Unit of competency details

SISOBWG411 - Instruct bushwalks in a controlled environment (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 14/Dec/2013

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Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 092103 Sports Coaching, Officiating And Instruction  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 092103 Sports Coaching, Officiating And Instruction  05/Mar/2014 
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Modification History

The release details of this endorsed unit are in the table below. The latest information is at the top.




New unit.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to instruct participants in bushwalking in a controlled environment. This unit focuses on planning, instructing and evaluating bushwalking sessions to enable participants to participate independently or with minimal supervision, in a bushwalking session in a controlled environment.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to those working as bushwalking instructors who are responsible for instructing participants on bushwalking sessions conducted in a range of controlled environments and locations. Controlled environments are easy to follow tracks that are likely hardened and sign posted, reliably marked on maps, obvious on the ground, easily accessed, and with indistinct trails and off track within well defined boundaries. Tracks in controlled environments are graded from Grade 1 to Grade 3 using the Australian Walking Track Grading System.

Bushwalking instructors may operate for outdoor education or adventure providers, volunteer groups, not-for-profit organisations or government agencies.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

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



Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements and Performance Criteria

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.

1. Plan a bushwalking session.

1.1. Establish participant needs and characteristics .

1.2. Assess current bushwalking knowledge of participants in order to determine session aims and objectives .

1.3. Determine an appropriate instructional plan  according to participant needs and characteristics.

1.4. Develop a bushwalking plan  to meet participant needs and characteristics, relevant legislation  and organisational policies and procedures .

1.5. Identify potential hazards and risks  associated with bushwalking in a controlled environment and minimise risks according to organisational policies and procedures.

1.6. Identify food and water requirements .

1.7. Access relevant sources  to interpret detailed weather and environmental information  and determine contingency plans.

1.8. Communicate plan with support personnel  and relevant authorities .

2. Select and organise equipment and resources for session.

2.1. Select and access equipment  and resources according to contextual issues , organisational policies and procedures.

2.2. Check equipment for working condition, safety and suitability, according to relevant legislation and manufacturer recommendations.

2.3. Check contents of first aid and repair kits to ensure suitability to the location and session.

3. Brief participants.

3.1. Communicate instructions and relevant information  about the bushwalking session in an appropriate manner.

3.2. Encourage participants to seek clarification, information and feedback as required during the session.

3.3. Establish a suitable communication system  for participants to use while bushwalking.

3.4. Inform participants of known and anticipated hazards, safety procedures , and appropriate behaviour.

3.5. Confirm participants are equipped for the session and equipment is fitted and adjusted to ensure personal comfort and safety.

3.6. Conduct introductory sessions for participants to minimise the risk of injury.

4. Instruct a bushwalking session.

4.1. Monitor individual participant performance during bushwalking session.

4.2. Apply clear and accurate instructional techniques  to impart activity specific knowledge , bushwalking skills  and safety procedures during bushwalking session.

4.3. Observe participants and adjust or refine individual and group technique as required.

4.4. Demonstrate procedures for dealing with emergency and non-routine situations and changing conditions .

4.5. Inform participants of opportunities to further develop bushwalking skills and knowledge.

5. Complete post session responsibilities.

5.1. Retrieve, inspect, repair and store equipment according to organisational policies and procedures.

5.2. Provide opportunities for participants to identify personal progress and satisfaction with the session, and give feedback as required.

