Horticulture Technology 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

This project is formed as part of two skills priorities that were identified in the 2018-2021 Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work (see pages 95 and 97).

  • Protected horticulture
  • Irrigation technology, design and processes

In addressing these skills needs, this project will identify and fill gaps in current qualifications and units of competency from the AHC Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management Training Package to address skills needs for protected horticulture and irrigation technologies.

Skills Impact and the Agriculture and Production Horticulture Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will take this project through a process that adheres to the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download the IRC Skills Forecast (see pages 95,97)

Project Plan

Project Scope

This project will review and develop qualifications and units of competency to address the skills and knowledge requirements for protected horticulture activities and irrigation technologies.

Protected Horticulture
Protected horticulture refers to the management of closed cropping systems, and covers areas such as: nutrient film techniques, flooding and draining, aeroponics, growth media, setup and maintenance of protected cropping irrigation systems, setup of trellis systems, operation of automated controls and climate control technologies. The Australian protected cropping industry is growing fast and changing with technology, as a result more skilled labour is required to fill skills gaps and meet the demand from retailers. This project will look at the skills and knowledge requirements of this sector to update and develop relevant qualifications and units.

Irrigation technologies
Ongoing implementation of new processes and technologies in irrigation has facilitated the need for flexibility in irrigation specialities. An example of new technology is mobile apps designed to help guide irrigation decisions. IRC feedback has identified existing units need to be reviewed and updated to ensure different types of irrigation (broadacre, gravity fed, pressurised, domestic/urban irrigation) are covered in the range of units and can be delivered separately based on specific job roles.

Scroll down to view the qualifications, skill sets and units that will be reviewed in this project. They will be incorporated in the AHC Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package.

 

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

Protected Horticulture – picker, packer, nursery technician, nursery assistant, crop workers, crop care technician, senior supervisor, grower, integrated pest manager and quality assurance manager.

Irrigation – irrigation installation site worker, irrigation installation site manager, work with irrigation systems, manager of irrigation systems, irrigation business manager and irrigation service worker.

 

Key Deliverables

Review and development of qualifications, skill sets and related units of competency related to protected horticulture activities and irrigation technologies.

 

Timeline

September – October 2018
Initial scoping

October 2018 – January 2019
Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

January 2019 – February 2019
Drafts available for broader consultation

March 2019
Validation of final drafts

April 2019
Finalisation of Training Package components

May – June 2019
Independent Quality Assurance, and Edit and Equity review of Training Package components

August 2019
IRC consideration for sign-off and submission for endorsement

 

Project Team
William Henderson Industry Skills Standards Specialist william@skillsimpact.com.au
Andrew Horgan National Industry Engagement Manager, Skills Impact andrew@skillsimpact.com.au
Peter Miller Industry Skills Standards Contractor

 

Qualifications, skill sets and units

Below is a list of current qualifications and units proposed for revision and development as part of this project.

In preparation for the review of these components, we invite you to provide your input on the current qualifications and units. We would like to know what changes or updates should be made to the components so that they meet the skills needs of the industry. Use the links below to view the current components on training.gov.au.

Your feedback will help us in drafting the revised qualifications and units.

To provide feedback, please use our feedback form. Alternatively, you can email William Henderson william@skillsimpact.com.au.

Units of competency that may be reviewed as part of this project include (but are not limited to):

 

Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts will be drawn on throughout this project to help review and draft the revised units, skill sets and qualifications.

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 william@skillsimpact.com.au.

 

Stakeholder Consultation Process

A list of key stakeholder organisations is being developed 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.

 

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, which is expected to be January 2019 – February 2019, and again for validation of final drafts in March 2019. 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 would appreciate your input and help. Please feel free to 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, William on 03 9321 3526 or william@skillsimpact.com.au.

 

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.

Development

Work commenced in September 2018 to review and potentially develop new units and/ or qualifications for Protected Horticulture and Irrigation in the AHC Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package.

Protected Horticulture Three new qualifications have been proposed, the Certificates II, III and IV in Protected Horticulture, as well as six potential new units. This work has been assisted by input from a broad range of stakeholders and representatives of the viticulture industry who have been brought together as a Subject Matter Expert Working Group.

Irrigation – A review is being undertaken for the Certificates II, III, IV and Diploma of Irrigation, as well as the potential creation of four new skill sets. This work has been assisted by input from a broad range of stakeholders and representatives of the viticulture industry who have been brought together as a Subject Matter Expert Working Group.

Consultation Workshops – Registrations Open!

Thank you to those stakeholders who have provided feedback and advice so far. The revised draft qualifications and units will be made available on this webpage for public consideration and feedback from January 2019, under the ‘Drafts Available’ menu above. 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. Please feel free to register for a workshop near you by clicking the corresponding link.

