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Elements and Performance Criteria

  1. Determine the system or facility requirements
  2. Define system or facility inputs and outputs
  3. Determine capital expense budget
  4. Determine operating expense budget
  5. Select, plan or design system or facility
  6. Review and finalise system or facility design and budgets

Required Skills

Required skills

analysing problems devising solutions and reflecting on approaches taken

communicating with external stakeholder groups such as government local community and industry

compiling and analysing data

considering depreciation and replacement of components

engaging consultants and external advisers and using their expertise

forward planning and applying risk management safeguards and contingency management

maintaining operational and financial records

managing waste and its removal and addressing downstream aspects to prevent environmental impacts

modifying equipment and components

negotiating with contractors consultants and stakeholder groups as well as government representatives

piloting scale trails scaling up and responding to problems associated with changing systems

producing technical specifications drawings or plans

responding to peer review of plans and layout or design of RAS aquascapes ornamental industry and holding operations

selecting mechanical and electrical systems processor control panels and other electronic equipment monitoring and alarm systems

selecting suitable site and using its surrounding infrastructure eg water sources

selecting planning or designing systems or facilities using high technology water treatment components

undertaking budgeting

undertaking research

Literacy skills used for

interpreting aquaculture engineering publications technical literature and design specifications

interpreting documentation relating to water and energy efficiency requirements including environmental and biological requirements of the cultured or held stock

reading and interpreting work plans business plans specifications and drawings equipment operation manuals and contracts

researching and analysing data

writing reports records and procedures

Numeracy skills used for

applying formulae to determine flows pump efficiency dissolved oxygen and water requirements and volumes and quantities of inputs and outputs of liquids gases and solids

calculating number and size of culture or holding systems to meet production objectives

determining and reviewing capital and operating budgets

maintaining records and data

Required knowledge

analysis and adoption of best practice management

automatic control and monitoring systems

calculation and analysis of key performance indicators KPIs and their interpretation

causes of heat loss or gain

comparisons of component capabilities and prices

contract development and management and engagement of contractors and consultants

effective management of staff time and resources

federal state territory and local government laws and regulations relating to

animal ethics and welfare

environmental sustainability particularly strategies and regulationslicence conditions for waste and effluent minimisation and methods of disposal

food safety and withholding periods when using chemicals or medications

OHS for staff management contractors and visitors including the use of PPE

translocation of exotic or introduced species and biosecurity issues

use and control of hazardous substances

impacts of inputs on systems and component operation such as maximum stocking feeding and waste loads

importance of optimised production to achieve sound economic outcomes

insulation and temperature control in an indoor facility including air flows and ventilation eg condensation carbon dioxide and ozone

methods of customisation and retrofitting of components

market demand and the influence of supply and demand on the prices of inputs and outputs

opportunities for cost reductions particularly with capital but also ongoing operating costs

project and budget management

purchase of offtheshelf items or improvising with existing items

risk identification assessment and mitigation or management

site plans specifications and working drawings

standards manufacturer guidelines and approaches to the selection design and startup of systems and facilities containing high technology water treatment components such as

adverse effects on economics from holding stock over after it has reached market size

animal health and disease diagnosis

aquatic engineering principles hydrology and water dynamics

association between water hydraulics water chemistry and aeration or oxygenation supersaturation and gas exchange

biology of stock and environmental and husbandry requirements within RAS to achieve growth targets

commissioning or startup of new or upgraded systems or facilities

fish physiology breeding and life cycles in recirculation systems including the impact and management of stress on cultured or held stock

forward planning and risk management for events such as blackouts brownouts and equipment breakdowns

mechanical and technical aspects of recirculation systems including energy use mass balance water hydraulics and flow and pumps and pipe work

monitoring of basic and advanced environmental and water quality parameters

nitrification and other microbiological process and requirements including biofilter startup shockloading and maintenance

operation and maintenance of water treatment components including backflushing filters cleaning pigging of water supply and disposal lines and routine dryouts

optimal and critical levels for water quality parameters such as temperature pH acidalkaline balance dissolved oxygen nitrogenous wastes and carbon dioxide

options for the selection or use of high technology water treatment components

relationships between inputs and outputs of recirculation systems particularly biomass size classes and quantity of feed

researching and introduction of mechanisation or automation of process or activity including the use of specialised contract services

species environmental and water quality requirements

species selection and end product definition and characteristics

system and facility design including appropriate sizing of operation

use of KPIs for benchmarking within the system and against other systems or facilities

uses for wastes recycled water and byproducts

waste management effluent treatments and other byproduct uses eg hydroponics and fertilisers and environmental issues

