Unit of competency details

SISOCRP301A - Conduct a low ropes session (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISOCHC001 - Lead challenge course sessions, low elementsNot equivalent. Title changed. Unit focuses on leadership skills at time of delivery; planning removed. Planning not relevant to job role but planning units could be selected, as required. Significant changes to performance criteria and knowledge evidence. 10/Sep/2019
Supersedes and is equivalent to SROCRP001A - Conduct a low ropes sessionE Updated and equivalent to SROCPR001A Conduct a low ropes session 06/Jun/2011

ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 28/Nov/2011
(View details for release 1) 07/Jun/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 092101 Sport And Recreation Activities  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 092101 Sport And Recreation Activities  18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to assist in the conduct of programs using individual elements, elements used as initiative activities or linked low ropes courses, where spotters are used to keep participants safe.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to those assisting in the conduct of low rope sessions at sites where they are not personally responsible for the overall maintenance. This may include those working independently only where there are clearly defined operating procedures for the activity involving known routines, methods and procedures, and where assistance is readily available should a non-routine situation arise.

This unit applies to outdoor recreation leaders working 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. Prepare for low ropes session.

1.1. Identify different types and uses of challenge ropes courses .

1.2. Select appropriate low rope course according to participant's needs and characteristics  and the session's aims and objectives .

1.3. Develop a plan  according to relevant legislation , organisational policies and procedures  and participant's needs.

1.4. Identify potential hazards  associated with low ropes session and take measures to minimise risks .

1.5. Establish a suitable communication system  for participants to use during the session.

1.6. Access relevant sources  to interpret detailed weather and environmental information  to determine activity  plan.

1.7. Demonstrate correct techniques and procedures to set up activity requiring additional equipment  according to organisational policies and procedures.

2. Outline spotting techniques.

2.1. Explain the importance of spotting and demonstrate essential components of spotting technique.

2.2. Verify participant understanding of spotting technique and safety procedures.

2.3. Use appropriate sequence  of activities to develop spotting techniques.

2.4. Identifies variations to spotting technique and position required by specific elements and participant's needs and characteristics.

2.5. Supervise participants' practice of spotting techniques in a low risk situation.

2.6. Provide feedback on correct technique, to ensure safety of ropes course participant and spotter.

3. Conduct pre-activity inspection.

3.1. Check site and immediate area according to organisational policies and procedures.

3.2. Inspect individual elements and perform maintenance tasks  according to own ability and responsibility.

3.3. Refer maintenance tasks beyond own ability and responsibility to relevant industry specialists.

3.4. Check participant's clothing and footwear for suitability prior to participation.

4. Conduct low ropes course activities.

4.1. Identify potential hazards and risks to both ropes course participants and spotters associated with each element.

4.2. Implement strategies to reduce risks associated with individual elements.

4.3. Outline variations to spotting positions and technique for individual elements.

4.4. Monitor individual participant's performance  and provide appropriate feedback.

4.5. Implement appropriate modifications to activities in regard to all variable factors  that are monitored.

5. Conclude session.

5.1. Debrief the activity according to activity aims, objectives and own skills and abilities.

5.2. Evaluate relevant aspects  of the session and identify potential areas of improvement for future sessions.

5.3. Dismantle, inspect and store equipment according to organisational policies and procedures.

5.4. Prepare reports on the use of the course, and suggested maintenance and modifications, where relevant.

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 low ropes sessions that meet their needs
  • convey information about all safety aspects
  • outline spotting techniques
  • interact with participants to create a safe and positive environment
  • problem-solving skills to:
  • plan suitable sessions according to participant's needs and abilities
  • make decisions regarding potential hazards and the impact of weather conditions
  • respond appropriately to non-routine situations
  • planning and organising skills to:
  • source, allocate and coordinate suitable courses and additional equipment for participants
  • conduct relevant safety checks and inspection of course before use
  • organise participants into manageable groups for activities
  • observe and monitor participants and spotters to ensure safety
  • language and literacy skills to:
  • produce plans
  • complete post session participant and self evaluations,
  • prepare reports detailing the use of the course and required maintenance
  • personal low ropes and spotting skills to a high level of technical correctness to demonstrate and explain techniques to participants
  • first aid and emergency response skills appropriate to the site to enable initial response to emergencies and personal health care.

