Unit of competency details

MSMBLIC001 - Licence to operate a standard boiler (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to MSABLIC001 - License to operate a standard boilerSupersedes and is equivalent to MSABLIC001 Licence to operate a standard boiler. 14/Dec/2015

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 15/Dec/2015

Training packages that include this unit

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
PMA30116 - Certificate III in Process Plant OperationsCertificate III in Process Plant OperationsSuperseded
MST30719 - Certificate III in Dry Cleaning OperationsCertificate III in Dry Cleaning OperationsSuperseded
MST30716 - Certificate III in Dry Cleaning OperationsCertificate III in Dry Cleaning OperationsSuperseded
PPM40216 - Certificate IV in Papermaking OperationsCertificate IV in Papermaking OperationsSuperseded
PPM30116 - Certificate III in Pulping OperationsCertificate III in Pulping OperationsSuperseded
FBP31018 - Certificate III in Sugar Milling Industry OperationsCertificate III in Sugar Milling Industry OperationsDeleted
PMA30120 - Certificate III in Process Plant OperationsCertificate III in Process Plant OperationsCurrent1-2 
PPM20116 - Certificate II in Pulping OperationsCertificate II in Pulping OperationsSuperseded
PMA40116 - Certificate IV in Process Plant TechnologyCertificate IV in Process Plant TechnologyCurrent1-4 
PPM20216 - Certificate II in Papermaking OperationsCertificate II in Papermaking OperationsSuperseded
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  29/Apr/2016 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to MSABLIC001 Licence to operate a standard boiler.


This unit specifies the outcomes required to operate a standard boiler safely. This includes boiler start-up, handover, monitoring, shutdown and storage of a boiler that uses a single fuel source and does not have an air pre-heater, feed water heater, superheater, attempurator or desuperheater, simultaneous dual fuel firing capability or economiser attached.

This unit also covers the preparation for inspection procedures as specified in manufacturer recommendations, identification of maintenance requirements and relevant risk control measures.

This unit is based on the licensing requirements of Part 4.5 of the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations, High Risk Work, and meets Commonwealth, state and territory high risk work licensing requirements. Any alteration to the unit content or outcomes would result in a unit that is not acceptable to WHS/Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulators for the purpose of licensing.

Pre-requisite Unit


Competency Field

Unit Sector

Boiler operation (licensed)

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element


Plan and prepare for work 


Follow standard operating procedures (SOPs)


Comply with work health and safety (WHS) requirements at all times


Identify potential workplace hazards and appropriate risk control measures consistent with appropriate standards to ensure the safety of personnel and equipment


Locate and review appropriate records to prepare for boiler operation


Identify the type of boiler and plan boiler operations according to procedures


Identify appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with SOPs


Identify suitable communication methods and confirm with appropriate personnel


Start up boiler 


Apply risk prevention and risk control measures to the work area according to procedures


Select communication equipment and inspect for serviceability


Select all necessary equipment and inspect for operational effectiveness according to procedures, including establishing water level


Check boiler visually for any damage or defects and report and record any found according to procedures with appropriate action taken


Vent boiler to atmosphere prior to start-up, as required


Carry out pre-start up checks on the boiler and bring the boiler online safely according to procedures


Start up boiler according to procedures


Identify maintenance requirements and any visual faults and report according to procedures


Confirm, complete and log all maintenance and/or repairs and associated isolations and make the equipment serviceable


Monitor boiler operation 


Diagnose operating status of the boiler


Maintain operating log clearly and accurately according to procedures


Monitor boiler, valves, fittings and pressure gauges according to procedures


Blow boiler water level gauges through both steam and water sides


Test standby plant and equipment according to procedures


Conduct boiler water quality tests, where required, and record the results according to procedures


Adjust boiler water chemicals after tests, where appropriate and required according to procedures and notify downstream users, if necessary


Activate the automatic blowdown and, where required, boiler is blown down to adjust total dissolved solids (TDS) levels to recommendations


Communicate handover information regarding boiler status and operation clearly to relevant personnel according to procedures


Respond immediately to any boiler emergency in accordance with procedures


Shut down boiler 


Shut down the boiler for inspection according to procedures, as required


Identify maintenance requirements and report any visual faults according to procedures


Complete isolations associated with in-service maintenance according to procedures


Clean boiler internally and externally to manufacturer recommendations and procedures, where required


Complete boiler operating log for shutdown


Store boiler in shutdown mode 


Identify storage time and condition of storage, where required


Store boiler in safe condition for access in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and procedures


Test stored boiler water and chemicals, where required, and handle in accordance with procedures, where storage is for extended periods

Foundation Skills

This section describes those language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills that are essential to performance.

Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency.

Range of Conditions

This field allows for different work environments and conditions that may affect performance. Essential operating conditions that may be present (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) are included.

Boiler includes: 

Fixed and modulating combustion controls and a single heat source. Operation includes a battery of boilers and boilers that have a single thermal or solar heat source.

Note:  Boilers meeting the definition of ‘advanced boiler’ are excluded.

Standard boiler includes: 

  • vessel or an arrangement of vessels and interconnecting parts in which steam and vapour is generated or in which water or other liquid is heated above that of the atmospheric pressure by the application of:
  • fire
  • the products of combustion
  • electrical power
  • similar means
  • fixed and modulating combustion controls, fixed and modulated air supply, a single fuel source and will have:
  • boiler piping
  • supports
  • mountings
  • valves
  • gauges
  • fittings
  • controls
  • boiler settings and directly associated equipment

Type of boiler includes one or more of the following: 

  • fire tube
  • water tube
  • once through boilers
  • waste heat
  • electrically heated
  • novel or unique

Hazards include one or more of the following: 

  • asbestos lagging
  • chemical hazards
  • thermal hazards
  • manual handling hazards
  • machinery guard requirements
  • hot exposed steam pipe
  • leakage of steam
  • leakage of fuel
  • odour of gas
  • fumes from a liquid chemical spill
  • faulty/broken ladder or hand rail
  • working at heights
  • flammable liquids
  • fire and explosion
  • electrical hazards
  • work area, including:
  • illumination
  • excessive noise from machinery
  • spillage of oil
  • rubbish and combustibles
  • obstruction

Risk control methods include: 

Risk control methods refer to the systematic process of eliminating or reducing the risk to personnel and property through the application of controls.

It includes the application of the hierarchy of control:

  • elimination
  • substitution
  • isolation
  • engineering controls
  • administrative controls
  • personal protective equipment (PPE)

Appropriate standards include one or more of the following: 

  • legislation
  • codes of practice
  • manufacturer specifications
  • Australian Standards
  • technical standards (International)
  • industry standards (where applicable)

Procedures include one or more of the following: 

  • manufacturer guidelines (e.g. instructions, specifications or checklists)
  • industry operating procedures
  • workplace procedures (e.g. work instructions, operating procedures or checklists)

Equipment includes one or more of the following: 

  • gas monitoring equipment
  • water testing equipment
  • fire-fighting equipment
  • workplace first aid equipment
  • work platform and associated gear, including walkways

Communication methods include one or more of the following: 

  • verbal and non-verbal language
  • written instructions
  • signage
  • hand signals
  • listening
  • questioning to confirm understanding
  • appropriate worksite protocol

Appropriate personnel includes one or more of the following: 

  • production workers
  • maintenance workers
  • supervisors and managers
  • other boiler operators
  • suppliers
  • colleagues

Records include one or more of the following: 

  • operating log books
  • maintenance records
  • records of faults and potential faults
  • isolation procedures
  • safe operating procedures
  • daily operating inspections
  • repairs carried out according to manufacturer recommendations and operating procedures
  • workplace record keeping requirements
  • details of any daily or periodic maintenance work
  • details of yearly programmed or additional maintenance work

Risk control measures include one or more of the following: 

  • barricades and controls
  • machine guarding
  • fall prevention
  • pedestrian controls
  • adequate illumination
  • noise controls
  • signage
  • PPE

PPE includes one or more of the following: 

  • thermally insulated gloves
  • hard hat protection
  • ear protection (muffs or plugs)
  • chemical resistant gloves and apron
  • respiratory devices
  • eye protection
  • working protective gloves
  • whole body fire-resistant clothing

Communication equipment includes one or more of the following: 

  • two-way radios
  • mobile phones
  • intercoms
  • landline telephones
  • pagers
  • satellite phones
  • computers

