Unit of competency details

SISOCRP403A - Supervise a low ropes session (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISOCHC002 - Set up and supervise challenge course sessions, low elementsNot equivalent. Title changed. Unit focuses on leadership skills at time of delivery; planning removed. Planning skills for leaders covered in SISOPLN001, SISOPLN002, SISOPLN004 & SISOPLN005. Significant changes to performance criteria and knowledge evidence. 10/Sep/2019
Supersedes and is equivalent to SROCRP003A - Supervise a low ropes sessionE Updated and equivalent to SROCPR003A Supervise 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 independently conduct and supervise activities using independent 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 working autonomously as challenge ropes supervisors who conduct and supervise low ropes sessions at sites where they are not personally responsible for the overall maintenance. This may include those who work for private clubs, outdoor adventure companies, school outdoor education programs and camps, and apply their skills and knowledge to a broad variety of low ropes courses and elements, including non-routine situations.

This may include those working for private outdoor adventure companies, volunteer organisations, not for profit organisations, government agencies, or group instructors in outdoor education programs.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

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


SISOCRP301A Conduct a low ropes session

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 for low ropes session.

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

1.2. Check adequacy of human and physical resources prior to commencement.

1.3. Identify an appropriate low ropes course and select elements according to the session's aims and objectives , contextual issues , relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures.

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

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

1.6. Determine food and water requirements  according to principles of nutrition  and contextual issues.

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

1.8. Implement procedures to minimise environmental impact  on the site and elements.

2. Program a suitable sequence of activities.

2.1. Identify factors  affecting the achievement of participant goals, as a group and as individual members of a group, while using low ropes course elements.

2.2. Develop and implement strategies to facilitate group cohesion, trust and goal achievement.

2.3. Select a sequence of activities  suitable to the needs of the participants.

3. Conduct pre-activity inspection.

3.1. Check site and immediate area, and set up elements requiring additional equipment  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. Supervise low ropes course activities.

4.1. Provide information and instructions to participants and assisting staff according to organisational policies and procedures and participant's needs.

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

4.3. Supervise assisting staff and participants in the activity and ensure it is conducted in a safe and positive manner.

4.4. Respond to non routine and emergency situations according to organisational policies and procedures and contingency management plan.

5. Conclude activity.

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 additional equipment according to organisational policies and procedures.

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

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 the safety aspects of the sessions
  • interact with participants and assistants to create a safe and positive environment
  • problem-solving skills to:
  • plan a suitable session according to participant's needs and abilities
  • make decisions regarding potential hazards and impact of weather conditions
  • respond appropriately to non-routine situations
  • planning and organising skills to:
  • source, allocate and coordinate suitable low ropes course and additional equipment for the participants
  • conduct relevant safety checks and inspection of course before use
  • organise participants into manageable groups for activities
  • observe and monitor participants and assistants to ensure safety
  • adjust or modify aspects of program to achieve aims and objectives
  • 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
  • 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 throughout low ropes session
  • 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 participation in low ropes session
  • methods of moving through a low ropes course, suitable sequencing and spotting techniques to achieve aims and objectives
  • weather and environmental information to ascertain possible conditions and their affect on the session
  • group management and common communication systems used between participants and assistants to reduce risk throughout low ropes 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
  • observes and monitors participant and assistant participation thoroughly to ensure program is suitable to their needs and characteristics and meets intended aims and objectives
  • 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 performance to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas that need improvement.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure supervision of 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 minimum of two different low ropes courses, each 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
  • assistants where required
  • resources and information regarding participants and course to accurately plan, supervise 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 safe and thorough supervision of participants and assistants throughout the activity
  • observation of dealing with contingencies such as changing weather conditions and equipment failure
  • review of session plan 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.

Session plan  may include:

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

Participant's needs and characteristics  may include:

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

Relevant legislation  may include:

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

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • permits or permission for access
  • time and budget constraints
  • use and maintenance of course and equipment
  • communication protocols
  • confidentiality of participant information
  • ratios and supervision requirements
  • code of ethics.

Aims and objectives  may include:

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

Contextual issues  may include:

  • weather conditions, including times
  • season
  • transport
  • location
  • trip distance and duration
  • group objectives
  • group size.

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.

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.

Food and water requirements  may include:

  • menu planning and preparation
  • range of foods.

Principles of nutrition  may include:

  • food groups
  • dietary guidelines
  • essential nutrients
  • food preparation and safe food handling and hygiene practices
  • individual food requirements and allergies.

Communication system  may include:

  • calls
  • radio
  • hand signals
  • whistles.

Environmental impact  may include:

  • compaction of soil, flora, soft fall material
  • erosion
  • disturbance of fauna or flora
  • modification or reduction of aesthetic value.

Factors  may include:

  • level of commitment
  • trust
  • co-operation
  • stage of group formation.

Sequence of activities  may include:

  • warm up activities
  • stage of group formation
  • individual and group goals.

Additional equipment  may include:

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

Maintenance tasks  may include:

  • covering frayed wire rope ends
  • replacing frayed or damaged rope
  • tightening loose nuts
  • removing hazards.

Relevant aspects  may include:

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

Unit Sector(s)

Outdoor Recreation

Competency Field

Challenge ropes