Animal Reproduction Project

Menu: Click across the green arrows to view active and completed project stages. Consultation takes place at every stage of the project.

Case for change

Continued consumer demand for animal-based proteins will place increasing pressure on farmers to use improved methods in their breeding programs. Technologies to assist with managing animal reproduction are becoming more and more accessible in the livestock industry, helping farmers to improve profitability and competitiveness. The aim of this project is to review livestock units relating to animal reproductive practices, so they support skills for current processes and technologies.

The Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) approved this project, out of the 2020 Annual Update to the IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work.

The Agriculture and Production Horticulture Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will oversee this project as part of their responsibility to support engagement with the sector, and to ensure the project meets industry stakeholder needs.

Skills Impact will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download Project Proposal (see page 71)

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management’ as your industry of interest.

Project Plan

Farmers need a range of skills and knowledge to manage the reproduction of animals, helping them to keep up with the high demand for products like meat, dairy and wool. Skills to identify breeding objectives, genetic influences, animal soundness and animal breeding health have been used for generations to increase livestock and poultry production and profitability. Recent developments in the availability of technologies have made this work even more effective and efficient, improving welfare, profitability and sustainability.

Current skills standards need to reflect new technical and digital skills used to work with new technologies to take advantage of these developments. One example of this is the expertise to work with ultrasound technology, to perform pregnancy tests to identify pregnancy, determine fetal viability, and manage the productivity of a herd or flock. Skills are also needed to work with a range of  technologies, such as sensors and trackers that provide the temperature, movements, and location of animals. This information can be used to inform decisions about the reproduction process.

If you have experience in reproduction of agricultural animals, you are invited to provide input on this project to review and update current livestock units relating to breeding. Qualifications and units relating to practices such as impregnation techniques, pregnancy testing and birthing, will be revised, so they include skills for current processes and technologies, supporting future learners in this area. As well as collecting input from industry experts, the Agricultural Workforce Digital Capability Framework will be considered to identify the digital skills requirements for job roles in this sector.

Project Scope

This project will review six qualifications relating to reproduction of agricultural animals, including the Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production), Certificate III in Pork Production, Certificate III in Poultry Production, Certificate IV in Organic Farming, Diploma of Pork Production, and Diploma of Organic Farming. It also includes the review of 23 units of competency. There is scope to develop up to two units and up to four skill sets if needed.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management’ as your industry of interest.

Relevant Occupations
  • Beef Cattle Farmer
  • Dairy Cattle Farmer
  • Deer Farmer
  • Goat Farmer
  • Livestock Farmer
  • Mixed Livestock Farmer
  • Pig Farmer
  • Poultry Farmer
  • Sheep Farmer
  • Farmers and Farm Managers
  • Beef Cattle Farm Worker
  • Dairy Cattle Farm Worker
  • Livestock Farm Worker
  • Mixed Crop and Livestock Farm Worker
  • Mixed Livestock Farm Worker
  • Poultry Farm Worker
  • Sheep Farm Worker

 

Timeline

September 2020
Initial scoping

October 2020 – January 2021
Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

December-February 2021
Drafts available for broad consultation

April-May 2021
Validation of final drafts

May 2021
Finalisation of Training Package components

June 2021
Independent Quality Assurance, and Edit and Equity review of Training Package components

September 2021
IRC consideration for sign-off and submission for endorsement

Project Team
Rebecca FordIndustry Skills Standards Specialist, Skills Impactrebecca@skillsimpact.com.au
Andrew HorganIndustry Engagement Manager, Skills Impactandrew@skillsimpact.com.au
Peter MillerIndustry Skills Standard Contractor

 

Opportunities for stakeholder input

Stakeholder input is appreciated throughout the duration of this project. The documents will be drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur when the draft materials are made available from December 2020 – February 2021, and again for validation of final drafts in April – May 2021. However, your feedback is welcomed at any time, and will help us in drafting the qualifications, skill sets and units. It is important that training provides a skilled and flexible workforce for the future. The qualifications, skill sets and units need to reflect real work experience. So, if you work in the sector, Skills Impact welcomes your input and help. Please feel free to register your interest for project updates and consultation opportunities by following the newsletter subscription link above. Alternatively, please feel free to contact the project manager, Rebecca Ford on 03 9321 3526 or rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

Stakeholder Consultation Process

A list of key stakeholder organisations has been identified for this project. Skills Impact will ensure contact is made with each of these organisations during the development of this project to seek their involvement and their views on the draft qualifications, skill sets and units.