Pre-start up checks include: 

  • testing warning lamps or visual warning indicators
  • control panel checks
  • checks of feedwater supply system
  • fuel supply/heat source system
  • operation and position of boiler valves
  • combustion air supply system
  • boiler water level
  • essential fittings and gauges
  • selection of PPE
  • inspection and location of inspection and explosion doors (where applicable)
  • identification of hazards and management of risks and maintenance problems
  • fire-fighting equipment
  • manufacturer recommendations and checklists
  • relevant records and logs

Start-up includes: 

  • purge boiler furnace
  • heat input
  • warm-up reticulation system
  • venting the boiler of air, where required
  • steam traps and steam line purge system operations
  • reticulation line pressure
  • steam usage and supply

Maintenance includes: 

  • leaking steam pipe
  • pressure gauge accuracy
  • exposed electrical wiring
  • defective illumination in the workplace
  • leaking fuel pump gland
  • leaks in high pressure feed line
  • leaking gauge glass mounting
  • leaking safety valve
  • isolation procedures, hardware and equipment

Faults include one or more of the following: 

  • abnormal operating conditions
  • boiler tube failure
  • feedwater supply and/or other major auxiliary loss
  • wet steam
  • high dissolved oxygen
  • pH of water
  • high conductivity
  • actuator or valve mechanical or electrical fault/failure
  • instrument failure
  • steam leak

Diagnosed includes one or more of the following: 

  • senses, including:
  • audio
  • smell
  • touch
  • visual
  • remote or local indicators and recorders
  • computers and alarms, including:
  • visible
  • audible

Operating log includes: 

  • date and time of checking
  • each check, examination and results
  • printed and signed name of person who performed the checks
  • date and time of any lockout or equipment malfunction
  • results of tests on boiler or feedwater
  • changes in operation

Valves and fittings include one or more of the following: 

  • safety valves
  • gauge glasses
  • main steam stop valve
  • feedwater stop valve
  • feed check valve
  • blowdown valve
  • steam side/line drain valves
  • flame failure detection device
  • water level controller
  • boiler steam pressure gauge

Monitored includes: 

  • water supply system
  • checks of steam reticulation line pressure
  • usage and supply of steam
  • quality of steam
  • combustion/heat source system and management
  • feedwater system
  • fuel system
  • combustion air supply
  • water level
  • boiler steam pressure
  • boiler and steam manifold valves (where fitted)
  • soot blowers (where fitted)
  • operation of control/safety devices, including control panels

Tested includes one or more of the following: 

  • response checks
  • standby plant ‘cut in’ tests
  • valve operating checks
  • hydrostatic tests
  • performance tests
  • alarm and protection tests

Tests include one or more of the following: 

  • pH levels
  • conductivity
  • oxygen
  • TDS
  • hardness
  • other contaminants

Chemicals include one or more of the following: 

  • oxygen scavenger
  • feedwater additives
  • other chemicals
  • hardness
  • condensate chemicals
  • pH buffers

Handover includes: 

  • previous load requirements
  • maintenance issue, including equipment isolated for maintenance
  • operational incidences
  • read operating log
  • general inspection of boiler to detect any defects
  • accept responsibility of boiler
  • noted equipment malfunctions
  • required equipment tests

Emergencies include one or more of the following: 

  • tube failure
  • loss of water level
  • power failure
  • inadequate housekeeping
  • explosion
  • fire
  • bomb threat
  • terrorism
  • personal accidents
  • chemical spills
  • major steam leaks
  • major water leaks and flooding
  • natural disasters
  • oil spills

Appropriate emergency response measures include one or more of the following: 

  • identification of emergency
  • isolation of heat source
  • selection and application of appropriate fire-fighting equipment and PPE
  • notification of downstream users
  • operation of boiler only when safe to do so
  • notification of appropriate regulatory authorities, including Commonwealth, state, territory and boiler manufacturer

Shutdown includes: 

  • checks of water level
  • cooling down process
  • valve settings
  • equipment isolation
  • boiler pressure/vacuum
  • fuel/heat source isolation in accordance with manufacturer recommendations
  • boiler post-purge

Storage mode includes: 

  • wet and dry storing
  • open or closed position

Unit Mapping Information

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to MSABLIC001 Licence to operate a standard boiler.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=d1287d36-dff4-4e9f-ad2c-9d6270054027


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Release 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to MSABLIC001 Licence to operate a standard boiler.

