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Elements and Performance Criteria

  1. Prepare for work.
  2. Operate heat exchangers.
  3. Isolate and de-isolate plant.

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit

Required skills

efficient and effective operation of plantequipment

hazard analysis

completing plant records


problem solving

Operation of heat exchanger and the ability to recognise and resolve operational problems This could include any of the following remedial actions

making adjustments

carrying out minor maintenance

identifying and reporting problems outside operators scope of responsibility

identifying and controlling hazards related to heat exchangers and their integral equipment including pressure vessels

Required knowledge

Comprehensive understanding of heat exchanger principles to a level needed to control the operation In particular the operator needs to understand the factors affecting efficient operation of a heat exchanger in order to make appropriate adjustments or recognise when maintenance is required These also includes a knowledge of

all items on a schematic of the heat exchanger system and the function of each

principles of operation of heat exchangers

correct methods of starting operating and shutting down heat exchangers

issues related to pressure vessels regulations requirements

physics and chemistry relevant to the process unit

process parameters and limits eg temperature pressure flow pH

duty of care obligations

hierarchy of control

communication protocols eg radio phone computer paper permissionsauthorities

routine problems faults and their resolution

relevant alarms and actions

plant process idiosyncrasies

causes of head loss and change in heat transfer coefficientrates

corrective action appropriate to the problem cause

function and troubleshooting of major internal components and their problems such as tubes and baffles

Evidence Required

The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria Required Skills and Knowledge the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package

Overview of assessment

Assessment of this unit should include demonstrated competence on actual plant and equipment in a work environment The unit will be assessed in as holistic a manner as is practical and may be integrated with the assessment of other relevant units of competency Assessment will occur over a range of situations which will include disruptions to normal smooth operation

Simulation may be required to allow for assessment of parts of this unit Simulation should be based on the actual plant and will include walkthroughs of the relevant competency components Simulations may also include the use of case studiesscenarios and role plays

This unit of competency requires a significant body of knowledge which will be assessed through questioning and the use of whatif scenarios both on the plant during demonstration of normal operations and walkthroughs of abnormal operations and off the plant

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Competence must be demonstrated in the ability to recognise and analyse potential situations requiring action and then in implementing appropriate corrective action The emphasis should be on the ability to stay out of trouble rather than on recovery from a disaster

Consistent performance should be demonstrated In particular look to see that

early warning signs of equipmentprocesses needing attention or with potential problems are recognised

the range of possible causes can be identified and analysed and the most likely cause determined

appropriate action is taken to ensure a timely return to full performance

obvious problems in related plant areas are recognised and an appropriate contribution made to their solution

These aspects may be best assessed using a range of scenarioscase studieswhatifs as the stimulus with a walkthrough forming part of the response These assessment activities should include a range of problems including new unusual and improbable situations which may have been generated from the past incident history of the plant incidents on similar plants around the world hazard analysis activities and similar sources

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment will require access to an operating plant over an extended period of time or a suitable method of gathering evidence of operating ability over a range of situations A bank of scenarioscase studieswhatifs will be required as will a bank of questions which will be used to probe the reasoning behind the observable actions

Method of assessment

In all plants it may be appropriate to assess this unit concurrently with relevant teamwork and communication units For many plants it might be appropriate for this unit to be assessed with units covering

fluid flow

utilities and services


In a major hazard facility it may be appropriate to assess this unit concurrently with

MSAPMOHSA Work safely

MSAPMOHS200A Work safely.

Guidance information for assessment

Assessment processes and techniques must be culturally appropriate and appropriate to the oracy language and literacy capacity of the assessee and the work being performed

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. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs if the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Codes of practice/ standards

Where reference is made to industry codes of practice, and/or Australian/international standards, the latest version must be used.


This competency includes all types of heat exchangers such as:





air cooled fin

shell and tube (all variants of design)

scraped surface

vessel jackets/coils.

This competency does not cover super heaters or waste heat boilers, as these are treated as part of steam generating equipment.

Heat exchanger duties

Heat exchanger duties include:






gas dryers

gas coolers

refrigeration (evaporators/condensers).


Typical problems include:

damage to heat exchanger due to overheating and/or under/over pressurising

factors that affect heat exchanger efficiency (scale build-up, fouling, internal leakage, air lock, turbulence, corrosion)

leakage or gasket problems

recognising when maintenance is required.

Start up shut down as required

Start up shut down as required includes:

start up and shut down to/from normal operating conditions

start up and shut down to/from isolated, cold, empty

all other conditions experienced on the plant.

ie from any condition to any condition experienced on the plant.

Appropriate action

Appropriate action includes:

determining problems needing action

determining possible fault causes

rectifying problem using appropriate solution within area of responsibility

following through items initiated until final resolution has occurred

reporting problems outside area of responsibility to designated person.


Procedures may be written, verbal, computer-based or in some other form. They include:

all work instructions

standard operating procedures


batch sheets

temporary instructions

any similar instructions provided for the smooth running of the plant.

For the purposes of this Training Package, 'procedures' also includes good operating practice as may be defined by industry codes of practice (eg Responsible Care) and government regulations.

Health, safety and environment (HSE)

All operations to which this unit applies are subject to stringent health, safety and environment requirements, which may be imposed through State or Federal legislation, and these must not be compromised at any time. Where there is an apparent conflict between Performance Criteria and HSE requirements, the HSE requirements take precedence.