Entry Level Forestry Skills Project

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Case for change

In forestry regions around the country, school students need to be able to access school-based vocational education or apprenticeships that provide a career path into a range of forestry job roles. The forest growing, management and harvesting industry is aging, with the highest proportion of employees represented in the age group of between 53 and 68. Employers are consistent in their message that a high priority for the industry is attracting young people. This project proposes a review of entry level qualifications to support this industry goal, so they can be delivered in a school environment.

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 Forest Management and Harvesting 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 and ForestWorks will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download Project Proposal (see page 58)

Project Plan

Demand for skilled workers is strong in the forest industry. Local and global markets continue to seek out a range of products, from new wood-fibre based plastic alternatives to the softwood used to build new homes. To meet this need in a sustainable way, the Federal Government has committed to planting an additional billion trees over the next decade. This is in addition to the 70 million trees already planted each year. Attracting and training new entrants are high priorities for the Regional Forestry Hubs in their plans to deliver on this commitment and address future skills needs in regional Australia.

Feedback from industry to date has indicated that the national entry level qualifications could be broadened to better meet current skills needs and attract new young entrants. Australian plantation forests, which provide the majority of Australia’s timber, are located in regional and sometimes remote locations. School students in these regions should be able to access school-based VET training or apprenticeships that provide a career path into a range of forestry roles and equip them with the skills they need to get started.

This project will review and update current entry level qualifications so that they better support the career journey of learners and reflect the hands-on skills required. This will include a review of skills standards for a range of entry level job roles, including within nursery, forest infrastructure and forest harvesting, all which require unique expertise.

Project Scope

Qualifications, units of competency and skill sets to be reviewed and redesigned

  • FWP10116 Certificate I in Forest and Forest Products
  • FWP20116 Certificate II in Forest Growing and Management
  • FWP20216 Certificate II Harvesting and Haulage
  • FWP30116 Certificate III in Forest Growing and Management
  • FWP30216 Certificate III in Harvesting and Haulage
  • 44 units of competency from the above qualifications
  • 17 skill sets related to the forest operations

New units and skill sets to potentially be developed

  • New units of competency for skills by using harvesting simulators
  • New skill sets subject to consultations

 

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 ‘Forestry & Timber’ as your industry of interest.

Relevant Occupations
  • Nursery Worker
  • Forestry Worker
  • Silviculture Operator
  • Tree Feller
  • Harvesting Machine Operator
  • On-site Wood Chipping Operator
  • Cable Logging Operator
  • Other Forestry Plant Operator
  • Log Truck Driver

 

Project Team

Timeline

Oct 2020
Initial scoping

Nov 2020 – Apr 2021
Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

May – Jun 2021
Drafts available for broad consultation

Jun – Jul 2021
Validation of final drafts

Jul – Sep 2021
Finalisation of Training Package components

Sep – Oct 2021
Independent Quality Assurance, and Edit and Equity review of Training Package components

Oct – Nov 2021
IRC consideration for sign-off and submission for endorsement

Project Team
Georgiana DaianProject Manager, ForestWorksgdaian@forestworks.com.au
Michelle ClaytonIRC and Industry Engagement Manager, ForestWorksmclayton@forestworks.com.au
Rob StowellIndustry Skills Standard Contractor

 

Subject Matter Expert

Subject Matter Experts will be drawn on throughout this project in addition to a Steering Committee 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 interest and your experience to gdaian@forestworks.com.au

Opportunities for stakeholder input

Stakeholder input is appreciated throughout the duration of this project. The documents will be drafted in consultation with a Steering Committee, Subject Matter Experts and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur when the draft materials are made available in May – June 2021, and again for validation of final drafts in July 2021. 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, Georgiana Daian on 0413 660 987 or gdaian@forestworks.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

Local and global markets continue to seek out a range of wood and timber products, from new wood-fibre based plastic alternatives to the softwood used to build new homes. To meet this need in a sustainable way, the Federal Government has committed to planting an additional billion trees over the next decade. These forces are driving a strong demand for skilled workers in the forest industry, which means attracting young people to a career in forestry is a high priority.

