Certificate IV in Environmental Monitoring and Technology

This qualification covers the skills and knowledge required to conduct environmental sampling, testing and monitoring in a variety of industry sectors.

Job roles/employment outcomes

The MSS40211 Certificate IV in Environmental Monitoring and Technology provides technical training across a range of industry sectors, such as:

environmental monitoring, sampling and field testing (e.g. air, water, soil and rocks)

geotechnical services

natural resource management

water supply and treatment, storm and wastewater management

solid and hazardous waste management.

Job roles targeted by this qualification include environmental assistants, environmental technicians and similar personnel employed by enterprises and Commonwealth, state/territory/local governments in the sectors listed above. Many of these employees are engaged in the monitoring of environmental impacts at industrial sites. They operate monitoring equipment, collect samples and conduct tests both in the field and at site laboratories. Other employees may collect a range of field data relating to the suitability of land and water use and process and present this data using geographical information systems (GIS) software.

In broad terms, they may:

plan and conduct site sampling, field testing and measurements (e.g. meteorological)

plan field work, arrange access to sites, logistics, equipment and supplies

assemble, test, pack and transport equipment and supplies

navigate using maps and global positioning systems (GPS)

collect, process and present spatial/attribute data using GPS and GIS

conduct field surveys of flora, fauna, water and soils

calibrate and operate a wide variety of field-based instrumentation

troubleshoot, repair, maintain and adapt instrumentation

log and process data using a variety of computer hardware and software

interpret data to identify significant anomalies and trends

report results and make logical conclusions

define and solve problems of limited complexity where the information available is less obvious, but not contradictory, and can be determined by direct reasoning

work under the direction and regular supervision of environmental officers, environmental site coordinators, site managers, or environmental scientists, engineers and planners

work in a team and may have responsibility for their own work outputs.

This qualification is typically used to prepare new employees or develop the skills of existing workers performing an environmental assistant role in a variety of industry sectors.

This qualification recognises that the industry sectors listed above employ environmental assistants and technicians who have broad technical knowledge and skills in the area of environmental sampling and testing and some understanding of the industry processes and/or ecosystems that they are working with. These personnel do not have the more substantial knowledge of environmental monitoring; complex instrumentation; data analysis; environmental impacts and the strategies for minimising these impacts; and remediation/rehabilitation of sites, that is provided by the MSS50211 Diploma of Environmental Monitoring and Technology for environmental officers.

Training programs for this qualification are suitable to be undertaken as part of a formal training contract with an employer under an Australian Traineeship or Apprenticeship arrangement.


To be awarded the MSS40211 Certificate IV in Environmental Monitoring and Technology, competency must be achieved in a total of sixteen (16) units of competency.

eight (8) core units of competency

eight (8) elective units of competency, as specified below.

Units listed under core are considered essential for all environmental assistants. The units listed as electives may only apply to some personnel according to the size and scope of the particular enterprise and industry sector.

Note: Units with prerequisites are marked with an asterisk. Refer to the unit for details.

Core units of competency

Complete the following eight (8) units of competency.

Unit code

Unit title


add topic MSS024001A

Work and communicate effectively as an environmental technician

add topic MSS024002A

Implement environmental management plans and procedures

add topic MSS024003A

Apply an understanding of environmental principles to a site

add topic MSS024004A

Process and present environmental data

add topic MSAENV272B

Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices

add topic MSL943002A

Participate in laboratory/field workplace safety

add topic MSL952001A

Collect routine site samples

add topic MSL974007A

Undertake environmental field-based monitoring

Elective units of competency

Complete eight(8) elective units of competency, made up of:

a minimum of five (5) units from Group A

the balance of units, to a maximum of three (3) may be selected from:

Group A units, not previously selected

Group B and C units, listed below.

A maximum of three (3) Group B and C electives may be chosen from this Training Package, other endorsed Training Packages and accredited courses, where those units are relevant and available at Certificate IV. This could include relevant units available in AHC10 Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package.

Group A: Specialist elective units

Unit code

Unit title


add topic MSS014006A

Contribute to sustainability related audits

add topic MSS024005A

Collect spatial and discrete environmental data

add topic MSS024006A

Perform sampling and testing of water

add topic MSS024007A

Collect and evaluate meteorological data

add topic MSS024008A

Recognise common geological landforms and samples

add topic MSS024009A

Assist with assessing and monitoring stormwater systems

add topic MSS024010A

Perform environmental biological techniques

add topic MSS024011A

Navigate in urban, regional and remote areas

add topic MSS024012A

Undertake simple environmental project activities

add topic BSBOHS406C

Use equipment to conduct workplace monitoring

add topic MSAENV472B

Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices

add topic MSL904001A

Perform standard calibrations

add topic MSL924002A

Use laboratory application software

add topic MSL954001A

Obtain representative samples in accordance with sampling plan

add topic MSL974002A

Conduct geotechnical site investigations


add topic MSL974003A

Perform chemical tests and procedures

add topic MSL974006A

Perform biological procedures


add topic MSL974009A

Undertake field-based, remote sensing monitoring

add topic PSPRAD703A

Perform basic radiation measurements

Group B: Elective units

Unit code

Unit title


add topic MSS015001A

Measure and report carbon footprint

add topic MSS015010A

Conduct a sustainability water use audit

add topic MSS015011A

Conduct a sustainability energy audit

add topic MSS015012A

Conduct an emissions audit

add topic MSS015018A

Inform and advise organisation and community representatives on sustainability issues

