Unit of competency details

SISOCVE522A - Instruct vertical multi pitch caving skills (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 28/Nov/2011
(View details for release 1) Replaced07/Jun/2011

Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to SROCVE024A - Instruct vertical caving skills (multi pitch)E Updated and equivalent to SROCVE024A Instruct vertical caving skills (multi pitch) 06/Jun/2011

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  18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to instruct vertical multi pitch caving activities. This unit focuses on planning, instructing and evaluating an instructional caving session to enable participants to achieve the skills and knowledge required to participate independently, or with minimal supervision, in a caving activity in a cave with multi pitch sections.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to caving instructors or program managers who are responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating vertical multi pitch instructional sessions for groups of participants.

This unit also 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.


SISOCVE409A Rig ladders in complex situations

SISOCVE410A Rig a complex pitch using caving specific techniques

SISOCVE411A Apply vertical caving skills

SISOCVE412A Rig multi pitches in complex vertical cave systems

SISOCVE413A Navigate in untrogged caves

SISOVTR402A Perform complex vertical rescues

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 caving session.

1.1. Establish participant's needs and characteristics  to determine the session's aims and objectives .

1.2. Determine an appropriate instructional plan  according to participant's needs and characteristics.

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

1.4. Select a suitable cave site for the session according to participant's needs, session's aims, relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures.

1.5. Identify potential hazards  associated with vertical multi pitch caving and minimise risks  according to organisational policies and procedures.

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

2. Select and organise equipment and resources.

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

2.2. Check equipment for safety and suitability according to relevant legislation and manufacturer's recommendations, and adjust and fit to ensure personal comfort.

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

2.4. Arrange, where required, protective and safety clothing for each participant.

3. Brief participants.

3.1. Communicate instructions and relevant information  about the caving session in a manner appropriate to the participants.

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 participating in caving activities.

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

3.5. Check and confirm that all participant equipment is fitted and adjusted and clothing and footwear are suitable.

4. Instruct a caving session.

4.1. Conduct introductory activities for participants to reduce the risk of injury.

4.2. Apply instructional techniques  to impart required caving knowledge , caving skills, and safety and rescue procedures.

4.3. Monitor and assess instructional activities and associated risks, and modify where required according to organisational policies and procedures.

4.4. Demonstrate procedures for dealing with emergency and non-routine situations according to organisational policies and procedures.

4.5. Inform participants of opportunities to further develop their caving 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 their personal progress and satisfaction with the session, and give feedback as required.

5.3. Apply feedback from assessment to evaluate relevant aspects  of the caving session and determine the level of learning achieved.

5.4. Identify potential areas of improvement for future multi pitch caving 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 an appropriate caving session
  • convey information about the safety aspects of the session
  • interact with participants to create a safe and positive environment
  • problem-solving skills to:
  • plan multi pitch caving session according to participant's needs and characteristics
  • address participant difficulties in developing techniques
  • anticipate and respond appropriately to non-routine situations
  • planning and organising skills to:
  • source, allocate and coordinate resources, equipment and a suitable caving site
  • monitor and evaluate progress
  • organise participants into manageable groups for caving
  • language and literacy skills to:
  • produce caving and instructional plans for the session
  • complete post-session participant and self evaluations
  • emergency response skills appropriate to the cave to enable initial response and or rescue in emergencies while instructing caving.

Required knowledge 

  • legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe conduct of caving session
  • information about local cave site to assist in the planning process and enable management of potential caving hazards, and any special restrictions applying to the cave
  • equipment types, characteristics and technology used for caving, the advantages and disadvantages of the range of equipment, and factors affecting appropriate selection
  • clothing and footwear requirements for caving activities to ensure comfort and safety
  • instruction techniques and theories applicable to a range of ages and learning abilities
  • caving techniques and common communication methods used between participants to reduce risk during activities
  • weather information to ascertain possible conditions and their affect on the session
  • hazards that may be experienced in a vertical multi pitch caving environment
  • emergency procedures, potential hazards and obstacles relevant to the cave site 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 following is essential:

  • plans and delivers information, explanations and demonstrations for multi pitch caving sessions to ensure activities are conducted safely according to participant's needs and characteristics
  • uses and modifies instructional techniques and or activities to observe and monitor the progress of participants and provides constructive feedback and intervention to improve caving performance
  • evaluates and reflects on own instruction performance to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas that need improvement.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure instruction of multi pitch caving activities that reflect the needs and characteristics of a range of participants and are of sufficient duration and breadth to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must also ensure access to:

  • suitable vertical multi pitch caving sites for the conduct of instructional sessions
  • indoor locations and or artificial structures for teaching techniques
  • a group of participants to take part in caving sessions
  • caving, abseiling, belaying, navigation, communication, safety, first aid and teaching equipment
  • resources and information regarding participants and location to plan, instruct and document caving sessions for a variety of participants.

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 processes, such as consulting with participants to determine their needs and characteristics
  • oral or written questioning to assess application of relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe conduct of all caving activities
  • observation of safe caving instruction, monitoring and adjustment according to participant's needs and characteristics
  • portfolio of caving session plans
  • 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.

Characteristics  may include:

  • age
  • cultural and situational factors
  • previous experience and knowledge
  • physical development.

Session's aims and objectives  may include:

  • enhancing caving skills
  • self improvement
  • adventure and recreation.

Instructional plan  may include:

  • caving activities
  • duration of activities
  • teaching methods.

Caving plan  may include:

  • aims and objectives
  • date, time and duration
  • cave site, equipment and resources
  • safety requirements.

Relevant legislation  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • cave access and permit requirements
  • working with children
  • equal opportunity
  • privacy
  • environmental regulations.

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • use and maintenance of equipment
  • time and budget constraints
  • communication protocols
  • confidentiality of participant information
  • working with children
  • code of ethics
  • Australian Speleological Federation Codes and Guidelines:
  • Cave Safety Guidelines
  • Code of Ethics and Conservation
  • Minimal Impact Caving Code
  • Cave Diving Code of Practice.

Hazards  may include:

  • environmental
  • group management
  • misuse of equipment.

Risks  may include:

  • hypothermia
  • injuries and illnesses
  • flooding
  • exhaustion
  • dehydration
  • phobias
  • stings or bites
  • equipment failure.

Relevant sources  may include:

  • bureau of meteorology
  • media
  • national parks and wildlife centres
  • police.

Weather information  may include:

  • satellite images
  • daily and weekly forecasts
  • maximum and minimum temperatures
  • weather warnings.

Contingency plans  may include:

  • change in weather and or conditions
  • equipment failure.

Equipment  may include:

  • caving equipment
  • safety and rescue equipment
  • navigation equipment
  • communication equipment.

Resources  may include:

  • clothing and footwear
  • food and water
  • teaching aids.

Contextual issues  may include:

  • time of day
  • season and weather
  • cave features
  • participant characteristics
  • number of staff
  • length, depth and complexity of cave
  • safety requirements.

Relevant information  may include:

  • risk and hazard prevention and management
  • caving, abseiling and belaying techniques
  • safety and minimal impact procedures
  • responsible and safe behaviour.

Safety and rescue procedures  may include:

  • assessing and outlining symptoms, treatment and prevention of common multi pitch caving risks
  • determining safe areas and boundaries
  • managing group in emergency situations.

Instructional techniques  may include:

  • simple to complex
  • part to whole
  • chronological
  • known to unknown
  • 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.
  • orientate, enhance, synthesise

Required caving knowledge  may include:

  • caving techniques, including abseiling and belaying
  • multi pitch cave features, environments and conditions
  • minimal impact practices appropriate to caving
  • risk and hazard management
  • communication systems used in caving.

Relevant aspects  may include:

  • the effectiveness of the instructional session
  • feedback
  • validity and reliability of assessment and evaluation tools.

Unit Sector(s)

Outdoor Recreation

Competency Field


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