As part of this project, work is underway to review entry level forestry qualifications and relevant units of competency, so that school students, school leavers and other new entrants have access to clear career pathways into a range of forestry roles. More flexible and tailored entry-level qualifications and units of competency would help promote easier delivery and young peoples’ participation in forestry-related VET in school programs.

A Steering Committee made up of industry and VET representatives met in October 2020 to provide views about challenges related to forestry-based VET programs delivered in school. The Committee also outlined skills that school students need to develop to get ready for work. One-on-one discussions and various videoconference meetings with subject matter experts were also held throughout this period. This engagement enabled the project team to understand job and skills requirements, to draft content for the new units of competency.

In redesigning the qualifications, the current project seeks to identify the range of entry-level skills required by industry. Consultation to date has identified the following key points regarding the skills needs of entry level workers:

  • The potential to use forestry machine simulators in providing young people with an introduction to the mechanised operations. Simulator-based training would not offer young people the skills to operate forestry machines in the workplace, but it may identify people with an aptitude and inclination for forest operations roles, providing a more robust employment pathway.
  • The need to entry level students to be introduced to a broader range of new technology used in forestry, such as small-scale drones.
  • The need for future qualifications to support students to develop industry knowledge by learning industry concepts and how the industry works.
  • The need to significantly update units of competency for forest nursery production within the current FWP qualifications, as industry has indicated they do not provide for the specialist skills and knowledge required within the forest nursery production operations. It is important that these skills are supported, as industry has indicated a lack of younger people coming into the industry and an increasing demand for qualified staff especially after the 2019-2020 bushfires.
  • The need to support soft skills, to prepare students to navigate workplaces were also mentioned during the consultations.

A series of subject matter expert meetings are planned for February 2021 for reviewing competencies related to four-wheel drive operations, forest nursery production, the use of forestry machine simulators and workplace health and safety.

An additional Steering Committee meeting is planned for March 2021 to consider and provide feedback on the draft entry-level forestry qualifications following the input to date.

Development outcomes and next steps

Broad stakeholder consultation is scheduled to commence in May 2021, when draft qualifications, units, and skill sets will be made available for feedback 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 following the newsletter subscription link below.

Drafts Available

Attracting and training new entrants is a high priority for the forestry industry, due to high demands for products from forests. Demand is high in local and global markets for a range of products, from new wood-fibre based plastic alternatives to the softwood used to build new homes. The Federal Government has committed to planting an additional billion trees over the next decade, in addition to the 70 million trees already planted each year, to help meet this demand in a more sustainable way. New entrants are needed for jobs in Regional Forestry Hubs to help address future skills needs in regional Australia.

School students living in regional areas where Australian plantation forests are located should be able to access school-based VET training or apprenticeships that provide a career path into a range of forestry roles and equip them with the skills they need to get started. As part of this project, qualifications and skills standards for entry level forestry roles are being revised and broadened to better meet current skills needs and attract new young entrants.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on draft qualifications, skill sets and units of competency that were made available for feedback on this page from 18 May to 17 June 2021.

During this time, feedback was collected through the online feedback hub, phone, email and online consultation sessions. The drafts, including any comments made on the feedback hub, are still available for viewing below.

The revised and developed training package components aim to support the current skills requirements within the forest industry, facilitate efficient training delivery and provide visible career pathways to school students, new entrants and existing workers.

Feedback will inform the work on the final drafts which will be available for industry validation later in June. A summary of the feedback and how it was addressed in the final drafts will also be available.