Evidence Required

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 evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit

Assessment must confirm ability to

select plan or design of a system or facility using high technology water treatment components and ensure that the proposed system or facility complies with legislative requirements

benchmark proposed system against existing systems

Assessment must confirm knowledge of

standards manufacturer guidelines and approaches to the selection design and startup of systems and facilities containing high technology water treatment components

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment is to be conducted at the workplace or in a simulated work environment It should involve planning or design of a RAS typically used in aquaculture holding or ornamental facilities in the region

Resources may include

workplace documentation and personnel

relevant legislation standards and guidelines

Method of assessment

The following assessment methods are suggested

journal explaining

analysis of decisions against other appropriate operations

participation in sustainable work practices and processes

the methods used to select equipment devices and components and review their size and capabilities

portfolio of

work plans schedules drawings and scale models

budgets order forms and invoices

materials lists and contracts of service

documentation demonstrating the development and implementation of work procedures

project work or scenario based

report on the impact of the selected or designed system or facility on stock labour OHS cost reduction and efficiency

work diary photographs or videos

Guidance information for assessment

This unit may be assessed holistically with other units within a qualification

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.

Relevant government regulations, licensing and other compliance requirements may include:

business or workplace operations, policies and practices:

commercial law, including fair trading and trade practices

consumer law

corporate law, including registration, licensing and financial reporting

disability policies and practices

equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and sexual harassment

industrial relations and awards, individual employment contracts and share of catch agreements

jurisdictional variations



trade practices

warnings and dismissals

worker's compensation

ESD principles, environmental hazard identification, risk assessment and control

fisheries or aquaculture regulations, permits, licences, quotas, catch restrictions and other compliance requirements, including:

Australian Exclusive Economic Zone

international treaties and agreements

food safety, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), hygiene and temperature control along chain of custody

imports quarantine and inspection, and importing approved arrangements for Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS), Australian Customs Service (ACS) and Biosecurity Australia (BA)

Indigenous native title, land claims and cultural activities, including fishing by traditional methods

maritime and occupational diving operations:

foreign and Australian legislation applying to quarantine and customs

International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)

International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 1978)

Marine Emergency Response Search and Rescue (MERSAR)

National Standards for Commercial Vessels

pollution prevention - International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78)

Uniform Shipping Laws (USL) Code

use of vessels, right of way and other marine orders, bunkering and refuelling

land, buildings and vehicles:

buildings and structures design and appearance, constructions and additions

poaching, trespass and theft

road laws for use of motor vehicles, bikes, trucks and other transport equipment

soil and water management

use of chemicals and biological agents

use of firearms and powerheads

use of utilities, including water, natural gas, electricity and sewage

water or land lease, tenure or ownership and use

OHS hazard identification, risk assessment and control

product quality assurance:

correct naming and labelling (e.g. country of origin, Australian Fish Names Standard and eco-labelling)

correct quantities, sizes and other customer requirements

third-party certification (e.g. Australian Grown and ISO 14001:2004 Environmental management systems).

OHS guidelines may include:

appropriate workplace provision of first aid kits and fire extinguishers

clean, uncluttered, hygienic workplace

codes of practice, regulations and/or guidance notes which may apply in a jurisdiction or industry sector

enterprise-specific OHS procedures, policies or standards

hazard and risk assessment of workplace, maintenance activities and control measures

induction or training of staff, contractors and visitors in relevant OHS procedures and/or requirements to allow them to carry out their duties in a safe manner

OHS training register

safe lifting, carrying and handling techniques, including manual handling, and the handling and storage of hazardous substances

safe systems and procedures for outdoor work, including protection from solar radiation, fall protection, confined space entry and the protection of people in the workplace

systems and procedures for the safe maintenance of property, machinery and equipment, including hydraulics and exposed moving parts

the appropriate use, maintenance and storage of PPE.