Protected Horticulture

Tues 22 Jan 19, 12:00pm to 2:00pm – AdelaideRegister here

Wed 23 Jan 19, 12:00pm to 2:00pm – PerthRegister here

Fri 25 Jan 19, 9:30am to 11:30am – LauncestonRegister here

Tues 29 Jan 19, 12:00pm to 2:00pm – SydneyRegister here

Wed 30 Jan 19, 12:00pm to 2:00pm – BrisbaneRegister here

Thurs 31 Jan 19, 12:00pm to 2:00pm – MelbourneRegister here

Fri 1 Feb 2019, 1:30pm to 3:30pm AEDT  – Webinar – Register here

Mon 4 Feb 2019, 9:30pm to 11:30am AEDT – Webinar – Register here

Irrigation

Tues 22 Jan 19, 9:30am to 11:30am – AdelaideRegister here

Wed 23 Jan 19, 9:30am to 11:30am – PerthRegister here

Tues 29 Jan 19, 9:30am to 11:30am – SydneyRegister here

Wed 30 Jan 19, 9:30am to 11:30am – BrisbaneRegister here

Thurs 31 Jan 19, 9:30am to 11:30am – MelbourneRegister here

Fri 1 Feb 2019, 9:30pm to 11:30am AEDT  – Webinar – Register here

Mon 4 Feb 2019, 1:30pm to 3:30pm AEDT – Webinar – Register here

Drafts Available

Thank you to all those who provided feedback on the draft documents for this project, including qualifications, skill sets and units of competency in both Protected Horticulture and Irrigation. They were made available on this webpage for feedback until from 16 January – 15 February 2019.

Feedback was sought on whether the draft qualifications, skill sets and units reflect the current skills standards and practices of industry, and whether job functions are accurately described. Feedback will inform the work on the final drafts which will be available for industry validation in March 2019.

Protected Horticulture – Three new qualifications and six new units have been drafted to address knowledge and skills gaps that currently exist within in the training package. One unit has been reviewed, with the aim of broadening its scope to make it relevant to Protected Horticulture and Production Horticulture.

Irrigation – Four qualifications, 45 units and four skill sets have been reviewed to address skills and knowledge related to irrigation and drainage. These qualifications, units and skill sets have been drafted to clarify job tasks and assessment requirements (including the volume and frequency of performance for assessment).

Summary of consultation to date

Feedback on the draft documents was collected via the online feedback hub, face-to-face consultation workshops and webinars. To view the draft documents, including comments that were made on them from people using the feedback hub, please click on the expandable document menus below.

The documents were drafted in consultation with subject matter experts who work directly in the protected horticulture and irrigation industries. The information gathered helped to identify training gaps in these sectors, and guided the review and development of the qualifications, skill sets and units of competency. To view the draft documents, please click on the expandable document menus below.

 

Protected Horticulture

AHC2XX19 Certificate II in Protected Horticulture View qualification
AHC3XX19 Certificate III in Protected Horticulture View qualification
AHC4XX19 Certificate IV in Protected Horticulture View qualification

AHCXXX2XX Assist with protected cropping water sampling and testing View unit
AHCXXX2XX Maintain crop View unit
AHCXXX2XX Perform manual pollination of crops  View unit
AHCXXX2XX Perform plant blocking on View unit
AHCXXX3XX Install and maintain hanging trellis View unit
AHCXXX4XX Establish and monitor hydroponic crops View unit

Unit code and title Proposed changes Link
AHCSOL301 Prepare growing media Minor changes to application and performance criteria 2.1, 3.2, 3.6 and 3.7. Inclusion of foundation skills. Assessment Requirements revised to include the volume and frequency of performance for assessment. View unit
AHCPHT203 Support horticultural crop harvesting Minor changes to application and performance criteria 2.4 and 3.4. Inclusion of foundation skills. Assessment Requirements revised to include the volume and frequency of performance for assessment. View unit

Irrigation

Unit code and title Proposed changes Link
AHC21116 Certificate II in Irrigation Technology Qualification Description updated, minor edits to packaging rules. View qualification
AHC3XX19 Certificate III in Irrigation Qualification Description updated, packaging rules changed from 14 units (2 core and 12 electives) to 22 units (10 core and 12 electives). View qualification
AHC4XX19 Certificate IV in Irrigation Management Qualification Description updated, packaging rules changed from 12 units (1 core and 11 electives) to 12 units (8 core and 4 electives). View qualification
AHC5XX19 Diploma of Irrigation Design Qualification Description updated, minor edits to packaging rules. 1 core unit removed and replace with new imported unit. 4 elective units removed and 4 new imported units added to elective units list. View qualification

AHCSS000XX Irrigation Retail Sales Skill Set  View skill set
AHCSS000XX Irrigation Retail Skill Set View skill set
AHCSS000XX Irrigation Systems Assessment Skill Set View skill set
AHCSS000XX Irrigation Systems Efficiency Skill Set View skill set