Overview of Key Changes
  • Four forest growing management and harvesting and haulage qualifications at the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level II and III were consolidated into one qualification at each level, resulting in a Certificate II in Forest Operations and a Certificate III in Forest Operations. The qualifications are designed to offer specialisations in Forest Nursery Production, Silviculture and Timber Harvesting and Haulage. Units of competency from the Foundation Skills Training Package have been included in the qualifications to allow for soft skills development so that young learners are prepared to navigate workplaces.
  • The Certificate I in Forest and Forest Products was proposed for deletion as it has had no enrolment in the last five years. All units within the qualification are included in the proposed Certificate II in Forest Operations.
  • Two skill sets were developed for plantation establishment and silviculture workers to support the industry to overcome the workforce shortage due to the 2019-2020 bushfire season and COVID-19 travel restrictions. The skill sets can be used as short course training to upskill workers to do a specific job or as an entry pathway to further training. Another two skill sets have been developed for the job roles of excavator operators and skid steer loader operators.
  • Two units of competency were developed to encourage young people to participate in forestry-related VET in school programs. The units allow for training that supports learners in developing a contemporary view of the industry and interacting with forestry technology and operations through forestry machine simulators.
  • Units were also created to support skill development for jobs in forest nursery production operations. These skills are currently in high demand due to the need to generate new tree stock to replenish extensive forest areas burnt out during the recent bushfires.
  • Five units of competency were proposed for deletion due to no enrolments during the last three years.
  • Three units of competency with similar learning outcomes were consolidated and revised to become one unit for FWPFGM3XXX Extract, clean, store and despatch tree seeds.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

The four forest growing management and harvesting and haulage qualifications at the Australian Qualifications Framework level two and three were consolidated into one qualification at each level, resulting in a Certificate II in Forest Operations and a Certificate III in Forest Operations, with specialisations.

The restructured qualifications were designed to support efficient training delivery and provide flexible training to entry-level and skilled operators to meet current job requirements.

The Certificate II in Forest Operations describes the job of people who provide support to forest operations in a variety of forestry contexts. It is also for learners who are involved in school-based VET traineeships and other VET in school programs.

The Certificate III in Forest Operations describes the job of people who operate at a production level in a forest operation.

Both qualifications offer specialisations in:

  • Forest Nursery Production
  • Silviculture
  • Timber Harvesting and Haulage

The specialisations offer more training options, clear career pathways into a range of forestry roles and flexibility to choose from a range of career pathways, including the possibility to complete additional specialisations with a minimum number of units.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

QualificationExisting/Replaced QualificationLink
FWP2XX21 Certificate II in Forest OperationsFWP20116 Certificate II in Forest Growing and ManagementView draft qualification
FWP20216 Certificate II in Harvesting and Haulage
FWP3XX21 Certificate III in Forest OperationsFWP30116 Certificate III in Forest Growing and ManagementView draft qualification
FWP30216 Certificate III in Harvesting and Haulage

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

The Certificate I in Forest and Forest Products was proposed for deletion as it has had no enrolment in the last five years, is not listed on the State funded course lists and is not offered by or on the scope of any RTO. All units within the qualification are included in the proposed Certificate II in Forest Operations.

Qualification code and titleLink
FWP10116 Certificate I in Forest and Forest ProductsView qualification on training.gov.au

Two skill sets were created for plantation establishment workers and silviculture workers. The skill sets can be used as short course training for upskilling people or as an entry pathway to further training. Early feedback on the drafts has indicated the need for another two skill sets which define the skills used by excavator operators and skid steer loader operators.

Skill SetLink
FWPSS0000X Plantation Establishment Worker Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Silviculture Worker Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Excavator Operator (Forestry) Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Skid Steer Loader Operator (Forestry) Skill SetView draft skill set

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

Fifteen existing skill sets were revised to include updated units of competency. In addition, the unit HLTAID001 Provide First Aid has been removed from all forestry machine operator skill sets as it requires joint delivery through a specialist RTO creating inefficiencies in the delivery of the skill sets. Industry feedback suggests that all employers in the forest industry provide First Aid training to workers as part of the employment requirements regardless.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

Skill SetLink
FWPSS0000X Mechanical Processor Operator Skill SetView draft skill set 
FWPSS0000X Native Forest Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Plantation Forest Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Fire Salvage Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Off Road Four Wheel Drive Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Soil and Water Protection (Roading) Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Log Truck Driver Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Forestry Produce Truck Driver Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Crawler Tractor Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Feller Buncher Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Forwarder Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Loader Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS00036 Skill set for a single grip harvester operatorView draft skill set
FWPSS00037 Skill set for a skidder operatorView draft skill set
FWPSS00038 Skill set for an excavator with log grapple operatorView draft skill set

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

Four existing units of competency covering workplace safety and environmental and cultural heritage protection were reviewed and updated. These units have undergone minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the requirements of Standards for Training Packages.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

Revised unit code and nameLink
FWPCOR2XXX Follow environmental protection proceduresView draft unit
FWPCOR2XXX Follow health and safety policies and proceduresView draft unit
FWPCOR3XXX Apply safety, health and environmental policies and proceduresView draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Follow cultural heritage protection requirementsView draft unit

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

Two units of competency were developed to support entry-level workers in forestry operations jobs, particularly learners involved in school-based VET traineeships and other VET in school programs.

