Unit of competency details

RTF2311A - Undertake stump removal (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by AHCARB206A - Undertake stump removal09/Jun/2011

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 10/Apr/2003


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  10/Apr/2003 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

This competency standard covers the work undertaken to remove tree stumps from the ground with the aid of motorised stump grinders.

Stump removal is likely to be under routine supervision with intermittent checking. Competency requires the application of knowledge and skills to a range of stump removal tasks. The work is usually within established industry guidelines and conforms to strict OHS 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 for stump removal operations


Workplace information  regarding the removal of stumps is collected and interpreted.


All underground services  are located according to supply authorities guidelines.


Tools and equipment  are selected according to supervisors instructions and manufacturers guidelines.


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


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


Undertake removal operations


Pre-operational and safety checks are carried out on stump removing tools and equipment, according to enterprise guidelines.


Tools and equipment appropriate to the task being undertaken are used according to OHS requirements. 


Stump is removed to agreed depth and spread without damage to underground services and surrounding areas.


Stump hole is back-filled and consolidated to original ground level according to enterprise policy.


Complete stump removal operations


Waste material is collected and disposed of and/or recycled in a manner that causes minimal damage to the environment.


Tools and equipment are cleaned, maintained and stored according to manufacturers specifications and enterprise guidelines.


A clean and safe work area  is maintained throughout and upon completion of work according to work procedures.


Relevant records  are maintained according to enterprise guidelines.

Required Skills and Knowledge

Not applicable.

Evidence Guide

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

Overall competence in undertaking stump removal requires evidence that a person working in a horticultural environment is aware of the procedures and methods that are used to undertake stump removal, and is confident in applying these procedures. Skills and knowledge relating to the task, such as operating powered machinery and hand tools, interpreting site and service plans, identifying and minimising hazards, and maintaining clean and safe work areas is also required when undertaking stump removal.

The skills and knowledge required to undertake stump removal must be transferable  to a different work environment. For example, this could include different situations, tree species and degrees of site access.

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:

manufacturer guidelines for operating stump grinding machinery

environmental implications of removal activities including run off, drainage, salinity and soil erosion, and soil disturbance

removal practices associated with different soil types

the effect of adverse outdoor climatic conditions (e.g. rain, hail, or wind), which may prevent or impede removal operations.

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 for stump removal operations

undertake removal operations

complete stump removal operations.

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?

Information about specific tasks associated with the job, such as work completion and hazards encountered, may be communicated to work colleagues and the supervisor.

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

Information such as removal techniques, site and service plans, and appropriate tools and equipment should be discussed with the supervisor and work team members.

3. How are activities planned and organised  ()?

Pre-operational checks and organisation of all tools, equipment and materials should be arranged before removal begins. Work schedules, location of services, site plans and personnel involved should also be arranged before removal activities begin.

4. How can team work  () be applied?

Undertaking stump removal may involve working with other members of a team to complete the removal program.

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

Mathematical techniques may be applied when calculating plan dimensions, and depth and volume of removal holes.

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

Problems relating to removal techniques, processes, the removal area, tools and equipment, workplace safety, other team members, environmental issues and interruption of removal program may require problem-solving.

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

Technology such as horticultural hand tools and equipment including stump grinders may be used in removal operations.

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 workplace information  may be relevant to stump removal operations?

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), work notes, manufacturers instructions, site and location plans, removal plans and specifications, waste disposal, recycling and re-use guidelines, or verbal directions from manager, supervisor, or senior operator.

What services  may need to be located?

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

What tools and equipment  may be used to undertake stump removal?

Tools and equipment may include axe, spade, shovel, crowbar, hand or powered winches, hand tools, stump grinding machine, chainsaw, and safety signs and/or barriers.

What OHS hazards  may apply to stump removal operations?

OHS hazards may include, flying debris, use of sharp tools and equipment, moving machinery parts, manual handling, noise, disturbance of underground services, holes, uneven surfaces, and faulty tools and equipment.

What PPE  may be needed to remove stumps?

PPE may include boots, overalls, gloves, hard hats, hearing protection, and face shields.

What OHS requirements  may be relevant to this standard?

Procedures may include appropriate use of personal protective clothing and equipment, safe operation of machinery and equipment, correct manual handling techniques, recognising and reporting problems to the supervisor, erection of safety signs and barriers, and maintenance and storage of tools and equipment.

What tasks may be undertaken to maintain a clean and safe work area ?

Tasks may include cleaning away (storing or stacking neatly) equipment, disabling machinery after use, and clearing and disposing of plant and equipment debris.

What records  may apply to this standard?

Workplace records may include date stump removal carried out, time spent on operation, and problems arising.

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

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.