Poultry Processing 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

Poultry processing in Australia has become increasingly consolidated, with small and medium operators either merging or being integrated into larger businesses. At the same time, demand for poultry products is high. With pressure to keep up with consumer tastes while maintaining the standard of their products, these larger businesses are becoming more and more automated in their processes.

While automation offers many advantages, updated training opportunities are needed to support the skills needed to work with automated processes. Despite the high popularity of poultry products, there is no nationally endorsed qualification specifically for poultry processing. As such it would be beneficial to develop skill sets in this area, making relevant training more accessible to the industry.

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) approved this project via a Case for Change submitted by Skills Impact in 2019 on behalf of the Meat IRC.

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

 

Download Project Proposal (see pages 43-45)

 

Project Plan

Poultry meat is a popular choice with Australian consumers and demand is on the rise. “In Australia, poultry consumption is almost double that of beef, with pork almost at parity, and both are forecast to grow at a faster rate over the next three years” (Meat and Livestock Australia). This presents poultry companies with the challenge of increasing their output, while upholding compliance to strict food safety and hygiene regulations and maintaining consistent quality and portion control.

At the same time, the Australian poultry processing industry has become increasingly consolidated, with more and more small and medium size operations either merging with or being absorbed by larger companies. To meet the strong demand for poultry products, these companies are increasing automation throughout the entire processing line. Most suppliers now offer modular solutions to all aspects of the processing sequence, which can be customised and adjusted to individual processor requirements.

With these automated methods, companies can increase the yield and efficiency of production, as well as improving food safety by reducing the risk of cross contamination and reducing the risk of employee injury from repetitive tasks. However, this shift in methods means new skills are needed to work with automated systems and ensure its operating smoothly. Increased access to nationally endorsed training options would support the poultry industry as it works to keep up with the growing demand for its products.

Project Scope

This project involves the development of up to five new skill sets and up to three units of competency to address current gaps in poultry processing training.

The remaining units that make up the skill sets may include current units from the Australian Meat Processing and Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical training packages. These units will be reviewed for suitability during this project.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Meat Processing’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Relevant Occupations
  • Meat processing worker – poultry processing
  • Quality assurance officer – poultry processing

 

Project Team
Jenny KroonstuiverChief Executive Officer, MINTRAC jkroonstuiver@mintrac.com.au
Sharon FitzgeraldSenior Project Officer, MINTRAC sfitzgerald@mintrac.com.au
Tania MinehanProject Officer, MINTRAC tminehan@mintrac.com.au
Paige MazoudierCadet Project Officer, MINTRAC pmazoudier@mintrac.com.au

  • A unit to cover monitoring product flow in an automated process
  • A unit to cover packing and packaging of bulk product (whole bird) and also packing of portions (drumsticks, legs, wings etc.), fillets, eviscerated products (necks, giblets, hearts, liver) (this may need to be two separate units).

  • A Quality Assurance Skill Set
  • A pre-processing Skill Set: covering bird receival, hanging, stunning, killing, scalding, defeathering and evisceration
  • A processing Skill set covering: washing, chilling, grading, portioning, packaging and chilling or freezing
  • A further processing skill set: i.e. packing and processing of kebabs, schnitzels, roasts, filos (where this is not already available in the FDF package)
  • Consideration will also be given to the possible development of a skill set to cover waste disposal/environmental awareness.

Timeline

August – September 2019
Initial scoping

September – October 2019
Development of draft skill sets and units

October – November 2019
Drafts available for broad consultation

December 2019 – February 2020
Validation of final drafts

February – May 2020
Finalisation of Training Package components

May – June 2020
Submission for endorsement

 

Subject Matter Experts

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

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

Opportunities for stakeholder input

Stakeholder input is appreciated throughout the duration of this project. The documents will be drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback on first drafts will occur in October and November 2019, and for the validation of final drafts between December 2019 and February 2020. The qualifications, skill sets and units need to reflect real work experience. So if you work in the sector, Skills Impact would be grateful for 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, Sharon Fitzgerald on 0408 612 883 or sfitzgerald@mintrac.com.au

Stakeholder Consultation Process

A list of key stakeholder organisations has been identified for this project based on their industry role, size or specialty. Skills Impact will ensure contact is made with each of these organisations to seek their involvement and views on all draft skill sets and units. Consultation is not limited to the organisations on this list, they have simply been identified as the most likely to have a key interest in the development and outcomes of this project. If you are aware of an organisation that you think should be involved, please encourage them to contact the project team and/or direct them to this webpage.

