Unit of competency details

PSPGOV412A - Use advanced workplace communication strategies (Release 3)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to PSPGEN033 - Use advanced workplace communication strategiesUnit code updated.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 Assessment Requirements created drawing upon specified assessment information from superseded unit. 06/Mar/2016

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

Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping

Training packages that include this unit

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
PSP42412 - Certificate IV in Government (Procurement and Contracting)Certificate IV in Government (Procurement and Contracting) 
PSP42410 - Certificate IV in Government (Procurement and Contracting)Certificate IV in Government (Procurement and Contracting) 1-2 
PSP42312 - Certificate IV in Government (Trade Measurement)Certificate IV in Government (Trade Measurement) 
PSP42310 - Certificate IV in Government (Trade Measurement)Certificate IV in Government (Trade Measurement) 1-2 
PSP42212 - Certificate IV in Government (Workplace Relations)Certificate IV in Government (Workplace Relations) 
PSP42210 - Certificate IV in Government (Workplace Relations)Certificate IV in Government (Workplace Relations) 1-2 
PSP42112 - Certificate IV in Government (Revenue Administration)Certificate IV in Government (Revenue Administration) 
PSP42108 - Certificate IV in Government (Revenue Administration)Certificate IV in Government (Revenue Administration) 1-2 
PSP42012 - Certificate IV in School Support ServicesCertificate IV in School Support Services 
PSP42010 - Certificate IV in School Support ServicesCertificate IV in School Support Services 1-2 
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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 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 use of advanced communication strategies for interacting with internal and external clients. It includes dealing with complex enquiries and complaints, giving directions, managing meetings and making workplace and public presentations. 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 PSPGOV413A Compose complex workplace documents.

In practice, using advanced complex workplace communication strategies may overlap with other generalist or specialist public sector work activities such as acting ethically, complying with legislation, applying government processes, gathering and analysing information, using resources.

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 . Deal with complex enquiries / complaints 

1.1 Relationship with the client is established by displaying empathy towards client needs, and the nature of complaint/enquiry is established by listening, questioning and confirming.

1.2 Complaint/enquiry is recorded accurately in simple language, and verified with the client to ensure it has been recorded correctly.

1.3 Documentation to support complaint/enquiry is obtained if required.

1.4 Action available under organisational policies is identified, and procedures to respond to and resolve complaint/enquiry are followed/authorised.

1.5 Complaints/enquiries that require referral to other personnel or external organisations are identified and referred in accordance with organisational policy and procedures.

1.6 Client is informed of action taken to resolve/refer the complaint/enquiry and a record logged in accordance with organisational procedures.

2 . Give directions 

2.1 Ethical, lawful and reasonable directions are given to others, and staff are protected from reprisals for refusing directions to act unethically.

2.2 Directions are relayed in a clear, concise manner appropriate to the receiver.

2.3 Questioning and listening skills are used to confirm understanding of directions.

2.4 Problems in directions being implemented are resolved promptly or referred in accordance with organisational policy and procedures.

2.5 Feedback is provided on implementation in accordance with organisational requirements.

3 . Manage meetings 

3.1 Purpose of each meeting is clarified and the agenda  developed in consultation with participants, in line with the purpose. 

3.2 The procedure  for each meeting and the style of chairing/facilitating are selected in accordance with the meeting's purpose and the participants.

3.3 Meetings are chaired in accordance with organisational requirements, agreed conventions  for the type of meeting and legal and ethical requirements .

3.4 Meetings are conducted to ensure they are focused on the objectives of the meeting and are time efficient.

3.5 Meetings are facilitated to enable participation, discussion, problem solving and resolution of issues  by all those present.

3.6 Decisions and recommendations are summarised succinctly, checked for accuracy and recorded as required.

4 . Make presentations 

4.1 Presentations are made to a range of audiences in accordance with organisational requirements.

4.2 Presentations are structured logically and contain relevant information/content to meet the purpose of the presentation.

4.3 Supporting materials and presentation aids  are selected, created and organised to enhance audience understanding of key concepts and ideas.

