Work With Crocodiles Project

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Case for change

Crocodile farming is a growing industry in the northern states of Australia, but it is yet to fully mature. The sale of crocodile skins, meat, by-products, as well as associated tourism and conservation markets have made crocodile farming a significant factor in the labour markets and economies of remote communities in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland.

Changes in legislation have been a major driver of the growth of this industry, with Queensland enacting legislation as recently as December 2018 to allow for controlled collection of wild crocodile eggs. This reflects similar legislation in the Northern Territory in the early 1980s that saw the development of the contemporary commercial crocodile farming sector in Australia.

For Australian crocodile farming to continue its success in international markets, it is important to retain a reputation for safe, effective and sustainable operations. There is a need to consult with industry about current work practices and job roles in order that these can be captured in units of competency. There is a need for consultation with a diverse range of stakeholders to capture the different work environments for working with crocodiles and meet the the needs of remote and Indigenous communities.

This project was first proposed as part of the 2019-2022 Aquaculture and Wild Catch IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work (see pages 40-47). It was later approved by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) after an additional submission outlining the potential scope of the project.

Skills Impact and the Aquaculture and Wild Catch Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download Project Proposal 


Project Plan

Handling crocodiles is a specialist skill, whether in the wild, on farms or in zoos. It is a complex field, overlapping with a number of sectors that include aquaculture and wild catch, conservation and land management, and animal care and management.

Conservation plays a key role, with crocodile management programs in place to outline the requirements of all work with crocodiles, recognising the reptile as a natural resource with both economic benefits and cultural value. Crocodile farms operate within these guidelines, acknowledging the importance of crocodile conservation to the longevity of the sector. As such, workers need skills in sustainable farming practices, including the monitoring of crocodile populations in the wild and aiding with scientific research. Unique skills are also required on farm to incubate eggs and monitor hatchlings, and to feed and care for animals.

In addition to farm workers, the handling of crocodiles and their eggs is performed by park rangers, zoo employees, and licenced individuals. Crocodile farming is also closely linked with Indigenous communities, providing economic benefits for Traditional Owners through employment and royalty payments for egg collection on their land. While those with experience have developed and honed techniques for working with crocodiles, skills standards have not been defined within the national vocational education and training system.

Broad consultation with industry will continue throughout this project to describe the skills needed for all kinds of work with crocodiles. Advice from Indigenous communities will be an important part of consultation activities. We recognise that crocodiles have been part of Indigenous culture for thousands of years, as both respected entities and a source of food. We also acknowledge the challenges involved for people who are not related to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders to understand the significance of this connection and will therefore seek advice and guidance from Indigenous people.

Project Scope

The project will address the need for accessible skills standards for working with crocodiles. The focus will be on developing units of competency that can be used across all forms of work with crocodiles, to promote safe and sustainable practices.


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Relevant Occupations
  • Crocodile farmer
  • Crocodile farm worker
  • Crocodile farm manager
  • Crocodile hatchery worker
  • Crocodile hatchery manager
  • Crocodile rancher (egg collection in the wild)
  • Crocodile handler
  • Crocodile catcher
  • Indigenous and Park Rangers
  • Animal Protection Officers
  • Zoo worker – crocodile handler and feeder


Project Team

Susie FalkIndustry Skills Standards Specialist, Skills Impact
Michelle Ingley-SmithIndustry Engagement Manager, Skills Impact
Anna HendersonIndustry Skills Standards Contractor


September – October 2019
Initial scoping

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

December 2019 – February 2020
Drafts available for broad consultation

February – March 2020
Validation of final drafts

March 2020
Finalisation of Training Package components

April – May 2020
IRC consideration for sign-off and submission for endorsement


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

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 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, Name on 03 9321 3526 or

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.


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Drafts Available

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