Proposed changes to the following units include:

  • Inclusion of foundation skills.
  • Assessment Requirements updated to include the frequency to performance evidence. Specific conditions provided within the assessment conditions.
  • 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.
Unit code and title Proposed changes  Link
AHCIRG101 Support irrigation work Minor changes performance criteria 1.1, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3. Split performance criteria 1.2 into two (1.2 and 1.5). Renumbered, reordered and minor edits to performance criteria 1.3, 1.4, 1.6 and 1.7. Renumbered, reordered and minor edits to performance criteria 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4. View unit
AHCIRG215 Assist with low volume irrigation operations Minor changes to performance criteria 1.3, 2.5 and 3.1. Combined performance criteria 1.1 and 1.4. Renumbered performance criteria 1.5 to 1.4. View unit
AHCIRG216 Assist with surface irrigation operations Minor edit to performance criteria 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 5.2. Replaced performance criteria 1.4. View unit
AHCIRG217 Assist with pressurised irrigation operations Minor edit to performance criteria 1.1, 1.3 and 3.3. Removed performance criteria 1.4. Renumbered performance criteria 1.5. View unit
AHCIRG218 Assist with pump and flow control device operations Minor edit to performance criteria 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 3.1. Removed performance criteria 1.4. View unit
AHCIRG303 Measure irrigation delivery system performance Minor edits to performance criteria 1.2, 1.3, and 2.2. New performance criteria 1.5 and 3.5. View unit
AHCIRG306 Troubleshoot irrigation systems Reordered performance criteria 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7. Minor edits to performance criteria 2.1 and 3.2. Deleted performance criteria 3.4. New performance criteria 1.3, 1.4, and 1.5. View unit
AHCIRG331 Install pressurised irrigation systems Reordered and minor edits to performance criteria 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5. Minor edits to performance criteria 4.2 and 5.2. View unit
AHCIRG332 Operate pressurised irrigation systems Minor edits to performance criteria 1.1, 1.3, 2.4 and 4.1. View unit
AHCIRG333 Maintain pressurised irrigation systems Minor edits to element 1, performance criteria 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.3 and 4.4. View unit
AHCIRG334 Operate and maintain gravity fed irrigation systems Minor edits to performance criteria 2.5 and 6.5. Minor edit and renumbered performance criteria 1.3. New performance criteria 1.2, 1.5, 6.6 and 6.7. Renumbered performance criteria 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, and 1.9. View unit
AHCIRG335 Operate and maintain moving irrigation system Minor edits to performance criteria 1.1, 3.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.5 and 6.3. New performance criteria 1.2 and 1.3. Renumbered performance criteria 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7. View unit
AHCIRG422 Manage a moving sprinkler irrigation system Minor edits to Element 2, performance criteria 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.2, 3.3, 4.2, 4.7 and 5.5. View unit
AHCIRG431 Supervise irrigation system installation Minor edits to performance criteria 1.4, 1.6, 3.1, 3.4 and 6.3. New performance criteria 6.4, and renumber performance criteria 6.5. View unit
AHCIRG433 Manage irrigation systems Minor edits to element 2 and performance criteria 1.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.7 and 5.5. View unit
AHCIRG501 Audit irrigation systems Minor edits to performance criteria 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7 and 4.1. New performance criteria 1.8 and 4.2. View unit
AHCIRG503 Design irrigation, drainage and water treatment systems Reordering and minor edits to performance criteria 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7. New performance criteria 1.9, 3.8, 4.8, 5.5 and 6.2. Minor edits to performance criteria 4.6 and 6.1. Renumbering and minor edit to performance criteria 5.6. View unit
AHCIRG505 Establish and maintain an irrigation-related environmental protection program Minor edits to elements 2, 3, 4 and 5. Minor edits to performance criteria 1.1, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 5.2 and 5.3. New performance criteria 2.3 and 2.4. View unit
AHCIRG308 Monitor soils under irrigation Removed element 4, renumbered element 5 and performance criteria 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 to element 4 and performance criteria 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4. Replaced performance criteria 4.1, minor edit to performance criteria 4.4.  Within Assessment Requirements, removed performance evidence “assessed the health of an irrigated soil”, and minor edits and addition of frequency to performance evidence. Removed knowledge evidence “soil biology”, and minor edits to knowledge evidence. View unit
AHCIRG309 Install irrigation pumps Minor edit to performance criteria 1.3. View unit
AHCIRG310 Operate and maintain irrigation pumping systems Minor edits to performance criteria 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.3, 3.2, 3.3, 4.2, 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, and 6.1. View unit
