New Timber Harvesting Technologies 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

Growing worldwide demand for timber and wood chip production means forest harvesting activity is likely to increase over the next five years. At the same time, there is constant pressure for forest harvesting organisations to improve their technical efficiency, reduce costs, and demonstrate best forest management and environmental practices. Industry is continually adopting new technologies that allow businesses to remain competitive, adhere to regulatory requirements, and keep up with demand. This is a continuous process that effects the technical skills required to perform work and safety practices in the work environment.

Geospatial technologies are one key area of development, with the industry using drones to perform quality control in their harvesting. This approach is quick and cost-effective but requires training so that workers are able to operate the equipment. There is great potential for this technology to be used in other areas that require the monitoring and evaluating of land and wildlife at different stages of harvesting.

Programming harvesting optimisation files is also a key skill required by industry. While two new units of competency in operating harvesting machines were developed as part of the Forest Harvesting Optimising Project, the use of such technology also effects the forestry technicians who program the log cutting instruction files.

Other key areas of development include systems for harvesting on steep slope terrain, best practices to minimise environmental footprint of forest harvesting, in field debarking of logs, and tree felling and chainsaw operation.

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) approved this project out of the Forest and Wood Products Industry Sector IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2018-2021 (see pages 55-62).

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

Download Project Proposal (see pages 55-62)

Project Plan

Technology has always been a key driver of change in the forest industry. Since saws and axes made way for chainsaws, harvesting technologies have been improving in efficiency. These days, sophisticated machinery, drones and remote sensing systems, in-field technologies and optimisation equipment are supporting the industry to be more productive, environmentally sustainable and safer. However, in order for these advances to truly be effective, training must reflect current practices, acknowledging how the industry is evolving.

The use of drones and remote sensing methods is making work quicker and less expensive, capable of mapping and evaluating forest from the skies. Meanwhile, new optimisation equipment is maximising the output of timber while also making it possible to track yield in real time. In-field wood chipping and debarking technologies are now more advanced, making it possible to perform chipping and debarking on the same site as timber is harvested with reduced costs and increased efficiency. Techniques for cable logging and tethered harvesting on steep slopes are another area where gains are being made, improving harvesting outcomes in a challenging environment. These new practices mean forestry workers require more advanced skills to program and operate such equipment and interpret the data they produce.

Even with these new technologies and advances in harvesting operations, there remains a need to conduct manual falling and chainsaw operations. Units of competency need to accurately reflect these high risk activities. Several industry programs rely on these skills standards to provide the benchmark for performance in these areas.

This project will involve consultation with the forest harvesting sector to ensure the skills required for these new harvesting technologies are supported and recognised by existing or new units or skill sets. It will also involve review of existing units to ensure skills needs and safety requirements continue to meet the needs of work environments.

Project Scope

This project will review and develop nationally endorsed units of competency for the forest management and harvesting sectors related to environmental practices, geospatial data management for forest assessment and tree inventory, and forestry operations.

Specifically, the project covers the following skills areas that support recent industry developments and its future activity:

  • Tree felling and chainsaw operation
  • Environmental care (forestry operators)
  • Cable logging and tethered harvesting systems
  • In-field wood-chipping operations
  • In-field debarking of logs
  • Geospatial technologies for forest operations
  • Programming harvesting optimisation files

The project will also develop new skill sets for harvesting on steep slope terrain and in-field chipping operations and new units of competency in harvesting technologies operations where required.

The project will review 25 existing units of competency (plus six units across all current FWP Training Package projects) and will develop new units of competency where required. New skill sets will also be developed.

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
  • In-field chipping operator
  • Log truck driver
  • Forwarder operator
  • Rigging Slinger (Cable Harvesting)
  • Choker (Cable Harvesting)
  • Chaser (Cable Harvesting)
  • Harvesting Technician
  • Tree Faller
  • Forestry Technician

 

Project Team
Georgiana DaianHead of Skills Standards Development, ForestWorks gdaian@forestworks.com.au
Michelle ClaytonIndustry Skills Standards Specialist, ForestWorks mclayton@forestworks.com.au
Rob StowellIndustry Skills Standards Contractor

Project Timeline

July – August 2019

Initial Scoping

August – December 2019

Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

January – February 2020

Drafts available for broad consultation

March 2020

Validation of final drafts

April 2020

Finalisation of Training package components

June 2020

Submission for endorsement

Opportunities for stakeholder input

Stakeholder input and feedback is appreciated and welcomed throughout the duration of this project. Stakeholder contribution is essential, so that units reflect real work experience and training meets the needs and requirements of the industry.

