Write complex documents

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to plan documents, draft text, prepare final text and produce documents of some complexity.No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


This unit applies to individuals who work in a range of business environments and are skilled in the creation of reports, information and general promotion documents that are more complex than basic correspondence, memos or forms and that require review and analysis of a range of information sources.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Plan documents

1.1. Determine the purposes of documents

1.2. Choose appropriate formats for documents

1.3. Establish means of communication

1.4. Determine requirements of documents

1.5. Determine categories and logical sequences of data, information and knowledge to achieve document objectives

1.6. Develop overview of structure and content of documents

2. Draft text

2.1. Review and organise available data, information and knowledge according to proposed structure and content

2.2. Ensure data, information and knowledge is aggregated, interpreted and summarised to prepare text that satisfies document purposes and objectives

2.3. Include graphics as appropriate

2.4. Identify gaps in required data and information, and collect additional material from relevant enterprise personnel

2.5. Draft text according to document requirements and genre

2.6. Use language appropriate to the audience

3. Prepare final text

3.1. Review draft text to ensure document objectives are achieved and requirements are met

3.2. Check grammar, spelling and style for accuracy and punctuation

3.3. Ensure draft text is approved by relevant enterprise personnel

3.4. Process text amendments as required

4. Produce document

4.1. Choose basic design elements for documents appropriate to audience and purpose

4.2. Use word processing software to apply basic design elements to text

4.3. Check documents to ensure all requirements are met

Required Skills

Required skills

communication skills to clarify requirements of documents

literacy skills to edit and proofread documents; to create documents with a complex, organised structure of linked paragraphs which use simple and complex syntactic structure

numeracy skills to collate and present data, graphs and annotated references

problem-solving skills to use processes flexibly and interchangeably.

Required knowledge

enterprise style guide/house style

formatting styles and their impact on formatting, readability and appearance of documents

organisational requirements for ergonomics, work periods and breaks, and resource conservation techniques

rules and conventions for written English, as defined by general and specialist dictionaries and books about grammar.

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:

production of documents

editing draft text to ensure accuracy and clarity of information

knowledge of enterprise style guide/house style.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

access to an actual workplace or simulated environment

access to office equipment and resources

examples of documents and style guides.

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

review of structure and content of documents

review of draft documents

review of final documents

demonstration of techniques

oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of word processing software functions.

Guidance information for assessment

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

BSBITU401A Design and develop complex text documents.

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.

Purposes of documents may include:

conveying research findings

documenting policies, procedures and processes

influencing attitudes, opinions, beliefs

meeting legal requirements

meeting other data, information or knowledge needs of an audience

proposing recommendations, options and actions

Appropriate formats for documents may include:

detailed business letters


instructions and procedures


publications, leaflets, brochures


speeches and presentations

submissions tender documentation and public notices

website text

Means of communication may include:

software packages such as MS Word, MS Excel, MS PageMaker, MS PowerPoint and templates

Requirements of documents may include:

compliance with genre

compliance with proformas, standardised reporting requirements or undertakings made by the organisation about reporting

file types and sizes for online documents

languages other than English requirements

legal or traditional requirements for the particular document format

organisational policy, procedures and guidelines applying to writing documents, including house style

point numbering systems

requirements for illustrations, photographs, graphs, charts, maps and other illustrative material to explain texts

standards for references, footnotes, citations, acknowledgements

time lines, including deadlines

word length

writing styles, including simplicity of English and use of technical language

Categories and logical sequences of data, information and knowledge may include:

arguments and rebuttals

categories and sequences traditionally used for the particular type of document being prepared

chronological, alphabetical or operating sequences

facts, observations, conclusions and recommendations

illustrative case studies and other examples

linking and summary statements

recommendations and supporting arguments

Relevant enterprise personnel may include:

colleagues/staff in own work section/ team members

consultative committees

internal providers of specialist expertise



staff in relevant work sections

Design elements may include:

capitals and underlining



illustrations, photographs and other illustrative material for design purposes

justification and alignment

lists and tables

logos, branding, organisational identity requirements

margins and paragraph indentation

page shape

page size


use and amount of colour

use and amount of white space


Unit sector

Competency Field

Communication - Writing

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.