Assist in establishing and maintaining a plantation

This unit of competency covers the process of assisting other personnel, such as horticulturists, in establishing and maintaining a plantation for animal feed requirements.No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.


The unit is applicable to senior or more experienced keepers with extensive zoo keeping or related experience.

In addition to legal and ethical responsibilities, all units of competency in the ACM10 Animal Care and Management Training Package have the requirement for animals to be handled gently and calmly. The individual is required to exhibit appropriate care for animals so that stress and discomfort is minimised.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Assist with establishing and maintaining a zoological plantation

1.1. Zoological plantation requirements are identified and sourced in consultation with relevant personnel.

1.2. Assistance is provided in establishing a plantation.

1.3. Plantation management strategies are implemented in accordance with occupational health and safety (OHS) and institutional policies and procedures.

1.4. Daily plantation activities are conducted under supervision.

2. Calculate and harvest animal food requirements

2.1. Animal food requirements are calculated to ensure a constant food supply.

2.2. Plantation is harvested in accordance with sustainable horticultural practices.

2.3. Advice is provided to relevant personnel in respect to maintaining the plantation to meet animal requirements.

2.4. Plantation records are maintained and stored in accordance with institutional policies and procedures.

Required Skills

Required skills

calculate and evaluate dietary needs for a range of animals

employ safe, humane and environmentally responsible organisational systems and procedures when handling and working with animals

implement institutional policies and procedures

maintain records and write workplace documents, including reports to management

provide advice on animal food requirements

research plantation requirements for specific animals

literacy skills to read and follow institutional policies and procedures, including OHS and waste management; implement dietary instructions; record accurately and legibly information collected; and select and apply procedures to a range of defined tasks

oral communication skills/language to communicate effectively with team members, supervisors, contractors and consultants and to fulfil job role as specified by the institution, including questioning techniques, active listening, training others, asking for clarification from supervisors and consulting with supervisors

numeracy skills to complete arithmetic calculations and weigh and measure feed

interpersonal skills to work with others and relate to people from a range of cultural, social and religious backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities

problem-solving skills to use available resources and prioritise daily tasks.

Required knowledge

animal care and management strategies

basic anatomy and physiology relating to nutrition and digestive processes for specific animal species

animal groups and their natural diets

animal husbandry manuals and other recordkeeping requirements

animal nutrition requirements

basic physiology of required plant species

pest identification and management techniques

principles of animal welfare and ethics

OHS and animal welfare legislative requirements and codes of practice

objectives of a plantation program

relevant institutional policies and procedures, including OHS, animal welfare, ethics, hygiene standards and other industry guidelines

relevant federal and state or territory legislation and codes of practice

safe work practices

toxic plants and substances, including control factors affecting toxicity andprotocols for suspected animal poisoning

zoological horticulture principles and practices.

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 and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

The evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to workplace operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this unit. Assessors should ensure that candidates can:

work with others, including horticulturists, to establish and maintain a plantation in accordance with OHS and organisation requirements

correctly calculate and harvest food requirements

maintain plantation records.

The skills and knowledge required to assist in establishing and maintaining a plantation must be transferable to a range of work environments and contexts and include the ability to deal with unplanned events.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment of this unit is to be practical in nature and will be most appropriately assessed in a captive animal workplace. Workplaces may include small or large captive animal facilities, traditional or open-range type facilities and mobile or theme park environments.

There must be access to the appropriate equipment and/or resources to enable one to demonstrate competence.

Method of assessment

To ensure consistency in one's performance, competency should be demonstrated, to industry defined standards, on more than one occasion over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances and where possible, over a number of assessment activities.

The assessment strategy must include practical skills assessment. Suggested strategies for this unit are:

written and/or oral assessment of candidate's required knowledge

observed, documented and first-hand testimonial evidence of candidate's application of practical tasks

simulation exercises that reproduce normal work conditions

third-party evidence

workplace documentation (e.g. plantation records)


This unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other units of competency relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role.

Guidance information for assessment

Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy and numeracy demands) and the needs of particular target groups (e.g. people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, people with a language background other than English, youth and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds).

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.

Zoological plantation requirements may include:

animal needs

considerations of location and size

environmental considerations

equipment and materials

plant types

planting a mix of evergreen and deciduous for year round supply

use of plant simulators.

Plantation requirements may be sourced from:


local councils

other plantations within the captive animal facility

outside contractors for plants and equipment

own plant stock

roadside verges.

Relevant personnel may include:



keepers in charge


project managers.

Plantation management strategies may include:

environmentally friendly and non-poisonous pest management

environmentally friendly waste management

water conservation techniques.

OHS risks associated with the plantation may include:

biological hazardous waste and sharps disposal

handling of chemicals and fertilisers

inhalation of aerosol particles

manual handling, including carrying, lifting and shifting

moving parts of machinery or equipment

noise including machinery

repetitive strain injury (e.g. secateurs usage)

slippery or uneven work surfaces.

Daily plantation activities may include:

canopy reduction

controlling pests




removing waste





Sustainable horticulture practices may include:

plantation practices that consider the needs of:


equipment and materials

plant types

planting a mix of evergreen and deciduous plants for year round supply

specific animals

use of plant stimulators

safe and effective pest control and waste management strategies.

Advice may relate to:

animal preferences

mixed age structure

plants known to be toxic to animals

plant variety.


Unit sector

Captive animals

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.