Technical Advisory Committee

A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) will be established to provide technical input to the review and development of units. The TAC may include technical industry experts, industry associations, employee associations, regulators and training providers. The support that the project needs from the TAC includes:

  • Provide input with respect to the project on areas of industry skill development requirements, job roles and key tasks and activities
  • Provide technical expertise that will inform the content of units of competency
  • Review and provide feedback to the draft materials
  • Provide input to clarify potential differing views on industry requirements
  • Share project materials with other experts for their input.

If you are interested and able to volunteer your time to this project, please contact gdaian@forestworks.com.au

 

Units of competency to be revised or developed

Possible new units

FWPSSXXXXX Skill set for cable logging (based on existing units) (New)
FWPSSXXXXX Skill set for tethered harvesting (New)
FWPSSXXXXX Skill set for in-field wood chipping operations (New)

Development

Sophisticated new technologies are improving productivity, environmental sustainability and safety in the forest industry. As a result many job roles require higher levels of technical and digital skills than before. It’s important these developments are reflected in nationally endorsed qualifications and skills standards to ensure industry can keep up with high demand for timber, a competitive market, and regulatory requirements.

In August and September 2019, the project team conducted site visits and consulted with people from 21 forestry organisations and nine arboriculture organisations to identify new skills driven by changes in technology and processes, to determine skill gaps in the existing units of competency.

Read about the skills development themes have emerged from these consultations under the ‘Consultation and development activities so far’.

Next steps

The draft units of competency and qualifications will be made available on this webpage for broad stakeholder consultation and feedback from February 2020 (under the ‘Drafts Available’ menu above).

Thank you to those stakeholders that have been involved and provided feedback and advice so far.

The project will work with industry stakeholders over the next two months to review and develop the units of competency.

Please feel free to register your interest for consultation opportunities by contacting Dr Georgiana Daian at gdaian@forestworks.com.au. Please also follow projects updates by following the newsletter subscription link at the bottom of this page.

Consultation and development activities so far

The following skills development themes have emerged from consultations and site visits undertaken in August and September 2019.

  • A range of digital technologies is being implemented across the forest management and harvesting sector to collect and manage field data from forest operations. Examples include the use of mobile applications to access digital maps and other forestry field data and the collection of forestry data using unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV]. Currently, most organisations use vendor or in-house training programs to skill their harvesting operators.
  • Several harvesting contractors in Victoria have adopted winch assist systems in their operations to harvest trees on slopes of up to 60 degrees safely, without manual felling. Operating harvesters with winch assist system is a skill that will also be required in Queensland and Tasmania as the application of technology emerges in these states.
  • While not a new technology, in-field wood chipping is conducted with highly specialised machines in plantation forests for pulp and paper production. The in-field wood chipping operations are prevalent in the Green Triangle region, northern Tasmania and Western Australia. Employers have identified that the FWP Training Package does not suitably provide for this niche, but very specialised, job role.
  • Work processes for cable logging operations and the manual harvest of trees using a chainsaw in commercial harvesting operations have not changed over the last years. However, the volume of trees harvested manually has changed, from 90% five years ago to 1% now, due to mechanisation and safety concerns.
  • Chainsaw equipment and relevant FWP units of competency are also used, in large number, to fell trees as part of arboriculture, agriculture, conservation and land management, local government, emergency services and other government agency operations. The missing component from the training packages is a competency standard that provides skills to safely carry out chainsaw tree cutting operations while working at height.
  • The units of competency for applying environmental care principles and procedures in forest operations need to be consolidated and reinforced to facilitate skills outcomes sought by employers of both native and plantation forest management organisations.
  • Since this project also reviews the units of competency for transporting forestry logs/products using trucks, it was determined opportune to discuss and incorporate relevant skills requirements that are outlined in the industry’s Draft Log Haulage Code.

Proposed new units

Based on the consultation outcomes above, industry stakeholders have proposed 12 new units of competency to support the current and emerging skill needs.

