Horticulture and Nursery Project

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Case for change

There are a large number of industry subsectors within the Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management (AHC) industry, covered by almost 900 units of competency across 97 nationally endorsed qualifications. Production horticulture, nursery production and retail nursery are three closely related subsectors, making up a portion of this industry, sharing similar challenges and opportunities. For instance, retail and production nurseries struggle to find qualified staff.

Due to the nature and scale of AHC, industry representatives have recommended a strategic approach to reviewing the Training Package. This involves identifying and reviewing units by their sector classification rather than by their listing in qualifications. This approach should significantly increase the speed of review of all qualifications, units of competency and skill sets within the AHC Training Package, while minimising the burden of voluntary support on industry.

As production horticulture, nursery production and retail nursery are part of the same supply chain it would make sense to review units relating to these areas as a group. In this way there is greater scope to consider career pathways and how they might be better supported by the qualifications, skill sets and units. It will also allow industry experts to contribute knowledge across as many areas as is relevant.

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) approved this project out of the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Industry Sector IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2019-2022 (see pages 32-43).

Skills Impact and the Agriculture and Production Horticulture Industry Reference Committee (IRC) and the Amenity Horticulture, Landscaping and Conservation & Land Management IRC will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download Project Proposal (see pages 32-43)

Project Plan

Whether it be the roasted vegetables in your dinner or the potted plant decorating your house, every plant grown for human use follows a horticultural journey. This journey involves the work of a series of industry sub sectors, each comprised of different practices and job roles, but all intrinsically connected with horticultural practices. This project will cover the whole value chain, from the nursery production sector, propagating and growing plants; to production horticulture businesses, growing and harvesting fruits, vegetables or nuts; or to retail nurseries selling plants to the public.

Across the value chain, the skills and knowledge required to work within these sectors are often transferable. Given their close relation, many of the challenges and opportunities facing these sectors are similar or related. Increased competition from imported produce, market price pressures, and challenging seasonal conditions are all driving industry to adopt new technologies, process and operations. Robotics are increasingly used for watering and picking crops; drones are emerging as a way to identify disease; and forecasting crop yield potential is coming along in leaps and bounds as collecting and processing a wide range of data becomes easier. Such developments require higher levels of digital skills to enable workers and managers to engage with equipment, software and data.

Given the high level of importance and the complexity of these sectors it is essential that skills standards be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. This project has been proposed to review units across the sectors of production horticulture, nursery production and retail nursery. This will allow for the review of units to take into consideration ways in which transferable skills can be acknowledged, strengthening career paths across these sectors.

Project Scope

The aim of this project is to review the nationally-endorsed units of competency that align with the industry sectors associated with production horticulture, nursery production and retail nursery industries. There are currently 13 qualifications and 67 units of competency under review for this project.

 

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.

Relevant Occupations

Examples of job roles that relate to these qualifications include:

  • Crop manager
  • Dispatch manager
  • Farmers and farm managers
  • Field worker
  • Gardener and retail nursery maintainer
  • Green life buyer
  • Head grower
  • Horticulturalist
  • Integrated pest manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Merchandiser
  • Nursery manager
  • Picker, pruner and packer
  • Production nursery assistants or workers
  • Production nursery irrigation manager
  • Quality assurance and trouble shooter
  • Retail nursery sales assistant
  • Retail nursery stock supervisor
  • Sales manager
  • Section manager
  • Site manager
  • Specialist consultants

Timeline

The project will take approximately 12 months to be completed. A number of industry consultation workshops will be held across Australia after the initial SME workshop(s) have been completed.

July 2019
Initial scoping

August – mid September 2019
Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

mid-September – mid October 2019
Drafts available for broad consultation

December 2019
Validation of final drafts

January – February 2020
Finalisation of Training Package components

June 2020
Submission for endorsement

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

 

Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts will be drawn on throughout this project to help review and draft the revised qualifications, skill sets and units. A Subject Matter Expert (SME) is identified by industry as a person with expert knowledge about how to complete particular tasks or jobs. SMEs are often identified during the project planning stage but may be included later in the project as necessary.

The input received from SMEs helps shape the AHC Training Package so that it meets industry needs and produces real-life job outcomes. Specifically, the input from an SME contributes to the project by:

  • ensuring current and future industry needs are addressed through qualifications;
  • identifying that the skills and knowledge for key job roles are reflected in units of competency;
  • identifying that core skills and knowledge are reflected in qualifications, while ensuring that qualifications can be contextualised through the selection of elective units of competency for different job role outcomes.