Performance Evidence

Evidence of competence in this unit must be relevant to and satisfy the requirements of the elements and performance criteria, and include demonstration of:

  • following work instructions, SOPs and safe work practices
  • complying with Commonwealth, state and territory work health and safety (WHS) legislation and regulations
  • complying with Australian and industry standards, organisation workplace standards, policies and relevant codes of practice requirements at all times
  • planning and preparing for work, including identifying potential hazards and implementing appropriate risk control measures
  • identifying the type of standard boiler
  • reading and interpreting maintenance records, operating logs and safety data sheets (SDS)
  • conducting the appropriate pre-start up checks, including identifying all maintenance requirements and visual faults
  • using appropriate tools, equipment and PPE in accordance with procedures
  • completing all maintenance and rectification requirements in accordance with manufacturers’ and workplace procedures, including recording/reporting requirements
  • completing the start-up procedures and bringing the boiler online
  • monitoring the boiler, including conducting relevant tests and activities and adjusting boiler water quality in accordance with procedures
  • interpreting boiler operation tables and figures
  • communicating handover of boiler status to appropriate personnel
  • demonstrating emergency operating procedures
  • identifying all boiler energy sources required to be isolated and made safe for maintenance, inspection and repairs
  • applying boiler cleaning and storage techniques.

Knowledge Evidence

Evidence must be provided that demonstrates knowledge of:

  • safe work practices and procedures and use of PPE
  • Commonwealth, state and territory WHS/OHS legislation and approved codes of practice relevant to standard boiler operation
  • Australian and industry standards relevant to standard boiler operation
  • basic principles of heat transfer and thermodynamics in relation to boiler operations
  • boiler steam equipment operating principles and operating methods
  • types and characteristics of feedwater systems and treatment
  • types and use of equipment and fittings for operation and maintenance of boilers
  • function, purpose and operation of main steam stop valve
  • boiler auxiliary equipment characteristics and capabilities
  • essential fittings required where more than one boiler is installed (e.g. battery of boilers)
  • processes for confirming operational status of a boiler
  • workplace communication techniques and procedures
  • responsibilities for checking and testing boilers
  • location and inspection procedures and techniques for inspection and explosion doors
  • steam and boiler hazards for cold start and handover
  • hierarchy of risk control
  • type and limitations of corrective action and/or adjustments that can be made in response to routine boiler operation problems and emergencies
  • various harmful energy sources in boiler operation and the means to effectively isolate these energy sources and make them safe
  • modes of boiler storage and procedures for storing boiler in open or closed condition
  • SDS and safe chemical handling and storage methods for boiler operation and cleaning
  • procedures for cleaning boilers internally and externally, as required
  • procedures for recording, reporting and maintenance of workplace records and information.

Assessment Conditions

  • Assessments must be conducted by an assessor accredited for this high risk work (HRW) licence class in the Commonwealth/state/territory where the licence will be obtained (i.e. an assessor authorised by a Commonwealth/state/territory WHS/OHS regulator).
  • Assessment processes and techniques must be appropriate to the language, literacy and numeracy requirements of the work being performed and all assessments must be conducted in the English language.
  • Where possible, assessment of performance should be undertaken in the workplace and/or under realistic workplace conditions that typically reflect:
  • the use of full-scale equipment
  • performing tasks/activities within timelines that would be expected in a workplace
  • standard and authorised work practices, safety requirements and environmental constraints.
  • Where this is not possible or where personal safety, plant operation or environmental damage are limiting factors, assessment must occur in a sufficiently rigorous simulated environment that reflects realistic operational workplace conditions that cover all aspects of workplace performance, including environment, task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job role environment skills.
  • Accredited assessors are responsible for ensuring that candidates have access to all tools, equipment, PPE, materials and documentation required, including relevant workplace procedures, product and manufacturing specifications.
  • As a minimum, assessors must satisfy applicable regulatory requirements, which include requirements in the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) current at the time of assessment.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=d1287d36-dff4-4e9f-ad2c-9d6270054027