Visually assess materials

This unit describes the outcomes required to visually assess material characteristics for defects and qualityGeneral workplace legislative and regulatory requirements apply to this unit; however there are no specific licensing or certification requirements at the time of publicationThis unit replaces FPICOR3204A Visually assess materials


The unit involves the visual assessment of materials in a variety of work settings including forest environment, saw mill, wood chip mill, veneer mill. board/plywood mill, timber treatment plants, downstream processing of timber, forest products factory, forest products sales and service, horticultural, domestic, local council, emergency services environment

The skills and knowledge required for competent workplace performance are to be used within the scope of the person's job and authority


Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Prepare for assessing

1.1. Applicable Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), environmental, legislative and organisational requirements relevant to the visual assessment of materials are identified and followed

1.2. Work order is reviewed and clarified with appropriate personnel

1.3. Visual assessment processes are planned in line with site procedures

1.4. Type and quantity of material to be visually assessed is acquired from the storage location

1.5. Equipment is selected appropriate to work requirements and checked for operational effectiveness in line with manufacturer's recommendations

1.6. Communication with others is established and maintained in line with OHS requirements

2. Visually assess material

2.1. Material requirements for storage or subsequent processing operations are selected

2.2. Characteristics and defects of material are visually assessed against industry standards

2.3. Defects are clearly marked for treatment or sawing in line with site requirements

2.4. Assessment outcomes and distribution problems are recorded and reported in line with workplace procedures

3. Distribute material

3.1. Material is directed and moved to storage or processing operations in line with site requirements

3.2. Sub-standard materials are rejected and disposed of in line with site requirements

3.3. On-site movement of material is monitored to ensure intended flow is achieved

3.4. Storage locations are labelled in line with site systems

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit

Required skills

Technical skills sufficient to use and maintain relevant tools, machinery and equipment; recognise and mark defects and sub-standard materials; assess materials to industry standards

Communication skills and interpersonal techniques sufficient to interact appropriately with colleagues and others in the workplace

Literacy skills sufficient to accurately record and report workplace information and maintain documentation

Numeracy skills sufficient to estimate, measure and calculate time required to complete a task

Problem solving skills sufficient to identify problems and equipment faults and demonstrate appropriate response procedures

Required knowledge

Applicable Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation, regulations, standards, codes of practice and established safe practices relevant to the full range of processes for visually assessing materials

Environmental protection requirements, including the safe disposal of waste material

Organisational and site standards, requirements, policies and procedures relevant to visually assessing materials

Environmental risks and hazard prevention

Methods of visual estimation and assessment, colour identification and tagging

Typical material defects and characteristics

Distribution processes for assessed materials

Storage systems and labelling

Established communication channels and protocols

Problem identification and resolution strategies and common fault finding techniques

Types of tools and equipment and procedures for their safe use and maintenance

Appropriate mathematical procedures for estimating and measuring, including calculating time to complete tasks

Procedures for recording and reporting workplace information

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

A person who demonstrates competency in this unit must be able to provide evidence that they can visually assess materials

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

The evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit must be relevant to, and satisfy, all of the requirements of the elements of this unit and include demonstration of:

following applicable Commonwealth, State or Territory legislative and regulatory requirements and codes of practice relevant to the visual assessment of materials

following organisational policies and procedures relevant to the visual assessment of materials

visual assessment of a full range of materials in readiness for storage and/or processing

distribution of materials using designated equipment

effective communication and safe work practices

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Competency is to be assessed in the workplace or realistically simulated workplace

Assessment is to occur under standard and authorised work practices, safety requirements and environmental constraints

Assessment of required knowledge, other than confirmatory questions, will usually be conducted in an off-site context

Assessment is to follow relevant regulatory or Australian Standards requirements

The following resources should be made available:

workplace location or simulated workplace

materials and equipment relevant to undertaking work applicable to this unit

specifications and work instructions

Method of assessment

Assessment must satisfy the endorsed Assessment Guidelines of the FPI11 Training Package

