Unit of competency details

RTF2015A - Prepare turf surfaces for play (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by AHCTRF202A - Prepare turf surfaces for play09/Jun/2011

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 10/Apr/2003


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050301 Horticulture  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050301 Horticulture  10/Apr/2003 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

This competency standard covers the process of work undertaken by greenkeepers and sports turf curators in preparing turf surfaces for match play.

Preparation of turf surfaces is likely to be carried out under routine supervision with intermittent checking. Competency is demonstrated by the application of knowledge and skills to a range of turf surface preparation tasks. Preparation of turf surfaces is usually within established routines, methods and procedures.

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 the site to be mown


Services  affecting the turf surface  are located using site plans and in consultation with the supervisor.


Permanent obstacles  and OHS hazards  are identified, risks  assessed and reported to the supervisor.


Movable obstacles  are removed before and replaced after mowing and debris  is disposed of in an environmentally aware and safe manner according to enterprise work procedures .


Abnormal conditions  or changes in the appearance of the site are reported to the supervisor.


Prepare equipment for mowing


Tools, equipment and machinery  are selected that are appropriate to the task being undertaken.


The mower is calibrated and adjusted to height according to the manufacturers guidelines and enterprise work procedures.


Pre-operational checks of tools, equipment and machinery are completed according to manufacturers specifications and enterprise work procedures.


Suitable personal protective equipment (PPE)  is selected, used and maintained.


Suitable safety equipment  is selected and erected at the work site during work periods.


Mow playing surface


Grass appearance  is assessed against enterprise guidelines and changes in appearance are reported to the supervisor.


The mower is matched to any implement attached to it according to manufacturers guidelines and enterprise work procedures.


Continuous oversight of mowing activities is maintained according to enterprise work procedures.


Mowing is undertaken according to OHS requirements .


Undertake final preparation of playing surface


Mark out tools  appropriate for the task being undertaken are selected.


Lengths and angles are measured to locate markers and match play equipment according to enterprise work procedures and industry practice.


Marking out is completed according to the intended playing surface use  and enterprise work procedures.


Markers and play equipment are placed where necessary according to enterprise work procedures.


Correct manual handling techniques are used when lifting or moving heavy loads.


Tools, equipment and machinery are cleaned, maintained and stored according to enterprise work procedures.


Work outcomes are recorded or reported to the supervisor according to enterprise work procedures.

Required Skills and Knowledge

Not applicable.

Evidence Guide

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

Overall competency in preparing turf surfaces for match play requires evidence that a person working in a horticultural environment is aware of the procedures that are used to prepare a range of turf surfaces for play and is confident in applying these procedures.

The skills and knowledge required to apply these procedures must be transferable  to a wide range of turf surfaces, with different grass types and match play uses. For example, the skills required in placing game equipment, line marking and mowing would be applicable in varying situations. Identifiable hazards may also vary in relation to the public accessibility to a playing surface between match play uses.

Skills required to set up and shut down powered tools and trailed machinery in accordance with manufacturers specifications and identify hazards and assess risks will also be applicable in other work situations, such as renovating grassed areas, establishing turf and supporting the construction of a turf establishment site.

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:
1. practical understanding of how the intended use of the turf playing surface and the competition playing requirements will affect preparation of the turf surface
2. the effect of outdoor climatic conditions (e.g., rain, hail, extreme heat and/or wind, or very high ultraviolet radiation), which may prevent or impede turf surface preparation programs, or influence the requirements for the playing surface, the selection of tools, machinery and safety equipment to reduce the hazards presented
3. the environmental impact of water removal procedures, potential run-off from the site and disposal into drains or reticulation units
4. awareness of the potential public nature of turf surface preparation activities and the hazards and responsibilities associated with working in a publicly accessible situation.

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:
5. participate in teams and contribute to team objectives
6. read and interpret work procedures
7. communicate effectively with team members and supervisor
8. measure distances, angles and calculate areas
9. dispose of excess water, plant debris and litter in an safe, environmentally aware and sensitive manner, such as sorting plant and paper-based waste for recycling, returning chemical containers to the manufacturer, minimising water run-off and non-recyclable waste, and reporting and disposing of biohazardous litter such as used condoms or hypodermic syringes.