AHCIRG315 Interpret irrigation plans and drawings Minor changes to application and inclusion of foundation skills. Addition of frequency to performance evidence within Assessment Requirements, and specific conditions provided within the assessment conditions. View unit
AHCIRG325 Operate irrigation technology Reordered performance criteria 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4. Minor edits to performance criteria 1.1 and 1.3. New performance criteria 2.1. View unit
AHCIRG326 Operate irrigation injection equipment Minor edits to performance criteria 1.1, 1.3, 2.1, 3.3, and 4.2. View unit
AHCIRG327 Implement an irrigation schedule Minor edits to performance criteria 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 4.4 and 4.7. Performance criteria 2.4 minor edits and split into two (performance criteria 2.4 and 2.5), with previous performance criteria 2.5 renumbered to 2.6. View unit
AHCIRG402 Determine hydraulic parameters for an irrigation system Minor edit to performance criteria 4.1 and 4.2. View unit
AHCIRG404 Implement an irrigation-related environmental protection program Minor edits to performance criteria 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1 and 4.1. View unit
AHCIRG408 Schedule irrigations Minor edits to performance criteria 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 5.1 and 5.2. View unit
AHCIRG410 Select and manage pumping systems for irrigation Minor edits to performance criteria 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 4.4 and 5.4. View unit
AHCIRG415 Interpret and apply irrigation designs Minor edits to performance criteria 2.5, 3.3, 4.1, 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3. New performance criteria 3.4. Minor edits and renumbered performance criteria 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7. View unit
AHCIRG426 Evaluate water supply for irrigation Minor edits to performance criteria 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3. View unit
AHCIRG432 Supervise irrigation system maintenance Minor edit to performance criteria 1.1, 4.5, 5.1 and 5.2. Deleted previous performance criteria 1.2, renumbered and minor edits to performance criteria 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 and 1.6. View unit
AHCIRG434 Manage surface irrigation systems Minor edit to performance criteria 2.1, 3.1, 4.5 and 4.6. Combined performance criteria 3.2 and 3.3, renumbered and minor edits to performance criteria 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5 split, renumbered and minor edits to performance criteria 3.6 and 3.7. View unit
AHCIRG502 Design irrigation system maintenance and monitoring programs Minor edits to performance criteria 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 2.3 and 2.4. New performance criteria 1.9 and 2.5. View unit
AHCIRG504 Develop an irrigation and drainage management plan Minor edits to element 4, performance criteria 2.4 and 6.5. New performance criteria 6.8. View unit
AHCDRG201 Maintain drainage systems Minor edit to performance criteria 1.2. Combined performance criteria 1.1 and 1.3, renumbered performance criteria 1.4 to 1.3. View unit
AHCDRG301 Install drainage systems Minor edits to performance criteria 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5. Minor edits to performance criteria 2.2, 4.2, 4.3, 5.2 and 5.4. View unit
AHCDRG302 Measure drainage system performance Minor edits to performance criteria 1.4 and 1.5. New performance criteria 2.5 and 3.4. View unit
AHCDRG303 Troubleshoot drainage systems Reordered and minor edits to performance criteria 1.5, 1.7, and 1.8. Minor edits to performance criteria 2.1 and 3.5. New performance criteria 1.6 and 4.3. View unit
AHCDRG304 Maintain and repair irrigation drainage systems Reordered and minor edits to performance criteria 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, and 1.8. Minor edit to performance criteria 5.3. New performance criteria 1.9. View unit
AHCDRG401 Coordinate and supervise installation of an irrigation drainage system Minor edits to performance criteria 1.4, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 3.3, 5.6, 5.7, 6.1, 6.3 and 7.3. View unit
AHCDRG402 Monitor and control irrigation drainage systems Minor edit to performance criteria 2.1. Element 4 split into two elements (4 and 5), new performance criteria 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, minor edits and renumbered performance criteria 4.4 and 4.5. Renumbered and minor edits to performance criteria 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3. View unit
AHCDRG501 Design drainage systems Split performance criteria 1.5 into two separate performance criteria (1.5 and 1.6). New performance criteria 2.8, 3.5, and 4.3. Renumbered performance criteria 1.7 and 1.8. Minor edits to performance criteria  2.4, 2.5, 2.7. Renumbered and minor edits to performance criteria 1.9. 1.10, 1.11, 2.9 and 3.6. View unit
AHCIRG505 Establish and maintain an irrigation-related environmental protection program Minor edits to elements 2, 3, 4 and 5. Minor edits to performance criteria 1.1, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 5.2 and 5.3. New performance criteria 2.3 and 2.4. View unit