Required knowledge 

  • legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe conduct of all activities
  • site and course specific information to enable safe and effective planning, minimal environmental impact and management of potential hazards, risks and any special restrictions applying to the site
  • course and additional equipment characteristics, function and operation, and factors affecting selection, use and maintenance
  • clothing and footwear requirements to enable safe conduct and participation in low ropes session
  • methods of moving through a low ropes course, spotting techniques, and common communication systems used between participants to reduce risk
  • weather and environmental information to ascertain possible conditions and their affect on the session
  • emergency and safety procedures to negotiate potential hazards and risks relevant to the course to ensure safety of self and participants.

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 following is essential:

  • plans within activity constraints and selects appropriate low ropes course suitable to participant's needs and characteristics
  • conducts thorough pre-activity inspections of course and individual elements and carries out appropriate maintenance, according to level of responsibility, and prepares reports accordingly
  • outlines and supervises spotting techniques and determines their suitability to the course, elements and individual needs
  • applies effective contingency management techniques to deal with a range of hazards and risks that commonly arise during challenge ropes sessions
  • encourages and responds to feedback and evaluates and reflects on own leading performance to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas that need improvement.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure participation in leadership of multiple low ropes activities that reflect the needs of a range of participants to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a suitable low ropes course with a minimum of five elements, including a variety of standard low ropes course elements that require a variety of spotting techniques
  • a group of participants to take part in the low ropes session
  • resources and information regarding participants and course to accurately plan, lead and document activities for a variety of participants
  • additional low ropes equipment, such as ladders, hand ropes, swing ropes, pulleys, detachable elements and first aid equipment.

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 adequate pre-activity checks of low ropes course to ensure it is undamaged and free from hazards
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe conduct of all activities during session
  • observation of demonstrating low ropes techniques, including spotting
  • observation of dealing with contingencies such as changing weather conditions and equipment failure
  • review of session plans and reports on course use and maintenance
  • third-party reports from a supervisor detailing performance.

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

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.

Challenge ropes courses  may include:

  • high elements
  • low elements
  • linked elements.

Participant's needs and characteristics  may include:

  • age
  • cultural factors
  • situational factors
  • previous experience
  • injuries and illnesses
  • physical
  • emotional
  • psychological.

Aims and objectives  may include:

  • developing low rope skills
  • education
  • development
  • therapy
  • fitness targets
  • recreation.

Plan  may include:

  • session's aims and objectives
  • date, time and duration
  • location or course site
  • set up requirements
  • coach or staff and participant ratios
  • additional equipment
  • weather details.

Relevant legislation  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • permits or permissions for access
  • environmental regulations
  • marine regulations.

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • time and budget constraints
  • use and maintenance of course and equipment
  • communication protocols
  • confidentiality of participant information
  • code of ethics.

Hazards  may include:

  • temperature extremes
  • slippery or unstable terrain
  • dangerous animals and insects
  • stinging trees and nettles
  • dense vegetation
  • group management hazards.

Risks  may include:

  • hypothermia
  • heat exhaustion
  • injuries
  • exhaustion
  • lost party or party member
  • equipment failure.

Communication system  may include:

  • calls
  • radio
  • hand signals
  • whistle.

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.

Activity  may include:

  • linked low ropes course
  • series of independent low ropes elements.

Additional equipment  may include:

  • ladders
  • hand ropes
  • swing ropes
  • pulleys
  • detachable elements
  • eye bolts
  • wedging devices
  • wire rope grips
  • shackles
  • thimbles
  • rigging screws
  • turnbuckles
  • staples
  • first aid equipment.

Sequence  may include:

  • warm up activities
  • trust sequence.

Maintenance tasks  may include:

  • removal of hazards:
  • fallen branches
  • loose rocks
  • spider webs.

Participant's performance  may include:

  • use of appropriate communication system
  • safe ropes course participation
  • spotting techniques
  • safety precautions
  • attitude
  • negotiation of hazards
  • use of equipment.

Variable factors  may include:

  • change of weather
  • rope course and or equipment failure
  • participant's needs
  • conditions.

Relevant aspects  may include:

  • objectives
  • planning process
  • activity site
  • weather
  • equipment selection
  • clothing selection
  • food selection
  • instructional content
  • instructional technique
  • assessment technique
  • group feedback
  • directing techniques
  • rescue techniques employed.

Unit Sector(s)

Outdoor Recreation

Competency Field

Challenge ropes