Unit of competency details

PUALAW002B - Conduct initial investigation at incident scene (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to PUALAW002 - Conduct initial investigation at incident scene 15/Jul/2019

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 17/Aug/2012
(View details for release 1) 22/Dec/2010

Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping

Training packages that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
PUA12 - Public Safety Training PackagePublic Safety Training Package 1.0-2.1 
FWP - Forest and Wood Products Training PackageForest and Wood Products Training Package 2.0-4.0,5.0 
FPI11 - Forest and Forest Products Training PackageForest and Forest Products Training Package 2.0-2.3 

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
PUA60909 - Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Fire Investigation)Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Fire Investigation) 
PUA50412 - Diploma of Public Safety (SES Operations Management)Diploma of Public Safety (SES Operations Management) 1-2 
PUA50410 - Diploma of Public Safety (SES Operations Management)Diploma of Public Safety (SES Operations Management) 
PUA41012 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Leadership)Certificate IV in Public Safety (Leadership) 1-2 
PUA41004 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Leadership)Certificate IV in Public Safety (Leadership) 
PUA40212 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (SES Leadership)Certificate IV in Public Safety (SES Leadership) 1-2 
PUA40210 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (SES Leadership)Certificate IV in Public Safety (SES Leadership) 
PUA30713 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting Operations)Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting Operations) 1-2 
PUA30701 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting Operations)Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting Operations) 
PUA30613 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting and Emergency Operations)Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting and Emergency Operations) 1-2 
Items per page 10 | 20 | 50 | 100
Displaying items 1 - 10 of 24


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 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Modification History


TP version 



PUA12 V1

Layout adjusted. Application revised.


PUA00 V8.1

Primary release on TGA.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers the competency required to gather and collate information and obvious and accessible physical evidence from the scene of an incident and identifying potential witnesses.

Note : It does not cover the specialist skills required to interpret the evidence gathered, or the specialist skills required to gather specific evidence.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to non-specialist workers who have been tasked with collection of information and evidence that is obvious at an incident. It does not apply to specialist relating to interpreting evidence gathered or gathering specific evidence.

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. Conduct initial assessment of scene 

1.1 Scene is assessed with regard to occupational health and safety and all actions are undertaken in line with organisation's policies, procedures, guidelines and duty of care requirements.

1.2 Communication is established with the senior investigating officer  and liaison is maintained throughout the investigation.

1.3 Circumstances surrounding the scene are ascertained from visual assessment and reports from other personnel.

1.4 Scene boundary is defined/redefined as required to preserve physical evidence for collection.

1.5 Obvious and accessible physical evidence  is located and, where appropriate, protected from possible contamination.

2. Control integrity of scene 

2.1 Appropriate arrangements for scene access and egress  are established and maintained.

2.2 All non-essential persons are removed from the scene and relevant details are recorded accurately and legibly in accordance with organisation and regulatory procedures.

2.3 Additional resources  are identified and accessed to secure incident scene.

2.4 The personal and health and safety needs of those involved in the incident are attended to.

3. Examine scene 

3.1 An appropriate search pattern is instigated in accordance with instructions from senior investigating officer to ensure all evidence is located and preserved.

3.2 Details of the scene  are recorded comprehensively and accurately in line with organisation's operating procedures.

3.3 Evidence is located, collected, packaged, labelled and stored to ensure preservation for further post-scene examination.

3.4 An accurate log of all evidence is maintained.

3.5 Scenes are correctly assessed for future investigative requirements and appropriate persons notified.

4. Identify potential witnesses and initial statements recorded 

4.1 Bystanders are canvassed to identify potential witnesses.

4.2 Details of potential witnesses are recorded.

4.3 Appropriate recording practices are used that are in accordance with legislative and regulatory requirements and organisation's policies and procedures.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required Skills 

  • accurate written recording and compilation of interviews and statements
  • attention to detail
  • implementing methodical and systematic approach
  • listening to bystanders
  • putting bystanders at ease
  • questioning bystanders
  • use of recording and specialised evidence collection equipment
  • working with a variety of professionals

