Unit of competency details

SFIAQUA206C - Handle stock (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SFIAQU202 - Handle stockUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Minor changes to elements and performance criteria to clarify intent of unit. 20/Jun/2019
Supersedes and is equivalent to SFIAQUA206B - Handle stockEmployability skills and licensing statements added; minor rewording; holding structure added to scope; template changes 21/Jul/2011

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 22/Jul/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050701 Aquaculture  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050701 Aquaculture  07/Aug/2012 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency involves a range of stock handling activities, including cleaning, moving, grading and stocking of culture or holding structures, half pearl seeding of molluscs, and undertaking specific or general observations. It covers interpreting instructions and using equipment appropriately. This unit also covers handling dangerous stock other than crocodiles. Harvesting and post-harvesting handling activities are covered in SFIAQUA216B Harvest cultured or held stock and SFIAQUA215B Carry out on-farm post-harvest operations, respectively.

Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements may apply to this unit. Therefore it will be necessary to check with the relevant state or territory regulators for current licensing, legislative or regulatory requirements before undertaking this unit.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Licences may be required if operating :

  • load-shifting equipment, including forklifts
  • vehicles
  • vessels.

All enterprise or workplace procedures and activities are carried out according to relevant government regulations , licensing and other compliance requirements , including occupational health and safety  (OHS ) guidelines , food safety and hygiene regulations and procedures , and ecologically sustainable development  (ESD ) principles .

Equipment operation, maintenance, repairs and calibrations are undertaken in a safe manner that conforms to manufacturer instructions. Appropriate personal protective equipment  (PPE ) is selected, checked used and maintained.

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



1. Prepare for handling

1.1. Instructions on the handling schedule  are taken and understood.

1.2. Required equipment and materials  are collected and checked for serviceability according to manufacturer guidelines.

1.3. Basic repairs and calibrations are made to sub-standard equipment according to manufacturer instructions.

1.4. Data or record sheets/books are collected for use.

1.5. Equipment and data sheets are moved to handling site and readied for use.

1.6. Water and weather conditions are observed and conditions which could adversely impact on the stock handling activity or wellbeing of stock  are reported to supervisor.

1.7. Culture or holding structures or systems , or other equipment  identified for stocking are prepared to meet the water quality and rearing conditions  required by the incoming stock.

1.8. Route for stock being moved is selected for ease of access, safety of workers and minimal risk of stress and damage to stock.

2. Handle stock

2.1. Stock are identified, retrieved and isolated with stock behaviour anticipated and controlled, and appropriate safety measures taken for dangerous stock .

2.2. Stock are handled  as instructed by supervisor and in a manner that minimises stock stress and damage.

2.3. Statistical data  relating to stock is obtained and recorded without error against required stocking quantities or quality.

2.4. Stock are returned to original culture or holding structure or introduced into a new culture or holding structure or other equipment after acclimatisation, if appropriate.

2.5. Post-handling mortalities are determined and reported to supervisor.

2.6. Stock behaviour is observed and abnormal activities reported to supervisor.

2.7. Automatic or mechanised equipment is operated and maintained.

3. Complete post-handling activities

3.1. Clean up of work area, including repairs and storage of equipment, is supervised, and condition report prepared.

3.2. Relevant handling data, observations or information are recorded legibly and accurately, and any out of range or unusual records are checked.

3.3. Compliance and other required reports are prepared and conveyed to senior personnel advising of the effectiveness of handling, and recommendations made for improvements.

3.4. Feedback on own work performance is sought from supervisor and opportunities to improve identified.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • communicating with supervisor on handling activities and on own performance
  • communicating ideas on possible improvements
  • handling techniques
  • operating basic handling equipment
  • maintaining and repairing basic handling equipment
  • providing oral reports to the supervisor on activity irregularities
  • recognising normal and abnormal stock behaviour and environmental conditions.

Literacy skills used for :

  • interpreting handling schedules
  • recording handling information.

Numeracy skills used for :

  • counting, weighing and measuring stock and containers.

