Use communication systems

This unit involves the skills and knowledge required to use communication systems including identifying system features, operating a communication system effectively, using appropriate communication protocols when using a system, maintaining equipment, and completing documentation.


Work is carried out in accordance with relevant regulations and workplace procedures.

Work is performed under some supervision, generally within a team environment. It involves the application of established communication principles and practice and the use of local technical and colloquial language and vocabulary in day-to-day communications.


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance Criteria


Identify system features


System features and control functions are identified


Where relevant, battery and signal levels are monitored


Mobile equipment is set up to optimise communication


Where relevant, channels are selected appropriate to the communication


Communicate using communications technology


System checks are carried out to confirm communication system is operational in accordance with manufacturers instructions and workplace procedures


Communication system is operated safely in accordance with manufacturers instructions, workplace procedures and (any) regulatory requirements


Telephone and radio security is maintained in accordance with workplace procedures


Where relevant, channel selection is appropriate for the location and type of communication


Messages are transmitted clearly and precisely with due observation of ethics and protocols required of users


Where applicable, PA system is used to communicate with passengers and crew as per standard operating procedures


Where applicable, incoming messages are received and answered promptly and courteously within operating procedures and (any) regulatory requirements


Appropriate protocols and procedures are followed when using communications systems during emergencies


Received messages are interpreted and recorded, where required, in accordance with workplace procedures


Vocal communication is clear, unambiguous and uses appropriate procedures, language and codes


Maintain communication equipment operational status


Equipment is checked and maintained in working order in accordance with workplace procedures


Minor faults in the communications systems are promptly identified, diagnosed, and repaired or reported in accordance with workplace procedures


Complete documentation


Appropriate records of communications are maintained in accordance with workplace procedures

Required Skills


This describes the essential knowledge and skills and their level required for this unit.

Required knowledge:

Relevant procedures and duty of care requirements

Relevant OH&S responsibilities

Protocols and procedures for communicating with others using relevant communication technology including the use of PA systems on passenger vehicles and trains

Procedures and protocols for the use of communication systems during an emergency

Features of various communications systems

Basic communication techniques including barriers to effective communication and how to overcome them

Basic principles of effective communication

Techniques for communicating effectively with a multilingual persons or persons with a limited ability to speak or understand English

Pre-operational checks for communications systems and equipment

Minor routine maintenance procedures for communications equipment

Typical problems that may occur when using communications systems and appropriate action and solutions

Required skills:

Communicate effectively with others using available communications equipment

Read and interpret instructions and procedures relevant to the use of communications equipment

Interpret and follow operational instructions and prioritise work

Complete documentation related to work activities when using communications equipment

Identify and use required communication technology

Work collaboratively with others when using communications equipment

Adapt appropriately to cultural differences in the workplace, including modes of behaviour and interactions with others

Promptly report and/or rectify any identified problems, faults or malfunctions that may occur when using communications equipment in accordance with workplace procedures

Implement contingency plans for unanticipated situations that may arise when using communications equipment

Apply precautions and required action to minimise, control or eliminate hazards that may exist during the use of communications equipment

Plan own work including predicting consequences and identifying improvements

Monitor work activities in terms of planned schedule

Modify activities depending on differing operational contingencies, risk situations and environments

Work systematically with required attention to detail without injury to self or others, or damage to goods or equipment

Operate and adapt to differences in communication equipment in accordance with standard operating procedures

Monitor performance of communication equipment and take appropriate action if required

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required knowledge and skills, the range statement and the assessment guidelines for this Training Package.

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 and satisfy all of the requirements of the elements and performance criteria of this unit and include demonstration of applying:

the underpinning knowledge and skills

relevant legislation and workplace procedures

other relevant aspects of the range statement

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Performance is demonstrated consistently over a period of time and in a suitable range of contexts

Resources for assessment include:

a range of relevant exercises, case studies and other simulated practical and knowledge assessment, and/or

access to an appropriate range of relevant operational situations in the workplace

In both real and simulated environments, access is required to:

relevant and appropriate materials and/or equipment, and/or

applicable documentation including workplace procedures, regulations, codes of practice and operation manuals

Method of assessment

Assessment of this unit must be undertaken by a registered training organisation

As a minimum, assessment of knowledge must be conducted through appropriate written/oral tests

Practical assessment must occur:

through appropriately simulated activities at the registered training organisation, and/or

in an appropriate range of situations in the workplace

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.

Use of communication systems will include that required in routine operations and may occur by day or night and in a variety of work contexts, including:

in confined spaces, exposed conditions and controlled or open environments

in a workplace, terminal, warehouse or depot

in a vehicle

on a vessel

on a train

on a worksite

at a client's workplace

Communication systems may include:

fixed phone systems

mobile phone, both on person or hands-free

radios including personal, hand-held or vehicle-mounted, CB, UHF, VHF, SSB, marine

PA systems on passenger vehicles, trains and aircraft

Worksite communication may include:

active listening

two-way conversation

questioning to obtain information and/or clarify information and understanding

routine oral reporting

Communications may involve:

English-speaking persons

multilingual staff

persons with limited ability to communicate in English

Communication problems may include:


limited ability of others to communicate in English

noisy environments or communications channels

illegible writing or print

use of non-standard vocabulary

incorrect assumption that message has been received and/or correctly understood

not following correct communication protocols and procedures

Communication may be with:

base personnel

other drivers and workplace personnel

passengers (where applicable)


supervisors/team leaders

suppliers and clients

private and/or public sector security personnel

police and other emergency services personnel

security consultants

other professional or technical staff

local government authorities

Depending on the type of organisation concerned and the local terminology used, workplace procedures may include:

company procedures

enterprise procedures

organisational procedures

established procedures

Information/documentation may include:

workplace communication procedures, protocols, checklists and instructions

manufacturers specifications for communications equipment

goods identification numbers and codes

manifests, bar codes, goods and container identification

communication records

supplier and/or client instructions

material safety data sheets

relevant codes of practice including the national standards for manual handling and the industry safety code

legislation, regulations and related documentation

award, enterprise bargaining agreement, other industrial arrangements

standards and certification requirements

quality assurance procedures

emergency procedures

Applicable regulations and legislation may include:

relevant regulations, standards and codes of practice, including the national standards for manual handling and industry safety codes

dangerous goods and freight regulations and codes

relevant Australian and state/territory OH&S legislation

equal employment legislation and related policies

environmental protection regulations


Not applicable.

Employability Skills

The required outcomes described in this unit of competency contain applicable facets of Employability Skills. The Employability Skills Summary of the qualification in which this competency is packaged will assist in identifying employability skill requirements.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.