add topic MSS025001A

Assist with assessing site environmental indicators


add topic MSS025002A

Assess the environmental risk or impact of a project activity or process


add topic MSS025003A

Report environmental data


add topic MSS025004A

Provide environmental information to customers

add topic MSS025005A

Produce site maps


add topic MSS025006A

Collect and evaluate groundwater data

add topic MSS025007A

Perform sampling and testing of soils


add topic MSS025008A

Monitor and evaluate noise

add topic MSS025009A

Perform sampling and testing of air

add topic MSS025010A

Assist with odour source assessment

add topic MSS025011A

Assist with odour field assessment

add topic MSS025012A

Perform environmental microbiological tests


add topic MSS025013A

Assist with assessing and monitoring wetlands

add topic MSS025014A

Perform sampling and testing of contaminated sites


add topic MSS025015A

Plan and conduct environmental project work

add topic MSS025016A

Perform sampling and testing of stationary emissions

add topic MSL975011A

Design and supervise complex environmental field surveys


add topic MSL975017A

Perform laboratory-based ecological techniques


add topic MSL975023A

Supervise geotechnical site investigations


add topic PRMWM01B

Plan waste audit

add topic PRMWM02B

Carry out waste audit

add topic PSPRAD707A

Monitor radiation

Group C: Elective units

Unit code

Unit title


add topic CUVPHI05B

Use a 35mm SLR camera or digital equivalent

add topic HLTFA301B

Apply first aid

add topic MSL935004A

Maintain instruments and equipment

add topic MSL973001A

Perform basic tests

add topic MSL973002A

Prepare working solutions

add topic MSL973004A

Perform asceptic techniques

add topic MSL973007A

Perform microscopic examination

add topic MSL973012A

Assist with geotechnical site investigations

add topic PRMWM01B

Plan waste audit

add topic PRMWM02B

Carry out waste audit

add topic PSPRAD707A

Monitor radiation

add topic PUAWER009B

Participate as a member of a workplace emergency initial response team

add topic TAEDEL301A

Provide work skill instruction


    Pathways into the qualification

    This qualification may be accessed by direct entry. Credit may be granted towards this qualification by those who have completed the MSL20109 Certificate II in Sampling and Measurement. Credit for this qualification may include units contained within relevant Skill Sets.

    Pathways from the qualification

    Further training pathways from this qualification include MSS50211 Diploma of Environmental Monitoring and Technology.

    Additional qualification advice

    Because specialisation is a requirement in some industry sectors for the MSS40211 Certificate IV in Environmental Monitoring and Technology, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) may choose to issue a generic:

    Certificate IV in Environmental Monitoring and Technology

    or, where elective units of competency are packaged to suit a particular industry sector or specialisation, RTOs may choose to issue a:

    Certificate IV in Environmental Monitoring and Technology (specialising in xxxxxxx)

    Industry sector/specialisations could include, but are not limited to:






Entry Requirements

This qualification may be accessed by direct entry.

Licensing Information

There are no specific licences that relate to this qualification.

Employability Skills

The following table contains a summary of the employability skills as identified by industry for this qualification. This table should be interpreted in conjunction with the detailed requirements of each unit of competency packaged in this qualification. The outcomes described here are broad industry requirements that reflect skill requirements for this level.

Employability Skill

Industry/enterprise requirements for this qualification include:


Receive and pass on written and oral messages, provide relevant information in response to requests and demonstrate effective interpersonal skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution

Record and store data, perform basic calculations of scientific quantities and present information in tables and graphs

Report using verbal responses, data entry into enterprise information management system and brief written reports

Communicate with team members, supervisors and customers, other site personnel and members of the public

Interpret enterprise procedures and material safety data sheets (MSDS)


Work effectively with other people who may have diverse work styles and cultures

Promote cooperation and good relations in the team

Problem solving

Deal with inquiries and requests for information in accordance with enterprise customer service requirements

Rectify simple equipment faults and errors in data using enterprise procedures

Recognise and report non-conformances or problems to appropriate personnel

Initiative and enterprise

Access and provide relevant information within scope of responsibility and in accordance with enterprise procedures, including confidentiality requirements

Recognise potential incidents and take appropriate corrective action

Identify and report opportunities for improvements in procedures, processes, quality and equipment

Identify hazards associated with sites, samples, preparation methods, reagents and equipment and implement enterprise control measures

Planning and organising

Plan and organise daily work activities to ensure the timely completion of tasks

Modify work plans to suit changing conditions and priorities

Assemble, check and organise specified equipment and materials


Follow enterprise procedures that reflect equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and non-harassment legislative requirements

Maintain enterprise standards of personal hygiene

Conduct work based on ethical values and principles and ensure quality and integrity of own work

Review own strengths, weaknesses and work practices for opportunities to continuously improve performance

Maintain security and confidentiality of all client/enterprise data and information

Use appropriate personal protective equipment to ensure personal safety when collecting, processing, testing, transferring or disposing of samples or conducting survey work


Clarify instructions with supervisors to ensure a complete understanding of the task

Update knowledge and skills and take advantage of skill development opportunities

Coach others in participating in occupational health and safety (OHS) and environmental management issues


Use communication, emergency, data recording, sampling and testing equipment, monitoring instruments and calibration standards

Use computers, software and enterprise information management systems to collect, process and report information