Unit of competency details

PSPPM502B - Manage complex projects (Release 3)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
3 (this release)Current 01/Nov/2012
(View details for release 2) Replaced07/Mar/2012
(View details for release 1) Replaced05/May/2009

Usage recommendation:
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
DeletedDeleted from PSP12 Public Sector Training Package06/Mar/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to PSPPM502A - Manage projects04/May/2009

Training packages that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
PSP12 - Public Sector Training PackagePublic Sector Training Package 1.0 
PMC10 - Manufactured Mineral ProductsManufactured Mineral Products 1.1 
PMC - Manufactured Mineral ProductsManufactured Mineral Products 1.0 
PMB - Plastics, Rubber and CablemakingPlastics, Rubber and Cablemaking 1.0 
MSM - Manufacturing Training PackageManufacturing Training Package 2.0-2.1 
MSA07 - Manufacturing Training PackageManufacturing Training Package 8.3-8.4 
DEF12 - Defence Training PackageDefence Training Package 2.0 
DEF - Defence Training PackageDefence Training Package 1.0-2.0 
CSC - Correctional Services Training PackageCorrectional Services Training Package 1.0-1.1 
CHC08 - Community Services Training PackageCommunity Services Training Package 4.2 
AHC10 - Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land ManagementAgriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management 8.0 
AHC - Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training PackageAgriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package 1.0-1.1 

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
PUA52210 - Diploma of Public Safety (Compliance)Diploma of Public Safety (Compliance) 
PUA51709 - Diploma of Public Safety (Test and Evaluation)Diploma of Public Safety (Test and Evaluation) 
PUA51410 - Diploma of Public Safety (Explosive Ordnance Proof and Experimental)Diploma of Public Safety (Explosive Ordnance Proof and Experimental) 
PSP51312 - Diploma of Government (Project Management)Diploma of Government (Project Management) 
PSP51304 - Diploma of Government (Project Management)Diploma of Government (Project Management) 1-2 
PSP51212 - Diploma of Government (Occupational Health & Safety)Diploma of Government (Occupational Health & Safety) 
PSP51204 - Diploma of Government (Occupational Health Safety)Diploma of Government (Occupational Health Safety) 1-2 
PMC60116 - Advanced Diploma of Manufactured Mineral ProductsAdvanced Diploma of Manufactured Mineral Products 
PMC60110 - Advanced Diploma of Manufactured Mineral ProductsAdvanced Diploma of Manufactured Mineral Products 1-2 
PMC50116 - Diploma of Manufactured Mineral ProductsDiploma of Manufactured Mineral Products 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080315 Project Management  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080315 Project Management  05/Jul/2004 
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Modification History


TP Version 




Unit descriptor edited.



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Primary release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers management of projects that may be reasonably complex in terms of scope, degree of risk, political, cultural and social factors that apply, consequences of failure and degree of control of the projects. It includes managing start-up, project implementation, project integration and follow-up activities. Contract management requirements are not included as this aspect is addressed by units of competency within the Competency field of Procurement and Contract Management.

In practice, managing complex projects overlaps with other generalist and specialist work activities such as acting ethically, coordinating resource allocation and usage, developing client services, undertaking research and analysis.

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 . Manage start-up activities 

1.1 Project plans  are refined in consultation with steering committee and team members, and precise details are included for schedules of activities, milestones and resources.

1.2 Required systems  are established and maintained throughout the project in accordance with the complexity of the project and in line with the project plan.

1.3 Project team members' understanding of and commitment to fulfilling the project requirements and their roles and responsibilities for the duration of the project are confirmed.

1.4 Project management tools  are selected and applied effectively to achieve project outcomes.

2 . Manage project implementation 

2.1 Integration  and management  of complex project activities are handled in accordance with the project plan.

2.2 Leadership and required development  are provided to the project team, and morale, stress levels and triggers are managed throughout the life of the project in accordance with organisational policy and procedures .

2.3 Stakeholder  input and expectations are managed throughout the project in accordance with the communication plan.

2.4 Disagreements and disputes are resolved to the satisfaction of stakeholders or referred to a higher authority in accordance with organisational policy and procedures.

2.5 Project change proposals  are negotiated, agreed and documented in accordance with policy and procedures.

3 . Manage project integration 

3.1 All aspects of the project and related projects are integrated and links are established to ensure objectives are met in accordance with the project plan.

3.2 Consultation and reporting mechanisms are applied in accordance with the communication plan and staff and contractors are regularly consulted to discuss progress and ensure effective results.

3.3 Project integration is monitored, and management plans and any related contracts are reviewed and amended as appropriate, with results reported in accordance with mechanisms identified in the communication plan.

3.4 Ongoing progress is monitored against agreed milestones in accordance with the project plan to provide a measure of performance throughout the life of the project.

3.5 Programmed review of objectives and achievement is planned and implemented in accordance with the project plan.

4 . Coordinate project follow-up activities 

4.1 Significant judgment is applied in the analysis of project deliverables against specifications , performance standards and project objectives, and the results are reported to stakeholders.

4.2 Support package arrangements are identified and offered to stakeholders who will be required to apply the project results.

4.3 Options for stakeholders to take account of environmental and cultural factors in applying the project results are included in the support package.

