Competency standards are a set of benchmarks used to assess the skills and knowledge that a person must demonstrate in the workplace to be seen as competent. These benchmarks are packaged into combinations to form units of competency.

The Unit Title is a brief statement of the outcome of the unit of competency for example "Maintain workplace safety".

The Unit descriptor broadly communicates the intent of the unit of competency and the skill area it addresses.

Prerequisite unitsThese are units that should be completed before commencing the unit.

Unit application statement. This component describes the unit's application within the work place. It indicates the environments in which the skills and knowledge may be applied and sets out the parameters of the unit, its potential audience and its relationship to other units in the Training Package.

ElementsSub tasks or skills describing the outcomes which contribute to a unit.

Performance criteria Level of performance for each element.

Required skills and knowledge

Required Skills and Knowledge need to describe the essential skills and knowledge required for competent performance Knowledge: identifies what a person needs to know to perform the work in an informed and effective manner. Skills: describes the application of the knowledge to situations where understanding is converted into a workplace outcome. While knowledge must be expressed, units of competency, their elements or performance criteria should not be entirely knowledge based unless a clear and assessable workplace outcome is described. Knowledge in units of competency: should be in context; should only be included if it refers to knowledge actually applied at work; could be referred to in the performance criteria and the range statement. 

Essentially the information in this section of the unit of competency is detailing learning outcomes. A learning outcome is a clear and specific statement of what students are expected to learn in a unit and to be able to demonstrate at its completion. Especially when read in conjunction with the Range Statement, which varies and sets out the conditions under which the competencies and skills are performed.

7 Key competencies

Key competencies (generic skills) are in every unit of competency. Information on the Key Competencies and the relevant performance level is usually contained in a table in the individual competencies. All competency standards are required to be mapped against the Key Competencies.

The 7 key competencies cover:

  • Collecting, analysing and organising ideas and information
  • Expressing ideas and information
  • Planning and organising activities
  • Working with others and in teams
  • Using mathematical ideas and techniques
  • Solving problems
  • Using technology.

The key competencies are described at three performance levels.

  • Level 1 = the level of competency needed to undertake tasks effectively
  • Level 2 = the ability to manage tasks
  • Level 3 = concepts of evaluating and reshaping tasks.

An assessment of a unit of competency also includes an assessment of the key competencies.

Range statement

This sets out the variety of contexts or situations in which performance can take place. For example, does the unit cover 'all diesel, hybrid, and petrol engines' or 'petrol only'.

Evidence guide

Assists with the interpretation of the unit and may include information on:

  • Underpinning knowledge
  • Practical skills
  • Critical aspects of assessment
  • Literacy and numeracy requirements


  • Information on the industry requirements.
  •  Date when the training package was developed.
  •  Detailed information to assist assessors and those delivering the training.
  •  Contain advice on units of competency that should be assessed together or that should be completed prior to assessing the unit.

Contact me for help with your specific set of competencies