Unit of competency details

PUAOPE027A - Undertake beach safety management activities (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 080399 Business And Management, N.e.c.  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080399 Business And Management, N.e.c.  03/Dec/2012 
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Modification History


TP version 



PUA12 V1

Layout adjusted.


PUA00 V8.1

Primary release on TGA.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers the competency required to coordinate beach surveillance and rescue as a part of a structured service.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Application of the Unit

The application of this unit in the workplace covers coordination of surveillance and rescue alone or as a part of a team in a beach/surf/open water environment.

The unit is typically relevant for personnel from emergency services and/or volunteer organisations or organisations where a structure beach surveillance and rescue service is supplied.

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 t ext 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 beach surveillance and rescue 

1.1 Duty information  is obtained.

1.2 Beach information and weather forecasts  are accessed and likely conditions  are considered.

1.3 Availability of appropriately skilled personnel  is ensured to meet likely conditions and organisational requirements. 

1.4 Pre-use check of equipment  is completed in accordance with organisational procedures.

2. Undertake preventative actions 

2.1 Beach and surf conditions  are evaluated.

2.2 Safest swimming location is determined and signage is erected in accordance with Australian Standards.

2.3 Equipment availability is ensured and appropriately located  to meet likely need and organisational requirements.

2.4 Operational command  is notified of availability for duty.

2.5 Public is proactively engaged  to inform them of hazards.

3. Respond to casualties in distress 

3.1 Casualties in distress are identified and/or information about casualties in distress is received from team members.

3.2 Incident details are gathered and risk assessment of casualties and incident is undertaken.

3.3 Appropriate rescue method is determined and appropriate rescue equipment is chosen as a result of this risk assessment.

3.4 Operational command is notified of rescue situation and continuous updates are provided as required.

3.5 Casualty rescue  is undertaken or team member is directed to undertake casualty rescue.

3.6 Casualty management is coordinated.

3.7 Liaison is undertaken with emergency services as required.

3.8 Completion of casualty handover to ambulance personnel is ensured.

4. Complete beach surveillance and rescue recovery requirements 

4.1 Operational command is notified of end of service provision.

4.2 Equipment is returned to storage and post-operational checks and maintenance are completed.

4.3 Personnel are debriefed as required.

4.4 Organisational documentation is completed as required.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required Skills 

  • access and interpret data
  • communicate effectively with colleagues and stakeholders
  • coordinate a range of beach related issues/rescues
  • identify rips
  • identify wave types
  • manage a range of situations in a calm, concise manner
  • undertake a risk assessment

Required Knowledge 

  • Australian Standards in relation to signage and beach safety
  • Australian Beach Safety and Management Program [ABSAMP]
  • Bureau of Meteorology
  • dangers associated with different wave types
  • different types of beaches and associated hazards
  • local government and by-laws
  • organisational operating procedures and structure

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

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

Assessment must confirm the ability to:

  • assess beach conditions
  • plan safest swimming location
  • coordinate a rescue situation
  • set up for beach surveillance and appropriately locate signage and equipment

Consistency in performance 

Competency should be demonstrated reviewing a range of beaches or range of conditions at the same beach.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Context of assessment 

Competency should be assessed during patrolling activities or as a part of structured beach set-up and surveillance scenario.

Specific resources for assessment 

Access is required to:

  • rescue equipment
  • patrol personnel
  • range of beaches with varying conditions

Method of assessment 

In a public safety environment assessment is usually conducted via direct observation in a training environment or in the workplace via subject matter supervision and/or mentoring, which is typically recorded in a competency workbook.

Assessment is completed using appropriately qualified assessors who select the most appropriate method of assessment.

Assessment may occur in an operational environment or in an industry-approved simulated work environment. Forms of assessment that are typically used include:

  • direct observation
  • interviewing the candidate
  • journals and workplace documentation
  • third party reports from supervisors
  • written or oral questions

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.

Duty information  may include:

  • Hours of operations
  • Number of personnel available
  • Providing a lifesaving/lifeguard patrol service at one or multiple locations
  • Type of service provided

Beach information and weather forecasts  may include:

  • Australian Beach Safety and Management Program (ABSAMP) rating
  • Local knowledge
  • Bureau of Meteorology reports and weather warnings
  • Tide times

Likely conditions  may include:

  • Estimated beach attendance
  • Littoral currents (side sweeps)
  • Rip currents
  • Sandbars
  • Surf size
  • Temperature
  • Wave types and associated hazards

Appropriately skilled personnel  may include:

  • Self
  • Qualified according to organisational requirements
  • Team members

Organisational requirements  may include:

  • Standard operating procedures
  • Service agreements

Equipment  may include:

  • Automated External Defibrillator
  • First Aid Kit
  • Inflatable rescue boat (IRB)
  • Oxygen Resuscitation Kit
  • Personal water craft (PWC)
  • Radios
  • Rescue board
  • Rescue tube
  • Signage
  • Spinal board

Beach and surf conditions  may include:

  • Choppy/calm water
  • Rip currents
  • Surf size
  • Wave types

Appropriately locating equipment  to meet likely need may include:

  • Locating rescue equipment at start of rip
  • Making first aid equipment available at central location
  • Situating rescue powercaft in a location clear of swimmers for safe launching

Operational command  may include:

  • Local supervisor
  • Remote communications centre

Engaging the public proactively  may include:

  • Directing bathing public back to safe swimming area through use of gestures
  • Explaining safest swimming location and hazards to beach going public
  • Making public announcements using address system/load hailer

Casualty rescue  includes:

  • Negotiating the surf to reach the casualty
  • Securing the casualty
  • Returning the casualty to shore
  • Providing first aid
  • And may include use of:
  • IRB
  • no equipment
  • PWC
  • rescue board
  • rescue tube

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

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