Required Knowledge 

  • anti discrimination public safety
  • appropriate use of interpreting services
  • collection and recording of various types of evidence ranging from large objects to minute traces
  • details of scene
  • equal employment opportunity
  • features and use of a variety of specialised equipment to search
  • functions and roles of other professionals and experts
  • incident scene protection and preservation
  • indicators of emotional distress
  • indicators of need for specialised investigations
  • legislative requirements relating to occupational health and safety
  • policies and procedures relating to occupational health and safety
  • policies and procedures relating to recording details of persons
  • public safety and duty of care at accident/incident scene
  • recognition
  • record and collect evidence
  • shock
  • taking and compiling statements
  • taking of statements

Evidence Guide

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

Correct application of legislative requirements and organisation policies and procedures in all situations.

Consistency in performance 

Evidence will need to be gathered over time in a range of actual and/or simulated environment.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Context of assessment 

A real life incident, exercise or simulation, or series of tasks are required to demonstrate competence in this unit. This may involve setting scenarios to be completed either individually or as a member of a team.

Specific resources for assessment 

No special requirements.

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.

Initial investigation :

  • those enquiries conducted by the first public safety official on scene

Incident scene  may include:

  • structural fire
  • wild fire
  • vehicle fire
  • crime scene
  • vehicle accident
  • natural disaster
  • industrial/mining accidents and incidents
  • accident/incident involving death or injury to person or damage to property

Incident scene  may be:

  • indoor or outdoor
  • in a rural or urban environment

Incident scene  may be affected by:

  • prevailing weather and require additional resources to preserve and protect incident scene

Security of an incident scene  may be affected by:

  • topography
  • climatic conditions
  • human interference
  • animal interference
  • preservation of life/property

Public safety risk factors  include:

  • those factors at the incident scene that could impact on: the safety of investigators; the security/preservation of the actual site
  • the security and preservation of situational evidence

Investigating incident scenes  may include:

  • dangerous or distasteful conditions and may involve handling injured or deceased persons

Circumstances surrounding scene  may include:

  • sequence of events
  • possible causes
  • people involved
  • property involved
  • victims
  • suspects
  • witnesses
  • damage
  • injury
  • organisation personnel involved
  • other agencies involved
  • current status of investigation
  • action taken to date

Tactical factors  may include:

  • environmental circumstances
  • chronology of events
  • access to scene
  • number of persons at scene
  • availability of support services
  • boundaries

Persons at incident scene  may include:

  • Incident scene specialists and forensic experts; witnesses
  • victims
  • other bystanders; police and emergency services; media; coroners
  • pathologists
  • medical practitioners
  • undertakers; forensic accountants
  • information technology consultants and legal officers

Activities at incident scenes  may be recorded by:

  • running sheets
  • exhibit logs
  • receipts and personnel movement
  • video photography

Physical evidence  may include:

  • shoe impressions
  • tyre prints
  • skid marks
  • fingerprints
  • containers
  • fibres
  • flammable and combustible liquids
  • tool marks
  • bloodstains
  • identifying numbers
  • bodily fluids
  • burn patterns

Methods of collection  may include:

  • vacuuming
  • tape lifts
  • shovelling
  • photographing
  • casing

Methods of packaging  may include:

  • metal containers
  • plastic bags
  • paper bags
  • glass vials

Additional resources  may include:

  • organisation personnel
  • other organisation personnel
  • expert personnel
  • audio visual services
  • emergency lighting
  • forensic personnel

Relevant details from persons  may include:

  • name
  • contact details
  • other details in accordance with standard operating procedures

Liaison with investigating officer  may include:

  • professional and technical advice
  • identification of avenues of inquiry
  • significance of located evidence

Arrangements for scene access and egress :

  • clear brief as to who has control of access
  • physical barriers may also be required
  • roster guards
  • limit entry to essential personnel
  • delegation of authority to control entry
  • record all persons who enter or depart the scene and reasons

Arrangements to protect integrity of evidence :

  • roster scene guards
  • cover evidence
  • may require removal of evidence to ensure its protection

Details of scene: 

  • time
  • date
  • location
  • damage to property
  • injury to persons
  • personnel present
  • physical details of scene
  • evidence

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.