Communicate electronically

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to send, receive and manage electronic mail (email), as well as to collaborate online using chat rooms, intranets and instant messaging.No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


This unit applies to individuals who use business technology to perform a range of routine tasks to communicate with co workers, customers or others. The individual will use a limited range of practical skills and fundamental knowledge in a defined context under direct supervision or with limited individual responsibility.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Implement procedures to send and receive electronic mail

1.1. Log in to software for sending and receiving email in accordance with organisational requirements

1.2. Check outgoing email for accuracy and ensure any required attachments are prepared, in accordance with organisational and service provider requirements

1.3. Identify urgent, confidential, personal, suspicious or potentially dangerous email and take appropriate actions

1.4. Deal with returned email in accordance with organisational policies and procedures

2. Manage electronic mail

2.1. Set security levels and/or filters for incoming email in accordance with organisational requirements

2.2. Create and maintain individual mailboxes in accordance with organisational requirements

2.3. Store email and/or attachments in accordance with organisational requirements

2.4. Empty inboxes and archive or permanently delete in accordance with organisational requirements

2.5. Prepare and maintain electronic mailing lists in accordance with organisational requirements

3. Collaborate online

3.1. Identify software to be used in collaboration

3.2. Ensure online collaboration is undertaken in accordance with organisational policy, procedures and net etiquette (netiquette)

3.3. Respond to posts or communications in accordance with agreed parameters, organisational requirements and netiquette

Required Skills

Required skills

communication skills to request advice, to receive feedback and to work with a team

literacy skills to identify work requirements; to understand and process basic, relevant workplace information; and to draft simple correspondence

problem-solving skills to solve routine technology problems.

Required knowledge

different methods of electronic communication

key provisions of relevant legislation from all forms of government that may affect aspects of business operations, such as:

anti-discrimination legislation

ethical principles

codes of practice

privacy laws

occupational health and safety.

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:

sending and receiving email for a range of purposes

attaching and removing documents to email

using software applications to collaborate online

knowledge of relevant legislation.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

access to an actual workplace or simulated environment

access to office equipment and resources

access to software applications likely to be used in the workplace.

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

analysis of responses to case studies and scenarios

demonstration of techniques

oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of electronic communication methods and tools

review of attachments prepared for email

review of electronic mailing lists

evaluation of postings and responses to online discussions.

Guidance information for assessment

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

general administration units

other IT use units.

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.

Software may include:

mobile or wireless software applications:

personal digital assistants (PDA)

mobile phones

text messaging (SMS/TXT)

multimedia messaging (MMS)

internet relay chat (IRC)

personal computer-based software applications:

email applications

web-based email services

chat applications

internet discussion groups/boards/chat rooms

intranet discussion groups/boards/chat rooms

Organisational requirements may include:

carbon copies or blind carbon copies

concise, relevant subject line

electronic signature

form of address

formality/informality of language, tone and structure

including original message in the reply

length of emails (i.e. short and to the point)

net ethics

net etiquette(netiquette)

requesting read receipt

sender's name and address

Checking outgoing email for accuracy may include checking:

clarity of intended meaning





recipient's address



Attachments may include:




word processed documents

any electronic file

Suspicious or potentially dangerous email may include:


email where sender is unknown, and subject line is enticing and/or personal (e.g. urging the receiver to open immediately)

particular file extensions

spam (unsolicited commercial email or junk email)

unsolicited email containing viruses

Dealing with returned email may include:

checking email address

checking size of attachment/s


sending message by other means e.g. facsimile, post

telephoning addressee

Storing email may include:

email application software

paper-based filing system

specialised recordkeeping, spreadsheet or database software

Mailing lists may include:

database or spreadsheet records

electronic address books

word processing tables or data files

Online collaboration may include:

chat rooms

email communications

instant messaging


Net etiquette may include:

accepted (not mandated) rules for being a good net citizen (netizen)

adjust to the style and tone of discussion groups

be forgiving of other's mistakes

do not abuse your power

if you would not do it in real life do not do it in cyberspace

keep flames under control (flaming is making personal attacks on others)

look good online (spelling, grammar, and have something worth saying)

protocols for discussion groups

remember you are dealing with real people not computers

respect copyright

respect other people's privacy

respect other's time and bandwidth

share expert knowledge


Unit sector

Competency Field

Information and Communications Technology - IT Use

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.