Unit of competency details

RGRTRK302A - Maintain specialised non-turf track surfaces for racing (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to RGRTRK403 - Maintain specialised non-turf track surfaces for racingUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Minor changes to title and performance criteria for clarity and to reflect job role level. 04/Jul/2018

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 24/Sep/2008


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080319 Hospitality Management  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080319 Hospitality Management  24/Sep/2008 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency specifies the outcomes required to maintain specialised non-turf track surfaces for greyhound, harness or thoroughbred racing. It includes knowledge and skills associated with comparing specialised track materials, managing specialised track surfaces and renovating specialised track surfaces for greyhound, harness or thoroughbred training and racing. The unit requires knowledge of track materials, machinery and equipment, and regular care requirements, including repairs and renovation. The ability to plan and prepare budgets, liaise with staff and contractors regarding work requirements, and comply with workplace OHS standards is necessary.

This unit of competency operates in workplace environments of racing administration, kennels, stables, racecourses and public areas.

Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements may apply to this unit. Check with your State Principal Racing Authority for current license or registration requirements.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit of competency supports race club personnel in maintaining specialised non-turf track surfaces.

Competencies attained in this unit apply to the greyhound, harness or thoroughbred code of the industry. Consequently when performance criteria are applied they will relate to the greyhound code or the harness code or the thoroughbred code, and statements of attainment for this unit will reflect this distinction.

This unit can be contextualised for other industries while also maintaining the integrity of the unit.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

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 performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Compare specialised track materials.

1. Features of track construction are identified.

2. Track materials are evaluated for subsoil compatibility, as well as climatic, drainage and durability management considerations.

3. Specialised track materials are assessed for environmental sustainability .

4. Specialised track materials are assessed for economic viability  .

5. Strategies for managing a range of common track problems are compared for specialised track surfaces.

Manage specialised track surfaces.

6. Machinery and equipment are selected and prepared for track maintenance operations in accordance with manufacturer or supplier directions, OHS requirements  and workplace procedures.

7. Track camber, fall and surface depth for racing are evaluated.

8. Daily , weekly and race meeting care requirements  are planned and carried out for nominated specialised track surfaces to comply with manufacturer or supplier specifications and directions.

9. Track density and current moisture content are measured and track rating is declared.

10. Minor repairs to nominated specialised track surfaces are planned and carried out according to manufacturer or supplier and supervisor's directions.

Renovate specialised track surfaces.

11. Renovation is planned and budget presented to supervisor for approval.

12. Materials and equipment are selected, ordered and prepared for track renovation.

13. Contractor is engaged or staff instructed  in maintenance procedures in accordance with manufacturer specifications and directions, OHS requirements and workplace procedures.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • allocating duties to staff based on a range of operational requirements, staff experience, level of responsibility and complexity of job task
  • assessing requirements of track maintenance operation, including safety and welfare of staff and contractors
  • assessing track materials for durability, environmental sustainability and economic viability
  • communicating with racing officials, contractors and other personnel using assertive communication techniques to gather, interpret and relay information related to maintaining specialised non-turf track surfaces
  • completing duties in accordance with safe operating procedures and nominated time frame
  • complying with OHS and environmental legislation
  • complying with organisational policies and procedures
  • evaluating risks associated with track maintenance activities
  • making effective decisions to resolve routine problems
  • operating a range of equipment and machinery
  • recognising faulty equipment, machinery and infrastructure
  • reading and interpreting workplace documentation, including rules of racing
  • relating to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and with varying physical and mental abilities
  • supervising staff and contractor operations and procedures
  • teamwork skills to ensure completion of job tasks
  • written communication skills to complete workplace documentation and reports.

Required knowledge 

  • common horse gait abnormalities
  • hazards and potential hazards in the workplace and risk control procedures
  • OHS and environmental legislative requirements
  • organisational policies and procedures
  • principles of effective communication
  • protocols and procedures for communicating with racing officials and other relevant people
  • purpose and comprehension of procedures related to track maintenance and renovation
  • racetrack management operations and staff roles
  • racing industry animal welfare requirements
  • racing industry safety requirements, including safe operating procedures
  • reasonable understanding of applicable federal, state or territory legislation and regulations, and national standards and codes of practice relevant to full range of processes relating to own work role and responsibilities
  • relevant rules of racing
  • track construction and materials
  • types of equipment and procedures for their operation and maintenance
  • workplace specific and OHS requirements for engaging contractors.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

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

The evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit must be relevant to the specific industry sector and workplace operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this unit and include evidence of the following:

  • knowledge of the requirements, procedures and instructions that are to apply when maintaining specialised non-turf track surfaces for racing
  • implementation of procedures and timely techniques for the safe, effective and efficient application of specialised non-turf track surface maintenance requirements
  • working with others to undertake and complete maintenance procedures that meet required outcomes.

Evidence should be collected over a period of time in a range of workplace-relevant contexts and include dealings with an appropriate range of situations.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Competency must be assessed in a racing workplace that provides access to the required resources or simulated environment approved by the relevant State Principal Racing Authority. Assessment is to occur under standard and authorised work practices, safety requirements and environmental constraints. It is to comply with relevant regulatory requirements or Australian Standards requirements.