These units describe the skills and knowledge required to develop a contemporary view of the industry and interact with forestry technology and operations by learning and practising on forestry machine simulators.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOT2XXX Develop knowledge of the forest and wood products industryView draft unit
FWPHAR2XXX Operate a simulated forest machineView draft unit

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

Four existing units of competency covering efficient work practices and quality work were reviewed and updated. These units have undergone minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the requirements of Standards for Training Packages. The unit FWPCOR2XXX Communicate and interact effectively in the workplace was also updated to include communication using electronic communication equipment and participation in group discussions and informal meetings.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOR2XXX Work effectively in the forest and wood products industryView draft unit
FWPCOR2XXX Communicate and interact effectively in the workplaceView draft unit
FWPCOR2XXX Follow quality and product careView draft unit
FWPCOR3XXX Apply quality and product care proceduresView draft unit

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

Nine units of competency were developed to support workers and operators in forest nursery production operations. These units cover skills and knowledge for maintaining seed orchards, conducting genetic improvement activities, documenting production cycle for bare root or container grown cuttings and seedlings, conditioning tree stock, growing tree stock and using automated tree nursery production systems such as topping equipment and seed sowing lines.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPFGM2XXX Follow quality procedures in forest nursery productionView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Prick out and transplant tree seedlings in a forest nurseryView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Apply tree seed treatmentView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Apply knowledge of tree stock growing in a forest nurseryView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Identify, evaluate and mark quality seed treesView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Maintain seed orchardView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Manage mother plantsView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Operate automated topping system as part of tree production nursery operationsView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Operate automated seed sowing line for containerised forest seedling productionView draft unit

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

Six exiting units of competency covering nursery production operations were reviewed and updated.

For example, three units including FWPFGM2213 Process seed, FWPFGM3201 Manage seed collection and FWPFGM3202 Extract seed were consolidated into one unit, FWPFGM3XXX Extract, clean, store and despatch tree seeds, to reflect the current work task.

Another unit, FWPFGM3XXX Graft nursery stock for planting in seed orchard, underwent major updates to incorporate current work activities associated with grafting nursery stock. These include preparing for grafting, collecting material for potential scion wood, selecting scion wood and grafting scion wood.

These units have also undergone minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the requirements of Standards for Training Packages.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPFGM2XXX Collect tree seedsView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Cut, sort and set cuttingsView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Extract, clean, store and despatch tree seeds (merges three units)View draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Graft nursery stock for planting in seed orchardView draft unit

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

Thirteen existing units of competency covering silviculture operations were reviewed and updated.

For example, three units were updated to correct the alignment of job tasks with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level. These units are outlined in the table below.

Another unit, FWPHAR3XXX Use mechanised equipment for forestry site preparation, was updated to broaden its application. The revised unit focuses on skills required to use different types of machines and appropriate attachments for two forestry site preparation activities/techniques from a given list on flat or steep terrain.

These units also underwent minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the requirements of Standards for Training Packages.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOT2XXX Navigate in forest areasView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Plant trees by handView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Prune treesView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Collect forest data or samples for assessment and analysisView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Operate brush cutterView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Measure treesView draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Select and mark trees for tending operationsView draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Use mechanised equipment for forestry site preparationView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Apply sustainable silviculture methods and techniquesView draft unit
Units updated to correct the alignment of the job task with the AQF level
FWPFGM4XXX Plan for and coordinate forest site preparation operationsView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Plant trees mechanicallyView draft unit
FWPFGM4XXX Plan for and coordinate thinning operations in a native forest or plantationView draft unit
FWPFGM4XXX Plan for and coordinate stem improvement operations 
View draft unit

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

Three existing units of competency covering timber harvesting operations were reviewed and updated. The changes are minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the requirements of Standards for Training Packages.