If you are aware of an organisation that you think should be involved, please contact the project team to ensure they are contacted by us.

Of course, all and any interested industry participants are encouraged to engage in the consultation of this project, when the draft qualifications, skill sets and units are available for feedback via this webpage and workshops that take place around Australia. Consultation is not limited to the organisations on this list. This list simply helps us to identify those organisations that, because of their industry role, size or specialty, are likely to have a key interest in the development and outcomes of this project.

Development

Farmers have relied on a range of skills to manage the reproduction of animals for generations. These skills are integral to identifying breeding objectives, genetic influences, animal soundness and animal breeding health. Recent developments in the availability of technologies have offered new ways of performing job roles. Access to equipment such as ultrasounds, sensors and trackers can help inform decisions about the reproduction process, improving welfare, profitability and sustainability. It is important that the full range of technical and digital skills required for this work are reflected in national skills standards, supporting farmers to take advantage of new developments.

Consultation will take place throughout this project to review and update existing livestock qualifications, a skill set, and units relating to breeding, so they include skills for current processes and technologies. As well as collecting input from industry experts, the Agricultural Workforce Digital Capability Framework will be considered to identify the digital skills requirements for job roles in this sector.

A workforce functional analysis process took place in October 2020 to identify job tasks and processes. Existing units of competency were then reviewed in consultation with subject matter experts, to identify the current job roles across the different industry sectors and livestock types. The units are being revised to reflect current technology, equipment and practices involved in animal reproduction for livestock, including beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, deer and alpaca.

 

Development outcomes and next steps

Broad stakeholder consultation is scheduled to commence in early December, when draft qualifications, a skill set, and units will be made available for comment on this webpage. Your input is welcome, please feel free to register your interest to keep informed of project updates and when draft materials are available for feedback.

Webinars

You have the option to register for one of four webinars. This is a chance to discuss the drafts qualifications, skill set and units, and the feedback process with the project team and other members of your industry. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

8 December, 10am-12pm AEDT – register here

8 December, 1-3pm AEDT – register here

9 December, 10am-12pm AEDT – register here

9 December, 1-3pm AEDT – register here

 

 

 

Drafts Available

A range of skills and knowledge are needed to manage the reproduction of farming animals. These skills have been used for generations to optimise the production of products like meat, dairy and wool. Recent developments in the availability of technologies such as ultrasound equipment, sensors and trackers are making it easier to monitor animals, and improve welfare outcomes, profitability and sustainability. It is important that current skills standards reflect the necessary technical and digital skills, so that farmers can take advantage of the many benefits of these technologies.

As part of this project, subject matter experts are providing advice and guidance in the review of qualifications, skill sets and units that support job roles in animal reproduction. They have been updated to reflect changes in technology, equipment and practices in animal reproduction for livestock, including beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, deer and alpaca. Feedback from a broad range of industry stakeholders is important, so that these skills standards reflect current job functions.

Qualification and Units with Low Enrolments

A priority for Skills Ministers in 2021 is to ensure employers’ and learners’ needs can be met through the VET system by reducing the complexity of the training system and improving accessibility of training. One of the key considerations is whether there is a need for formal training of skills through the VET system to achieve competency in the job role.

Enrolment numbers are a key piece of evidence to indicate the need for formal VET training. There may be a number of explanations for low enrolment numbers in a unit of competency or qualification, and the AISC are asking industry to confirm whether low enrolment numbers are an indication of lack of industry need, or whether there may be reasons for keeping the relevant skill in the formal training system in spite of low enrolment numbers.

Initially, a cut-off point for specific review of units has been set at fewer than 42 enrolments in each of the last three years.

Several of the units/qualifications being reviewed as part of this project have been identified as meeting this criteria between 2015 – 2019.

The AISC will consider industry viewpoints for maintaining these, backed up by evidence of future enrolments as reasons for them to be retained.

To help guide the AISC decision, the Industry Reference Committee needs to provide information around the following factors:

  • Whether units proposed for retention are core to qualifications being retained?
  • Are there linkages with industrial and legislative arrangements?
  • Are enrolments expected to increase in the near future? And if so, why?
  • Is there employment growth in the skills outlined in the unit/qualifications? And if so, why?
  • Is there another specialist requirement to keep the unit/qualification?

Your advice and feedback is invited on these questions.

Your feedback will be considered by the Subject Matter Expert Working Group and the Industry Reference Committee and will assist these groups with the advice they provide to the AISC.

Once updated with ‘deleted’ status, these products will still be accessible on training.gov.au as a reference point for industry to use for non-enrolment purposes. However, registered training organisations will be unable to enrol students in deleted units or qualifications. They will no longer be considered part of the VET delivery system and will not be funded for delivery, whilst they are in “deleted” status.

Click on the accordions below to see the qualification and units that the AISC are considering for deletion and details of the past five years of enrolments for each. Then click on the title of the unit, skill set or qualification to download the latest draft. Below each group is a short survey for you to provide advice. Alternatively, please email your responses to these questions to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au

The surveys will be available on this webpage from 15 March – 15 April 2021, however your feedback on this matter is welcome at any time.

Thank You For Your Feedback on the Drafts

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the draft qualifications, skill set and units of competency that were made available on this webpage from 2 December 2020 – 28 February 2021. You can still view the documents and any comments made below.

Feedback was sought on whether the draft qualifications, skill set and units reflect the current skills standards and practices of industry, and whether job functions are accurately described. Feedback was especially encouraged from those with specialist knowledge relating for the following units:

  • Ultrasound techniques – advice on the skills and knowledge outlined in the draft unit titled AHCLSK4XX Pregnancy test animals.
  • Electro-ejaculation technique – feedback on the knowledge evidence that is outlined in the draft unit titled AHCAIS301 Collect semen
  • Dropped ovary technique procedures – advice on legislative requirements for skills and knowledge outlined in the unit titled AHCLSK335 Conduct dropped ovary technique procedures for spaying cattle
  • Artificial insemination of poultry – advice is required regarding the definition of ‘poultry’ in the unit titled AHCPLY301 Artificially inseminate poultry, as well as the current use of artificial insemination across different poultry livestock, e.g. ducks, turkeys
  • Reproduction of alpacas – advice on whether the skills and knowledge outlined in the unit for AHCLSK302 Mate and monitor reproduction of alpacas matches current job roles, as well as feedback on the use of ultrasound technology for pregnancy testing alpacas.

Feedback on the drafts will inform further updates to qualifications, skill set and units, which are expected to available for industry validation in April 2021.

Qualifications & Skill Sets – revised

This project focusses on reviewing the units of competency related to animal reproduction rather than the qualifications. However, changes to some units of competency will affect some qualifications. For example, if a core unit is changed and is not equivalent or is removed, the qualification will therefore be affected. This is yet to be determined.

The following qualifications have had the qualification description updated, packaging rules amended, elective units updated and will be fully reviewed in the near future.

Qualification code and nameProposed changes or rationale Link
AHC30216 Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production)Core unit AHCLSK329 Implement procedures for calving will be superseded by AHCLSK3XX Implement procedures for calving currently under review.

The following Elective units are currently under review:

  • AHCAIS303 Artificially inseminate livestock
  • AHCLSK312 Coordinate artificial insemination and fertility management of livestock
  • AHCLSK315 Prepare for and implement natural mating of livestock
View draft qualification
AHC30416 Certificate III in Pork ProductionThe following Elective units are currently under review:

  • AHCLSK314 Prepare animals for parturition
  • AHCPRK301 Pregnancy test pigs
  • AHCPRK303 Artificially inseminate pigs
  • AHCAIS302 Process and store semen
  • AHCLSK315 Prepare for and implement natural mating of livestock
  • AHCPRK3XX Mate pigs and monitor dry sow performance
View draft qualification
AHC30516 Certificate III I Poultry ProductionReordered Core units and Group B Electives into correct alpha/numeric sequence

The following Elective unit is currently under review:

  • AHCPLY301 Artificially inseminate poultry
View draft qualification
AHC50216 Diploma of Pork ProductionUpdated unit codes.

