Unit of competency details

PUAAMS002B - Search as a member of an air search team (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 17/Aug/2012
(View details for release 1) Replaced09/Feb/2011

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Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 091105 Police Studies  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 091105 Police Studies  03/Sep/2009 
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Modification History

PUAAMS002B Release 2: Content reviewed. Application added. Layout adjusted.

PUAAMS002B Release 1: Primary release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers the competency to conduct air search observation duties during an air search operation. All aspects of the unit should be implemented in line with organisational policies and procedures.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to members of air search and rescue teams working in the air. Team members and crews may be members of a range of government and/or non-government agencies.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

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 required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the Range Statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the Evidence Guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1 Prepare for search operations 

1.1 Operational briefing is obtained from relevant search and rescue authority. 

1.2 Aircraft is configured and loaded in accordance with requirements and pilot-in-command instructions.

1.3 Involvement in briefings is undertaken.

1.4 Incident information is used to determine personal equipment needed for search operation.

2 Conduct search operations 

2.1 Scanning distance is identified and aircraft windows are marked.

2.2 Search briefing is reviewed en route to task area.

2.3 Impediments to effective observation techniques  are identified and appropriate adjustments made.

2.4 Observation technique is applied.

2.5 Search equipment  is operated to maximise sighting and identification effectiveness.

3 Investigate sightings 

3.1 Sightings  are reported and maintained.

3.2 Sightings are investigated.

3.3 Sightings are logged and communicated to the relevant search and rescue authority.

4 Communicate outcome search 

4.1 Signals  are identified.

4.2 Communications are logged and communicated to the relevant search and rescue authority.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required Skills 

The ability to:

  • communicate information clearly within the search team
  • make decisions based on available information
  • select and use available technology appropriate to the search task

Required Knowledge 

  • basic understanding of search planning
  • basic understanding of the physiology of sight
  • understanding of factors which may indicate evidence of a search target
  • understanding of observation techniques and procedures
  • understanding of signalling/message equipment and procedures
  • understanding of target marking equipment and procedures

Evidence Guide

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

Knowledge and skill in the safe dispatch of target marking and communications equipment from aircraft in flight.

Consistency in performance 

In order to assess these performance criteria it may be necessary for evidence to be collected over a period of time.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Context of assessment 

Evidence can be collected on the job but may be undertaken in a simulation.

Specific resources for assessment 

An appropriate training location/venue.

Access to aircraft and equipment required for learning and assessment activities.

Flight operations for learning/skills development and assessment.

Guidance information for assessment  

Assessment with the following units would help meet aspects of holistic assessment:

  • PUAAMS001B Work in an aviation environment
  • PUAEME001B Provide emergency care
  • PUATEA001B Work in a team
  • PUATE003B Lead, manage and develop teams
  • PUATEA004C Work effectively in a public safety organisation

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 in the Performance Criteria is detailed below.

Relevant search and rescue authorities  may include:

  • rescue coordination centre
  • state and territory SAR authority
  • pilot-in-command

Impediments to effective observation techniques  may include:

  • aircraft structure
  • glare
  • dirty or damaged windows
  • weather
  • environmental conditions
  • aircraft flight angle

Search equipment  may include:

  • binoculars and other magnification equipment
  • radar
  • infra-red
  • radio direction finding equipment
  • video/camera equipment
  • night vision equipment

Sightings  may include:

  • debris
  • damaged or discoloured vegetation
  • oil slicks
  • reflections
  • lights
  • smoke
  • burned areas
  • unusual colours, shapes or movements in the environment floating objects

Signals  may include:

  • ground to air emergency signal code
  • international code of signals
  • signal panels
  • Morse code
  • improvised signals

Unit Sector(s)

Aviation marine search and rescue.

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