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 relating to turf preparation activities and problems encountered should be discussed with other members of the work team and the supervisor.

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

The site and surrounding area should be inspected visually and the information gained discussed with the work team and supervisor.

Enterprise work procedures and site plans should be consulted, interpreted and applied to turf preparation activities with further clarification sought from the supervisor where necessary.

3. How are activities planned and organised  ()?

Equipment, materials and work procedures for turf preparation will need to be arranged before and between work periods and there may be some responsibility for co-ordinating work with others.

4. How can team work  () be applied?

The turf preparation program may involve working with other members of a team to complete the program.

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

Measuring distance, calculating areas, calibrating machinery, estimating quantities of materials and marking out will require mathematical application.

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

Problems relating to preparation techniques, processes, the turf area, workplace safety and other team members may arise during the preparation of turf surfaces for play.

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

Technology may be applied in the preparation, use and maintenance of turf preparation tools, equipment and machinery.

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 services  may need to be located?

Services may include water supply, gas, power (electricity), telecommunications, irrigation, stormwater and drainage.

What types of turf surface  may require preparation for play?

Turf surfaces may include fine, coarse or juvenile turf.

What permanent obstacles  may be identified?

Permanent obstacles may include fixed play equipment, service outlets, ground water, design features, trees and shrubs, and open drains.

How may OHS hazards  be identified?

Hazards may be identified through visual inspection of the area, understanding of site plans, and enterprise work procedures.

What OHS hazards  may be associated with preparing turf surfaces for play?

Hazards may include people and animals moving across the site during work, obstacles and debris on the site, disturbance or interruption of services, solar radiation, dust, noise, chemicals and hazardous substances, manual handling, moving machinery and machinery parts, uneven surfaces and flying objects.

What or who may be at risk  from OHS hazards?

Hazards may pose a risk to workers, equipment, people and animals external to the workplace (such as members of the public, match players, stray pets and wildlife) and the natural environment.

What movable obstacles  may be identified?

Movable obstacles may include play equipment, irrigation sprinkler heads, hoses and potted plants.

What debris  may be identified on the site?

Plant material (such as fallen tree limbs and small branches, leaves and grass clippings), animal faeces and litter may create debris on the turf surface, as well as equipment and materials debris resulting from work procedures.

What enterprise work procedures  may apply to this standard?

Work procedures will be based on sound horticultural principles and practices and may include supervisors oral or written instructions, program for preparation of the turf surface, enterprise standard operating procedures (SOPs), specifications, routine maintenance schedules, work notes; manufacturers service specifications and operators manuals; waste and water disposal, recycling and reuse guidelines; and OHS procedures.

What abnormal conditions  may be identified?

Abnormal conditions may include damage to permanent fixtures, displays, playing equipment, presence of animals, and the turf surface.

What tools , equipment and machinery  may be required to prepare a turf surface for play?

Mowers may include cylinder, rotary, flail, hand, hand-operated cylinder mowers, ride-on mowers, and 4 wheel drive machinery. Other tools, equipment and machinery may include rollers, super soakers, line marking equipment, brush cutters, edge clippers, edge slicers and water pumps.

What personal protective equipment  (PPE ) may be required to prepare turf surfaces for play?

Personal protective equipment may include hat, boots, overalls, gloves, goggles, respirator or face mask, face guard, hearing protection, sunscreen lotion and hard hat.

What safety equipment  may be required?

Safety equipment may include signage and barriers.

What changes in grass appearance  may be observed?

Grass appearance changes may be observed as worn, discoloured, dried or over-watered grass patches, and evident weed or other pest invasions of the turf surface.

What OHS requirements  may be relevant to this standard?

OHS requirements may include identifying hazards, assessing and reporting risks, cleaning, maintaining and storing tools, equipment and machinery; appropriate use of personal protective equipment including sun protection, drinking to avoid dehydration, safe operation of tools, equipment and machinery, correct manual handling, basic first aid, personal hygiene and reporting problems to supervisors.

What mark out tools  may be used when preparing turf surfaces for play?

Mark out tools may include dry and/or wet markers, aerosols, specified measurements, measuring equipment and fitting placements.

What match games might the playing surface use  include?

Games may include golf, cricket, tennis, volleyball, rugby, soccer, football, horse racing, hockey, bowls or lacrosse.

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

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.