Required knowledge 

  • abnormal stock behaviour and methods of control
  • basic stock behaviour and biological requirements as they relate to stock handling activities
  • correct handling for dangerous species
  • effects of handling on stock
  • effects of water and weather conditions on stock and OHS of employees
  • handling equipment maintenance and basic repairs
  • handling equipment options and limitations
  • life cycles of species as they relate to stock handling activities
  • operation and maintenance of automatic or mechanised equipment
  • record keeping
  • safety considerations and hazards associated with moving stock
  • stock type and groupings.

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.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit 

Assessment must confirm ability to:

  • handle stock with minimum risk of stress and injury to stock, according to instructions
  • recognise a range of stock types and groupings.

Assessment must confirm knowledge of:

  • behaviour and biological requirements of stock
  • procedures for stock handling activities
  • safety considerations and hazards associated with moving stock.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment is to be conducted at the workplace or in a simulated work environment and should include typical handling activities that are normally being undertaken in the region.

Resources may include:

  • any products and treatments required for handling activities
  • data sheets for recording handling and stock information
  • equipment for handling stock
  • handling schedule
  • source/destination culture or holding structures
  • stock which represent a range of groupings
  • work procedures for stock handling.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are suggested:

  • demonstration
  • practical exercises
  • written or oral short-answer testing.

Guidance information for assessment 

This unit may be assessed holistically with other units within a qualification.

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, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Relevant government regulations , licensing and other compliance requirements  may include:

  • biodiversity and genetically modified organisms
  • biosecurity, translocation and quarantine
  • business or workplace operations, policies and practices
  • correct marketing names and labelling
  • environmental hazard identification, risk assessment and control
  • food safety/Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), hygiene and temperature control along chain of custody, and Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) Export Control (Fish) orders
  • health and welfare of aquatic animals
  • maritime operations, safety at sea and pollution control
  • OHS hazard identification, risk assessment and control.

OHS guidelines  may include:

  • appropriate workplace provision of first aid kits and fire extinguishers
  • codes of practice, regulations and/or guidance notes which may apply in a jurisdiction or industry sector
  • enterprise-specific OHS procedures, policies or standards
  • hazard and risk assessment of workplace, maintenance activities and control measures
  • induction or training of staff, contractors and visitors in relevant OHS procedures and/or requirements to allow them to carry out their duties in a safe manner
  • OHS training register
  • safe lifting, carrying and handling techniques, including manual handling, and the handling and storage of hazardous substances
  • safe systems and procedures for outdoor work, including protection from solar radiation, fall protection, confined space entry and the protection of people in the workplace
  • systems and procedures for the safe maintenance of property, machinery and equipment, including hydraulics and exposed moving parts
  • the appropriate use, maintenance and storage of PPE.

Food safety and hygiene regulations and procedures  may include:

  • Australian Shellfish Sanitation program
  • equipment design, use, cleaning and maintenance
  • exporting requirements, including AQIS Export Control (Fish) orders
  • HACCP, food safety program, and other risk minimisation and quality assurance systems
  • location, construction and servicing of seafood premises
  • people, product and place hygiene and sanitation requirements
  • Primary Products Standard and the Australian Seafood Standard (voluntary)
  • product labelling, tracing and recall
  • receipt, storage and transportation of food, including seafood and aquatic products
  • requirements set out in Australian and New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) Food Standards Code and state and territory food regulations
  • temperature and contamination control along chain of custody.

ESD principles  may include:

  • applying animal welfare ethics and procedures
  • control of effluents, chemical residues, contaminants, wastes and pollution
  • improving energy efficiency
  • increasing use of renewable, recyclable and recoverable resources
  • minimising noise, dust, light or odour emissions
  • preventing live cultured or held organisms from escaping into environment
  • reducing emissions of greenhouse gases
  • reducing energy use
  • reducing use of non-renewable resources
  • undertaking environmental hazard identification, risk assessment and control.