 

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

Thank you to those who participated in the validation process for the final draft units of competency relating to protected horticulture and irrigation. The documents were made available on this webpage for comment for two weeks, closing on 29 March 2019.

The final drafts will shortly progress through to the Finalisation stage of the project which includes quality assurance of the documents and review and feedback from the State/Territory Training Authorities. They will then be forwarded to the Agriculture and Production Horticulture Industry Reference Committee for consideration and sign off, before being submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) to consider and approve for publication on training.gov.au.

Validation means checking and confirming that the documents are logical and factually accurate. 

Summary of consultation to date

Validation and comment was collected via online surveys, email and face to face. Prior to the Validation period the draft qualifications, skill sets and units of competency were made available from 16 January – 15 February 2019, under the ‘Drafts Available’ stage. During this time, feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, national face-to-face consultation workshops and webinars, and via phone call and email. The units were drafted with guidance from a Subject Matter Expert Working Group, made up of workplace experts and industry.

A description of how feedback has been considered and applied in the final drafts can be downloaded by clicking on the link to ‘Download the Summary of Feedback, Responses and Actions’.

Protected Horticulture

The new protected horticulture qualifications and units address the knowledge and skills gaps in an increasingly important and expanding field of agriculture. Industry have focused on the skill requirements for pickers, packers, nursery, crop work and general or non-specific protected horticultural workers. The Certificate II and Certificate III have been developed to reflect the skill standards and needs of the sector, and the the packaging rules in the Certificate II have been strengthened. AHCXXX3XX Install and maintain vertical hanging trellis has been renamed, with the addition of the word ‘hanging’ to the title.

Download the Summary of Feedback, Responses and Actions for a full description of how feedback has been considered and applied in the final drafts.

Irrigation

The new and revised qualifications, skill sets and units for irrigation underwent changes following the ‘Drafts Available’ round of feedback. An additional 8 new skill sets were developed, following feedback that this was required to adequately address the different roles completed by industry workers. While industry had previously considered deleting the Certificate II, feedback indicated that it should be retained for promotion in schools. An additional core unit was added to the Certificate III with the intention of making the qualification appropriate as a trade qualification in future. All drainage units were removed from the core list of units for all reviewed qualifications, as a result of feedback that they are not relevant for all industry workers. The unit AHCIRG3XX Operate irrigation technology underwent large scale changes, with the aim of providing more detail relating to controller and sensor related irrigation technologies.

Download the Summary of Feedback, Responses and Actions for a full description of how feedback has been considered and applied in the final drafts.

 

Protected Horticulture

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

Qualification code and name Proposed changes Link to document
Certificate II in Protected Horticulture Packaging rules altered to prevent students selecting all elements from Group B. Download final draft qualification
 Certificate III in Protected Horticulture One more core unit added, FBPOPR2070 Apply quality systems and procedures. Download final draft qualification
 Certificate IV in Protected Horticulture Removal of word ‘technician’ from qualification description.
TAEDEL301 Provide work skill instruction moved from elective Group B to elective Group A.
Download final draft qualification

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

Units code and name Proposed changes Link to document
AHCXXX2XX Assist with Protected cropping water sampling and testing No recommended changes Download final draft unit
 AHCXXX2XX Maintain crop Element 2.5, Performance Evidence dot point four and Knowledge Evidence dot point three – replaced ‘Debud and prune plants as appropriate’ with ‘Use crop maintenance techniques appropriate to crop requirements and conditions’. Download final draft unit
 AHCXXX2XX Perform manual pollination of crops No recommended changes. Download final draft unit
 AHCXXX2XX Perform plant blocking on Element 2.3, Performance Evidence dot point two – replaced word ‘monitor’ with ‘check’ and ‘monitored’ with ‘checked’.

Element 2.1, 2.2, 2.3  – deleted ‘According to workplace procedures’ from all points.

Download final draft unit
 AHCXXX3XX Install and maintain vertical hanging trellis Replaced all instances of words ‘hanging trellis’ with ‘vertical hanging trellis’ Download final draft unit
 AHCXXX4XX Establish and monitor hydroponic crops Replaced all instances of words ‘blocking on’ with ‘growing’.

Elements 2.2, 2.3 and Foundation Skills – replaced word ‘monitor’ with ‘check’.

Element 3 – re-numbered element.

Download final draft unit

Units code and name Proposed changes Link to document
AHCPHT203 Support horticultural crop harvesting No recommended changes. Download final draft unit
AHCSOL301 Prepare growing media No recommended changes. Download final draft unit

Irrigation

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

Qualification code and name Proposed changes Link to document
AHC2XX19 Certificate II in Irrigation Core units increased to 3 units to make it more irrigation focused. Download final draft qualification
AHC3XX19 Certificate III in Irrigation Technology Qualification description updated, changes to units in Core, Elective Group A and Elective Group B unit lists. Download final draft qualification
AHC4XX19 Certificate IV in Irrigation Management Changes to units in Core and Elective unit lists. Download final draft qualification
AHC5XX19 Diploma of Irrigation Design Minor edit to packaging rules. Download final draft qualification