ESD principles may include:

controlling use and recycling of water, and managing water quality and quantity

increasing use of renewable, recyclable and recoverable resources

managing environmental hazard identification, risk assessment and control

managing imported products quarantine and inspection, facility biosecurity, translocation of livestock and genetic material, and health certification

managing stock health and welfare, especially for handling, holding, transport and slaughter

managing sustainable fisheries or broodstock/seedstock collection requirements, such as size limits, quotas, season restrictions, population dynamics, fishing impacts, reducing by-catch, fisheries management strategies and maintaining biodiversity

managing, controlling and treating effluents, chemical residues, contaminants, wastes and pollution

minimising noise, dust, light or odour emissions

planning environmental and resource efficiency improvements

preventing genetically modified and live cultured or held organisms from escaping into environment

protecting native and protected flora and fauna, marine or land parks or areas, adhering to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), the Ramsar Convention, World Heritage and other international treaties for which Australia is a signatory

reducing emissions of greenhouse gases

reducing use of non-renewable resources

reducing disturbances to soils, erosion and surface water flows from machinery use and other activities

reducing energy use and introducing alternative energy sources.

PPE may include:

buoyancy vest or personal floatation device (PFD)

gloves, mitts or gauntlets, and protective hand and arm covering

hard hat or protective head covering

hearing protection (e.g. ear plugs and ear muffs)

insulated protective clothing for freezers or chillers and refrigeration units

non-slip and waterproof boots (gumboots) or other safety footwear

personal locator beacon or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)

protective eyewear, glasses and face mask

protective hair, beard and boot covers

protective outdoor clothing for tropical conditions

respirator or face mask

safety harness

sun protection (e.g. sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses)

uniforms, overalls or protective clothing (e.g. mesh and waterproof aprons)

waterproof clothing (e.g. wet weather gear and waders).

Water quality parameters may include:


biological oxygen demand (BOD)

chlorine or chloramines

dissolved carbon dioxide

dissolved oxygen

general water hardness

level of nitrogenous wastes (e.g. ammonia, nitrite and nitrate) and contaminants and pollutants

pH (acid/alkaline balance)


redox potential

salinity or conductivity


total dissolved solids.

Environmental parameters may include:

activity of pests, competitors and predators



water flow

water level or depth.

Cultured or held stock may include:

adults, broodstock (ready to breed), seedstock or stockers, eggs and sperm, fertilised eggs, larvae, post-larvae, seed, spat, hatchlings, yearlings, juveniles, fry, fingerlings, yearlings, smolt, sporophytes, seedlings, tissue cultures

finfish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic reptiles, amphibians, polychaete and oligochaete worms, plankton, micro-algae, seaweed, aquatic plants, live rock, sponges and other aquatic invertebrates

for human consumption (seafood), stockers for other farms, stockers for conservation or recreational fishing, display or companion animals (ornamentals), and other products, including pearls, skins, shells, eggs, chemicals and pigments

wild caught, hatchery or nursery reared.

High technology water treatment components may include:

aeration or oxygenation equipment, such as aerators, aspirators, airlifts and fans

components that regulate environmental and climate control factors, such as temperature, photoperiod and light intensity

degassing systems for removing carbon dioxide and ozone, including the use of specialised air filters

facilities and processes designed for health management, such as quarantine area, sterilising using ultraviolet (UV) light and ozone, and pasteurising using heat or steam

mechanical/physical/solid, chemical and biological filtration devices (or a combination of two or more different types):

biological filter:

is part of an RAS where dissolved metabolic by-products are converted to less toxic forms by microbial action from a range of different bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms

the most important function is the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite, and nitrite to nitrate (often called nitrification)

chemical filter:

examples include activated carbon, zeolites and other ion-exchange mediums

is where a variety of chemical substances are used to treat water passing through them

ozone and chemical, such as pH and alkalinity, adjustments are also made, sometimes in a separate area to the chemical filter

mechanical/physical/solid filter:

includes swirl separators, hydrocones, protein skimmers or foam fractionators, drum filters, belt filters, bead and other suspended media filters and screen filters

is important to ensure organic loads going into biofilters are as low as possible to prevent the more competitive heterotrophic bacteria from taking over and reducing nitrification capacity

is part of an RAS that removes solid organic matter and other wastes

reduces the biological oxygen demand (BOD) for the system

some degassing or carbon dioxide stripping can also take place

ventilation systems, fans, blowers and humidifiers/ dehumidifiers

water treatment devices, such as those that maintain pH (acid/alkaline) balance.