5.3. Evaluate relevant aspects  of bushwalking session, and determine the level of learning achieved.

5.4. Identify potential areas of improvement for future bushwalking instructional sessions.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • consult with participants to plan the bushwalking session
  • convey information about the safety and logistical aspects of the bushwalking session
  • interact with participants to create a safe and positive environment during the session
  • problem-solving skills to:
  • plan bushwalking sessions according to participant's needs and characteristics
  • identify and address participant's difficulties in developing techniques
  • monitor and evaluate participants progress
  • anticipate and respond to non-routine situations
  • planning and organising skills to:
  • source, allocate and coordinate resources, equipment and suitable bushwalking locations
  • organise participants into appropriate groups for bushwalking sessions
  • language, literacy and numeracy skills to:
  • produce bushwalking, navigation and instructional plans for the bushwalking session
  • complete post session participant and self evaluations
  • highly developed personal bushwalking skills including light weight camping in controlled conditions to demonstrate and explain bushwalking techniques to participants
  • navigation techniques to:
  • determine location and direction
  • follow a route
  • avoid obstacles and hazards
  • self-management skills to review and reflect on own work performance to facilitate personal development
  • use of communications equipment
  • first aid, search and rescue and emergency response skills for initial response in emergencies whilst instructing bushwalking in controlled environments.

Required knowledge 

  • legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe conduct of bushwalking sessions
  • minimal impact codes and practices and general land management requirements to enable application of low impact environmental practices during a bushwalk
  • Australian Standards for Walking Tracks to accurately identify track classifications appropriate for participant's capabilities
  • site specific and environmental information to assist in the planning process and any special restrictions applying to the area
  • hazards commonly experienced while bushwalking in controlled environments and risk management strategies to enable safe completion of the bushwalk
  • equipment characteristics and technology used for bushwalking, and factors affecting appropriate selection, use and maintenance to enable safe conduct of all sessions
  • clothing and footwear requirements for bushwalking and general principles affecting clothing selection, such as layering and protective clothing principles
  • care and maintenance of bushwalking equipment to ensure prolonged life span and safety requirements
  • communication equipment, systems and signals used during bushwalking sessions
  • navigation knowledge, to:
  • determine location and determine
  • follow a route
  • avoid obstacles and hazards
  • weather and environmental information including weather maps, barometric pressure, influence of local air masses, seasons and topography on the weather to ascertain possible conditions and their effect on the session and implications for planning
  • nutritional requirements when participating in bushwalking sessions and types of food available to suit session constraints to enable participant wellbeing
  • water purification methods and equipment to enable access to fresh water
  • bushwalking techniques including lifting and carrying a backpack, ascending and descending sloping terrain, and crossing rivers safely
  • instruction techniques and theories applicable to a range of ages and learning abilities
  • group facilitation and conflict resolution techniques to ensure the group functions cohesively
  • first aid, emergency, search and rescue procedures relevant to the location to ensure safety of self and others.

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 and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • plan, instruct and monitor bushwalking session in a controlled environment in a safe and professional manner
  • apply effective modifications and contingency management techniques to make adjustments in response to changing conditions that may arise during bushwalking sessions
  • encourage and respond to group feedback and evaluate own instruction performance to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure instruction of groups on multiple bushwalking sessions in controlled environments that reflect local conditions and are of sufficient breadth and duration to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must also ensure access to:

  • an outdoor environment to instruct bushwalking in controlled environments
  • participants to take part in bushwalking instruction
  • bushwalking, navigation, communication, overnight, safety, rescue and first aid equipment
  • resources and information regarding participants and location to accurately plan, instruct and document bushwalking sessions for a variety of participants
  • instructional tools such as videos, DVDs, projector, whiteboards, books, magazines, handouts and the internet.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • observation of planning and instructing processes and interaction with participants, including conveying information for safe participation
  • observation of dealing with contingencies such as changing weather conditions and equipment failure
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of the application of relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe conduct of all bushwalking sessions
  • review of activity and instructional plans for the bushwalking sessions
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the individual.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SISOODR302A Plan outdoor recreation activities.

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.

Participant needs and characteristics  may include:

  • age
  • fitness level and physical capabilities
  • experience
  • current skills and knowledge
  • injuries and illnesses
  • cultural.

Session aims and objectives  may include:

  • developing bushwalking skills for controlled environments
  • education
  • therapy
  • fitness targets
  • recreation.