Two of the timber harvesting units reviewed as part of the High Level Forestry Skills Project were proposed to be moved from Certificate IV to Certificate III to correct the alignment of the work task with the AQF level. These units are listed below.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOR3XXX Assess materials visuallyView draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Conduct mechanical processor operationsView draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Conduct mechanically assisted tree falling operationsView draft unit
Units moved from Certificate IV to Certificate III to correct the alignment of the work task with the AQF level
FWPHAR3XXX Plan for and apply tree jacking techniques in felling treesView draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Coordinate log recovery (hook tender)View draft unit

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

Three exiting units of competency covering fire prevention procedure, fire risk assessment and fire detection were reviewed and updated. Applied changes are minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the requirements of Standards for Training Packages.

The unit FWPCOR2XXX Follow fire prevention procedures was also updated to include skill requirements for fire weather monitoring and fire weather risks on forestry operations.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOR2XXX Follow fire prevention proceduresView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Detect fire in a native forest or plantationView draft unit
FWPCOR3XXX Assess fire riskView draft unit

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

One exiting unit of competency covering mobile hydraulic log splitter has been reviewed and updated. Applied changes are minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the requirements of Standards for Training Packages.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPHAR2XXX Operate a mobile hydraulic log splitterView draft unit

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

Four exiting units of competency covering four wheel drive operations were reviewed and updated to clarify work tasks, include new elements to describe performance not previously covered, such as using four wheel drive vehicle to tow an object other than a trailer or operating vehicle in steep and difficult terrain, and strengthen the Performance and Knowledge Evidence.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOT3XXX Operate four wheel drive vehicle in a towing situationView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Perform complex four wheel drive operationsView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Operate four wheel drive vehicle on unsealed terrain typesView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Recover four wheel drive vehicleView draft unit

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

The following unit of competency was removed from the forestry qualifications as it is irrelevant or not applicable to the entry-level and operator skills in forestry operations. However, the unit has been revised and will remain available in the timber processing and manufacturing qualifications.

More information is available in the Summary of Changes Document.

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

Five units of competency were proposed for deletion due to no enrolments during the last three years. Industry feedback also suggests that the work tasks covered by these units are not applicable or relevant to the entry-level and operator skills in forestry operations.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOT3222 Present forestry information and interpretations programsView unit on training.gov.au
FWPFGM2214 Maintain visitor sitesView unit on training.gov.au
FWPFGM3203 Conduct an instrument surveyView unit on training.gov.au
FWPFGM3210 Patrol forestView unit on training.gov.au
FWPFGM3211 Manage coppice stemsView unit on training.gov.au

Summary of Consultation to Date

The draft qualifications, skill sets and units have been drafted in consultation with a Steering Committee, Subject Matter Experts and training providers. These people participated in various meetings focusing on the industry skills needs, training and delivery challenges and changes to the training package components during the development stage between November 2020 and May 2021. They also contributed to developing units 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 ‘Forestry & Timber’ as your industry of interest.

 

 

Validation

The forestry industry is focused on attracting and training new entrants to keep up with demand for forest products and government commitments to plant more trees. Forest products such as new wood-fibre based plastic alternatives and the softwood used to build new homes continue to be in high demand across global and local markets. To meet this demand more sustainably, the Federal Government has committed to planting an additional billion trees over the next decade, in addition to the 70 million trees already planted each year. New entrants to the forestry industry are needed in Regional Forestry Hubs to deliver on this commitment, meet product demand and address future skills needs in regional Australia.

As part of this project, qualifications and skills standards are being update to better support a career path into a range of forestry roles and equip new entrants with the skills they need to get started.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the final draft qualifications, skill sets and units of competency that were made available for validation and comment from 22 June to 14 July 2021. You can still view the documents and any comments made below.

The revised and developed qualifications, skill sets and units aim to support the current skills requirements within the forest industry, facilitate efficient training delivery and provide visible career pathways to school students, new entrants and existing workers.

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 Forest Management and Harvesting Industry Reference Committee (IRC) for consideration and sign off, before being submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) and Ministers to consider and approve for publication on training.gov.au.