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

Skill Set code and name Proposed changes Link to document
AHCSS000XX Gravity Fed Irrigation Operator Skill Set Replaces skill set AHCSS00031. AHCSOL401 Sample soils and interpret results replaced with AHCIRG308 Monitor soils under irrigation. Added new unit, AHCIRG3XX Install gravity fed irrigation systems. Download final draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Irrigation Agronomist Skill Set  Replaces skill set AHCSS00033. AHCSOL402 Develop a soil use map for a property replaced with AHCSOL401 Sample soils and interpret results. Download final draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Irrigation Contractor Skill Set Replaces skill set AHCSS00034. Added new unit, AHCSOL401 Sample soils and interpret results. Download final draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Irrigation Manager Skill Set Replaces skill set AHCSS00036. AHCSOL402 Develop a soil use map for a property replaced with AHCSOL401 Sample soils and interpret results. Download final draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Irrigation Meter Installation and Validation Skill Set New Skill Set Download final draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Irrigation Retailer Skill Set Replaces skill set AHCSS00037. All four units from original Skill Set removed and replacedUpdated from ‘retail’  to ‘retailer’. Download final draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Irrigation Retail Sales Skill Set New Skill Set Download final draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Irrigation Systems Auditor Skill Set New Skill Set. Change of title from ‘Assessment’ to ‘Auditor’. Download final draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Irrigation Systems Efficiency Skill Set New Skill Set Download final draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Pressurised Irrigation Systems Operator Skill Set Replaces skill set AHCSS00062. AHCSOL402 Develop a soil use map for a property replaced with AHCSOL401 Sample soils and interpret results. Download final draft skill set
AHCSS000XX Irrigation Installer and Assessor Skill Set Replaces skill set AHCSS00035. Title changed from ‘Installer’ to ‘Installer and Assessor’. Two units removed and replaced. Addition of AHCIRG332 Operate pressurized irrigation systems to units. Download final draft skill set

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

Unit code and name Proposed changes Link to document
AHCDRG201 Maintain drainage systems No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCDRG301 Install drainage systems No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCDRG302 Measure drainage system performance No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCDRG303 Troubleshoot drainage systems No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCDRG304 Maintain and repair irrigation drainage systems Changes to the Application section, Element 1 and Element 5.3. Minor changes to performance criteria 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9 and 5.3. Download final draft unit
AHCDRG401 Coordinate and supervise installation of an irrigation drainage system No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCDRG402 Monitor and control irrigation drainage systems No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCDRG501 Design drainage systems No recommended changes Download final draft unit

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

Unit code and name Proposed changes Link to document
AHCIRG101 Support irrigation work No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG215 Assist with low volume irrigation operations Minor edit to Element 2, and performance criteria 2.2, 2.3, 3.3, 4.2 and 4.3. Removal of performance criteria 2.4. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG216 Assist with surface irrigation operations Minor edit to performance criteria 2.1, to remove word ‘rotobuck’. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG217 Assist with pressurised irrigation operations Minor edit to Element 2 and 4, and performance criteria 2.2, 2.4, 2.5, 4.2 and 4.3. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG218 Assist with pump and flow control device operations  No recommended changes Download final draft unit

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

Unit code and name Proposed changes  Link to document
AHCIRG303 Measure irrigation delivery system performance New performance criteria 1.5 and 3.5. Minor edit to Application, Foundation Skills and Assessment Requirements. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG306 Troubleshoot irrigation systems  Minor edit to Element 2.1. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG308 Monitor soils under irrigation No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG309 Install irrigation pumps New performance criteria 3.6. Inclusion of Range of Conditions, minor edits to Performance Evidence and Knowledge Evidence. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG310 Operate and maintain irrigation pumping systems New performance criteria 2.2 and 2.3. Minor edit to Knowledge Evidence. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG315 Interpret irrigation plans and drawings No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG3XX Operate irrigation control and sensor technology New unit, replacing AHCIRG325. Title change. New Element 2 and 3, and performance criteria 3.6. Minor edits to performance criteria 3.2 and 3.3. Inclusion of Range of Conditions, minor edits to Assessment Requirements. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG326 Operate irrigation injection equipment No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG327 Implement an irrigation schedule  No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG331 Install pressurised irrigation systems Minor edit to Element 2.4 and Foundation Skills to include words ‘and environmental’. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG332 Operate pressurised irrigation systems No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG333 Maintain pressurised irrigation systems No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG335 Operate and maintain moving irrigation system No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG3XX Install gravity fed irrigation systems New unit, comprising of ‘install’ elements and performance criteria of AHCIRG334. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG3XX Operate and maintain gravity fed irrigation systems New unit, replacing AHCIRG334. Install elements and performance criteria removed from unit. New Element 4 and 5, and performance criteria 1.1. Download final draft unit

