• BSBDES402A - Interpret and respond to a design brief

Interpret and respond to a design brief

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to interpret and creatively respond to a design brief through the production of work. No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


This unit applies to individuals working in any industry or design context where work is prescribed by a commissioning agent/client in the form of a brief. The unit is holistic in nature and focuses on the integration of the creative, communication and planning processes that support effective response to a design brief.

In practice, this unit supports and is supported by other units describing the specialist skills and knowledge required by specific design disciplines.

Work is carried out independently, although guidance would be available if required. Skills involving the more complex process of negotiating and refining a design brief, or managing the production process are found in BSBDES502A Establish, negotiate and refine a design brief and BSBDES601A Manage design realisation.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Interpret design brief

1.1. Correctly interpret the specifications of the design brief

1.2. Establish and clarify user or client for the proposed product/service to inform design decisions

1.3. Identify and clarify specifications, parameters or constraints of the design brief in consultation with relevant colleagues

1.4. Source and evaluate information pertinent to design brief

2. Explore and develop design concept

2.1. Generate ideas for design concept through research, exploration and experimentation

2.2. Develop initial design concept consistent with design brief parameters

2.3. Evaluate and explore options for refining the concept to best meet design brief parameters

2.4. Refine options and select the approach which best meets design brief requirements

3. Liaise with client

3.1. Agree on communication process and frequency of communication with the client

3.2. Present concepts for work at appropriate stages during design process as required

3.3. Present and explore different options and creative ideas with client when appropriate

3.4. Pro-actively seek and act on client feedback

3.5. Reach agreement on concept for work which complies with design brief

4. Plan production of work

4.1. Assess specific design production risks

4.2. Identify all components required to produce a prototype

4.3. Assess technical requirements for production against specified guidelines

4.4. Identify and consult with support services required for production

4.5. Produce a prototype and evaluate against design brief requirements

4.6. Analyse prototype and determine any further adjustments to production requirements

4.7. Finalise production specifications supported by accurate and complete documentation

5. Complete production of work

5.1. Collect and/or organise required components for the work

5.2. Produce or monitor the production of work ensuring all parameters of design brief are met

5.3. Accurately document work progress in a format appropriate to the nature of the design and requirements of design brief

5.4. Seek client approval for work where appropriate

Required Skills

Required skills

communication skills to liaise with clients and colleagues on design concepts, and to effectively present potentially complex ideas

creative thinking skills to generate and explore a range of possible responses to design brief requirements

critical thinking and problem-solving skills to work out different ways of meeting different design and production challenges

Research, literacy and analytical skills to interpret a brief and to source and evaluate information pertinent to the brief

planning and organisational skills to integrate and coordinate creative, communication and planning issues into the work process

self-management skills to take pro-active responsibility for all the elements involved in responding to a design brief.

Required knowledge

copyright, moral rights and intellectual property issues and legislation relevant to the ways design concepts are developed and presented

different ways of presenting, communicating and documenting design concepts (as relevant to the context of work)

format of design brief typically used in the relevant industry or design context

principles and key features of project management relevant to a design project

specific project management factors that apply to a design project

terminology typically used in a range of design briefs.

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

Evidence of the following is essential:

effective response to the requirements of at least two design briefs, including interpretation, concept development, communication and production planning

knowledge of copyright, moral rights and intellectual property issues and legislation relevant to the ways design concepts are developed and presented.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

access to the materials resources and equipment needed to interpret design brief, source information pertinent to design brief and to respond to design brief within its parameters

interaction with others to reflect the communication and collaboration aspects of this unit.

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate

evaluation of design documentation and completed work undertaken by the candidate

oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of typical parameters and constraints for work in a given context, including practical production issues

evaluation of presentation made by the candidate to present concepts and to articulate the creative and other processes that lead to the development of final design concept.

Guidance information for assessment

The design process does not occur in isolation. Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

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.

Specifications may refer to:






scope of work



target group


Design brief may be:





Parameters or constraints may refer to:

budgeting and financing arrangements

cost of production

legislative and regulatory requirements


number of items

purpose of item


Information pertinent to design brief may be about:

current trends in the application of materials, techniques, tools and equipment

design standards

health and safety

industry standards

legal, contractual, ethical and copyright considerations

material characteristics and capabilities

new technology and innovation

stylistic considerations

Concepts for work would usually be in written format and may include:

computer generated text or diagrams, for example MS Word PowerPoint presentation



photographs or digital images



Agreement on the concept may involve:

development of an artist statement

discussion with client

discussion with other specialists (e.g. technical or production)

formal contract for the work


Support services may involve:


digital services


fabricators, for example for models, props, sets

hire studios and/or equipment

other specialists, for example make-up, stylists

production facilities

work assistants

Documentation may include:



data sheets with notes



material samples

photographs or digital images


specifications for fabricators

storyboard and text

video or DVD

written rational or description


Unit sector

Competency Field

Design - Design Process

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.