4.4 Presentation strategies  are chosen and used to match the characteristics of the target audience,  the location, the resources and the personnel needed.

4.5 Effectiveness of the presentation is evaluated formally and informally for the purpose of continuously improving future presentations.

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:

  • applying legislation, regulations and policies relating to workplace communication
  • speaking and listening relating to sustained and sometimes complex communication exchanges
  • taking part in interpersonal exchanges of information, with a flexible use of register and a range of strategies for interaction
  • dealing with complaints, clarifying meaning, exploring issues and using problem solving or referral
  • deriving meaning from sustained oral discussions
  • using observation - reading non-verbal cues especially those relating to culture, ethnicity, emotional state
  • making presentations including use of supporting materials and visual aids
  • using presentation software
  • responding to diversity, including gender and disability
  • applying procedures relating to occupational health and safety and environment in the context of workplace communication

Knowledge requirements 

Look for evidence that confirms knowledge and understanding of:

  • legislation, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines relating to workplace communication
  • complaints procedures
  • conflict resolution techniques
  • knowledge of organisation processes and hierarchy
  • official communication channels
  • organisational protocols and etiquette for oral communication
  • meeting formats and facilitation/chairing requirements to suit
  • presentations to suit different audiences, such as workgroup, organisational, inter-agency, public
  • equal employment opportunity, equity and diversity principles
  • public sector legislation such as occupational health and safety and environment 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:
  • PSPETHC401A Uphold and support the values and principles of public service
  • PSPGOV402B Deliver and monitor service to clients
  • PSPGOV405B Provide input to change processes
  • PSPGOV406B Gather and analyse information
  • PSPGOV408A Value diversity
  • PSPGOV411A Deal with conflict
  • PSPLEGN401A Encourage compliance with legislation in the public sector
  • PSPOHS401B Implement workplace safety procedures and programs

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
  • advanced communication strategies 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 communication in the public sector, including freedom of information, privacy, equal employment opportunity, anti-discrimination, occupational health and safety
  • case studies and workplace scenarios to capture the range of advanced communication situations likely to be encountered and required 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 advanced communication strategies, including coping with difficulties, irregularities and breakdowns in routine
  • advanced communication strategies 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.

Agenda  may include:

  • statement of the meeting's purpose
  • date, time and location of meeting
  • welcome
  • minutes of the previous meeting
  • matters or business arising from the minutes
  • correspondence
  • reports
  • major agenda items
  • general business
  • date of next meeting

Purpose  may include:

  • range of organisation-specific purposes
  • setting of organisation/team goals
  • planning and development of a project
  • progress of a project
  • discussion forum for internal/external clients

Meeting procedure  may include:

  • formal
  • informal
  • semi-formal
  • structured
  • self-managed

Meeting conventions  may include:

  • quorum requirements
  • informal discussion
  • waiting to be recognised by the chairperson
  • speaking through the chairperson
  • restricting discussion to agenda items
  • time limit on speakers
  • moving and seconding formal motions
  • voting procedures
  • conflict of interest provisions
  • consensus required
  • majority of members to agree
  • casting vote for chairperson

Legal and ethical requirements  may include:

  • requirements for public meetings
  • codes of practice
  • legislation relating to the public sector

Resolution of issues  may include:

  • agreeing on a course of action
  • deferring decisions to another meeting

Supporting materials and presentation aids  may include:

  • audio recordings
  • charts
  • computer simulations and presentations
  • diagrams
  • flow charts
  • graphs
  • maps
  • models
  • overhead projector
  • paper-based materials
  • photographs
  • pictures
  • posters
  • tables
  • video images
  • whiteboard

Presentation strategies  may include:

  • oral presentations
  • discussion
  • questioning
  • simulations and role play
  • case studies
  • group and/or pair work
  • demonstration

Characteristics of the target audience  may relate to:

  • public sector level/s
  • language, literacy and numeracy levels
  • cultural and language background
  • educational background or general knowledge
  • gender
  • age
  • disability
  • previous experience with the topic

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field

Working in Government.