Assessment of the practical components of this unit will be by observation of relevant skills.

The following resources must be available:

  • a range of relevant training and racetracks
  • materials and equipment relevant to assessing candidate's ability to maintain specialised non-turf track surfaces for racing
  • work instructions and related documentation.

Method of assessment 

Assessment methods must satisfy the endorsed Assessment Guidelines of the Racing Training Package.

The suggested strategies for the assessment of this unit are:

  • written and/or oral assessment of candidate's required knowledge
  • observed, documented and firsthand testimonial evidence of candidate's application of practical tasks
  • simulation exercises conducted in a State Principal Racing Authority approved simulated environment.

Evidence is required to be demonstrated over a period of time, therefore where performance is not directly observed any evidence should be authenticated by supervisors or other appropriate persons.

This unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other units of competency relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role.

Guidance information for assessment 

Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy and numeracy demands) and the needs of particular target groups (e.g. people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, people with a language background other than English, youth and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds).

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.

The range statement provides details of how this competency can be used in the workplaces of the racing industry to maintain specialised non-turf track surfaces for racing. Workplaces include greyhound, harness and thoroughbred racecourses, training tracks, administration buildings and public areas.

Features of track construction  may include:

  • base course layer
  • compressive strength
  • general principles of road construction
  • grading or profiling of subgrade
  • materials, including:
  • fine crushed rock
  • road base or similar material
  • preparation of subgrade layer
  • proof rolling
  • recycling capability of materials
  • surface layer type and particle size
  • surface layer depth
  • subgrade compaction
  • specialised surfaces, including Pro-Ride
  • stability of materials
  • thickness of base course.

Specialised track materials  may include:

  • sands, soils and other track base and surface materials suitable for greyhound, harness or thoroughbred training and racing.

Environmental sustainability  may include:

  • recycling capability of materials
  • toxicity of materials.

Economic viability  may include:

  • cost of establishment of specialised track
  • ease of access to materials
  • estimated racing days on nominated surface
  • estimated training days on nominated surface
  • expected life span of materials
  • maintenance requirements.

OHS requirements  will include:

  • adhering to responsibilities under OHS legislation and workplace practices
  • national and state codes of practice; federal, state and territory legislation; and local government regulations covering animal welfare
  • considering variables that influence behaviour of horses, such as:
  • fences and equipment
  • other persons or animals
  • vehicles
  • wind and noise
  • eliminating hazardous substances and materials
  • ensuring accident and emergency equipment is available and in good working order, including:
  • fire safety equipment
  • first aid equipment for humans and animals
  • safety signage
  • ensuring equipment, machinery and vehicles are safe and in proper working order
  • following accident and injury procedures
  • following safe operating procedures
  • identifying hazards and applying risk control measures
  • reporting unsafe work practices
  • using correct manual handling techniques, including:
  • carrying
  • lifting
  • shifting
  • wearing personal protective equipment.

Confines of track camber , fall and surface depth  may include:

  • animal injuries
  • animal gait abnormalities
  • centripetal force
  • circumference of track
  • greyhound and harness specific:
  • banking
  • cushion
  • increases in degrees of banking
  • minimum safe banking
  • transition turns
  • underbanked semi-circular curves
  • length of straight
  • minimum turn radius
  • sand and cinders depth (thoroughbred)
  • track drainage.

Daily , weekly and race meeting care requirements  may include:

  • checking by visual inspection of defined surface layer
  • checking drainage pipes
  • checking running rails and pegs, including visibility and structural integrity
  • deep rip to remove deep-seated compaction as required
  • dragging daily to ensure even surface
  • ensuring satisfactory depth of surface layer
  • harrowing daily on sand tracks and as needed on cinders tracks
  • filling of hoof prints (harness and thoroughbred)
  • irrigation to bind surface material
  • power harrow to remove subsurface compaction as required
  • renovation
  • ripping as needed on cinders tracks
  • rolling daily on sand tracks
  • replacing materials
  • screening (greyhound and harness).

Considerations for when renovation is planned and budget presented  will include:

  • identifying defects, deterioration or deficiencies and establishing effect on asset performance
  • determining renovation or remediation required
  • determining club's funding arrangements for track renovation, for example asset management plans
  • appropriating necessary maintenance resources, for example:
  • labour
  • monetary
  • selecting appropriate renovation or rectification procedures
  • estimating expected completion of execution of work
  • developing maintenance and renovation programming, for example:
  • annual
  • five year
  • long-term.

Engaging contractors or instructing staff in maintenance procedures  will include:

  • arranging safe systems of work:
  • how work is organised
  • management of occupational stress and violence
  • pace and procedures to prevent fatigue
  • work arrangements
  • work processes and safe operating procedures
  • contractor-specific issues:
  • casual or fixed-term basis
  • control overwork and how services are to be performed
  • delegation
  • hours worked
  • legal risk
  • payment to contractor upon results achieved or completion of work
  • services and equipment provided
  • implementing procedures for safe use, handling, storage and transport of plant and substances
  • providing adequate facilities for welfare of employees and contractors:
  • drinking water
  • eating areas
  • shade
  • toilets.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit Sector 

Greyhound, harness and thoroughbred racing codes

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Functional Area

Functional Area 

Racing common