Geospatial and mobile technology

1. FWPXXXXXX Access, capture and communicate forestry field data using mobile applications

2. FWPXXXXXX Read and interpret digital forest operation plan maps

3. FWPXXXXXX Create digital forest operational maps

4. FWPXXXXXX Plan collection of forestry data using unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV]

5. FWPXXXXXX Assure quality of forestry data collected by unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV]

Harvesting optimisation (cutting instruction) files

6. FWPXXXXX Create cutting instruction files for harvesters

7. FWPXXXXXX Process harvester head optimisation data

In-field wood chipping

8. FWPXXXXXX Operate integrated and split flail and wood chipper with crane

9. FWPXXXXXX Operate split flail and wood chipper fed by excavator with log grapple

Cable logging

10. FWPXXXXXX Operate harvester with winch assist system

11. FWPXXXXXX Use mechanised equipment for forestry site preparation

Chainsaw operations (arboriculture)

12. FWPXXXXXX Use chainsaw above ground

 

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.

 

Drafts Available

Technology has always been a key driver of change in the forest industry. New technology, such as digital maps and forest operation plans, and new harvesting systems are supporting the industry to be more productive, environmentally sustainable and safer. As a result, many job roles require higher levels of technical and digital skills than before. It is important these developments are reflected in nationally endorsed qualifications and skills standards to ensure industry can keep up with high demand for timber, a competitive market, and regulatory requirements.

Industry experts have been consulted to review and draft units of competency to incorporate the technical skills required to collect and read digital forestry data and operate new harvesting technology.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the draft units that were made available on this webpage for feedback from 23 January – 1 March 2020.

Feedback was sought on the following updates and developments:

  • Five draft new units of competency that were developed to support skills development in digital technology, winch-assisted harvesting, mechanised forestry site preparation on steep slopes, and use of a chainsaw off the ground. 
  • Twenty four units that were revised to support skills development in cable logging, environmental care (forestry operations), transport of logs, tree felling /chainsaw operations, and wood chipping. 
  • Four units of competency from the FWP Forest and Wood Products Training Package that are proposed for deletion. 

During this time, feedback was collected via the feedback hub, email, and a consultation webinar. The drafts, including any comments made on the feedback hub, are still available for viewing below.

Feedback will inform the work on the final drafts which are expected to be available for industry validation in March 2020. A summary of the feedback and how it was addressed in the final drafts will also be available.

Proposed New Units

Five new units of competency have been developed to support the current and emerging skill needs in relation to a range of digital and mechanised forest management and harvesting technologies and processes for forest management and harvesting operations. The draft new units are available to view via the links below.

Digital Technology
FWPCOT3XXX Access, capture and communicate forestry field data using mobile devicesView draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Read and interpret digital maps and forest operation plansView draft unit
Winch-Assisted Harvesting
FWPHAR3XXX Operate harvesting machine with winch-assist systemView draft unit
Mechanised forestry site preparation on steep slopes
FWPHAR3XXX Use mechanised equipment for forestry site preparation on steep slopesView draft unit
Use of a chainsaw off ground
FWPCOT3XXX Use chainsaw off groundView draft unit

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Revised Units

Twenty-four existing units of competency have been revised to meet current skill needs and compliance with the standards for training packages. Common changes across the units include updates to the workplace health and safety requirements and foundation skills, revised application statements to clarify the intent of the unit and other minor edits for improving the clarity of statements. To read about the changes that have been applied to these units, please download the Summary of Changes Document linked below.

Download Summary of Changes Document document

The cable logging units have been updated to address previous and further feedback. This review resulted in a set of new performance criteria and elements to clarify work tasks. The draft new units are available to view via the links below.

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

FWPHAR2XXX Hook up felled trees (choker)View draft unit
FWPHAR2XXX Perform landing duties (chaser)View draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Monitor log recovery (rigging slinger)View draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Operate yarderView draft unit

The units of competency for environmental care have been revised to improve their overall quality, particularly in relation to the description of the work task and compliance with Standards for Training Package. The draft new units are available to view via the links below.