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

Unit code and name Proposed changes Link to document
AHCIRG402 Determine hydraulic parameters for an irrigation system Removal of word ‘pressure’ from Numeracy section of Foundation Skills. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG404 Implement an irrigation-related environmental protection program No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG408 Schedule irrigations No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG410 Select and manage pumping systems for irrigation No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG415 Interpret and apply irrigation designs No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG422 Manage a moving sprinkler irrigation system No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG426 Evaluate water supply for irrigation No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG431 Supervise irrigation system installation No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG432 Supervise irrigation system maintenance Changes to Element 4. Removal of ‘Assess evidence’ in favour of ‘Identify’. Minor rewording of Performance Criteria 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG433 Manage irrigation systems Feedback required for Element 3 and whether it should be deleted due to potential overlap with AHCIRG306. Download final draft unit
AHCIRG434 Manage surface irrigation systems No recommended changes from Feedback and Consultation phase. Download final draft unit

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

Unit code and name Proposed changes  Link to document
AHCIRG501 Audit irrigation systems No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG502 Design irrigation system maintenance and monitoring programs No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG503 Design irrigation, drainage and water treatment systems No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG504 Develop an irrigation and drainage management plan No recommended changes Download final draft unit
AHCIRG505 Establish and maintain an irrigation-related environmental protection program No recommended changes Download final draft unit

 

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Finalisation

Technological advancements are rapidly changing the way our food is grown. This is particularly true in fields like irrigation and protected horticulture (protected cropping) which involves precise control of inputs into the growing process. While irrigation is about the measured application of water to plants, protected horticulture is about controlling the micro climate surrounding the plant, determining what doesn’t get in as much as what does.

Well designed, managed and installed irrigation and nutritional systems help improve crop quality and yields and allow farmers to adapt to unpredictable conditions. Since irrigation techniques are used across many agricultural and horticultural sectors, it’s important training can deliver skills relevant to all irrigation systems in all industry sectors. This includes types of irrigation such as pressurised and gravity-fed irrigation. Technology also plays a crucial role in how this work is performed, and in recent years industry has had to adapt to incorporate use of new tools like wireless sensors and mobile phone apps for the monitoring and delivery of water (Bob Freebairn, The Land).

Similarly, the controls used in protected horticulture can help address issues like food waste, pests, disease, adverse weather conditions, and food security. It’s no surprise that protected horticulture is the fastest growing food producing sector in Australia, expanding at a rate of 4-6% a year (Protected Cropping Australia).

Growing salad ingredients in shipping containers in the city is just one example of how protected horticulture is tackling food security and sustainability. “We can grow 365 days a year and are able to control the plants’ biology and environment, so by doing that we are eliminating the possibility of any pathogens coming into the farm and don’t have to rely on the next rain event.” (James Pateras, Director Modular Farms Australia)

Nationally recognised qualifications is a key way of supporting this growing sector, allowing industry to define the specific skills and knowledge relevant to protected horticulture.

Thanks to the input of industry experts, new and revised qualifications will soon be available for roles in these areas. For the first time, there will be qualifications specifically focused on skills in protected horticulture. The irrigation industry can look forward to strengthened qualifications that address relevant job roles and can be promoted for trade accreditation.

Key Outcomes

Irrigation:

  • Expansion of the Certificate III to make it appropriate for trade accreditation and pre-requisites added to allow for use in NSW where these pre-requisites already exist
  • Four new skill sets developed to address job roles
  • Minor changes to reviewed units to incorporate skills relevant to new technologies and practices

Protected Horticulture:

  • Three new qualifications and six new units specific to protected horticulture developed to fill existing skill gaps and support a rapidly expanding industry
  • Two relevant units reviewed but no changes made
Summary of consultation

While Irrigation and protected horticulture both require unique skills and knowledge, there is some level of overlap. For this reason, consultation for these sectors occurred separately, but to the same timeline, giving Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) the opportunity to contribute to both projects if appropriate.

An SME working group was established for each sector to identify relevant job roles and the skills and knowledge required to perform them. The SME working groups supported the development of the qualifications and skills standards.

The broader industry was consulted on the draft documents at two different stages – the ‘Drafts Available’ and ‘Validation’ stages. A description of how feedback was considered can be downloaded below.

A summary of feedback and how it has been considered and applied at each stage can be downloaded below.

Round 1 (Drafts Available) Summary

 

ROUND 2 (Validation) Summary – available soon

The final draft units of competency, skill sets and qualifications, along with a Companion Volume Implementation Guide, have now been submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) as part of a Case for Endorsement for the AHC – Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package Version 4.0.

The Case for Endorsement provides the AISC with a rationale for approving the final draft units, skill sets and qualifications. It provides information about what changes have been made to the training package including, where relevant, information on new or updated units, skill sets and qualifications. It will also outline who has been consulted and provided feedback throughout the project, why the changes were made, and what the implications of the changes are. Once endorsed, the AISC will issue a communique. The units, skill sets and qualifications will then be published on training.gov.au and available for use by registered training organisations (RTOs). Note that this Case for Endorsement also includes units, skill sets and qualifications that have been developed as part of the Carbon & Agribusiness Management Project, the Sports Turf Management Project and the Viticulture Project.