The following Core unit is currently under review:

  • AHCLSK505 Develop production plans for livestock

The following Elective units are currently under review:

  • AHCLSK416 Identify and select animals for breeding
  • AHCLSK503 Develop and implement a breeding strategy
View draft qualification

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Skill Set code and nameProposed changes or rationale Link
AHCSS00057 Poultry Industry Beak Tipping Skill SetSupersedes and is equivalent to existing Poultry Industry Beak Tipping Skill Set.

Skill set description and requirements changed.

View draft skill set

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Units of Competency – revised

The following units have been updated to include the key skills for maintaining health and safety in the workplace, including appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene procedures. Skills and knowledge to support animal welfare have also been embedded, such as the need to understand the hazards of handling animals and mature male animal behaviour. The units have also been updated to reflect current environmental and biosecurity legislation and regulations.

Click here to download a summary of technical changes made to the units.

Unit code and name Link
AHCAIS2XX Assist with artificial insemination proceduresView draft unit
AHCAIS301 Collect semenView draft unit
AHCAIS302 Process and store semenView draft unit
AHCAIS303 Artificially inseminate livestockView draft unit
AHCAIS401 Supervise artificial breeding and embryo transfer programsView draft unit

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Key changes across these units include updated skills and knowledge requirements for supporting workplace procedures that protect the environment and biosecurity, in line with current legislation and regulations. The skills to handle animals and uphold animal welfare and work health and safety practices have also been included.

Click here to download a summary of technical changes made to the units.

Unit code and name Link
AHCLSK203 Carry out birthing duties View draft unit
AHCLSK208 Monitor livestock to parturitionView draft unit
AHCLSK302 Mate and monitor reproduction of alpacasView draft unit
AHCLSK312 Coordinate artificial insemination and fertility management of livestockView draft unit
AHCLSK314 Prepare animals for parturitionView draft unit
AHCLSK315 Prepare for and implement natural mating of livestockView draft unit
AHCLSK335 Conduct dropped ovary technique procedures for spaying cattleView draft unit
AHCLSK3XX Implement procedures for calvingView draft unit
AHCLSK411 Supervise natural mating of livestockView draft unit
AHCLSK416 Identify and select animals for breedingView draft unit
AHCLSK4XX Pregnancy test animalsView draft unit
AHCLSK503 Develop and implement a breeding strategyView draft unit
AHCLSK505 Develop production plans for livestockView draft unit
AHCLSK507 Plan, monitor and evaluate strategies to improve livestock through geneticsView draft unit

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

The following units have had changes made to the application, elements, performance criteria, performance and knowledge evidence and assessment conditions.

Click here to download a summary of technical changes made to the units.

Unit code and nameProposed changes or rationale Link
AHCPLY301 Artificially inseminate poultryMinor changes, amalgamating of performance criteria, addition of frequency in performance evidence, added WHS requirements including PPE, removed procedures for handling chemicals, disinfectants and sanitisers. View draft unit

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

 

Changes to the below units include adding workplace health and safety requirements and personal protective equipment, environment and biosecurity legislation and regulations and removing reference to using cleaning chemicals as these destroy semen and should be avoided.

Click here to download a summary of technical changes made to the units.

Unit code and nameProposed changes or rationale Link
AHCPRK301 Pregnancy test pigsMinor changes, is equivalent View draft unit
AHCPRK303 Artificially inseminate pigsMinor changes, is equivalent View draft unit
AHCPRK3XX Mate pigs and monitor dry sow performanceMajor changes, new code as not equivalent. New performance criteria added and major changes made. Removed knowledge evidence relating to nutritional requirements. View draft unit

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

 

Summary of consultation to date

A workforce functional analysis process took place in October 2020 to identify job tasks and processes. Existing units of competency were then reviewed in consultation with subject matter experts, to identify the current job roles across the different industry sectors and livestock types. People working directly in the agriculture industry provided information on the skills and knowledge required for job roles and tasks involved in beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry reproduction techniques and practices.

Thank you to those who provided feedback during these activities.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Validation

This stage has not yet commenced

Finalisation

This stage has not yet commenced