Summary of feedback and key changes

The following changes were made in response to stakeholder feedback that was received as part of the ‘Drafts Available’ stage, from 18 May to 17 June 2021:

  • Four forest growing management and harvesting and haulage qualifications at the AQF level 2 and 3 were consolidated into one qualification at each level, resulting in a Certificate II in Forest Operations and a Certificate III in Forest Operations, with specialisations. The Certificate I in Forest and Forest Products was proposed for deletion as it has had no enrolments in the last five years
  • Fifteen skill sets were revised and five developed, including an additional skill set titled Entry into Forestry Roles Skill Set. This skill set will provide learners with the fundamental forest industry knowledge and general technical, health and safety, and communication skills necessary for entry into specialised and non-specialised forestry careers
  • At this stage, there was a preference for HLTAID001 Provide First Aid to be an elective unit in the Certificate II and III in Forest Operations. The Summary of Feedback, Responses and Actions Report contains information on why the Steering Committee and other stakeholders recommended this change.
  • The content of FWPCOR2XXX Follow fire prevention procedures and FWPCOR3XXX Assess fire risk was further revised in response to recommendations received. These units were updated to focus on the skill requirements in fire prevention and fire risk assessment in forestry operations, rather than on the broader forest and wood processing industry. The revised version reflects the skills and knowledge required to apply fire prevention procedures and continually monitor and assess the potential for fire as part of forestry operations.
  • Minor adjustments and updates were made to several units of competency in response to stakeholder suggestions. These units focus on safety and environmental practices, silviculture operations, fire control, work effectiveness and product quality and four wheel drive operations. Some units were consolidated and merged where relevant, as they had similar learning outcomes.
  • Five units were proposed for deletion due to no enrolments in these units during the last three years.
  • Two units were developed to support entry-level workers in forestry operations jobs, particularly learners involved in school-based VET traineeships and other VET in school programs. Nine units were developed to support workers and operators in forest nursery production operations.

During this time, feedback was collected through the online feedback hub, online consultation sessions, phone and email. A description of how feedback has been considered and applied in these final drafts can be downloaded by clicking on the following button.

The four forest growing management and harvesting and haulage qualifications at the AQF level 2 and 3 were consolidated into one qualification at each level, resulting in a Certificate II in Forest Operations and a Certificate III in Forest Operations, with specialisations.

The qualificationswere designed to support efficient training delivery and provide flexible training to entry-level and skilled operators to meet current job requirements.

The Certificate II in Forest Operations describes the job role of those who provide support to forest operations in a variety of forestry contexts. It is also for learners who are involved in school-based VET traineeships and other VET in school programs.

The Certificate III in Forest Operations describes the job role of those who operate at a production level in a forest operation.

Both qualifications offer specialisations in:

  • Forest Nursery Production
  • Silviculture
  • Timber Harvesting and Haulage

The specialisations offer more training options, clear career pathways into a range of forestry roles and flexibility to choose from a range of career pathways, including the possibility to complete additional specialisations with a minimum number of units.

QualificationExisting/Replaced QualificationLink
FWP2XX21 Certificate II in Forest OperationsFWP20116 Certificate II in Forest Growing and ManagementView draft qualification
FWP20216 Certificate II in Harvesting and Haulage
FWP3XX21 Certificate III in Forest OperationsFWP30116 Certificate III in Forest Growing and ManagementView draft qualification
FWP30216 Certificate III in Harvesting and Haulage

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

The Certificate I in Forest and Forest Products is proposed for deletion as it has had no enrolments in the last five years, is not listed on the State funded course lists and is not offered by or on the scope of any RTO. Units within the qualification are included in the proposed Certificate II in Forest Operations.

Qualification code and titleLink
FWP10116 Certificate I in Forest and Forest ProductsView qualification on training.gov.au

Five new skill sets were created for entry skills into forestry roles, plantation establishment workers, silviculture workers and excavator and skid steer loader operators. The skill sets can be used as short course training for upskilling people or as an entry pathway to further training.

