Unit of competency details

RTE1601A - Support irrigation work (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by AHCIRG101A - Support irrigation work09/Jun/2011

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 04/Oct/2003


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030907 Water And Sanitary Engineering  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030907 Water And Sanitary Engineering  04/Oct/2003 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

This competency standard covers the process of supporting the installation, operation and maintenance of watering and drainage systems under direct supervision. It requires the ability to prepare materials, tools and equipment for irrigation work, undertake irrigation activities, handle materials and equipment, and clean up on completion of work. Supporting irrigation work requires knowledge of safe work practices, irrigation work techniques, irrigation tools and equipment, and repair and maintenance of irrigation components and systems.

Application of the Unit

Not applicable.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements and Performance Criteria 


Performance Criteria 


Prepare materials, tools and equipment for irrigation work 


The required materials, tools and equipment  are identified according to lists provided and/or supervisor's instructions. 


Checks are conducted on all materials, tools and equipment with insufficient or faulty items reported to the supervisor.


Techniques used when loading and unloading materials demonstrate correct manual handling and minimise damage to the load and the vehicle.


Suitable personal protective equipment (PPE)  is selected and checked prior to use.


Irrigation support is provided according to OHS requirements  and according to workplace information. 


OHS hazards  are identified and reported to the supervisor.


Undertake irrigation work  as directed


Instructions and directions provided by supervisor are followed, and clarification sought when necessary.


Irrigation work is undertaken in a safe and environmentally appropriate manner according to enterprise guidelines.


Interactions with other staff and customers is carried out in a positive and professional manner.


Enterprise policy and procedures in relation to workplace practices, handling and disposal of materials is observed.


Problems or difficulties in completing work to required standards or timelines are reported to supervisor.


Handle materials and equipment


Waste material  and debris produced during irrigation work is stored in a designated area according to supervisor's instructions.


Materials, equipment and machinery are handled and transported according to supervisor's instructions and enterprise guidelines.


A clean and safe work site is maintained while undertaking irrigation activities.


Clean up on completion of irrigation activities


Materials are returned to store or disposed of according to supervisor's instructions.


Tools and equipment are cleaned, maintained and stored according to manufacturers specifications and supervisor's instructions.


Site is made good  according to supervisor's instructions and good environmental practices.


Work outcomes are reported to the supervisor.

Required Skills and Knowledge

Not applicable.

Evidence Guide

What evidence is required to demonstrate competence for this standard as a whole ?

Competence in supporting irrigation work requires evidence that irrigation activities have been carried out according to instructions and within the required timelines. The skills and knowledge that are required to support irrigation work must be transferable  to different work environments. For example, this could include different irrigation systems and components, work locations and enterprise policies and procedures.

What specific knowledge is needed to achieve the performance criteria ?

Knowledge and understanding are essential to apply this standard in the workplace, to transfer the skills to other contexts, and to deal with unplanned events. The knowledge requirements for this competency standard are listed below:

safe work practices

preparing for irrigation work and cleaning up on completion

basic construction techniques

irrigation tools and equipment

maintenance practices for planted areas

basic repair and maintenance of irrigation components and systems.

What specific skills are needed to achieve the performance criteria ?

To achieve the performance criteria, appropriate literacy and numeracy levels as well as some complementary skills are required. These include the ability to:

prepare materials, tools and equipment for irrigation work

undertake irrigation work as directed

handle materials and equipment

clean up on completion of work.

What processes should be applied to this competency standard ?

There are a number of processes that are learnt throughout work and life, which are required in all jobs. They are fundamental processes and generally transferable to other work functions. Some of these are covered by the key competencies , although others may be added. The questions below highlight how these processes are applied in this competency standard. Following each question a number in brackets indicates the level to which the key competency needs to be demonstrated where 0 = not required, 1 = perform the process, 2 = perform and administer the process and 3 = perform, administer and design the process.

1. How can communication of ideas and information  () be applied?

Ideas and information about the job, tasks and problems should be discussed with other members in the work team and the supervisor.

2. How can information be collected , analysed and organised  ()?

Workplace and supervisors instructions should be located, interpreted and applied with further clarification sought as necessary.

3. How are activities planned and organised  ()?

Discussions with the supervisor and other team members may be required in order to complete tasks efficiently in a logical sequence and in a timely manner.

4. How can team work  () be applied?

Good communication and co-operation with other staff in completing irrigation tasks.

5. How can the use of mathematical ideas and techniques  () be applied?

Skills in counting, tallying and estimation are required when handling materials, tools and equipment.

6. How can problem -solving skills  () be applied?

Problems will require corrective action or consultation with supervisor.

7. How can the use of technology  () be applied?

Technology may be applied in the use of irrigation tools and equipment.

Are there other competency standards that could be assessed with this one ?

This competency standard could  be assessed on its own or in combination with other competencies relevant to the job function.

There is essential information about assessing this competency standard for consistent performance  and where and how it may be assessed , in the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package. All users of these competency standards must have access  to the Assessment Guidelines . Further advice may also be sought from the relevant sector booklet .

Range Statement

Range of Variables 

The Range of Variables explains the contexts within which the performance and knowledge requirements of this standard may be assessed. The scope of variables chosen in particular training and assessment requirements may depend on the work situations available

What tasks may be included under irrigation work ?

Assisting with installation of irrigation and/or drainage pipes and components for gravity fed or pressurised systems, including digging trenches, back filling of trenches and completing other basic tasks as instructed.

Assisting with maintenance of irrigation and/or drainage systems including clearing blockages, and completing other basic tasks as instructed.

Work with a range of materials including plastic and metal pipes and components using hand tools commonly used in irrigation work.

Associated irrigation activities including assisting in establishing work base, clearing site, erecting barriers and signs, unloading and loading of materials, setting out of works, cleaning up site and disposal of debris and materials.

What instructions  may be relevant to this standard?

Instructions may include Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), enterprise policy and procedures, specifications, work notes, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), manufacturers instructions, or verbal directions from manager or supervisor.

What tools and equipment  may be required for irrigation work?

Tools and equipment may include levelling equipment, wheelbarrow, string lines, tape measures, marking gauges, spades, shovels, crow bars, rakes, brooms, sanding blocks and hacksaws.

What workplace information  might be required for this standard?

Workplace information may include procedures for disposing of waste materials, work instructions or verbal instructions from the supervisor.

What OHS hazards  may be associated with irrigation work?

Hazards may include, solar radiation, dust, noise, air- and soil-borne micro-organisms, chemicals and hazardous substances, sharp hand tools and equipment, manual handling, holes, and slippery and uneven surfaces.

What are the personal protective clothing and equipment  requirements associated with irrigation support?

Personal protective clothing and equipment may include steel capped boots/shoes, overalls, gloves, sun hat, sunscreen lotion, safety goggles, face mask and ear protectors.

What waste materials  may apply to this standard?

Plant debris, litter and broken components, mulches, compost, plastic, metal, and paper-based materials. These may be recycled, re-used, returned to the manufacturer, or disposed of according to enterprise work procedures.

What may occur when a site is made good ?

Paths are swept and cleaned, work area is left in a good state, disturbed areas are repaired, all materials, debris, tools and equipment are removed from site, and other signs of disturbance or damage are corrected.

For more information on contexts, environment and variables for training and assessment, refer to the Sector Booklet.

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.