Assessment methods must confirm consistency and accuracy of performance (over time and in a range of workplace relevant contexts) together with application of required knowledge

Assessment must be by direct observation of tasks, with questioning on required knowledge and it must also reinforce the integration of employability skills

Assessment methods must confirm the ability to access and correctly interpret and apply the required knowledge

Assessment may be applied under project-related conditions (real or simulated) and require evidence of process

Assessment must confirm a reasonable inference that competency is able not only to be satisfied under the particular circumstance, but is able to be transferred to other circumstances

Assessment may be in conjunction with assessment of other units of competency

The assessment environment should not disadvantage the candidate

Assessment practices should take into account any relevant language or cultural issues related to Aboriginality, gender or language backgrounds other than English

Where the participant has a disability, reasonable adjustment may be applied during assessment

Language and literacy demands of the assessment task should not be higher than those of the work role

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.

OHS requirements:

are to be in line with applicable Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation and regulations, and organisational safety policies and procedures, and may include:

personal protective equipment and clothing

safety equipment

first aid equipment

fire fighting equipment

hazard and risk control

fatigue management

elimination of hazardous materials and substances

safe forest practices including required actions relating to forest fire

manual handling including shifting, lifting and carrying

Environmental requirements may include:


organisational policies and procedures

workplace practices

Legislative requirements:

are to be in line with applicable Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation, regulations, certification requirements and codes of practice and may include:

award and enterprise agreements

industrial relations

Australian Standards

confidentiality and privacy


the environment

equal opportunity


relevant industry codes of practice

duty of care

Organisational requirements may include:


organisational and site guidelines

policies and procedures relating to own role and responsibility

quality assurance

procedural manuals

quality and continuous improvement processes and standards

OHS, emergency and evacuation procedures

ethical standards

recording and reporting requirements

equipment use and maintenance and storage requirements

environmental management requirements (waste disposal, recycling and re-use guidelines)

Materials may include:

hardwood and softwood logs and timber




laminated veneer

imported species

native species

recently felled or stored materials

wood chips


particle board


medium density fibreboard

Work order is to include:

instructions for the environmental monitoring of work and procedures

instructions for the receipt/despatch and visual assessment of materials to/from the designated storage location or processing operations

and may include:




environmental care requirements relevant to the work

Appropriate personnel may include:






Assessment is to include:

visually assessing the quality of materials for characteristics, defects and imperfections

and may include:

measuring the amount of moisture contained in a log to determine if it falls within specifications for conversion and drying or other processing operations

Storage locations may include:

storage racks

storage bays



pallet boxes

modularised storage components

temporary stacking bays (stand, frame or ground)

and may be divided into:

standard product classification

product designation



stack number



shelf life

stock rotation position

Equipment may include:

moisture meters

lifting equipment for the movement of materials

Communication may include:

verbal and non-verbal language

constructive feedback

active listening

questioning to clarify and confirm understanding

use of positive, confident and cooperative language

use of language and concepts appropriate to individual social and cultural differences

control of tone of voice

body language

Processing operations may include:


panel production

wood chipping

pulp and paper production

Defects may include:

water damage







insect defects or attack

resin pockets




dry rot

wet rot

breakage from felling


loose surface

lifting coatings

poor adhesion

thin or missing coatings

chipped edges

surface bubbles

pin holes

grain angles

gum veins

loose or missing knots

Treatment may include:

chemical treatment of materials to eradicate insect attack or other defects

Sawing may include:

cutting out sections of the material (if practical) to retain good quality sections

Records and reports may include:

product type


visual inspection

labelling outcomes

storage locations

quality outcomes



equipment malfunctions

and may be:


using a computer-based system or another appropriate organisational communication system

Disposing of rejected sub-standard materials may include:

environmentally effective, efficient and safe waste management, recycling and re-use practices and guidelines

On-site movement of material:

lifting equipment may include:

fork lifts


trolley jacks

gantry cranes


assistance with lifting may include:

the involvement of two or more personnel to lift materials manually or to guide the movement of mechanical equipment


Not Applicable

Competency Field


Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills

Licensing Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor