  • routine in nature and related to the immediate work area

Responsive action  may include:

  • passing on messages for someone else
  • responding immediately
  • referring to others for action
  • noting enquiry for later follow-up
  • file notes

Listening and speaking skills  may include:

  • open and closed questions
  • listening for central ideas
  • giving feedback on understanding
  • re-phrasing
  • paraphrasing
  • summarising
  • clarifying
  • active listening
  • using silence to elicit additional information
  • congruent verbal and non-verbal communication messages
  • using and recognising body language
  • considering how information applies in different situations or to different people

Understanding of individual differences  may include:

  • tailoring communication to meet cultural, ethnic, religious, language, gender or age differences, disabilities, etiquette
  • using culturally appropriate body language and gestures
  • interpreting emotional and cultural cues

Instructions  may include:

  • supervisor/team leader's instructions
  • work unit/organisation guidelines and procedures
  • occupational health and safety procedures
  • corporate style manuals/guidelines
  • safety signs and warning labels
  • manufacturer's/operating instructions/technical instructions

Meeting protocols  may include:

  • following agenda
  • speaking through chair
  • being prepared to present information for particular agenda items

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field

Working in Government.