4.4 Operational and support authorities are consulted to investigate any testing/trialling/building and evaluation requirements resulting from the project, and funding implications estimated in project report.

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:

  • leading and mentoring people to achieve project outcomes
  • maintaining agreement of stakeholders and team members to timelines, roles and responsibilities
  • negotiating with stakeholders and team members using communication styles to suit different audiences and purposes
  • responding to diversity, including gender and disability
  • using project management tools applicable to reasonably complex projects
  • applying ethical decision making and problem solving related to project management of reasonably complex projects
  • writing recommendations and preparing project reports requiring precision of expression
  • applying workplace safety procedures in line with project requirements
  • accessing/preparing information electronically or in hard copy

Knowledge requirements 

Look for evidence that confirms knowledge and understanding of:

  • legislation, organisational policies and procedures that may impact on project implementation, for example:
  • public sector codes of ethics/conduct
  • occupational health and safety and environmental and sustainability requirements
  • project governance requirements
  • quality standards
  • risk management
  • procurement guidelines
  • financial management and budgetary framework
  • human resources
  • equal employment opportunity, equity and diversity principles
  • project management tools to suit a range of reasonably complex projects in terms of scope, degree of risk, political, cultural and social factors that apply, consequences of failure and degree of control of the project
  • project management systems
  • organisational and political context
  • critical analysis in a project management context
  • business and commercial issues related to the projects managed

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:
  • PSPETHC501B Promote the values and ethos of public service
  • PSPGOV502B Develop client services
  • PSPGOV503B Coordinate resource allocation and usage
  • PSPGOV504B Undertake research and analysis
  • PSPGOV505A Promote diversity
  • PSPPM501B Design complex projects
  • PSPPM503B Close complex projects
  • PSPPROC501A Manage contract risk
  • PSPPROC503A Manage contract performance

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)
  • management of complex projects in a range of (3 or more) contexts (or occasions, over time)

Resources required to carry out assessment 

These resources include:

  • legislation, guidelines, procedures and protocols relating to project management in the organisation and the public sector
  • workplace project documentation
  • scenarios and case studies
  • examples of project management tools

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 managing complete projects, including coping with difficulties, irregularities and breakdowns in routine
  • management of complex projects 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
  • portfolios
  • questioning
  • scenarios
  • 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.

Project plans  will include some or all of:

  • acquisition strategies
  • budget and financial management strategy
  • contract management
  • cost estimates
  • evaluation criteria
  • expected outcomes/measurable benefits of the project
  • facilities
  • inclusions and exclusions from project
  • information/communication strategy
  • intellectual property strategies
  • milestones
  • objectives
  • outputs/project deliverables and their acceptance criteria
  • people plan including human resource management and human resource development
  • performance criteria/indicators
  • project control mechanisms
  • project implementation strategy
  • project governance strategy
  • purpose
  • quality assurance
  • quality control
  • quality standards for project
  • rationale
  • required project resources
  • resource management
  • risk management
  • roles and responsibilities
  • schedule/timeline
  • task/work breakdown structure (WBS)

Required systems for project management  may include:

  • planning and monitoring system
  • financial management including:
  • budget allocation/funding
  • income generated
  • expenditure
  • recordkeeping for documented information such as:
  • correspondence
  • quality data including survey, needs, test results
  • contracts
  • time allocated and spent on each aspect of the project
  • progress reports
  • performance reports against milestones
  • project outcomes
  • samples, prototypes, models

Project management tools  may include:

  • risk analysis
  • organisational project governance framework
  • communications plan
  • reporting framework
  • project management software and other tools:
  • Gantt and bar charts
  • Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) charts
  • Critical Path Method
  • cost schedule control system
  • logistics support analysis
  • life cycle cost analysis
  • spreadsheets
  • recording systems - electronic and manual

Integration of project activities  may include:

  • scope
  • time
  • cost
  • quality
  • human resources
  • communications
  • risk
  • procurement

Management  may include:

  • scope management
  • communication and reporting
  • schedule management
  • financial management
  • fraud control
  • quality management
  • resources management
  • people management
  • logistics management
  • risk management
  • contract management
  • project implementation
  • transition
  • change management

Development  may include:

  • regular meetings
  • feedback
  • encouragement
  • mentoring and coaching
  • additional physical and human resources (within allocated budget) if and as required

Policy and procedures  may include:

  • government legislation (Federal, State and Local) affecting organisation's administration such as:
  • public sector management acts
  • financial management and accounting legislation and regulations
  • privacy legislation
  • government and organisational guidelines and procedures relating to:
  • project governance
  • resourcing
  • security
  • strategic plans
  • recruitment
  • risk management
  • procurement guidelines
  • designation approvals
  • industrial agreements
  • environment and sustainability

Stakeholders  may include:

  • project sponsor/funding bodies
  • clients or customers (internal and external)
  • industry
  • other agencies
  • general public
  • relevant interest groups
  • unions
  • functional areas
  • the organisation's senior management
  • Ministers
  • project team
  • steering committee
  • end user
  • supplier/service provider

Contract change proposals  may include:

  • administration
  • cost
  • engineering, technical, technology changes
  • resources
  • scope
  • specifications
  • time

Specifications  may include:

  • functional
  • technical
  • performance
  • material

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field

Project Management.

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