Skill SetLink
FWPSS0000X Entry into Forestry Roles Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Plantation Establishment Worker Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Silviculture Worker Skill SetView draft skill se
FWPSS0000X Excavator Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Skid Steer Loader Operator (Forestry) Skill SetView draft skill set

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

Fifteen existing skill sets were revised to include updated units of competency. The unit HLTAID001 Provide First Aid has been removed from all forestry machine operator skill sets as it requires joint delivery through a specialist RTO, creating inefficiencies in the delivery of the skill sets. Industry feedback suggests that all employers in the forest industry provide First Aid training to workers as part of the employment requirements regardless.

Skill SetLink
FWPSS0000X Mechanical Processor Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Native Forest Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Plantation Forest Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Fire Salvage Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Off Road Four Wheel Drive Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Soil and Water Protection (Roading) Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Log Truck Driver Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Forestry Produce Truck Driver Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Crawler Tractor Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Feller Buncher Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Forwarder Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Loader Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Single Grip Harvester Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Skidder Operator Skill SetView draft skill set
FWPSS0000X Excavator With Log Grapple Operator Skill SetView draft skill set

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

Four existing units of competency covering workplace safety and environmental and cultural heritage protection were reviewed and updated. These units have undergone minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the Standards for Training Packages.

Revised unit code and nameLink
FWPCOR2XXX Follow environmental protection proceduresView draft unit
FWPCOR2XXX Follow workplace health and safety policies and proceduresView draft unit
FWPCOR3XXX Apply safety, health and environmental policies and proceduresView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Apply cultural heritage protection requirementsView draft unit

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

Four existing units of competency covering efficient work practices and quality work were reviewed and updated. These units have undergone minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the Standards for Training Packages. The unit FWPCOR2XXX Communicate and interact effectively in the workplace has been updated to include communication using electronic communication equipment and participation in group discussions and informal meetings.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOR2XXX Work effectively in the forest and forest products industryView draft unit
FWPCOR2XXX Communicate and interact effectively in the workplaceView draft unit
FWPCOR2XXX Follow quality and product careView draft unit
FWPCOR3XXX Apply quality and product care proceduresView draft unit

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

Two new units of competency were developed to support entry-level workers in forestry operations jobs, particularly learners involved in school-based VET traineeships and other VET in school programs.

These units describe the skills and knowledge required to develop a contemporary view of the industry and interact with forestry technology and operations by learning and practising on forestry machine simulators.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOT2XXX Develop knowledge of the forest and wood products industryView draft unit
FWPHAR2XXX Operate a forest machine simulator in a virtual environmentView draft unit

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

Nine new units of competency were developed to support workers and operators in forest nursery production operations. These units cover skills and knowledge for maintaining seed orchards; conducting genetic improvement activities; documenting production cycle for bare root or container grown cuttings and seedlings; conditioning tree stock; growing tree stock and using automated tree nursery production systems, such as topping equipment and seed sowing lines.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPFGM2XXX Follow quality procedures in forest nursery productionView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Prick out and transplant tree seedlingsView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Apply tree seed treatmentView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Apply knowledge of tree stock growing in a forest nurseryView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Identify, evaluate and mark quality seed treesView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Maintain seed orchardView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Manage mother plantsView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Operate automated topping system as part of tree production nursery operationsView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Operate automated seed sowing line for containerised forest seedling productionView draft unit

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

Six exiting units of competency covering nursery production operations were reviewed and updated.

For example, three units including FWPFGM2213 Process seed, FWPFGM3201 Manage seed collection and FWPFGM3202 Extract seed were consolidated into one unit, FWPFGM3XXX Extract, clean, store and despatch tree seeds, to reflect the current work task.

Another unit, FWPFGM3XXX Graft nursery stock for planting in seed orchard, has undergone major updates to incorporate current work activities associated with grafting nursery stock. These include preparing for grafting, collecting material for potential scion wood, selecting scion wood and grafting scion wood.

These units have also undergone minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the Standards for Training Packages.

Revised UnitExisting/Replaced UnitLink
FWPFGM2XXX Collect tree seedsFWPFGM2201 Collect seedView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Cut, sort and set cuttingsFWPFGM2209 Cut, sort and set cuttingsView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Extract, clean, store and despatch tree seedsFWPFGM2213 Process seedView draft unit
FWPFGM3201 Manage seed collection
FWPFGM3202 Extract seed
FWPFGM3XXX Graft nursery stock for planting in seed orchardFWPFGM2212 Graft cuttingsView draft unit

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

Thirteen existing units of competency covering silviculture operations were reviewed and updated.