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Download Summary of Changes Document document

FWPFGM2XXX Implement animal pest control proceduresView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Construct and maintain forest roads and tracksView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Rehabilitate tracks, quarries and landingsView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Use environmental care procedures to undertake fire salvage operationsView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Implement environmentally sustainable work practices in the work area/work siteView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Apply biodiversity protection principlesView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Comply with soil and water protectionView draft unit

 

The unit for the transport of logs have been updated to incorporate the skills requirements outlined by the Draft Log Haulage Code of Practice. The draft new units are available to view via the links below.

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Download Summary of Changes Document document

FWPCOT3XXX Transport forestry logs using trucksView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Transport forestry produce using trucksView draft unit

The tree felling/chainsaw operations have been revised and updated to improve their relevance to the full range of users, provide for the progressive development of tree felling skills through the addition of a relevant prerequisite unit, and include clear benchmarks for the assessment of competency.

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Download Summary of Changes Document document

FWPCOT2XXX Fall trees manually (basic)View draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Maintain chainsawsView draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Trim and cut felled treesView draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Operate a pole sawView draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Fall trees manually (intermediate)View draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Fall trees manually (advanced)View draft unit
FWPHAR2XXX Trim and cut harvested treesView draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Harvest trees manually (intermediate)View draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Harvest trees manually (advanced)View draft unit

The first unit of competency listed below has been updated to improve relevance for both forestry and urban arboriculture users. The second unit of competency has been redeveloped in two units to provide for specific skills and operation of various specialised in-field wood chipping (forestry) equipment.

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Download Summary of Changes Document document

FWPHAR2206 Operate a mobile chipper/mulcherFWPHAR2XXX Operate a mobile chipper/mulcherView draft unit
FWPHAR3215 Operate a heavy production mobile chipper

This unit has been redeveloped into two units to provide for specific skills required to operate specialised in-field wood chipping equipment.

 

FWPHAR3XXX Operate integrated or split flail and wood chipper with craneView draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Operate split flail and wood chipper fed by excavator with log grappleView draft unit

Units Proposed for Deletion

Feedback was also sought on the need to maintain or delete four units of competency from the FWP Forest and Wood Products Training Package.

These units have had very low or no student enrolments over the last five years. However, initial stakeholder consultations suggested that the job functions described in these units are relevant to the industry.

FWPFGM2210 Implement animal pest control proceduresView unit on training.gov.au
FWPFGM3209 Construct and maintain forest roads and tracksView unit on training.gov.au
FWPCOT3252 Use environmental care procedures to undertake fire salvage operationsView unit on training.gov.au
FWPCOT3262 Transport forestry produce using trucksView unit on training.gov.au

Other project notes
  • 2 units of competency have not been revised as they are core units in four FWP qualifications. According to the Training Package policies, the core units can only be reviewed as part of the qualification review. The units are:
  • The unit FWPHAR3231 Operate yarder was initially not on the project scope, but has been reviewed due to feedback received from industry stakeholders and relevance to the skill areas covered by the project.
  • Feedback from industry has also helped to identify:
    • A range of skills gaps in the Certificate IV in Forest Operationsin relation to digital technology involving the development of digital forest operational maps and cutting instructions files for forestry harvesters, management and analysis of harvesting optimisation data and collection of forestry data using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). While these skill areas are on the project scope, the identified skill gaps are linked to higher-level job roles and qualifications than the approved project deliverables.
    • The need for rationalisation of three overarching environmental care units for forestry operations, noting that two of these units are Core units in the Certificate II and III for forest management and harvesting. According to the Training Package policies, the core units can only be reviewed as part of the qualification review.

As a result, this input will be followed up and addressed in a potential future project that will involve the review of relevant qualifications.

Summary of consultation to date

The draft new and revised units have been drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts. The draft new and revised units have been prepared in consultation with Subject Matter Experts. The consultations included face to face discussions with people working directly in the forestry and arboriculture industry and site visits to observe these jobs in the workplace. We would like to thank all people who took part in 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

New technologies such as digital maps and forest operation plans, and new harvesting systems are supporting the forestry industry to be more productive, environmentally sustainable and safe. As a result of these developments, many job roles are requiring higher levels of technical and digital skills. Industry experts have been consulted to describe the skills needed for this work in national units of competency, so that the sector can keep up with strong demand for timber in a competitive and highly regulated environment.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the final draft units of competency that were made available on this webpage for feedback from 13 March – 29 March 2020. 