The Companion Volume Implementation Guide contains key information to help registered training organisations (RTOs) implement the units, skill sets and qualifications, including the key work and training requirements in the industry; regulation and licensing implications for implementation; pathways advice; industry sectors and occupational outcomes of qualification; and advice on workplace health and safety implications.

Please find below copies of the final draft documents that were submitted to the AISC.

 

Protected Horticulture

Download all Qualifications as a zipped folder

AHC21819 Certificate II in Protected Horticulture
AHC33719 Certificate III in Protected Horticulture
AHC40219 Certificate IV in Protected Horticulture

Download all Units as a zipped folder

New

AHCHYD401 Establish and monitor hydroponic crops
AHCPHT210 Assist with protected cropping water sampling and testing
AHCPHT211 Maintain crop
AHCPHT212 Perform manual pollination of crops
AHCPHT213 Perform plant blocking on
AHCPHT311 Install and maintain vertical hanging trellis

 

Revised

AHCPHT214 Support horticultural crop harvesting
AHCSOL305 Prepare growing media

Irrigation

Download all Qualifications as a zipped folder

AHC21119 Certificate II in Irrigation
AHC32419 Certificate III in Irrigation Technology
AHC41119 Certificate IV in Irrigation Management
AHC51619 Diploma of Irrigation Design

Download all Skill Sets as a zipped folder

Revised

AHCSS00092 Irrigation Retailer Skill Set
AHCSS00093 Gravity Fed Irrigation Operator Skill Set
AHCSS00094 Irrigation Agronomist Skill Set
AHCSS00095 Irrigation Contractor Skill Set
AHCSS00096 Irrigation Installer Skill Set
AHCSS00097 Irrigation Manager Skill Set
AHCSS00098 Pressurised Irrigation System Operator Skill Set

 

New

AHCSS00099 Irrigation Systems Auditor Skill Set
AHCSS00100 Irrigation Systems Efficiency Skill Set
AHCSS00101 Irrigation Retail Sales Skill Set
AHCSS00102 Irrigation Meter Installation And Validation Skill Set

Download all Units as a zipped folder

AHCDRG202 Maintain drainage systems
AHCDRG305 Install drainage systems
AHCDRG306 Measure drainage system performance
AHCDRG307 Troubleshoot drainage systems
AHCDRG308 Maintain and repair irrigation drainage systems
AHCDRG403 Coordinate and supervise installation of an irrigation drainage system
AHCDRG404 Monitor and control irrigation drainage systems
AHCDRG502 Design drainage systems

Download all Units as a zipped folder

Certificate I and II level

AHCIRG102 Support irrigation work
AHCIRG219 Assist with low volume irrigation operations
AHCIRG220 Assist with surface irrigation operations
AHCIRG221 Assist with pressurised irrigation operations
AHCIRG222 Assist with pump and flow control device operations

 

Certificate III level

AHCIRG301 Install gravity fed irrigation systems
AHCIRG328 Operate irrigation controller and sensor technology
AHCIRG336 Operate and maintain gravity fed irrigation systems
AHCIRG337 Measure irrigation delivery system performance
AHCIRG338 Troubleshoot irrigation systems
AHCIRG339 Monitor soils under irrigation
AHCIRG340 Install irrigation pumps
AHCIRG341 Operate and maintain irrigation pumping systems
AHCIRG342 Interpret irrigation plans and drawings
AHCIRG343 Operate irrigation injection equipment
AHCIRG344 Implement an irrigation schedule
AHCIRG345 Install pressurised irrigation systems
AHCIRG346 Operate pressurised irrigation systems
AHCIRG347 Maintain pressurised irrigation systems
AHCIRG348 Operate and maintain moving irrigation system

 

Certificate IV level

AHCIRG435 Determine hydraulic parameters for an irrigation system
AHCIRG436 Implement an irrigation-related environmental protection program
AHCIRG437 Schedule irrigations
AHCIRG438 Select and manage pumping systems for irrigation
AHCIRG439 Interpret and apply irrigation designs
AHCIRG440 Manage a moving sprinkler irrigation system
AHCIRG441 Evaluate water supply for irrigation
AHCIRG442 Supervise irrigation system installation
AHCIRG443 Supervise irrigation system maintenance
AHCIRG444 Manage irrigation systems
AHCIRG445 Manage surface irrigation systems

 

Diploma level

AHCIRG506 Design irrigation systems
AHCIRG507 Audit irrigation systems
AHCIRG508 Design irrigation system maintenance and monitoring programs
AHCIRG509 Develop an irrigation and drainage management plan
AHCIRG510 Establish and maintain an irrigation-related environmental protection program

 

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.