Instructional plan  may include:

  • outcomes
  • course content
  • sequenced information
  • lesson plans
  • teaching strategies
  • practical exercises
  • materials and equipment
  • safety and standards
  • modification for different abilities
  • assessment strategies
  • evaluation.

Bushwalking plan  may include:

  • aims and objectives
  • date, time and duration
  • location, equipment and resources
  • instructor and participant ratios
  • safety and emergency requirements
  • risk assessment, communication and contingency management plans.

Relevant legislation  may include:

  • workplace health and safety/occupational health and safety
  • permits or permission for access
  • environmental regulations.

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • work health and safety/occupational health and safety
  • participant confidentiality and assessment procedures
  • use, maintenance and storage of equipment
  • tagging faulty or damaged equipment
  • emergency procedures
  • communication protocols
  • risk management procedures
  • time and budget constraints
  • code of ethics.

Hazards and risks  may include:

  • unprepared
  • weather and temperature extremes
  • slippery or unstable terrain
  • rising river levels
  • dangerous animals and insects
  • stinging trees and nettles
  • dense vegetation
  • group management
  • equipment failure or misuse.

Food and water requirements  may include:

  • menu planning and preparation
  • range of foods
  • emergency food and water
  • water purification.

Relevant sources  may include:

  • Bureau of Meteorology
  • media
  • land managers or agencies
  • local knowledge.

Weather and environmental information  may include:

  • satellite images
  • daily and weekly forecasts
  • maximum and minimum temperatures
  • weather warnings
  • event warnings
  • river levels
  • synoptic charts
  • high and low tide predictions
  • UV index.

Support personnel  may include:

  • emergency contacts
  • logistics personnel
  • drivers
  • administrators
  • teachers or instructors
  • subject matter experts.

Relevant authorities  may include:

  • state or local government officers
  • police or emergency services
  • park rangers
  • managers or supervisors.

Equipment  may include:

  • bushwalking equipment
  • navigation equipment
  • safety, rescue and first aid equipment
  • communication equipment
  • camping equipment.

Contextual issues  may include:

  • weather conditions
  • season
  • transport
  • location
  • trip distance and duration
  • group objectives
  • participant age and ability
  • group size.

Relevant information  may include:

  • logistical details
  • personal equipment requirements
  • safety procedures
  • responsible behaviour
  • minimum impact expectations
  • risk and hazard prevention and management.

Communication system  may include:

  • calls
  • hand signals
  • whistles
  • two way radios.

Safety procedures  may include:

  • safety briefings
  • safety and first aid equipment
  • emergency contacts
  • escape routes
  • emergency response plan
  • communications plan
  • contingency plans.

Instructional techniques  may include:

  • discussion
  • questioning
  • demonstration
  • practical exercises
  • discovery
  • role play
  • problem solving
  • revision
  • D.E.D.I.C.T:
  • demonstrate
  • explain
  • demonstrate
  • instruct
  • critique
  • test
  • E.D.I.C.T:
  • explain
  • demonstrate
  • instruct
  • critique
  • test
  • I.D.E.A:
  • introduce
  • demonstrate
  • explain
  • apply.

Activity specific knowledge, bushwalking skills  may include:

  • emergency response
  • minimum impact codes
  • equipment characteristics and maintenance
  • navigation with map and compass
  • water purification methods
  • walking techniques including ascending and descending
  • lifting and carrying a backpack
  • light weight camping including overnight camping
  • river crossings.

Changing conditions  may include:

  • weather
  • equipment failure
  • injuries
  • group dynamics.

Relevant aspects  may include:

  • objectives
  • planning process
  • activity site
  • weather
  • equipment selection
  • clothing selection
  • food selection
  • instructional content
  • instructional techniques
  • assessment techniques
  • group feedback
  • facilitation techniques
  • safety techniques employed.

Unit Sector(s)

Outdoor Recreation.

Competency Field


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