The final draft units 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 State/Territory Ministers to consider and approve for publication on training.gov.au.

Key Changes

Prior to Validation the units were revised to address skills needs for a range of tasks required within forest, harvesting and industry related operations. Draft new units were developed to support skills development in digital technology and other emerging harvesting methods.

Summary of consultation to date

Thank you to those stakeholders who provided feedback on the drafts that were made available from 23 January to 1 March 2020, under the ‘Drafts Available’ stage. During this time, feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, webinars, and via phone call and email.

A description of how feedback has been considered and applied in these final drafts can be downloaded below. Please click the ‘Download Summary of Feedback, Responses and Actions’ button.

 

Proposed New Units

A small number of changes were made to the draft units, most notably: minor changes to clarify content and fill some gaps in the Knowledge Evidence

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

Digital Technology
FWPCOT3XXX Access, capture and communicate forestry field data using mobile devicesView final draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Read and interpret digital maps and forest operation plansView final draft unit
Winch-Assisted Harvesting
FWPHAR3XXX Operate harvesting machine with winch-assist systemView final draft unit
Mechanised forestry site preparation on steep slopes
FWPHAR3XXX Use mechanised equipment for forestry site preparation on steep slopesView final draft unit
Use of a chainsaw off ground
FWPCOT3XXX Use chainsaw within a treeView final draft unit

Revised Units

Some of changes were made to the draft units, most notably: knowledge items with second-level bullet points have been consolidated to remove duplication and improve assessment efficiency without downgrading the level of knowledge required for the task.

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

FWPHAR2XXX Hook up felled trees (choker)View final draft unit
FWPHAR2XXX Perform landing duties (chaser)View final draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Monitor log recovery (rigging slinger)View final draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Operate yarderView final draft unit

A small number of changes were made to the draft units, most notably: knowledge of cultural heritage protection principles, threatened and endangered plant and animal species and protection zone methods have been added in the relevant units.

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

FWPFGM2XXX Implement animal pest control proceduresView final draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Construct and maintain forest roads and tracksView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Rehabilitate tracks, quarries and landingsView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Use environmental care procedures to undertake fire salvage operationsView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Implement environmentally sustainable work practices in the work area/work siteView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Apply biodiversity protection principlesView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Comply with soil and water protectionView final draft unit

No changes were made to the draft documents between the two rounds of broad industry feedback.

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

FWPCOT3XXX Transport forestry logs using trucksView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Transport forestry produce using trucksView final draft unit

Five key issues emerged during the ‘Drafts Available’ stage of consultation on this set of draft units, with the following outcomes:

  • No prerequisites have been applied to these units.
  • No measurements have been used in the definition of basic, intermediate and advanced trees.
  • Dead trees have been added in the definition of intermediate trees
  • The specifications in the Performance Evidence for the fall basic and intermediate tree units have been retained with the following amendments:
  • Margins of error have been removed
  • Intermediate tree requirements have been redrafted to include a demonstration of two different cutting techniques for forward lean, side lean and back lean trees.
  • Knowledge items with second-level bullet points have been consolidated to remove duplication and improve assessment efficiency without downgrading the level of knowledge required for the task.
  • Explicit requirements about the use of ropes in the fall intermediate and advanced trees units have been removed and be replaced with more generic Performance Criteria

The reasons for these changes are summarised in this briefing paper.

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

FWPCOT2XXX Fall trees manually (basic)View final draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Maintain chainsawsView final draft unit
FWPCOT2XXX Trim and cut felled treesView final draft unit
FWPCOT3XXX Operate a pole sawView final draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Fall trees manually (intermediate)View final draft unit
FWPFGM3XXX Fall trees manually (advanced)View final draft unit
FWPHAR2XXX Trim and cut harvested treesView final draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Harvest trees manually (intermediate)View final draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Harvest trees manually (advanced)View final draft unit

Some changes were made to the draft units, most notably: specific reference to forestry operations in the wood chipping unit has been removed to allow for its application to a wider range of wood chipping operations

