Conduct rail dispatch operations

This unit covers the conduct of rail dispatch operations in the coal industry. It includes planning for dispatch operations, and loading and dispatching coal. Licensing, legislative, regulatory and certification requirements that apply to this unit can vary between states, territories, and industry sectors. Relevant information must be sourced prior to application of the unit.


This unit is appropriate for those working in an assistant role at worksites within:

Coal mining


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Plan for dispatch operations

1.1. Access, interpret and apply compliance documentation relevant to the work activity

1.2. Receive, interpret and confirm dispatch requirements.

1.3. Inspect and test run rail dispatch systems components to ensure they are safe and functioning.

1.4. Coordinate issues with others involved in or affected by the operations.

1.5. Transfer to or confirm as being present the required quantity and quality of coal product in the bulk loader/bin.

1.6. Prepare documentation and records for the dispatch operation in accordance with site/rail/port authority procedures

2. Load and dispatch coal

2.1. Confirm train identification and identify specific loading requirements and patterns.

2.2. Establish communications with the train operator and supporting plant/equipment operators prior to commencement of loading.

2.3. Access and apply safety information and procedures throughout the operations.

2.4. Direct train movement and positioning for bulk loader.

2.5. Load train to specification.

2.6. Complete and process loading records in accordance with site/rail authority requirements

Required Skills

Required skills

Specific skills are required to achieve the Performance Criteria of this unit, particularly for its application in the various circumstances in which this unit may be used. This includes the ability to carry out the following, as required to conducting rail dispatch operations:

apply legislative, organisation and site requirements and procedures for conducting rail dispatch operations

apply operational safety requirements

access, interpret and apply technical information

apply communication skills (oral and written)

use communications equipment

calculate dispatch details

operate loading systems

prepare and maintain documentation and records

comply with site/rail environmental requirements and constraints

Required knowledge

Specific knowledge is required to achieve the Performance Criteria of this unit, particularly for its application in the various circumstances in which this unit may be used. This includes knowledge of the following, as required to conduct rail dispatch operations:

conditions agreed with the rail authority

site and equipment safety requirements

coal product quality procedures

stockpile and dispatch management systems and procedures

coal dispatch systems components, their characteristics, functions and limitations

freight rail operational procedures

freight rail/customer communication systems

rail dispatch documentation and recording systems

coal and rail industry environmental requirements and constraints

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 competency in this unit must be relevant to worksite operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this unit and include evidence of the following:

knowledge of the requirements, procedures and instructions for conducting rail dispatch operations

implementation of requirements, procedures and techniques for the safe, effective and efficient completion of rail dispatch operations

working with others to undertake and complete the rail dispatch operations in a way that meets all of the required outcomes

consistent timely completion of rail dispatch operations that safely, effectively and efficiently meets the required outcomes

Context of and specific resources for assessment

This unit must be assessed in the context of the work environment. Where personal safety or environmental damage are limiting factors, assessment may occur in a simulated environment provided it is realistic and sufficiently rigorous to cover all aspects of workplace performance, including task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job role environment skills.

Assessment of this competency requires typical resources normally used in a resources and infrastructure sector environment. Selection and use of resources for particular worksites may differ due to the site circumstances.

The assessment environment should not disadvantage the participant. For example, language, literacy and numeracy demands of assessment should not be greater than those required on the job.

Customisation of assessment and delivery environment to sensitively accommodate cultural diversity.

Aboriginal people and other people from a non English speaking background may have second language issues.

Where applicable, physical resources should include equipment modified for people with disabilities. Access must be provided to appropriate learning and/or assessment support when required.

Method of assessment

This unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other units of competency. The assessment strategy for this unit must verify required knowledge and skill and practical application using more than one of the following assessment methods:

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

observed, documented and/or first hand testimonial evidence of the candidate's:

implementation of appropriate requirement, procedures and techniques for the safe, effective and efficient achievement of required outcomes

consistent achievement of required outcomes

first hand testimonial evidence of the candidate's:

working with others to undertake and complete the rail dispatch operations

Guidance information for assessment

Consult the SkillsDMC User Guide for further information on assessment including access and equity issues.

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 compliance documentation may include:

legislative, organisational and site requirements and procedures

manufacturer's guidelines and specifications

Australian standards

Employment and workplace relations legislation

Equal Employment Opportunity and Disability Discrimination legislation

Dispatch requirements may include the:

quantity, quality and stockpile source of coal

train identification

essential timings

coordination requirements/issues

Dispatch systems components for inspection/test run may include:



hydraulics (loaders)

rail line



communications equipment

Documentation may include:


report sheets

consignment notes

others agreed with the rail and port/receiving authority

Safety information and procedures may be contained in:

legislation and regulations

relevant Australian standards

management plans

OHS policy

code of practice

manufacturer's instructions

safe working procedures (or equivalent)

Coordination with others may include:

servicing rail authority

train operator

discharge port samplers and plant/equipment operators such as dozers and reclaimers

Completion of records may include the:

placement of tickets on train

recording of load and train details

recording of arrival, loading and departure times


Coal Mining (Coal Preparation)

Competency Field

Refer to Unit Sector(s).


Not applicable.

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor.