Unit of competency details

SFIPROC201C - Head and peel crustaceans (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SFIPRO201 - Head and peel crustaceansUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Minor amendments to elements. 20/Jun/2019
Supersedes and is equivalent to SFIPROC201B - Head and peel crustaceansEmployability skills and licensing statements added; minor rewording; template changes 21/Jul/2011

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


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 the head and peeling the shell from raw or cooked crustaceans, such as prawns, crabs, bugs and lobsters. It includes removing the meat and preparing, grading and packaging product according to specifications.

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 fish processing facilities, and wholesale and retail outlets that peel and shell crustaceans.

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 workplace

1.1. Work instructions are confirmed with supervisor.

1.2. Workplace is cleaned before start and hygienic conditions maintained throughout.

1.3. Area for product  handling and all equipment and materials  for grading, rinsing, storing and chilling product is clean and in full working order.

1.4. Sufficient potable ice, clean baskets and cold potable water are available.

2. Prepare product

2.1. Frozen, raw or cooked product is thawed in air or potable water, ensuring that the temperature of the product does not rise above industry requirements.

2.2. If indicated in customer specifications , check frozen raw product during thawing to ensure melanosis does not develop.

2.3. Thawed product is maintained at the temperature range stipulated in enterprise food safety plan when being transferred to clean perforated baskets before size grading.

2.4. Fresh product is checked during washing to ensure it is clean and shows no signs of sand, weed, debris, soft shell, spoilage, disease and parasites, according to customer or enterprise specifications.

3. Head and peel product

3.1. Head and shell are removed hygienically and quickly to achieve productivity and yield  requirements, and to minimise temperature abuse and melanosis.

3.2. Product is visually assessed for defects and spoilage and defective product put aside.

3.3. Peeled product is placed into correct container, avoiding cross-contamination between raw and cooked products.

3.4. Appropriate techniques are used to remove flesh from shell safely from species  to achieve yield requirements.

3.5. Product is treated with food-grade chemicals, if required.

3.6. Product is trimmed to meet customer specifications.

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

3.8. Product temperature is maintained within required range during processing.

3.9. Waste is collected and disposed of correctly.

4. Grade and pack product

4.1. Peeled product is size graded to meet customer or enterprise specifications.

4.2. Product is rinsed and chilled.

4.3. Product to be frozen is packed and transferred to the freezer immediately or kept chilled until frozen.

4.4. Fresh product is packed, labelled, stored, displayed or dispatched correctly.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • cleaning and maintaining a hygienic workplace
  • communicating orally to give and receive information
  • handling crustaceans safely and hygienically
  • identifying signs of spoilage and common crustacean defects, diseases and parasites in raw and cooked species
  • identifying species and location of gills, guts and internal skeleton
  • manual dexterity for quick head and shell removal
  • using safe manual handling techniques, including minimising the risk of repetitive, forceful, constrained or awkward postures.

Literacy skills used for :

  • interpreting enterprise procedures
  • interpreting specifications
  • reading basic order forms.

Numeracy skills used for :

  • counting number of pieces in carton and weight of cartons.

Required knowledge 

  • cross-contamination of raw and cooked product
  • food safety procedures and regulations that apply when handling and storing crustaceans
  • personal, workplace and product hygiene principles
  • enterprise quality system procedures addressing customer specifications, product identification and traceability
  • safe storage and handling of food-grade chemicals
  • spoilage pattern and common crustacean defects, diseases and parasites.

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:

  • follow the enterprise food safety program
  • recognise species and produce hygienically prepared headed and/or peeled crustacean flesh that meets customer specifications and that are within workplace productivity and yield requirements
  • work safely following enterprise OHS procedures.

Assessment must confirm knowledge of:

  • crustacean defects, diseases and parasites
  • enterprise safe work practices, quality and food safety requirements relevant to processing crustaceans
  • location of gills, guts, and internal skeleton in different crustacean species
  • spoilage patterns of raw and cooked crustaceans.

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 at least two (2) types of crustaceans (such as raw and cooked) should be head and peeled.

Resources may include:

  • cooked crustaceans
  • fresh crustaceans
  • frozen crustaceans
  • raw crustaceans
  • knives, clean prawn baskets, waste tubs and running potable water
  • thaw tank
  • weighing scales.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are suggested:

  • demonstration
  • oral questions.

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:

  • 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).

Product  may include:

  • cooked
  • fresh
  • frozen
  • uncooked (raw).

Equipment and materials  may include:

  • chemicals to control melanosis
  • chilled seawater
  • electric saw
  • freezer trays
  • ice slurries
  • peelings baskets
  • scales
  • thaw tank.

Customer specifications  may relate to:

  • cutlet
  • gills (crabs)
  • gut (de-vein)
  • meat
  • melanosis
  • temperature
  • size grading.

Productivity and yield  may include:

  • heading and peeling rates
  • peeled meat yields.

Species  may include:

  • bugs
  • crabs
  • freshwater prawns
  • lobsters
  • prawns
  • yabbies and other freshwater crayfish.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Seafood processing

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Competency field

Competency field