Development

Poultry products are already popular with Australian consumers and demand is forecast to grow over the next three years. In order to meet the needs of its customers, the poultry processing industry is turning to increased automation throughout the entire processing line. This changing work environment means industry requires updated skills for working with automated processes and equipment.

The purpose of this project is to address these skills gaps by reviewing current meat processing units of competency and developing new skill sets and units of competency in poultry processing where necessary.

The project has been discussed at a number of meat industry network meetings and promoted through email broadcasts and MINTRAC’s newsletter. As a result, a number of industry stakeholders have contacted the project team to register their interest in the project as either a member of the Technical Advisory Committee or as part of the broader general consultation process. Key industry stakeholders were also identified and invited directly to take part in the project.

Development outcomes and next steps

Development outcomes so far have included:

  • A detailed search of existing training package products that might be suitable for use by the poultry processing industry
  • Initial drafts of two new units:
    • Monitor product flow in an automated process
    • Monitor product to be sent to rendering
  • Initial drafts of eight new skill sets:
    • Poultry Processing Quality Assurance Skill Set
    • Poultry Pre-processing Skill Set
    • Poultry Stunning, Bleeding, Scalding and De-feathering Skill Set
    • Poultry Evisceration and Washing Skill Set
    • Bone and Fillet Poultry Skill Set
    • Poultry Further Processing Skill Set
    • Poultry Processing Waste Disposal Skill Set
    • Poultry Processing Supervisor Skill Set

Broad stakeholder consultation is scheduled to commence in mid-October, when draft units will be made available for comment 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.

Drafts Available

Demand for poultry products in Australia is expected to grow at an increased pace in the next three years. With poultry already a popular choice with consumers, industry has increased automation throughout the entire processing line. Not only is this automated technology helping to increase the yield and efficiency of production, but it also improves food safety by reducing the risk of cross-contamination and injury to workers carrying out repetitive tasks.

This shift in methods means new skills are needed to work with automated systems. Access to nationally endorsed training options would support the poultry industry as it works to keep up with the growing demand for its products.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the draft units of competency and skill sets that were available on this webpage for feedback from 14 October – 8 November 2019. 

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

Feedback will inform the work on the final drafts which are expected to be available for industry validation between December 2019 and February 2020. A summary of the feedback and how it was addressed in the final drafts will also be available.

Eight new draft skill sets are proposed to address skills and knowledge gaps identified in the poultry sector.

AMPSS00067 Poultry Processing Quality Assurance Skill SetView draft skill set
AMPSS00068 Poultry Pre-processing Skill SetView draft skill set
AMPSS00069 Poultry Stunning, Bleeding, Scalding and De-feathering Skill SetView draft skill set
AMPSS00070 Poultry Evisceration and Washing Skill SetView draft skill set
AMPSS00071 Bone and Fillet Poultry Skill SetView draft skill set
AMPSS00072 Poultry Further Processing Skill SetView draft skill set
AMPSS00073 Poultry Processing Waste Disposal Skill SetView draft skill set
AMPSS00074 Poultry Processing Supervisor Skill SetView draft skill set

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

Four new draft units are proposed to address skills and knowledge gaps identified in the poultry sector during consultations before the project beginning and during the development phase. The units AMPP209 Operate the bird receival process and AMPXXXX Prepare birds for stunning are proposed to replace AMPP207 Operate the bird receival and hanging process, as not all poultry processing enterprises hang the birds upside down prior to slaughter. Feedback is encouraged on this proposed change.

AMPX317 Monitor product flow in an automated processView draft unit
AMPX318 Monitor product to be sent to renderingView draft unit
AMPP209 Operate the bird receival processView draft unit
AMPXXXX Prepare birds for stunningView draft unit

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

The project proposes the replacement of AMPP207 Operate the bird receival and hanging process with two new units that will separate AMPP207 into two tasks.This is because not all poultry processing enterprises hang the birds upside down prior to slaughter.

