Unit of competency details

PUASAR027A - Undertake land search rescue (Release 3)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to PUASAR008B - Search as a member of a land search teamNew unit Unit is based on PUASAR008B Search as a member of a land search team Units are equivalent 10/Feb/2011
Is superseded by and equivalent to PUASAR027 - Undertake land search rescue 15/Jul/2019

ReleaseRelease date
3 (this release) 02/May/2013
(View details for release 2) 17/Aug/2012
(View details for release 1) 09/Feb/2011

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
PUA30410 - Certificate III in Public Safety (SES Rescue)Certificate III in Public Safety (SES Rescue)Superseded
RII30713 - Certificate III in Mine Emergency Response and RescueCertificate III in Mine Emergency Response and RescueSuperseded1-4 
PUA30701 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting Operations)Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting Operations)Superseded
RII30715 - Certificate III in Mine Emergency Response and RescueCertificate III in Mine Emergency Response and RescueSuperseded1-2 
RII30709 - Certificate III in Mine Emergency Response and RescueCertificate III in Mine Emergency Response and RescueSuperseded2-3 
PUA30613 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting and Emergency Operations)Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting and Emergency Operations)Superseded1-2 
PUA30601 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting and Emergency Operations)Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting and Emergency Operations)Superseded
PUA30412 - Certificate III in Public Safety (SES Rescue)Certificate III in Public Safety (SES Rescue)Superseded1-4 
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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.  02/Oct/2012 
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Modification History


TP version 



PUA12 V2.1

Editorial changes.


PUA12 V1

Layout adjusted. Fire specific prerequisite removed.


PUA00 V8.1

First release in TGA.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers the competency required to search for and locate lost persons and/or items as a member of a land search team.

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

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to individuals who are required to perform a land search as a member of a team under the direction of team leader in a range of environments and conditions.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


PUAFIR215 Prevent injury (Fire sector specific)

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 land search 

1.1 Operation and task information  is obtained and assessed and safety briefing  is received.

1.2 Incident information  is used to determine personal equipment  needed for search operation  appropriate to search terrain.

1.3 Search equipment  is checked and packed for use appropriate for the expected terrain  and conditions. 

2. Participate in search 

2.1 Specified team roles  and functions for search operations are carried out and safety briefing is conducted.

2.2 Search techniques are maintained, as specified by search coordinator.

2.3 Search boundaries are marked in line with task requirements.

2.4 Observation skills  are applied and any clues to locate persons or objects are reported immediately in accordance with organisational procedures.

2.5 Communication  is maintained within the team.

2.6 Personal capabilities and limitations are recognised and referred to supervisor.

3. Maintain search safety 

3.1 Survival techniques  are applied where required.

3.2 Search safety procedures are implemented in accordance with organisational policies and procedures.

3.3 Lost searcher procedures are implemented if required.

4. Preserve scene 

4.1 Supervisor is immediately advised of located persons or findings in accordance with organisational procedures.

4.2 Initial preservation procedures are implemented to maintain the integrity of evidence.

4.3 Initial scene preservation is conducted in line with the organisational requirements.

5. Complete stand down procedures 

5.1 Search equipment is recovered, cleaned and maintained in accordance with manufacturer's guidelines and organisational procedures.

5.2 Operational debriefing is participated in and operational documentation  is completed to organisational standards.

5.3 Symptoms of operational stress  are recognised and reported.

5.4 Decontamination procedures are followed in accordance with organisational procedures.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required Skills 

  • apply survival techniques
  • deal appropriately with clues and location of objects and/or causalities
  • implement lost searcher procedures
  • implement spacing and boundary marking procedures
  • maintain search information
  • observation skills
  • wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) correctly
  • work in a team

Required Knowledge 

  • local documentation requirements
  • local hazards and environmental threats
  • local operating procedures
  • local operational briefing and debriefing procedures
  • lost searcher procedures
  • organisational policies and procedures (such as relevant legislation; operational, corporate and strategic plans; operational performance standards; operational policies and procedures; organisational personnel and occupational health and safety practices and guidelines; organisational quality standards; organisation's approach to environmental management and sustainability)
  • procedures to locate person or object
  • recall procedures
  • relevant occupational health and safety principles and practices
  • relevant state/territory search management arrangements
  • requirements to preserve a crime scene and the preservation of evidence
  • signs and symptoms of operational stress

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:

  • comply with search orders and organisational requirements
  • observe safety of self and others at all times during the search

Consistency in performance 

Competency should be demonstrated over time in a range of actual and/or simulated workplace environments.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Context of assessment 

Competency should be assessed in an industry-approved simulated and/or workplace environment involving land search rescues using a range of equipment.

Specific resources for assessment 

Access is required to:

  • appropriate environment to conduct the search operation
  • other organisations

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.

Operation and task information  may include:

  • access and egress routes
  • command, control and coordination arrangements
  • location
  • magnitude and type of incident
  • number and type of casualties
  • other organisations
  • potential hazards
  • weather conditions and forecasts

Safety briefing  may include:

  • appropriate PPE
  • care for other team members
  • changing light
  • fatigue management
  • identified hazards and risks
  • resupply
  • risks
  • situational awareness
  • own limitations
  • weather

Incident information  may include:

  • access and egress routes
  • command, control and co-ordination arrangements
  • emergency rendezvous points
  • number, nature and description of persons or objects that are the focus of the search
  • operating area
  • potential hazards
  • terrain and environmental information
  • time constraints
  • weather forecast

Personal equipment  may include:

  • food
  • notebook and pencil
  • overnight sleeping equipment
  • personal first aid equipment
  • personal hygiene items
  • PPE, especially wet weather gear, cold weather clothing, sun protection
  • water

Search operations  may include:

  • operations are normally conducted in support of the police
  • searching for missing persons, objects or evidence
  • searching, most commonly, on foot – although searches may be undertaken from vehicles or on horseback, skis and snowshoes

Equipment  may include:

  • boundary marking tapes
  • compass or other positioning equipment
  • map
  • radio communications equipment

Terrain  may include:

  • forests
  • grassland
  • sand
  • snow
  • steep rock areas
  • urban areas

Conditions  may include:

  • hazardous environmental conditions including:
  • adverse weather
  • after dark operations
  • dangerous flora and fauna
  • difficult terrain
  • time pressure
  • operating as part of a multi-agency response
  • urban or rural environments

Specified team roles  may:

  • be determined based on the selected search technique (as per national land search operations manual) such as:
  • line search
  • feature search
  • track search

Observation skills  may include:

  • day vision skills
  • night vision skills

Communication  may include:

  • calming and reassuring a casualty
  • feedback of information
  • modes of communication as per organisational requirements

Survival techniques  may include:

  • constructing fires
  • constructing temporary shelters
  • conserving water, food and energy
  • locating shelter
  • obtaining water
  • skills relevant to the local areas (such as cold, heat, terrain and forest)

Operational documentation  may include:

  • electronic recording devices
  • notes, sketches of findings or other relevant information required for potential coronial or other legal proceedings photos

Symptoms of operational stress  may include:

  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • illness
  • indecision
  • intolerance
  • lack of focus
  • nausea

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.