Build and maintain community relationships


This unit of competency describes the outcomes required to build and maintain community relationships. It includes setting parameters for relationships and partnerships, providing information about community engagement and building the community engagement capacity within the organisation. It can apply to the full scope of forest and wood products industry workplaces and to operations of all sizes.

The unit applies to job roles including Community Liaison Officers, Designer (Manufacturing and Engineered Wood Products), Environmental Planners and Managers, Forest/Timber Harvester, Forest Auditor or Forest Planner, Forest Sustainability Manager, Forestry Manager, General Manager, Plantation Manager, Sustainability Manager, Technical Forester, Technical Services Officer, Technical Services Manager and Value Recovery Officer.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory, or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the range of conditions.

1. Set parameters for community relationships or partnerships

1.1 Utilise a community engagement framework to assist in analysing and setting parameters for community relationships or partnerships.

1.2 Establish purpose and parameters for various community relationships or partnerships in consultation with relevant community stakeholders.

1.3 Use a range of strategies and opportunities appropriate to both individual and community needs.

2. Provide information relating to community engagement

2.1 Assess current community understandings of the organisation.

2.2 Communicate information about rights and responsibilities of individuals and communities to relevant personnel.

2.3 Communicate opportunities for community involvement in organisational processes and decision making, by using methods appropriate for the diverse needs of the community.

3. Build community engagement capacity

3.1 Tap into informal and formal community networks to strengthen local capital and to ensure ongoing capacity.

3.2 Manage dynamics within and across relationships or partnerships.

3.3 Allocate resources to manage partnerships and community relationships.

3.4 Identify barriers to community engagement and formulate and implement solutions in line with the community context.

3.5 Implement mechanisms for communities to raise their own issues with the organisation, in line with the community context.

3.6 Promote and resource strategies to build community capacity.

4. Document and report on community relationships or partnerships

4.1 Report outcomes of community relationships or partnerships to relevant stakeholders.

4.2 Provide feedback to participants on how the outcomes have informed planning or decision making.

4.3 Review extent of community engagement capacity in light of outcomes.

Evidence of Performance

A person demonstrating competency in this unit must satisfy all of the elements, performance criteria and foundation skills of this unit, and must be able to provide evidence that they can:

Document a strategy to engage with two different and diverse community groups. The strategy must work within a community engagement framework and cover:

characteristics and demographics of the local community

organisational opportunities for involvement of a local community

constraints and barriers to community engagement.

purpose and parameters for the relationship or partnership

benefits and constraints for both parties

rights and responsibilities of the community groups to engage in organisational decision making processes

how consultation and communication will occur between both parties

mechanisms for the community groups to raise their own issues with the organisation

how the organisation will build the capacity of the community groups to engage in with the organisation.

Evidence of Knowledge

A person competent in this unit must be able to demonstrate knowledge of:

Community engagement theory and principles.

Strategies, practices and techniques for community engagement.

Relationship and partnership building principles and techniques.

Communication styles appropriate for establishing and fostering transparent, trusting relationships or partnerships with individuals and communities.

Leadership principles and the management of community engagement expectations.

Strategies and processes for consultation with the community.

Processes of individual advocacy and group advocacy.

Organisational opportunities for community involvement.

Constraints and barriers to community engagement.

Demographic features of the local community, including:

socio-economic diversity

gender diversity

cultural mix

household structures

education levels

political orientations

religious beliefs

industry and business structures.

Characteristics of local communities and factors affecting community engagement, such as:

dynamics of community

community power structures

big politics versus community politics (big 'P' v little 'p')


formal and informal community networks, partnerships and lobby groups

strength and views publicised by business community and local media organisations.

Organisational requirements, policies and procedures for the following:

building and maintaining community relationships

communication and media engagement.

Assessment Conditions

The following resources must be made available:

Computers, keyboards, printers and software used to prepare correspondence with community stakeholders and to prepare organisational reports.

Access to sources of local community data

Current journals, Australian and international case studies on community engagement.

Organisational policies and procedures for building and maintaining community relationships.

Competency is to be assessed in the workplace or a simulated environment that accurately reflects performance in a real workplace setting.

Assessor requirements

Assessors must:

Hold the appropriate assessor competency standards as outlined in regulations; and

be able to demonstrate vocational competencies at least to the level being assessed; and

be able to demonstrate how they are continuing to develop their VET knowledge and skills as well as maintaining their industry currency and assessor competence.

Foundation Skills

This section describes those core and employment skills that are essential to performance and are not explicit in the performance criteria.

Learning skills to:

Continually update knowledge of individual and community perceptions and concerns with the organisation’s practices.

Oral communication skills to:

Interact appropriately with a variety of community partners to explain complex and formal policies.

Establish and foster transparent, trusting relationships or partnerships with individuals and communities.

Work with diverse communities using a range of communication styles to suit different audiences and purposes.

Writing skills to:

Write recommendations and prepare community engagement reports requiring complex language structures and precision of expression.

Prepare community engagement information requiring the presentation of complex information, using simple language structures and precision of expression.

Planning and organising skills to:

Coordinate community engagement, including relationship building, networking, negotiation, conflict management and risk management.

Maintain multiple and potentially conflicting relationships or partnerships.

Problem-solving skills to:

Mediate, negotiate and attempt to obtain consensus between parties.

Use lateral thinking to provide solutions and overcome barriers to community engagement.

Technology skills to:

Use a computer, keyboard and software to prepare correspondence with community stakeholders and to prepare organisational reports.


Common Technical