Work effectively in an emergency disease or plant pest response

This unit specifies the outcomes required to work effectively within own area of responsibility in a response to an emergency disease or plant pest incursion.


This unit applies to personnel who have been appointed or engaged to undertake a role within an emergency disease or plant pest incursion response.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Obtain and use information about the emergency disease or plant pest and an appropriate response

1.1. Information about emergency disease or plant pest and appropriate response is accessed and applied during an emergency disease or plant pest response.

1.2. Information is used to address specific work needs and further information requirements are identified.

1.3. Information and/or resources required from stakeholders are identified and accessed.

2. Work according to organisational requirements

2.1. All communication with stakeholders is carried out according to organisational policies and procedures.

2.2. All work undertaken reflects a current working knowledge and understanding of organisational requirements.

2.3. All work undertaken reflects understanding and compliance with relevant duty of care and legal responsibilities.

2.4. Work activities conform to relevant legislation, regulations, procedures and codes of practice appropriate to work area and level of responsibility.

2.5. Hazards and risks relevant to specific work being undertaken are identified and responded to as required.

2.6. Work is carried out according to organisational policies and procedures.

3. Manage own work

3.1. Work instructions are interpreted correctly and clarification is sought if inconsistencies are noted.

3.2. Workload is assessed and competing demands are prioritised to achieve personal, team and organisational goals and objectives.

3.3. Need for physical and human resources is communicated clearly to appropriate person(s).

3.4. Own role, responsibilities and duties are performed in a positive manner that promotes cooperation within the workplace.

3.5. Importance of own and others' roles in achieving organisational goals is respected.

3.6. Personal symptoms of stress and their potential to impact on performance are recognised, action is taken to minimise their negative effects and undue personal stress is reported to appropriate persons.

4. Comply with biosecurity requirements

4.1. Biosecurity procedures relevant to own work area are identified.

4.2. Work activities are carried out according to established biosecurity procedures.

4.3. Personal protective equipment and fomites are maintained according to biosecurity procedures.

4.4. Biosecurity breaches are reported immediately to appropriate person.

4.5. Biosecurity records are completed according to work area requirements.

5. Adapt to change as required

5.1. Need for change in own work practices to reflect critical emergency issues or emerging trends is identified and assessed.

5.2. Changes required are discussed and agreed with senior staff.

5.3. Own work practices are changed where required and according to agreed arrangements.

5.4. Flexible approach that takes account of changing priorities and circumstances is applied when implementing instructions for changes to work practices.

5.5. Change is monitored to determine the effectiveness of revised work practices and senior staff members are advised of findings.

Required Skills

Required skills

operating in stressful situations

prioritising conflicting demands

working in a strict line management environment

use literacy skills to read, interpret and follow organisational policies and procedures, follow sequenced written instructions, record accurately and legible information collected and select and apply procedures for a range of tasks

use oral communication skills/language competence to fulfil the job role as specified by the organisation, including questioning techniques, active listening, clarifying information and consulting with supervisors as required

use numeracy skills to estimate, calculate and record routine workplace measures

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

Required knowledge

district, regional and local plans

functional plans of other government agencies

legal and regulatory framework under which responses are taken

national plans such as Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN) or Australian Emergency Plant Pest Response Plan (PLANTPLAN)

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and biosecurity procedures

national, state and territory plans.

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

This unit of competency could be assessed on its own or in combination with other units of competency relevant to the job function.

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

The critical requirements for this unit of competency as a whole are listed below. Assessment must confirm one's ability to:

access and use national plans such as AUSVETPLAN or PLANTPLAN

operate within a response team and follow instructions

operate effectively under stress in tasks involving problem solving in relation to own role

make effective judgements

follow instructions

provide advice in area of expertise and authority

understand legal and regulatory implications of one's own role in an emergency disease or plant pest response.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

For valid assessment, one must have opportunities to participate in exercises, case studies and other real and simulated practical and knowledge assessments that demonstrate the skills and knowledge required to work effectively in an emergency disease or plant pest response.

The candidate must also have access to the following resources:

simulated workplace for an emergency disease or plant pest response for assessment using scenarios, case studies, role plays and group work

access to local, regional, district, state and territory, and national plans relating to an emergency disease or plant pest response.

Method of assessment

Assessment for this unit of competency is to be largely practical in nature and will most appropriately be assessed in a simulated workplace or in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions.

Guidance information for assessment

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

The skills and knowledge required to work effectively in an emergency disease or plant pest response must be transferable to a range of work environments and contexts, including the ability to deal with unplanned events. This could include:

working in the field or in a local, state or national control centre

participating in a response to a plant pest or to an emergency disease of animals, fish or other marine animals

participating in a response to a natural disaster.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole.

Information about emergency diseases or plant pests may be found in:


published texts

scientific literature.

Information about emergency response may be found in:

district, regional or local plans

functional plans of other government agencies

industry biosecurity plans

national, state or territory plans.

Emergency diseases and pests may include:

diseases that may effect animals, fish and other marine animals include:

disease that is exotic to Australia

serious infectious diseases or pests of or uncertain cause

severe infectious disease of unknown or uncertain cause

severe outbreaks of known endemic diseases or pests that are considered to be of national significance with serious social or trade implications

variants of endemic diseases

biotypes or strains of invertebrate pests or pathogens injurious to plants or plant health; invasive pest plants.

Stakeholders may include:

agronomists and consultants

chemical resellers


crop monitors or scouts

general community

government departments


producers and other local enterprise owners

other personnel involved in an emergency response

plant pathologists

property owners, managers and staff

stock agents and transport personnel


Organisational requirements may include:

biosecurity and OHS policies and procedures

district or regional plans

functional plans of other government agencies

goals, objectives, policies and standard operating procedures of response lead agency

national plans such as AUSVETPLAN or PLANTPLAN

local, state and territory plans.

Duty of care and legal responsibilities may include:

duties and responsibilities for self and others

responsibilities defined through legislation

responsibility of an employer to provide a safe workplace.

Procedures may include:


biosecurity procedures of industry and response lead agency

handling and storage of hazardous materials

industry codes of practice

legal or regulatory requirements

personal hygiene

standard operating procedures of response lead agency.

Hazards and risks may include:

allergic reaction

chemical exposure

occupational trauma

physical injury

spreading disease or plant pests

zoonotic infection.

Ways in which work may be carried out include:


in cooperation with other sections in response team, using their skills and knowledge as appropriate.

Appropriate person may include:


section manager

team leader.

Fomites may be defined in terms of:

inanimate objects capable of transmitting an infectious agent such as:





Unit sector


Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not Applicable