Apply 5S procedures

This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required by an employee to apply 5S procedures to their own job and work area. The unit assumes the employee has a particular job and an allocated work area and that processes in the work area are known by the individual.


This unit applies to an individual in an organisation who works in an operational position as part of production, maintenance, logistics, and so on. The unit can also apply to individuals in other organisations who have a discrete role and responsibility for individually managed processes. For employees in an office, the specific office-related unit MSS402041A Apply 5S in an office should be selected.

This unit applies where an organisation has decided to embark on a competitive systems and practices strategy and as part of this has adopted the philosophy of 5S as one of the tools to improve performance. The employee needs to apply 5S to their job and work area and maintain the housekeeping and other standards set by 5S.

This unit requires the application of skills associated with planning and organising, problem solving and self-management, in order to identify and implement 5S housekeeping practices.


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria


Sort needed items from unneeded


Identify all items in the work area


Sort items to achieve deliverables and value expected by downstream and final customers


Sort items required for regulatory or other required purposes


Place any non-essential item in a appropriate place other than the workplace


Regularly check that only essential items are in the work area


Set the workplace in order


Identify the best location for each essential item


Place each essential item in its assigned location


After use immediately return each essential item to its assigned location


Regularly check that each essential item is in its assigned location


Shine the work area


Keep the work area clean and tidy at all times


Conduct regular housekeeping activities during shift


Ensure the work area is neat, clean and tidy at both beginning and end of shift


Standardise activities


Follow procedures


Follow checklists for activities, where available


Keep the work area to specified standard


Sustain the 5S system


Clean up after completion of job and before commencing next job or end of shift


Identify situations where compliance to standards is unlikely and take actions specified in procedures


Inspect work area regularly for compliance to specified standard


Recommend improvements to lift the level of compliance in the workplace

Required Skills

Required skills

Required skills include:

communicating with others to clarify issues during 5S implementation, communicate results and contribute suggestions for improvement

visualising operations in terms of flow and contribution to customer outcomes

planning own tasks in implementation of 5S

implementing 5S in own work area according to instructions

identifying waste (muda)

prioritising activities and items

reading and interpreting documents describing procedures

recording activities and results against templates and other prescribed formats

working with others

solving problems

Required knowledge

Required knowledge includes:

operations and processes relevant to own job

meaning and application of 5S steps to own job and work area

principles of efficient workplace organisation

purposes of 5S

methods of making/recommending improvements

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.

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

A person who demonstrates competency in this unit must be able to provide evidence of the ability to:

identify own tasks and responsibilities and relate them to organisation and customer requirements

identify and explain the stages of 5S

implement 5S in own work area

identify waste (muda) in the work area.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment of performance must be undertaken in a workplace using or implementing one or more competitive systems and practices.

Access may be required to:

workplace procedures and plans relevant to work area

specifications and documentation relating to planned, currently being implemented, or implemented changes to work processes and procedures relevant to the assessee

documentation and information in relation to production, waste, overheads and hazard control/management

reports from supervisors/managers

case studies and scenarios to assess responses to contingencies.

Method of assessment

A holistic approach should be taken to the assessment.

Competence in this unit may be assessed by using a combination of the following to generate evidence:

demonstration in the workplace

workplace projects

suitable simulation

case studies/scenarios (particularly for assessment of contingencies, improvement scenarios, and so on)

targeted questioning

reports from supervisors, peers and colleagues (third-party reports)

portfolio of evidence.

In all cases it is expected that practical assessment will be combined with targeted questioning to assess underpinning knowledge.

Where applicable, reasonable adjustment must be made to work environments and training situations to accommodate ethnicity, age, gender, demographics and disability.

Guidance information for assessment

Assessment processes and techniques must be culturally appropriate and appropriate to the oracy, language and literacy capacity of the candidate and the work being performed.

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.

Competitive systems and practices

Competitive systems and practices may include, but are not limited to:

lean operations

agile operations

preventative and predictive maintenance approaches

monitoring and data gathering systems, such as Systems Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) software, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Materials Resource Planning (MRP) and proprietary systems

statistical process control systems, including six sigma and three sigma

Just in Time (JIT), kanban and other pull-related operations control systems

supply, value, and demand chain monitoring and analysis


continuous improvement (kaizen)

breakthrough improvement (kaizen blitz)

cause/effect diagrams

overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)

takt time

process mapping

problem solving

run charts

standard procedures

current reality tree

Competitive systems and practices should be interpreted so as to take into account:

the stage of implementation of competitive systems and practices

the size of the enterprise

the work organisation, culture, regulatory environment and the industry sector


5S is a system of work organisation originally developed in Japan based around housekeeping principles. A close translation of the five stages in the housekeeping approach is:


set in order





Sort involves keeping only what is absolutely necessary for the processes in the work area. Sort includes:

clearing the work area of all non-essential equipment and materials

Non-essential items are those not required to either produce product, conduct process or operations, or make required adjustments to equipment during process or operations

Set in order

Set in order includes:

assigning required equipment and materials appropriate locations in the work area


Shine includes:

keeping the work area clean at all times. This should be carried out to a regular daily schedule against allowed time and, on most occasions, at the end of a job


Standardising includes:

activities that help maintain the order and the housekeeping standards

using procedures and checklists developed from a procedure


Sustain includes:

making sure that daily activities are completed every day regardless of circumstance

cleaning up after a job

undertaking inspections, including:

informal inspections carried out often, at least weekly

formal inspections carried out at least monthly

generating continuous improvement actions from daily activities

following up specific actions to generate continuous improvement

Items in work area

Items in work area may include:




plant and equipment


personal items (e.g. bags, lunch boxes and posters)

safety equipment and personal protective equipment

other items which happen to be in the work area


Procedures may include:

work instructions

standard operating procedures


batch sheets

temporary instructions and similar instructions provided for the operation of the plant

good operating practice as may be defined by industry codes of practice (e.g. good manufacturing practice (GMP) and responsible care) and government regulations

Procedures may be:

written, verbal, computer based or in some other format


Unit sector

Competitive systems and practices

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.