Three units were updated to correct the alignment of job tasks with the AQF level. These units are outlined in the table below.

Another unit, FWPHAR3XXX Use mechanised equipment for forestry site preparation, has been updated to broaden its application. The revised unit focuses on skills required to use different types of machines and appropriate attachments for two forestry site preparation activities/techniques from a given list on flat or steep terrain.

These units have also undergone minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the requirements of Standards for Training Packages.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOT2XXX Navigate in forest areasView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Plant trees by handView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Prune treesView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Collect forest data or samples for assessment and analysisView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Operate brush cutterView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Measure treesView draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Select and mark trees for tending operationsView draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Use mechanised equipment for forestry site preparationView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Apply sustainable silviculture methods and techniquesView draft unit
FWPFGM4XXX Plan for and coordinate forest site preparation operationsView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Plant trees mechanicallyView draft unit
FWPFGM4XXX Plan for and coordinate thinning operations in a native forest or plantationView draft unit
FWPFGM4XXX Plan for and coordinate stem improvement operationsView draft unit

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

Three existing units of competency covering timber harvesting operations were reviewed and updated. The changes are minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the Standards for Training Packages.

The timber harvesting unit reviewed as part of the High Level Forestry Skills Project has been moved from Certificate IV to Certificate III to correct the alignment of the work task with the AQF level.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOR3XXX Assess materials visuallyView draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Conduct mechanical processor operationsView draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Conduct mechanically assisted tree falling operationsView draft unit
Unit moved from Certificate IV to Certificate III to correct the alignment of the work task with the AQF level
FWPHAR3XXX Plan for and apply tree jacking techniques in felling treesView draft unit

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

Three exiting units of competency covering fire prevention procedure, fire risk assessment and fire detection were reviewed and updated. Applied changes are minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the Standards for Training Packages.

The unit FWPCOR2XXX Follow fire prevention procedures has also been updated to include skill requirements for fire weather monitoring and fire weather risks on forestry operations.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOR2XXX Follow fire prevention proceduresView draft unit
FWPFGM2XXX Detect fire in a native forest or plantationView draft unit
FWPCOR3XXX Assess fire riskView draft unit

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

One exiting unit of competency covering mobile hydraulic log splitter has been reviewed and updated. Applied changes are minor revisions to improve the work task description and meet the Standards for Training Packages.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPHAR2XXX Operate a mobile hydraulic log splitterView draft unit

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

Four exiting units of competency covering four wheel drive operations were reviewed and updated to clarify work tasks, include new elements to describe performance not previously covered, such as using four wheel drive vehicle to tow an object other than a trailer or operating vehicle in steep and difficult terrain, and strengthen the Performance and Knowledge Evidence.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOT3XXX Operate four wheel drive vehicle in a towing situationView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Perform complex four wheel drive operationsView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Operate four wheel drive vehicle on unsealed terrain typesView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Recover four wheel drive vehicleView draft unit

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

The following unit of competency has been removed from the forestry qualifications as it is irrelevant or not applicable to the entry-level and operator skills in forestry operations. However, the unit has been revised and will remain available in the timber processing and manufacturing qualifications.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOT3XXX Contribute to energy efficiency in the workplaceView draft unit

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

Five units of competency are proposed for deletion due to no enrolments during the last three years. Industry feedback also suggests that the work tasks covered by these units are not applicable or relevant to the entry-level and operator skills in forestry operations.

Unit Code and nameLink
FWPCOT3222 Present forestry information and interpretations programsView unit on training.gov.au
FWPFGM2214 Maintain visitor sitesView unit on training.gov.au
FWPFGM3203 Conduct an instrument surveyView unit on training.gov.au
FWPFGM3210 Patrol forestView unit on training.gov.au
FWPFGM3211 Manage coppice stemsView unit on training.gov.au

 

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Finalisation

This stage has not yet commenced