An SME will usually attend at least two face-to-face workshops, the location and dates for which will be determined by the project management team during the planning phase. SMEs will also be required to read and provide feedback on draft materials. This work will be undertaken on a voluntary basis. In total, approximately 25 hours will be required.

All reasonable out-of-pocket travel and accommodation expenses for members attending SME Working Group meetings will be met by Skills Impact as per its guidelines for travel and associated expenses.

If you are interested in applying to be a subject matter expert and are able to volunteer your time to this project, please email details of your expertise to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au

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 in September 2019, and again for validation of final drafts in December 2019. However, your feedback is welcomed at any time, and will help us in drafting the qualifications, skill set 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 would love your input and help. Please register your interest for project updates and consultation opportunities by following the newsletter subscription link below. 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 encourage them to contact the project team and/or direct them to this webpage.

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.

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

Related projects

Projects are currently underway (in 2019-20) to review and improve qualifications and units of competency related to Agronomy, Biosecurity and Emergency Response, Carbon & Agribusiness Management, Horticulture Technology (Irrigation, Protected Horticulture), Medicinal Crops, Viticulture, Arboriculture and Sport Turf Management. Click here for information on these Projects.

The projects undertaken during 2017-19 to review and improve AHC Training Package components in Ag Machinery – Safety & Technology, Pest Management and Ag Chemical Handling. The revised qualifications, skill sets and units of competency, that were developed as part of these projects, are published on training.gov.au and available for delivery by registered training organisations (RTOs).

 

 

Development

The skills and knowledge required to work within the production horticulture, nursery production and retail nursery sectors are often transferable. Many of the challenges and opportunities facing these sectors are similar or related. Increased competition from imported produce, market price pressures, and challenging seasonal conditions are all driving industry to adopt new technologies, process and operations.

The work activities of those involved in the production of plants for human food, fibre and decoration are being reviewed to identify the similar skills standards. This information will help to update the national qualifications and units of competency that support job roles within these sectors. They are being revised to support flexible career paths and providing an integrated approach to skills needs across the supply chain.

Subject Matter Experts are being consulted to review the structure of the qualifications that align to job roles in these sectors. In total, 13 qualifications and 67 units of competency are under review. Feedback so far suggests some qualifications may need to be merged into one qualification with a wider scope, to allow industry to address urgent skills needs and create new job outcomes. For example, the Certificate II qualifications in Nursery Production, Retail nursery and Floriculture could be merged into a single Certificate II in Nursery Operations.

Consultation Workshops – Registrations Open!

Revised drafts of these documents will become available for broad consideration and feedback from mid-September to mid-October 2019 (under the ‘Drafts Available’ menu above). We welcome your feedback and advice on the draft skills standards in this time. Face-to-face consultation workshops will also take place across states and territories, with a webinar planned for those unable to attend in person. Registrations for these workshops are now open. Register for a workshop near you by clicking the corresponding link.

Face-to-face consultation workshops

Tues 17 Sept ‘19, 2.00pm-4.00pm AEDT – Mildura – register here

Mon 23 Sept ‘19, 1.00pm – 3.00pm AEDT – Launceston – register here

Wed 25 Sept ’19, 2.00pm-4.00pm ACST – Adelaide – register here

Thurs 26 Sept ’19, 2.00pm-4.00pm AEDST – Sydney – register here

Tues 8 Oct ’19, 2.00pm-4.00pm AEST – Brisbane – register here

Wed 9 Oct ’19, 2.00pm-4.00pm AEST – Cairns – register here

Thurs 10 Oct ’19, 2.00pm-4.00pm AEDST – Melbourne – register here

Tue 15 Oct ’19, 2.00pm-4.00pm ACST – Darwin – register here

Wed 16 Oct ’19, 2.00pm-4.00pm AWST – Perth – register here

Consultation webinar

Mon 14 Oct ’19, 3.00pm-4.30pm AWST – Webinar – register here

 

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.

 

Drafts Available

The sectors of production horticulture, nursery production and retail nursery are intrinsically linked, making up parts of the same supply chain. As such they share many transferable skills and are faced with many of the same opportunities and challenges. Increased competition from imported produce, market price pressures, and challenging seasonal conditions are all driving industry to adopt new technologies, process and operations. These sectors are essential in providing plants for use as food, fibre and decoration, so it’s important that nationally endorsed qualifications are up to date and meet the needs of industry across every step of the process.

