Unit of competency details

SFIEMS401B - Conduct an internal audit of an environmental management system (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
DeletedDeleted from SFI11 Seafood Industry Training Package20/Jun/2019
Supersedes and is equivalent to SFIEMS401A - Conduct an internal audit of an environmental management systemEmployability skills and licensing statements added; minor rewording; template changes21/Jul/2011

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 22/Jul/2011

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
SFI30311 - Certificate III in Seafood Industry (Environmental Management Support)Certificate III in Seafood Industry (Environmental Management Support)1-5 
SFI40111 - Certificate IV in AquacultureCertificate IV in Aquaculture1-5 
SFI40211 - Certificate IV in Fishing OperationsCertificate IV in Fishing Operations1-3 
SFI30111 - Certificate III in AquacultureCertificate III in Aquaculture1-5 
SFI40311 - Certificate IV in Seafood Industry (Environmental Management)Certificate IV in Seafood Industry (Environmental Management)1-4 
SFI30211 - Certificate III in Fishing OperationsCertificate III in Fishing Operations1-5 
SFI40511 - Certificate IV in Seafood ProcessingCertificate IV in Seafood Processing1-5 
SFI40611 - Certificate IV in Seafood Industry Sales and DistributionCertificate IV in Seafood Industry Sales and Distribution1-5 
SFI30611 - Certificate III in Seafood Industry (Sales and Distribution)Certificate III in Seafood Industry (Sales and Distribution)1-4 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 059999 Agriculture, Environmental And Related Studies, N.e.c.  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 059999 Agriculture, Environmental And Related Studies, N.e.c.  07/Aug/2012 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency involves preparing for, carrying out and documenting an internal audit of an environmental management system by a supervisor.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit addresses the knowledge, processes and techniques necessary to conduct internal audits of environmental management systems in the seafood industry. The systems may be to a third-party certification or stewardship standard, but this is not essential. The environmental management system may be enterprise-based or it may be a system developed by a common interest group, for example, oyster growers within an estuary or a fishers' cooperative.

The internal audit also covers the implementation of identified corrective action and opportunities for improving and monitoring their effectiveness. Specialist technical expertise may be required to analyse and interpret monitoring data.

All enterprise or workplace procedures and activities are carried out according to relevant government regulations , licensing and other compliance requirements .

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 an internal audit

1.1. The scope  of the planned audit is determined and requirements are detailed.

1.2. Procedures to be audited are identified and relevant documentation  collected.

1.3. Relevant personnel are briefed, and roles and responsibilities allocated.

1.4. A detailed audit plan is developed in consultation with relevant personnel.

1.5. A checklist to identify conformance and non-conformance is developed.

2. Conduct the internal audit

2.1. The components of the environmental management system  and work area  to be audited are selected.

2.2. Continuous improvement and ownership of the audit process are maximised by collaborating with relevant personnel .

2.3. Sufficient evidence is collected to identify non-conforming aspects of the environmental management system.

2.4. Evidence is analysed using improvement tools  to identify suitable corrective actions.

3. Report findings

3.1. The internal audit is reported  as directed in the audit plan.

3.2. Findings from the audit process are documented in the required format.

3.3. Recommendations for corrective actions are presented.

3.4. Strategies are provided for the implementation of the corrective actions.

4. Complete corrective actions

4.1. Relevant personnel are consulted regarding the necessary strategies to improve the environmental management system.

4.2. An action plan is developed and implemented to improve the environmental management system.

4.3. The effectiveness of the corrective action is evaluated and reported after an agreed time interval.

4.4. Relevant documentation  is recorded and stored appropriately for future access.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • analysing monitoring data
  • developing and documenting an audit plan, action plan and conformance/non-conformance checklist
  • documenting and reporting on findings
  • interpreting environmental management system documentation
  • interpreting relevant national and international standards and codes of practice
  • presenting recommendations.

Required knowledge 

  • audit processes
  • continuous improvement processes
  • enterprise or cooperative environmental management system
  • national or international environmental standards and protocols relevant to the audit
  • organisational structure of the enterprise or common interest group, including responsibilities and delegated authority of key personnel
  • problem-solving techniques that identify causes of non-conformance and options to remedy problems
  • relevant health, safety and environment requirements
  • reporting requirements of the workplace or common interest group.

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 the ability to:

  • undertake internal audits of an environmental management system.

Assessment must confirm knowledge of:

  • application of audit principles
  • approaches to continuous improvement
  • approaches to planning.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment is to be conducted in a work environment, or simulated environment.

The candidate must undertake several internal audits (an audit can address one or more components of the environmental management system).

Resources for assessment may include:

  • access to personnel who have a role and responsibility in implementing and/or monitoring the effectiveness of the environmental management system
  • documentation relevant to the audit.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are suggested:

  • demonstrating the application of continuous improvement processes
  • planning, conducting and reporting of an internal audit of an environmental management system.

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
  • Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) and other import requirements
  • business or workplace operations, policies and practices
  • correct marketing names and labelling
  • ecologically sustainable development (ESD) principles, environmental hazard identification, risk assessment and control
  • fisheries or aquaculture regulations, permits and licences
  • food safety, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), hygiene and temperature control along chain of custody
  • health and welfare of aquatic animals
  • Indigenous land rights and cultural activities, including fishing by traditional methods
  • maritime and occupational diving operations, safety at sea and pollution control
  • occupational health and safety (OHS) hazard identification, risk assessment and control.

PPE  may include

  • buoyancy vest or personal floatation device (PFD)
  • gloves, mitts or gauntlets, and protective hand and arm covering
  • hard hat or protective head covering
  • hearing protection (e.g. ear plugs and ear muffs)
  • insulated protective clothing for freezers or chillers and refrigeration units
  • non-slip and waterproof boots (gumboots) or other safety footwear
  • personal locator beacon or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)
  • protective eyewear, glasses and face mask
  • protective hair, beard and boot covers
  • protective outdoor clothing for tropical conditions
  • respirator or face mask
  • 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).

The scope  may include:

  • control of customer supplied product
  • document and data control
  • external controls
  • process control
  • product identification and traceability
  • public resources, such as fish stocks and water
  • purchasing procedures
  • responsibilities of personnel within the enterprise or common interest group
  • servicing of vessels, vehicles, machinery and equipment
  • training
  • waste control
  • water quality control.

Relevant documentation  may include:

  • any documentation related to the environmental management elements being audited
  • certification documentation from clients and suppliers
  • community feedback
  • environmental management system plan and procedures
  • material and equipment specifications
  • monitoring records
  • training records.

Environmental management system  may address the requirements of:

  • federal, state and territory environmental legislation, such as:
  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000
  • state and territory environmental protection authorities and agencies
  • International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)
  • local government by-laws and regulations, including regional land and water management plans
  • state and territory OHS legislation and regulations
  • third-party standards, such as the ISO 14000 series and those of the Marine Stewardship Council.

Work area  may be within:

  • all or selected enterprises operating under a communal environmental management system
  • an enterprise.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • managers, customers, suppliers, general public, state or federal fisheries management and environmental protection officers, and other personnel with environmental management responsibilities.

Improvement tools  may include:

  • cause and effect diagrams
  • ESD frameworks and guidelines
  • process and capability mapping.

Reported  may involve:

  • data entry into enterprise or cooperative group databases
  • judgement and recommendations
  • presentations
  • verbal responses
  • written reports.

Documentation  may include:

  • audit documents
  • enterprise or common interest group environmental management system plans
  • environmental certification or registration requirements
  • safety precautions, standard operating procedures and work instructions.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Environment and sustainability

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Competency field

Competency field