AMPP207 Operate the bird receival and hanging processView existing unit on training.gov.au

Proposed to be replaced by AMPP209 Operate the bird receival process and AMPXXXX Prepare birds for stunning:

AMPP209 Operate the bird receival processView draft unit
AMPXXXX Prepare birds for stunningView draft unit

Summary of consultation to date

The draft skill sets and units have been drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts who have formed a Technical Advisory Committee and have provided information about the key requirements of the job roles covered by the skill sets and units. People working directly in the poultry processing industry participated and provided information on the skills and knowledge required for job roles and tasks. Thank you to those who provided feedback during these activities.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Meat Processing’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Validation

Poultry is already a popular choice with Australian consumers and demand is expected to grow in the next three years. In order to keep up with this demand while maintaining the quality of its products, the Australian poultry industry has increased automation throughout the entire processing line. As a result, safety has improved by reducing the risk of cross-contamination and injury to workers carrying out repetitive tasks.

Given this shift in the operating environment, new skills are needed for working with poultry using automated systems.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the final draft skill sets and units of competency for poultry processing that were made available on this webpage for feedback from 4 December 2019 – 2 February 2020.

Validation means checking and confirming that the documents are logical, factual and accurate. Final drafts of the skill sets and units can be viewed in the lists below.

 

Summary of consultation to date

Thank you to those stakeholders who provided feedback on the drafts that were made available from 14 October to 18 November, under the ‘Drafts Available’ stage. During this time, feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, face-to-face consultation and, and via phone call and email. The units were drafted with guidance from Subject Matter Experts, made up of workplace experts and industry.

There were no comments received for AMPX317 Monitor product flow in an automated process, however strong industry support was received for the draft of AMPX318 Monitor product to be sent to rendering. No changes have been made to the drafts of either unit.

No comments were received and no objections were raised to the deletion of the unit AMPP207 Operate the bird receival and hanging process. This unit is proposed for deletion as the two new units developed in the project Operate the bird receival process and Prepare birds for stunning have been developed to replace it.

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.

Eight new draft skill sets are proposed to address skills and knowledge gaps identified in the poultry sector. No changes have been made to the skill set drafts.  

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

Skill Set code and nameLink
AMPSS00067 Poultry Processing Quality Assurance Skill SetView final draft skill set
AMPSS00068 Poultry Pre-processing Skill SetView final draft skill set
AMPSS00069 Poultry Stunning, Bleeding, Scalding and De-feathering Skill SetView final draft skill set
AMPSS00070 Poultry Evisceration and Washing Skill SetView final draft skill set
AMPSS00071 Bone and Fillet Poultry Skill SetView final draft skill set
AMPSS00072 Poultry Further Processing Skill SetView final draft skill set
AMPSS00073 Poultry Processing Waste Disposal Skill SetView final draft skill set
AMPSS00074 Poultry Processing Supervisor Skill SetView final draft skill set

 

There were no comments received for AMPX317 Monitor product flow in an automated process, however strong industry support was received for the draft of AMPX318 Monitor product to be sent to rendering. No changes have been made to these drafts however minor wording changes have been made to AMPP209 Operate the bird receival process and the unit code AMPP210 has been assigned to Prepare birds for stunning.

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

Unit code and nameProposed changesLink
AMPX317 Monitor product flow in an automated processNew unit to address the skills and knowledge required to ensure the smooth flow and quality of product in an automated food processing processView final draft unit
AMPX318 Monitor product to be sent to renderingNew unit to address the skills and knowledge required to check and remove foreign matter from processing by-products intended to be sent to renderingView final draft unit
AMPP209 Operate the bird receival processNew unit to address the skills and knowledge required to receive live poultry at a poultry processing premises.

Proposed to replace AMPP207 Operate the bird receival and hanging process. No equivalence.

View final draft unit
AMPP210 Prepare birds for stunningNew unit to address the skills and knowledge required to prepare live poultry for stunning. Proposed to replace AMPP207 Operate the bird receival and hanging process. No equivalence.View final draft unit

 

The project proposes the replacement of AMPP207 Operate the bird receival and hanging process with two new units that will separate AMPP207 into two tasks.This is because not all poultry processing enterprises hang the birds upside down prior to slaughter. The proposed deletion of this unit has not been opposed.

AMPP207 Operate the bird receival and hanging processView existing unit on training.gov.au

Proposed to be replaced by AMPP209 Operate the bird receival process and AMPXXXX Prepare birds for stunning:

AMPP209 Operate the bird receival processView final draft unit
AMPXXXX Prepare birds for stunningView final draft unit

 

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Meat Processing’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

Finalisation

Poultry is a popular choice of meat in Australia, with demand forecast to increase. Annual consumption of chicken meat in Australia has already increased by 33% per capita, over the last ten years (Australian Chicken Meat Federation). To keep up with demand, automation is increasing throughout the entire processing line. This is having an impact on job roles in the sector, which require updated skills for working with automated processes and equipment.