Qualifications, skill sets and units of competency relating to production horticulture, nursery production and retail nursery have been reviewed so that they reflect the strong correlation between the sectors and support clear and flexible career paths. Industry consultation suggested the merging of some qualifications to give graduates broader career options, with room for elective units to address specialist skills.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the draft qualifications, skill sets units that were made available on this webpage for feedback from 16 September – 31 October 2019. 

During this time, feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, nine face-to-face consultation workshops, one webinar, and email. The drafts, including any comments made on the feedback hub, are still available for viewing below.

Feedback will inform the work on the final drafts which are expected to be available for industry validation in December 2019. A summary of the feedback and how it was addressed in the final drafts will also be available.

Qualifications & Skill Sets

The skills and knowledge required to work within the production horticulture, nursery production and retail nursery sectors are often transferable. Subject Matter Experts were consulted to review the structure of the qualifications that align to job roles in these sectors. During this review process, it was suggested that some qualifications may need to be merged into one qualification with a wider scope, to allow industry to address urgent skills needs and create new job outcomes.

Discussion Paper

Click here to download a discussion paper, which sets out the potential for further amalgamation of the Horticulture, Production Horticulture, Floriculture, Production Nursery and Retail Nursery qualifications. Skills Impact are seeking feedback regarding this discussion paper during public consideration and feedback from 16 September – 18 October 2019. Please email your feedback to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au

 

Code and titleProposed changes Link
AHC2XX20 Certificate II in Nursery OperationsNew qualification, replacing AHC20716 Certificate II in Production Nursery and AHC20816 Certificate II in Retail Nursery.View draft qualification
AHC2XX20 Certificate II in Production HorticultureNew qualification, replacing AHC20316 Certificate II in Production Horticulture and AHC21516 Certificate II in Floriculture.View draft qualification
AHC3XX20 Certificate III in Nursery OperationsNew qualification, replacing AHC31116 Certificate III in Production Nursery and AHC31216 Certificate III in Retail Nursery.View draft qualification
AHC3XX20 Certificate III in Production HorticultureNew qualification, replacing AHC30616 Certificate III in Production Horticulture and AHC33216 Certificate III in Floriculture.View draft qualification
AHC4XX20 Certificate IV in Production HorticultureUpdated qualification, replacing AHC40316 Certificate IV in Production Horticulture. Qualification description updated and major change to packaging rules. Major edits to core and elective units lists.View draft qualification
AHC4XX20 Certificate IV in Nursery OperationsNew qualification, replacing AHC40616 Certificate IV in Production Nursery and AHC40716 Certificate IV in Retail Nursery, qualification includes entry requirements.View draft qualification
AHC5XX20 Diploma of Production HorticultureUpdated qualification, replacing AHC50316 Diploma of in Production Horticulture. Qualification description updated and major change to packaging rules. Major edits to core and elective units lists.View draft qualification
AHC5XX20 Diploma of Production Nursery ManagementUpdated qualification, replacing AHC50816 Diploma of Production Nursery Management. Qualification description updated, entry requirements added, and major change to packaging rules. Major edits to core and elective units lists.View draft qualification

 

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

 

AHC50916 Diploma of Retail Nursery ManagementQualification recommended for deletion due to low enrolment numbers.View on training.gov.au

 

 

AHCSS00064 Production Horticulture Administration Supervisor Skill SetView draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Production Horticulture Machinery Skill SetView draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Production Horticulture Manager Skill SetView draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Production Horticulture Supervisor Skill SetView draft skill set
AHCSS00068 Production Horticulture Technology Skill SetView draft skill set

 

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

 

 

Units of Competency

Proposed changes to the following units include:

  • Minor changes to application.
  • Minor edits to elements in some units and various changes and edits to Performance Criteria (PC). Details about which elements and PCs have been edited or changed is summarised in the table below.
  • Inclusion of foundation skills.
  • Assessment Requirements updated to include the frequency and or volume to performance evidence.
  • Minor edits to performance evidence and knowledge evidence in some units.
  • Specific conditions provided within the assessment conditions.

