Unit of competency details

SFIPROC105B - Fillet fish and prepare portions (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SFIPRO103 - Fillet fish and prepare portionsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Prerequisite removed. Minor amendments to performance criteria for clarity. 20/Jun/2019
Supersedes and is equivalent to SFIPROC105A - Fillet fish and prepare portionsEmployability 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
SFI10511 - Certificate I in Seafood ProcessingCertificate I in Seafood ProcessingSuperseded1-4 
SFI20611 - Certificate II in Seafood Industry (Sales and Distribution)Certificate II in Seafood Industry (Sales and Distribution)Superseded1-4 
SFI40611 - Certificate IV in Seafood Industry Sales and DistributionCertificate IV in Seafood Industry Sales and DistributionSuperseded1-5 
SFI20111 - Certificate II in AquacultureCertificate II in AquacultureSuperseded1-5 
SFI10111 - Certificate I in AquacultureCertificate I in AquacultureSuperseded1-4 
SFI20211 - Certificate II in Fishing OperationsCertificate II in Fishing OperationsSuperseded1-5 
SFI20511 - Certificate II in Seafood ProcessingCertificate II in Seafood ProcessingSuperseded1-3 
SFI30611 - Certificate III in Seafood Industry (Sales and Distribution)Certificate III in Seafood Industry (Sales and Distribution)Superseded1-4 
SFI30511 - Certificate III in Seafood ProcessingCertificate III in Seafood ProcessingSuperseded1-4 
SFI10211 - Certificate I in Fishing OperationsCertificate I in Fishing OperationsSuperseded1-3 
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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 slicing cutlets or cutting fillets from fish, and then skinning and cutting portions from the fillet. It also addresses the rinsing and chilling of fillets, cutlets or steaks.

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 may have application to a fish processing area within a manufacturing facility, aquaculture facility, and wholesale and retail outlets selling seafood.

It extends to filleting and cutting portions, such as steaks and cutlets, to customer specifications. Skills in cleaning fish, working with knives and cleaning the work area are covered in other units:

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 for filleting

1.1. OHS hazards in the workplace are identified, assessed, reported and controlled using the hierarchy of control model .

1.2. Work instructions are confirmed with supervisor.

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

1.4. Equipment and materials  required for filleting work are selected and checked for cleanliness.

2. Fillet fish

2.1. Filleting equipment is used safely to prepare fillets and portions to customer specifications  and enterprise productivity and yield requirements  for the species .

2.2. Fillets are visually inspected for signs of spoilage, defects or parasites and defective fillets identified and set aside.

2.3. Fillets are trimmed and bones removed ensuring cuts are smooth with no jagged edges.

2.4. Skin is removed leaving flesh smooth and without tears, and skin tissue placed in the correct container

2.5. Portions are cut to the size, weight and shape specified by the customer and enterprise productivity and yield requirements.

2.6. Steaks and cutlets are trimmed, as necessary, to meet enterprise requirements.

3. Finalise filleting activities

3.1. Fillets, including portions, steaks and cutlets, are quickly rinsed in potable water and chilled ready for further processing, or packaging and retailing.

3.2. Identification and traceability of product is maintained throughout by accurate and compliant labelling.

3.3. Problems are reported to supervisor.

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 and yield requirements
  • 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 filleting fish and preparing portions
  • reporting problems orally to supervisor
  • using fish filleting equipment.

Literacy skills used for :

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

Numeracy skills used for :

  • estimating size and weight of portions
  • estimating yield of fillets
  • interpreting weight scales.

Required knowledge 

  • enterprise quality system procedures addressing customer specifications, fish identification and traceability, and enterprise productivity and yield requirements
  • food safety procedures and regulations that apply when handling and storing fish
  • location of bones and dark meat in different fish species
  • 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 filleted.

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 filleted
  • produce fillets, skinned fillets, cutlets or steaks and/or portions of fillets that are cut smoothly, with no jagged edges or damage to the flesh, to customer's specifications and within yield, food safety and enterprise productivity requirements, and meeting food regulations
  • undertake processing work in accordance with relevant OHS requirements.

Assessment must confirm knowledge of:

  • enterprise safe work practices, quality and food safety requirements relevant to fish filleting
  • fish filleting and portioning techniques.

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 are to be filleted with at least half of the fish being skinned
  • a minimum of twelve (12) fish are to be cut into cutlets and steaks.

Resources may include:

  • access to relevant workplace documentation
  • fish cleaning tubs, clean fish tubs and running potable water
  • range of fish of different shapes/sizes
  • range of knives and cutting tools
  • weigh scales and other measuring devices.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are 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
  • 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
  • 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).

Hierarchy of control model :

  • is a system for developing OHS risk controls with the priority being, in order:
  • eliminate the hazard
  • substitute the hazard for a lesser hazard or risk
  • isolate the hazard
  • use engineering controls
  • use administrative controls
  • use PPE.

Equipment and materials  may include:

  • bandsaw
  • cutting bench
  • fish filleting machines
  • fish filleting troughs for washing and icing
  • fish skinning machines
  • fish tubs and trays for storage and display
  • knives
  • potable water and ice
  • packaging.

Customer specifications  may relate to:

  • belly flap
  • dark meat
  • defects
  • fat under skin
  • fins
  • gut
  • gut lining
  • kidney
  • parasites
  • pin bones
  • preference for fillets:
  • as whole
  • as portions, such as cutlets or steaks, or as slices described by size, weight and shape.
  • skin.

Productivity and yield requirements  may include:

  • filleting rate
  • yield expectations (e.g. weight of fillet versus waste)
  • yield of cutlets or steaks (e.g. weight of saleable product).

Species  may include:

  • cutlets:
  • Yellowtail Kingfish
  • Jewfish
  • Blue Eye Cod
  • flat fish, such as Flounder, John Dory and Mirror Dory
  • round fish, such as Snapper, Gemfish, Redfish, Flathead and Sea Bream
  • portions:
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Tuna species.
  • steaks:
  • Mackerel
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Ocean Trout.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Seafood processing

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Competency field

Competency field