PPE  may include:

  • gloves, mitts or gauntlets, and protective hand and arm covering
  • buoyancy vest or personal floatation device (PFD)
  • hard hat or protective head covering
  • hearing protection (e.g. ear plugs and ear muffs)
  • non-slip and waterproof boots (gumboots) or other safety footwear
  • personal locator beacon or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)
  • protective outdoor clothing for tropical conditions
  • safety harness
  • sun protection (e.g. sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses)
  • uniforms, overalls or protective clothing (e.g. mesh and waterproof aprons)
  • waterproof clothing (e.g. wet weather gear and waders).

Handling schedule  may include:

  • destination of handled stock
  • handling activities
  • pre-handling activities (e.g. purging and anaesthesia)
  • quantities to be handled (e.g. number, volume and weight)
  • specific requirements, such as:
  • dangerous activities
  • observations to be made
  • special care or handling techniques
  • stock species and types to be handled
  • timing of handling
  • work team members.

Equipment and materials  may include:

  • aerators and other water treatment equipment
  • anaesthetic restraints for dangerous animals
  • cleaning equipment
  • counters
  • culture or holding structures
  • fish pump
  • graders
  • handling equipment:
  • nets
  • cages
  • traps
  • scoops
  • PPE
  • remote operated video or still camera
  • scales and measuring equipment
  • swim way
  • transport equipment:
  • buckets or pails
  • boxes or bags
  • tanks or transporters.

Culture or holding structures or systems , or other equipment  may include:

  • blowers, aerators, paddlewheels and aspirators
  • greenhouses, hothouses and igloos
  • pest, predator and disease control structures
  • water supply and disposal or effluent systems, including pumps, pipes, canals, channels, settlement ponds and storage dams
  • cages, pontoons, enclosures and pens, including associated moorings, anchors and markers
  • dams, ponds and pools
  • display tanks, aquaria and aquascapes
  • grow out facilities, hatcheries and nurseries
  • harvesting swimways, canals or channels
  • live holding tanks, bins, cages and pens
  • longlines, posts, racks and rails, rafts, fences, socks, trays, sticks, baskets, modules, barrels, bags and panels
  • open, flow-through, closed and semi-closed systems
  • purging or depurating systems
  • tanks, raceways and recirculating systems.

Water quality and rearing conditions  may include:

  • contaminants (e.g. nitrogenous wastes, carbon dioxide and pollutants)
  • dissolved oxygen
  • hardness
  • integrity of structure (e.g. no holes, tears or rips)
  • pH
  • predators, competitors and pests
  • salinity
  • water flow
  • water level
  • water temperature.

Dangerous stock  may include:

  • poisonous molluscs
  • stock with spikes, spines and teeth.

Handled  may include:

  • anaesthesia of stock
  • count:
  • by hand (e.g. gloves, counters and tally sheet)
  • electronic machines (e.g. videos and sensors)
  • hand-operated machines
  • number, volume or weight
  • half pearl seeding of molluscs
  • move, transport and transfer:
  • cages
  • fish pumps
  • nets, buckets, brails and bins
  • swim channels, pipes and raceways
  • transport containers
  • stock cleaning (generally only undertaken with molluscs, such as pearl oysters, mussels and oysters):
  • baths or raceways
  • by hand (e.g. water, chipping and scrubbing using hoses, sprays, gloves, chisels, brushes and knives)
  • hoses and sprays
  • no chemical usage
  • pearl net panel washing machines
  • turning of seeded molluscs
  • weigh and measure.

Statistical data  may include:

  • acclimatise:
  • hardness
  • pH
  • salinity
  • temperature
  • age
  • grade and sort:
  • by hand
  • electronic machines
  • grading/sorting table
  • mechanical (e.g. rollers, drums, sloping screens and vibrating screens)
  • simple, hand-operated equipment (e.g. sieves, screens and meshes)
  • growth rates
  • introduce into stock culture structures
  • mortalities
  • numbers.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Aquaculture operations

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Competency field

Competency field