AHCNSY101 Support nursery workView draft unit
AHCNSY201 Pot up plantsView draft unit
AHCNSY202 Care for nursery plantsView draft unit
AHCNSY203 Undertake propagation activitiesView draft unit
AHCNSY204 Maintain indoor plantsView draft unit
AHCNSY301 Maintain nursery plantsView draft unit
AHCNSY302 Receive and dispatch nursery productsView draft unit
AHCNSY303 Install and maintain plant displaysView draft unit
AHCNSY304 Deliver and promote sales of plantsView draft unit
AHCNSY305 Prepare specialised plantsView draft unit
AHCNSY306 Implement a propagation planView draft unit
AHCNSY3XX Operate fertigation equipmentView draft unit
AHCNSY401 Plan a growing-on programView draft unit
AHCNSY402 Plan a propagation programView draft unit

 

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

 

AHCPCM201 Recognise plantsView draft unit
AHCPCM203 Fell small treesView draft unit
AHCPCM302 Provide information on plants and their cultureView draft unit
AHCPCM304 Report on health and condition of treesView draft unit
AHCPCM3XX Implement a plant nutrition programView draft unit
AHCPCM401 Recommend plants and cultural practicesView draft unit
AHCPCM402 Develop a soil health and plant nutrition programView draft unit
AHCPCM403 Implement an integrated pest management programView draft unit
AHCPCM501 Diagnose plant health problemsView draft unit
AHCPCM502 Collect and classify plantsView draft unit
AHCPCM503 Specify plants for landscapesView draft unit
AHCPCM504 Design specialised landscapeView draft unit
AHCPCM505 Conduct environment and food safety risk assessment of plant nutrition and soil fertility programsView draft unit
AHCPCM506 Develop an integrated pest management programView draft unit
AHCPCM5XX Apply knowledge of plant physiology to horticultural practicesView draft unit
AHCPCM601 Develop and implement a plant health management strategyView draft unit

 

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

 

AHCPHT101 Support horticultural productionView draft unit
AHCPHT202 Carry out canopy maintenanceView draft unit
AHCPHT204 Undertake field budding and graftingView draft unit
AHCPHT205 Carry out post-harvest operationsView draft unit
AHCPHT206 Handle and move mushroom boxesView draft unit
AHCPHT207 Perform mushroom substrate process tasksView draft unit
AHCPHT208 Water mushroom cropsView draft unit
AHCPHT209 Produce trellis dried grapesView draft unit
AHCPHT2XX Plant horticultural cropsView draft unit
AHCPHT303 Implement a post-harvest programView draft unit
AHCPHT304 Harvest horticultural crops mechanicallyView draft unit
AHCPHT306 Establish horticultural cropsView draft unit
AHCPHT307 Prepare raw materials and compost feedstockView draft unit
AHCPHT308 Prepare value added compost-based productsView draft unit
AHCPHT309 Supervise mushroom substrate preparationView draft unit
AHCPHT310 Coordinate horticultural crop harvestingView draft unit
AHCPHT3XX Implement a crop regulation programView draft unit
AHCPHT401 Assess olive oil for style and qualityView draft unit
AHCPHT402 Develop a crop regulation programView draft unit
AHCPHT403 Develop harvesting and processing specifications to produce an olive oilView draft unit
AHCPHT404 Implement and monitor a horticultural crop harvesting programView draft unit
AHCPHT405 Manage mushroom substrate preparationView draft unit
AHCPHT406 Control Phase II mushroom substrate processView draft unit
AHCPHT407 Manage mushroom crop developmentView draft unit
AHCPHT408 Oversee vineyard practicesView draft unit
AHCPHT502 Develop a horticultural production planView draft unit
AHCPHT503 Manage a controlled growing environmentView draft unit

 

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

 

AHCSOL2XX Assist with soil or growing media sampling and testingView draft unit
AHCSOL401 Sample soils and interpret resultsView draft unit
AHCSOL402 Develop a soil use map for a propertyView draft unit
AHCSOL403 Prepare acid sulphate soil management plansView draft unit
AHCSOL404 Supervise acid sulphate soil remediation and management projectsView draft unit
AHCSOL502 Manage soils to enhance sustainabilityView draft unit
AHCSOL503 Manage erosion and sediment controlView draft unit
AHCSOL504 Develop and manage a plan to reclaim land affected by salinityView draft unit

 

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

 

AHCWAT201 Set up, operate and maintain water delivery systems for compostView draft unit
AHCWAT301 Monitor and operate water treatment processesView draft unit
AHCWAT5XX Design water treatment systemsView draft unit

 

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

 

AHCPHT305 Regulate cropsReplaced by new unit AHCPHT3XX Implement a crop regulation program.View on training.gov.au

Please email your your feedback to rebecca@skillsimpact.com.au.

 

Summary of consultation to date

The draft qualification and units have been drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts. This took the form of face-to-face meetings throughout July and September, as well as site visits and a webinar. People working directly in production horticulture, nursery production and retail nursery participated and provided information on the skills and knowledge required for job roles and tasks. 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