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

FWPHAR2XXX Operate a mobile chipper/mulcherView final draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Operate integrated or split flail and wood chipper with craneView final draft unit
FWPHAR3XXX Operate split flail and wood chipper fed by mobile machineView final draft unit

Units Proposed for Deletion

  • Three units, which were originally for deletion, are proposed for being maintained in the FWP Training Package. The feedback received suggests a potential need for these units in the bushfire context or, one unit, in the specialised Sandalwood industry in WA
  • One unit, FWPFGM2210 Implement animal pest control procedures, is proposed for deletion and to be replaced with AHCPMG309 Apply pest animal control techniques, a unit of similar content and outcomes from other training packages to reduce duplication across training packages

FWPFGM2210 Implement animal pest control proceduresProposed for deletion, to be replaced with a unit of similar content and outcomes from other training packages to reduce duplication across training packages.View unit on training.gov.au

Other project notes
  • Two units of competency have not been revised as they are core units in four FWP qualifications. According to the Training Package policies, the core units can only be reviewed as part of the qualification review. The units are:
  • The unit FWPHAR3231 Operate yarder was initially not on the project scope, but has been reviewed due to feedback received from industry stakeholders and relevance to the skill areas covered by the project.
  • Feedback from industry has also helped to identify:
    • A range of skills gaps in the Certificate IV in Forest Operations in relation to digital technology involving the development of digital forest operational maps and cutting instructions files for forestry harvesters, management and analysis of harvesting optimisation data and collection of forestry data using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). While these skill areas are on the project scope, the identified skill gaps are linked to higher-level job roles and qualifications than the approved project deliverables.
    • The need for rationalisation of three overarching environmental care units for forestry operations, noting that two of these units are Core units in the Certificate II and III for forest management and harvesting. According to the Training Package policies, the core units can only be reviewed as part of the qualification review.

As a result, this input will be followed up and addressed in a potential future project that will involve the review of relevant qualifications.

 

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.

 

Finalisation

The forestry industry is becoming safer, more environmentally sustainable and more productive thanks to the use of new technologies such as digital maps, forest operation plans, and new harvesting systems. Mapping and evaluating forests is increasing in efficiency and accuracy as a result of drones and remote sensing methods. Developments in techniques for cable logging and tethered harvesting mean a higher degree of safety and efficiency when working on steep slopes. Many job roles have adapted to incorporate the technical and digital skills required to use these and other new technologies. At the same time, skills and safety standards have developed in other areas of timber harvesting, including those that use more traditional technologies such as chainsaws. It is important that these skills are captured in nationally endorsed skills standards, supporting the timber harvesting industry as it moves towards better ways of meeting the high demand for sustainably grown timber in Australia.

As a result of consultation throughout this project, the skills needed to perform harvesting activities using new technologies have been captured in five new units of competency. The project has also reviewed and updated 25 units across the forest harvesting sector, so that they are up to date with current work practices, safety standards, and equipment. They also reflect the skills required by harvesting machine operators who are involved in winch assisted harvesting and forestry site preparation on steep slopes. The skills needed to use chainsaws within a tree when conducting tree trimming or dismantling work have also been captured.

Key Changes
  • Five new units of competency have been developed, capturing the skills required to:
    • Access, capture and communicate forestry field data using mobile devices
    • Read and interpret digital maps and forest operation plans
    • Operate harvesting machine with winch-assist system
    • Use mechanised equipment for forestry site preparation on steep slopes
    • Use a chainsaw within a tree
  • Four cable logging units have been revised to clarify job tasks.
  • Seven environmental care (forestry operations) units have been revised, and knowledge of cultural heritage protection principles, threatened and endangered plant and animal species and protection zone methods added where relevant.
  • Two transporting forestry logs and produce units have been updated, and the skills requirements in the Draft Log Haulage Code of Practice were reflected in the transporting logs unit.
  • Nine tree felling/chainsaw operations units were reviewed to improve their relevance to the full range of users, provide for the progressive development of tree felling skills through the addition of a relevant prerequisite unit, and include clear benchmarks for the assessment of competency.
  • Three wood chipping units were revised, with separate units for using an integrated or split flail and wood chipper with a crane and for using a split flail and wood chipper fed by a mobile machine.
  • One unit, FWPFGM2210 Implement animal pest control procedures, is proposed for deletion and to be replaced with AHCPMG309 Apply pest animal control techniques, a unit of similar content and outcomes from other training packages to reduce duplication across training packages

 

Summary of consultation

The units were revised and developed with guidance from a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The broader industry were then consulted on the draft documents at two different stages – the ‘Drafts Available’ and ‘Validation’ stages.

Feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, a consultation webinar, site visits, phone calls, and email. 

A summary of feedback and how it was been considered and applied at the ‘Drafts Available’ and ‘Validation’ stages can be downloaded below.

The final draft units of competency have been submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) for endorsement, after which they will be forwarded to State and Territory Ministers. The drafts have undergone an edit and equity and independent quality assurance process and consideration by the State/Territory Training Authorities (STAs/TTAs). A Case for Endorsement was submitted alongside the draft units, including a rationale of why these changes are needed and evidence of industry support.

A Companion Volume Implementation Guide has also been produced to assist industry and registered training providers (RTOs) deliver the units. It contains key information to help trainers adapt to any new changes, as well as additional information about the impacts of regulation and licensing implications and workplace health and safety on their training. 

The submitted documents are available for download below.

Click here to download the Case for Endorsement

Click here to download the Companion Volume Implementation Guide

 

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

FWPCOT3317 Use chainsaw within a tree
FWPCOT3318 Access, capture and communicate forestry field data using mobile devices
FWPCOT3319 Read and interpret digital maps and forest operation plans
FWPHAR3232 Operate harvesting machine with winch-assist system
FWPHAR3233 Use mechanised equipment for forestry site preparation on steep slopes

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

FWPCOT2253 Fell trees manually (basic)
FWPCOT2254 Maintain chainsaws
FWPCOT2256 Trim and cut felled trees
FWPCOT3301 Trim trees using a pole saw
FWPCOT3306 Rehabilitate tracks, quarries and landings
FWPCOT3311 Use environmental care procedures to undertake fire salvage operations
FWPCOT3312 Implement environmentally sustainable work practices in the work areawork site
FWPCOT3313 Apply biodiversity protection principles
FWPCOT3314 Comply with soil and water protection
FWPCOT3315 Transport forestry logs using trucks
FWPCOT3316 Transport forestry produce using trucks
FWPFGM3208 Construct and maintain forest roads and tracks
FWPFGM3216 Fell trees manually (intermediate)
FWPFGM3217 Fell trees manually (advanced)
FWPHAR2201 Hook up felled trees (choker)
FWPHAR2202 Perform landing duties (chaser)
FWPHAR2208 Operate a mobile chipper mulcher
FWPHAR2209 Trim and cut harvested trees
FWPHAR3202 Monitor log recovery (rigging slinger)
FWPHAR3203 Operate integrated or split flail and wood chipper with crane
FWPHAR3204 Operate split flail and wood chipper fed by mobile machine
FWPHAR3205 Harvest trees manually (intermediate)
FWPHAR3209 Harvest trees manually (advanced)
FWPHAR3212 Operate yarder

FWPFGM2210 Implement animal pest control proceduresView unit on training.gov.au

Other project notes
  • Two units of competency have not been revised as they are core units in four FWP qualifications. According to the Training Package policies, the core units can only be reviewed as part of the qualification review. The units are:
  • The unit FWPHAR3231 Operate yarder was initially not on the project scope, but has been reviewed due to feedback received from industry stakeholders and relevance to the skill areas covered by the project.
  • Feedback from industry also helped to identify:
    • A range of skills gaps in the Certificate IV in Forest Operations in relation to digital technology involving the development of digital forest operational maps and cutting instructions files for forestry harvesters, management and analysis of harvesting optimisation data and collection of forestry data using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). While these skill areas are on the project scope, the identified skill gaps are linked to higher-level job roles and qualifications than the approved project deliverables.
    • The need for rationalisation of three overarching environmental care units for forestry operations, noting that two of these units are Core units in the Certificate II and III for forest management and harvesting. According to the Training Package policies, the core units can only be reviewed as part of the qualification review.

As a result, this input will be followed up and addressed in a potential future project that will involve the review of relevant qualifications. Details of proposed future projects are available in the 2020 Annual Update to the Skills Forecast.

 

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