Arecirculating aquaculture system (RAS) is:

a system in which at least some of the water is recycled one or more times back into the system after some form of treatment

also called a closed system (which is the opposite to a flow-through or open system where there is little residence time for the culture water)

where a water exchange (replacement) rate of
5-10% per day is used to assist in maintaining water quality (particularly nitrate control)

where generally some form of water treatment with equipment or structures, particularly aeration or oxygenation and processing of nitrogenous wastes, is undertaken.

Culture or holding systems may include:

display tanks, aquaria and aquascapes (ornamental industry)

grow out facilities, hatcheries and nurseries

harvested stock holding structures, tanks, bins and cages

live holding systems

pest, predator and disease control structures

purging or depurating systems

tanks, raceways and RAS

water supply and disposal systems for closed and semi-closed systems.

Information sources may include:

manufacturer in-service updates

observation of structures, machinery and equipment

operational diaries

operator manuals

other enterprise operators, contractors and service representatives

property improvement groups

relevant government departments

staff comment and/or personal testing of systems.

Relevant information may include:

capital and operating costs

completed work

maintenance performance

performance limits or specifications



schedules, timetables and deadlines


Design or upgrade specifications may include:


compliance with the standard specification and legislation and regulations of the relevant state or territory construction and power authorities

construction materials of the system or facility

construction method

designated component or system

environmental constraints

equipment and resources



owner preferences

permits and licences

product or material availability

production requirements, including number, tonnage, timing and production characteristics

quoting procedures

schedule of licensed labour required

security factors

size, volume and footprint area.

Records or reports may include:

associated equipment and infrastructure

checklists, data sheets, inventory and stocktakes

culture or holding stock species

dates, times and progress against timelines of activities or events

details related to culture or holding structures or systems

electronic or hard copy

Gantt chart

graphs, charts and tables


operation and maintenance details and other outcomes achieved

personnel and subcontractor performance data

problems experienced and strategies to overcome them.

Work plans or schedules may include information on:

contingencies for responding to partial or full system shutdown, stock stress or mortalities

contingency plan to address staffing and equipment supply problems

costs and budget details

date and time tasks are to be undertaken

designated jobs tasks, directions or designs

environmental impact control measures

expected time required to complete activities

hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control measures

local, state, territory and federal government regulations


maintenance schedule for particular items of equipment

manufacturer guidelines or instructions

materials, supplies, tools, equipment or other resources required

monitoring and reporting requirements and procedures, including logs or checklists

non-conformance or incident/fault reporting procedures

OHS procedures, including PPE requirements

order of activities

other members of work team and their roles, responsibilities and skills

pre- and post-operational and safety checks

preferred supplier list and resources required by external workers and tradespeople

routine maintenance procedures

specific structures or components

standard for completed activities

the person in charge.

Planning and operational requirements to be considered include:

business plan, strategic plan and budgets

climatic conditions and changes

marketing requirements

production amounts and specifications

seasonal variations or production cycle

staff and contractor availability

verbal instructions.

Enterprise requirements may include:

enterprise policies and procedures, including those relevant to waste disposal, recycling and reuse guidelines

industry standards or codes of practice

material safety data sheets (MSDS)

OHS procedures

operations or maintenance manuals

product labels, manufacturer specifications or guidelines

production schedules

work procedures

supervisor oral or written instructions

work and routine maintenance plans

work notes.

Resource and supply provision may include:

machinery, equipment and materials, including welders (e.g. arc, gas and metal inert gas [MIG]), lathes, bench presses, multimeters and ohm meters, inspection pits, lifting and support equipment (e.g. jacks, overhead gantry and blocks), power tools (e.g. grinders and drills) and hand tools (e.g. spanners, hammers and screwdrivers)

workshop storage requirements, including racks for commonly used steel angle, rods, tube metal and wire, or boards for orderly placement of tools.

Contingency options may need to address:

adverse weather conditions and acts of nature (e.g. flood or fire)

breakdown of components

bypass of components

compromised water source

disease outbreaks

emergency procedures

non-standard water quality parameters

risks to culture stock during emergency shutdowns or breakdowns

risks to environment

risks to infrastructure and equipment

risks to product quality and food safety.

Production inputs and other culture or holding activities may include:

aeration and oxygenation

control and treatment of pests, predators and diseases

food and nutriments




holding or storage

post-harvest and processing



water quality treatment

water supply and disposal.