Diploma of Visual Merchandising

This qualification provides the skills and knowledge required by those who hold or wish to hold positions as specialist visual merchandisers in the retail industry. It applies to those who are working as members of a national, state or store-based retail visual merchandising team or are self-employed as freelance visual merchandisers.

Job roles

Individuals with this qualification are able to perform roles, such as:

retail store visual merchandiser

visual merchandising team leader/manager

freelance visual merchandiser

exhibition or event display designer

photographic stylist.

Possible job titles

visual merchandiser

visual merchandise team manager

freelance visual merchandiser

photographic stylist


23 units must be completed:

15 core units

8 elective units:

a minimum of 4 units must be selected from the elective unit list below

a maximum of 4 units may be selected from other relevant arts, design or business-related Training Package or accredited course first packaged at AQF level 4, 5 or 6.

The choice of elective units must be guided by the core function or role of the current or intended work environment, local industry requirements, and the characteristics of the AQF level of this qualification.

Units chosen from other Training Packages must not duplicate units selected from or available in add topic SIR07 V3 Retail Services Training Package.

Core units

add topic BSBDES301A

Explore the use of colour

add topic BSBDES302A

Explore and apply the creative design process to 2D forms

add topic BSBDES303A

Explore and apply the creative design process to 3D forms

add topic BSBDES305A

Source and apply information on the history and theory of design

add topic CUVDIG201A

Develop digital imaging skills

add topic SIRRMER508

Produce retail visual illustrations

add topic SIRRMER509

Manufacture visual merchandising signage and support structures

add topic SIRRMER510

Produce working drawings

add topic SIRRMER511

Plan, organise and maintain display lighting

add topic SIRRMER519

Design and produce merchandising and in-store presentations

add topic SIRXIND101

Work effectively in a customer service environment

add topic SIRXIND102

Plan a career in the retail industry

add topic SIRXMER304

Present products

add topic SIRXMER407

Plan and build visual presentations for a range of merchandise categories

add topic SIRXWHS101

Apply safe work practices

Elective units

Art and Design

add topic CUFDIG304A

Create visual design components

add topic CUVPHI302A

Capture photographic images

add topic CUVPHI401A

Capture images in response to a brief

Marketing and Public Relations

add topic SIRXMPR001A

Profile a retail market


add topic SIRRMER405

Produce visual merchandising signs

add topic SIRRMER406

Design, construct and maintain props

add topic SIRRMER407

Design merchandisers

add topic SIRRMER512

Produce perspective drawings, plans and elevations

add topic SIRRMER513

Develop concept visuals

add topic SIRRMER514

Design and produce store plans and floor layouts

add topic SIRRMER515

Manage visual merchandising projects

add topic SIRRMER516

Style merchandise for photography

add topic SIRRMER517

Develop and apply strategies for merchandising and corporate presentations

add topic SIRRMER518

Present design concepts

add topic SIRXMER406

Monitor in-store visual merchandising displays

Quality and Innovation

add topic SIRXQUA002A

Lead a team to foster innovation


    This qualification is not suitable for an Australian Apprenticeship pathway or VET in Schools (VETiS) delivery.

    Pathways into the qualification

    Individuals undertaking this qualification may not have any prior or formal retail industry experience or qualifications.

    Relevant skills and knowledge that would indicate likely success at this qualification level may include:

    successful completion of art and design related subjects at secondary or post-secondary level

    previous merchandising experience in a retail environment.

    Pathway from the qualification

    After achieving SIR50212 Diploma of Visual Merchandising, individuals may undertake:

    SIR80112 Vocational Graduate Certificate in Retail Leadership.

Entry Requirements

Not applicable.

Licensing Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this qualification at the time of endorsement.

Employability Skills


The following table contains a summary of the employability skills as identified by the retail industry for this qualification. The employability skills facets described here are broad industry requirements that may vary depending on qualification packaging options.

Due to the high proportion of electives required by this qualification, the industry/enterprise requirements described above for each employability skill are representative of the business-to-business industry in general and may not reflect specific job roles. Learning and assessment strategies for this qualification should be based on the requirements of the units of competency for this qualification.

Employability skill

Industry/enterprise requirements for this qualification include:


effectively and responsively negotiate and share information with relevant personnel within the framework of a retail enterprise structure and culture

receive and interpret verbal, written and diagrammatic briefs and requests that inform the design, planning and implementation of visual merchandising concepts


participate in visual merchandising teams, working independently to complete projects or tasks

work as a team member on store display projects and promotions with other visual merchandising team members or the wider retail store team

support and encourage other team members’ design ideas and use sound interpersonal communication to build trust and respect within the team

lead visual merchandising project teams, mentoring and supporting other team members


implement retail enterprise visual merchandising standards to create displays, adjusting planning to take account of individual store design, available floor space and stock availability; and responding to instructions, information and feedback supplied by relevant line managers and store staff

compare and evaluate sales turnover before and after remerchandising given areas

Initiative and enterprise

regularly suggest and implement approaches to visual merchandising projects that enhance achievement of current enterprise/industry visual merchandising design standards in a safe and cost-effective manner

develop and implement merchandising ideas for boutique promotions at local store level

regularly and actively research key competitors’ visual merchandising approach and latest local and international trends in store and exhibition design and display

Planning and organising

work to implement visual merchandising standards that contribute to an increase in overall store turnover

set clear goals for implementing enterprise visual merchandise standards and identify resource requirements and required timelines to achieve outcomes within budget

work with sales and logistics staff to collect, manage and interpret information on availability of display stock and fixtures needed to plan and organise a display installation


evaluate and monitor own contribution and responsibilities in the achievement of enterprise goals

establish and follow own work plans and schedules in the context of the work team

accept responsibility for achieving self-directed visual merchandising project or task outcomes

actively seek feedback and guidance from line manager in relation to work quality, personal performance and organisational policies and procedures

monitor own displays for increased customer interest in and improved sales turnover of displayed stock


regularly and actively research key competitors’ visual merchandising approach and latest local and international trends in store and exhibition design and display

seek and share workplace information product knowledge and design expertise with other team members

use the internet to research the latest developments in retail visual merchandising


access and safely use a variety of design, word processing, presentation and D Cal lettering software applications as relevant to the project and task

develop and verbally present design ideas along with concept visuals that may also include simple sketch designs, illustrations and/or hand or computer-developed working drawings and 2- or 3-dimensional rendered concept models of designs

inform and effectively negotiate with clients in response to a design brief