Unit of competency details

SFIPROC101C - Clean fish (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SFIPRO101 - Clean fishUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Prerequisite removed. 20/Jun/2019
Supersedes and is equivalent to SFIPROC101B - Clean fishEmployability skills and licensing statements added; minor rewording; template changes 21/Jul/2011

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 columnUsage RecommendationRelease
SFI20511 - Certificate II in Seafood ProcessingCertificate II in Seafood ProcessingSuperseded1-3 
SFI10211 - Certificate I in Fishing OperationsCertificate I in Fishing OperationsSuperseded1-3 
SFI20611 - Certificate II in Seafood Industry (Sales and Distribution)Certificate II in Seafood Industry (Sales and Distribution)Superseded1-4 
SFI20111 - Certificate II in AquacultureCertificate II in AquacultureSuperseded1-5 
SFI10511 - Certificate I in Seafood ProcessingCertificate I in Seafood ProcessingSuperseded1-4 
SFI30511 - Certificate III in Seafood ProcessingCertificate III in Seafood ProcessingSuperseded1-4 
SFI10111 - Certificate I in AquacultureCertificate I in AquacultureSuperseded1-4 
SFI40611 - Certificate IV in Seafood Industry Sales and DistributionCertificate IV in Seafood Industry Sales and DistributionSuperseded1-5 
SFI20211 - Certificate II in Fishing OperationsCertificate II in Fishing OperationsSuperseded1-5 
SFI30611 - Certificate III in Seafood Industry (Sales and Distribution)Certificate III in Seafood Industry (Sales and Distribution)Superseded1-4 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030307 Food Processing Technology  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030307 Food Processing Technology  07/Aug/2012 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency involves removing scales, gills and guts from fish and then rinsing away all loose debris to produce clean fish according to productivity requirements.

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 

This unit has application for workers in fish processing facilities.

It extends to cleaning and preparing fish to customer specifications.

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 


Work with knives

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 work area

1.1. Work instructions are confirmed with supervisor.

1.2. Work area is cleaned before commencing and hygienic conditions maintained throughout.

1.3. Fish are visually inspected for any signs of spoilage, defects and parasites, and defective fish are identified and set aside.

2. Clean fish

2.1. Cleaning equipment  is used safely to clean and prepare fish to customer specifications .

2.2. Scales are removed leaving skin undamaged, and the fish rinsed free of loose scales in potable water.

2.3. Gills and guts are removed without cutting into the flesh, and the fish rinsed free of loose debris, in potable water.

2.4. Fish parts are placed into correct container for further processing or disposal.

2.5. Fish cleaning meets enterprise productivity  requirements.

3. Finalise fish cleaning activities

3.1. Cleaned fish are displayed or stored according to work instruction.

3.2. Problems are reported to supervisor.

3.3. Identification and traceability of product is maintained through accurate and compliant labelling.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • cleaning and maintaining a hygienic workplace
  • communicating with supervisor to clarify work instructions, customer specifications and productivity requirements
  • handling fish and fish cleaning equipment safely and hygienically
  • identifying signs of spoilage and common fish defects, diseases and parasites
  • identifying species and fish parts, such as gills, gonads, scales, roe, kidneys and swim bladder
  • manual dexterity for cleaning fish
  • using safe manual handling techniques, including minimising the risk of repetitive, forceful, constrained or awkward postures
  • reporting problems orally to supervisor.

Literacy skills used for :

  • interpreting customer specifications
  • interpreting enterprise OHS procedures
  • interpreting enterprise quality, food safety and hygiene procedures.

Required knowledge 

  • enterprise quality system procedures addressing customer specifications, fish identification and traceability
  • food safety procedures and regulations that apply when handling and storing fish
  • OHS requirements when using knives, cutting equipment and lifting and handling boxes of fish and fish products
  • personal, workplace and product hygiene principles
  • spoilage pattern and common fish defects, diseases and parasites for species being cleaned.

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:

  • identify spoilage and common fish defects, diseases and parasites for species being cleaned
  • produce cleaned fish within enterprise productivity and food safety requirements that conform to state/territory food regulations and customer specifications.

Assessment must confirm knowledge of:

  • enterprise safe work practices, quality and food safety requirements relevant to cleaning fish.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment is to be conducted at the workplace or in a simulated work environment. To ensure consistency and level of performance a minimum of twelve (12) fish, including flat and round fish or fish of different sizes, are to be cleaned.

Resources may include:

  • a range of knives, cleaning and cutting tools appropriate to the purpose
  • fish to be cleaned
  • fish cleaning tubs, clean fish tubs and running cold potable water
  • scales
  • resources, such as Australian Seafood : An identification guide to domestic species , CSIRO
  • Australian Fish Names Standard.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment method is suggested:

  • observation of practical demonstration
  • oral questions.

Guidance information for assessment 

This unit may be assessed holistically with other seafood processing 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:

  • 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
  • OHS hazard identification, risk assessment and control.

OHS guidelines  may include:

  • appropriate workplace provision of first aid kits and fire extinguishers
  • clean, uncluttered, hygienic workplace
  • 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 the protection of people in the workplace
  • the appropriate use, maintenance and storage of PPE.

Food safety and hygiene regulations and procedures  may include:

  • AQIS Export Control (Fish) orders
  • Australian Shellfish Sanitation program
  • chain of custody (temperature and contamination control)
  • equipment design, use and maintenance
  • hygiene and sanitation requirements
  • location, construction and servicing of seafood premises
  • Primary Products Standard and the Australian Seafood Standard (voluntary)
  • requirements set out in Australian and New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) Food Standards Code.

ESD principles  may include:

  • controlling effluents, chemical residues, contaminants, wastes and pollution
  • controlling pests
  • improving energy efficiency
  • increasing use of renewable, recyclable and recoverable resources
  • minimising noise or odour emissions
  • reducing emissions of greenhouse gases
  • reducing energy use
  • reducing use of non-renewable resources
  • undertaking environmental hazard identification, risk assessment and control
  • undertaking facility quarantine, biosecurity and translocation of livestock and genetic material
  • using and recycling of water, and maintaining water quality.

PPE  may include:

  • gloves, mitts or gauntlets, and protective hand and arm covering
  • insulated protective clothing for freezers or chillers and refrigeration units
  • non-slip and waterproof boots (gumboots) or other safety footwear
  • protective hair, beard and boot covers
  • uniforms, overalls or protective clothing (e.g. mesh and waterproof aprons.)

Equipment  may include:

  • bandsaw
  • deboning machines
  • fat suction tools and equipment
  • fish cleaning troughs
  • fish tubs and bins
  • gutting machines
  • hand-held scalers
  • knives
  • scaling knife
  • scaling machine
  • weighing scales.

Customer specifications  may include:

  • head removed or attached
  • head, gut and fins removed or attached
  • kidney removed
  • roe retained for sale
  • swim bladder removed.

Productivity  may include:

  • scaling and gutting rates.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Seafood processing

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Competency field

Competency field