While some employees in poultry processing may undertake a meat processing qualification, there is no separate qualification for the specific skills needed in this sector. The available training is also not accessible or applicable to much of the workforce. Industry has been consulted throughout this project to develop skills standards in poultry processing, addressing gaps in the availability of endorsed training for this sector. As a result 10 new skill sets and four new units have been developed. 

Key Changes

Feedback received during the validation stage of this project has resulted in significant changes being made to the units and skill sets, including: 

  • The creation of the Poultry Processing Initial Chilling Skill Set to address the industry identified need to have staff trained in the operation of the initial poultry chilling process.
  • The Poultry Pre-processing Skill Set, which addresses the industry need for staff to be trained to handle live birds at a processing premises, was split into two different skill sets, as the requirements for this job task differ depending on whether the premises uses electrical or gas stunning methods.
  • Additional units were added to the Poultry Processing Supervisor Skill Set including: AMPA3071 Implement a food safety program, AMPCOR401 Manage own work performance, AMPCOR403 Participate in workplace health and safety risk control process, and AMPX423 Supervise new recruits to cover important roles undertaken by poultry processing supervisors identified by industry.
  • The new units were updated to have more emphasis on workplace health, safety and animal welfare.
  • One unit had been considered for deletionAMPP207 Operate the bird receival and hanging process. This unit was proposed for deletion as it was anticipated that the new units AMPP209 Operate the live bird receival process and AMPP210 Prepare birds for stunning would replace the need for it. However, during consultation undertaken during this phase it was made clear by industry that different sites use different methods of stunning birds and therefore AMPP207 Operate the bird receival and hanging process was still needed.  

As a result of this project, the following new units were developed: 

  • AMPX316 Monitor product to be sent to rendering 
  • AMPX317 Monitor product flow in an automated process 
  • AMPP209 Operate the live bird receival process 
  • AMPP210 Prepare birds for stunning  

These units will be included in the following qualifications: 

  • Certificate II in Meat Processing (Food Services) 
  • Certificate III in Meat Processing (Food Services) 

The following skill sets were developed.  

  • AMPSS00067 Poultry Processing Quality Assurance Skill Set 
  • AMPSS00068 Poultry Pre-processing Skill Set (Electrical Stunning) 
  • AMPSS00069 Poultry Stunning, Bleeding, Scalding and De-feathering Skill Set 
  • AMPSS00070 Poultry Evisceration Skill Set 
  • AMPSS00071 Poultry Processing Boning and Filleting Skill Set 
  • AMPSS00072 Poultry Further Processing Skill Set 
  • AMPSS00073 Poultry Processing Waste Disposal Skill Set 
  • AMPSS00074 Poultry Processing Supervisor Skill Set 
  • AMPSS00075 Poultry Pre-processing Skill Set (Gas Stunning) 
  • AMPSS00076 Poultry Processing Initial Chilling Skill Set 

The developed units and skill sets have been well received by industry. In particular, the new unit AMPX316 Monitor product to be sent to rendering has been met with positive feedback, as there is a challenge with foreign matter contaminating the raw materials that are rendered into other products. 

Summary of consultation

The units and qualifications were developed with guidance from a group of 11 Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), made up of workplace experts and industry. 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, face-to-face consultation and, and via phone call and email. The project was also discussed at AMPC Network Meetings held between July 2019 and February 2020. Notifications regarding the project and opportunities for feedback were sent out to MINTRAC and Skills Impact networks on a regular basis. 

Throughout the project consultation occurred with industry representatives in every state, several national industry bodies, industry regulators in each state as well as federal, and RTOs delivering the qualifications in all states excluding the ACT 

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 and skill sets are currently undergoing an edit and equity and independent quality assurance process. They are being reviewed to ensure they are of high quality and comply with the Standards for Training Packages 2012, the Training Package Products Policy and the Training Package Development and Endorsement Process Policy. This process ensures that any barriers to training have been identified, acknowledged, addressed and reduced as far as possible, to enable people to gain the skills required to participate in the workforce and society. Once this process has been completed, the skill sets and units will be forwarded to the State/Territory Training Authorities (STAs/TTAs) for their consideration and to seek their support for submission to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) and State and Territory Ministers. 

Companion Volume Implementation Guide is also being produced to assist industry and registered training providers (RTOs) deliver the units and skill sets. It will contain 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.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management’ as your industry of interest.