Assessor Resource

Conduct and report dam safety instrumentation monitoring

Assessment tool

Version 1.0
Issue Date: June 2020

This unit is required by staff with responsibility for monitoring the safety of a dam and reporting faults or trends.

The unit of competency is part of the skill sets:

Monitor and inspect concrete dams.

Monitor and inspect embankment dams.

This unit of competency describes the outcomes required to plan, implement and report on the monitoring of basic instrumentation installed in dams to provide assurance of their ongoing safety.

This unit of competency replaces NWP325B Conduct and report on dam safety inspection and basic monitoring.

You may want to include more information here about the target group and the purpose of the assessments (eg formative, summative, recognition)


Not applicable.

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Evidence Required

List the assessment methods to be used and the context and resources required for assessment. Copy and paste the relevant sections from the evidence guide below and then re-write these in plain English.

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.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

The candidate should demonstrate to ability to plan, implement and report on the monitoring of basic instrumentation installed in dams:

preparing monitoring activity

setting up relevant instrumentation

interpreting and applying all relevant organisational and regulatory information and requirements in planning dam safety monitoring activities

identifying dam safety monitoring sites and scheduling activities according to the required frequency of reporting

conducting inspection and monitoring activities using standard workplace equipment and instruments

gathering and recording data

identifying faults, changes and failure indicators

reporting on dam safety monitoring outcomes, with recommendations for action.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Access to the workplace and resources including:

documentation that should normally be available in dam operation worksites

codes, standards, and government regulations relevant to monitoring dam safety.

Candidates should have access to on and off the job learning and assessment support when evidence is inadequate and competency has not yet been achieved.

Candidates' level of English language and literacy should be taken into account in designing assessment and adjustments should be recorded in assessment plans.

Validity and sufficiency of evidence requires that:

competency will need to be demonstrated over a period of time reflecting the scope of the role and the practical requirements of the workplace

a decision of competence should only be made when the assessor has complete confidence in the person's competence over time and in various contexts

all assessment that is part of a structured learning experience must include a combination of direct, indirect and supplementary evidence

where assessment is for the purpose of recognition (RCC/RPL), the evidence provided will need to be authenticated and show that it represents competency demonstrated over a period of time

assessment can be through simulated project-based activity and must include evidence relating to each of the elements in this unit.

In all cases where practical assessment is used it will be combined with targeted questioning and examination to assess the underpinning knowledge. Questioning will be undertaken in a manner appropriate to the skill levels of the operator, any cultural issues that may affect responses to the questions, and reflecting the requirements of the competency and the work being performed.

Submission Requirements

List each assessment task's title, type (eg project, observation/demonstration, essay, assingnment, checklist) and due date here

Assessment task 1: [title]      Due date:

(add new lines for each of the assessment tasks)

Assessment Tasks

Copy and paste from the following data to produce each assessment task. Write these in plain English and spell out how, when and where the task is to be carried out, under what conditions, and what resources are needed. Include guidelines about how well the candidate has to perform a task for it to be judged satisfactory.

Required skills:

follow instructions, standard operating procedures, policies and standards for dam safety monitoring and instrumentation

collect and process data

read and interpret plans, drawings and charts

record and report monitoring and safety information and interpret a range of workplace documents

use mathematical calculations to collect and process data on dam safety

produce dam instrumentation monitoring reports

inspect and operate monitoring equipment and instruments

communicate deviations and faults in equipment and data using clear and direct communication and relevant communication methods and equipment

apply occupational safety protocols for working with dam assets and dam safety, including working in confined spaces.

Required knowledge:

principles of dam design and construction

causes of dam failures and incidents

impact of unusual events on dam safety

types of instrumentation and their application

requirements for installation of instruments and instrument failure

purpose of monitoring and instrumentation used

instructions for the operation of monitoring equipment

dam safety performance indicators

OH&S procedures related to dam monitoring and working ion confined spaces

dam faults and changes indicated by monitoring and instrumentation

organisational and statutory requirements related to monitoring and reporting dam safety.

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.

Organisational procedures and guidelines will include:

Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) guidelines

dam monitoring templates and proformas

relevant regulator's technical bulletins

occupational health and safety information

operation and maintenance information and manuals

instrumentation records, plans and manuals

dam safety performance indicators

roles, responsibilities and delegations for instrumentation monitoring and action

security and storage of data

dam safety inspection manuals

past inspection reports design and construction reports, surveillance reports and risk assessments

prescribed surveillance schedules

incident management plans

data storage and security

state and local government requirements

standard operating procedures

asset management plan.

Dam safety monitoring procedures and practices include:

monitoring details will include:

adequate timeframe and resources

visual observation

use of manual, electronic and/or computer equipment

operational preparedness checks

dam condition assessments

site security and access

dam safety emergency indicator reporting

checklists and previous monitoring reports.

sites to be monitored may include:

earthen walls and/ or embankments

concrete walls and structures

hydraulic structures

monitoring equipment

spillways/ diversions systems

outlet works/ intake structures

pipes/ conduits

abutments and foundations

reservoir perimeter and downstream areas


tunnels and galleries

drainage systems.

monitoring data will include:

seepage and leakage

pore pressures

stresses and strains

water levels

movements (external and internal)



Unusual events will include:

seismic events


extreme inflows

rapid draw down

landslides and slips

dam incidents

sabotage / terrorist attack


long term low storage levels.

Dam instrumentation will include those used in the workplace from the range:

seepage measurement devices

water level recorders

piezometers / stand pipes


earth pressure cells

cross arms

hydrostatic settlement cells



strain gauges

crack monitoring instrumentation

joint meters

external survey systems

rain gauges


Faults and changes will include:


pore pressures

slumps, slips and slides

earth pressures

seepage and leakage


weather conditions.

Copy and paste from the following performance criteria to create an observation checklist for each task. When you have finished writing your assessment tool every one of these must have been addressed, preferably several times in a variety of contexts. To ensure this occurs download the assessment matrix for the unit; enter each assessment task as a column header and place check marks against each performance criteria that task addresses.

Observation Checklist

Tasks to be observed according to workplace/college/TAFE policy and procedures, relevant legislation and Codes of Practice Yes No Comments/feedback
Identify organisational procedures and guidelines for dam safety monitoring. 
Identify and apply operational procedures determining the techniques, methods and equipment used for dam safety monitoring. 
Schedule work activities according to workplace requirements and data collection equipment and methods. 
Implement dam safety monitoring procedures and practices including unusual events according to organisational procedures. 
Ensure equipment is functioning and fit for purpose. 
Take and record dam instrumentation readings to the required level of accuracy and frequency. 
Recognise and report any monitoring data that may indicate faults or changes outside expected range. 
Add newly recorded information on dam behaviour to historical monitoring information. 
Prepare and submit accurate, timely, clear and concise monitoring instrumentation data to meet organisational requirements. 
Report deviations outside approved limits including potential causes and make recommendations for follow up action. 


Assessment Cover Sheet

NWP326A - Conduct and report dam safety instrumentation monitoring
Assessment task 1: [title]

Student name:

Student ID:

I declare that the assessment tasks submitted for this unit are my own work.

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Result: Competent Not yet competent

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Assessment Record Sheet

NWP326A - Conduct and report dam safety instrumentation monitoring

Student name:

Student ID:

Assessment task 1: [title] Result: Competent Not yet competent

(add lines for each task)

Feedback to student:









Overall assessment result: Competent Not yet competent

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