The focus of this unit is on implementing sustainability plans. These may have been developed in MSS015008 Develop strategic sustainability plans or they may come from other activities. The unit focuses on getting the support needed for the projects, finalising the project plans and putting them into action. It is based on standard project management practices.
This might include getting project approvals, but does not mean developing a business case which typically will have been done earlier in the project process.
As part of an AQF 5 qualification it is assumed that the learner will ‘… apply knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy, judgement and defined responsibility in known or changing contexts and within broad but established parameters’. Read more about AQF qualification levels…
Autonomy is demonstrated in this unit by establishing the support required for a project. The unit assumes that project/s have been planned and approved. However, for most change projects the stakeholders need to be sold on and/or reminded of the benefits the project will deliver for them.
Autonomy is exercised in identifying problems (including actual, potential and perceptions) and the negotiating solutions. Judgement is exercised by determining when sufficient support has been established.
For this unit the improvements being implemented may require capital expenditure approvals or might be changes to processes, procedures and practices, product design or material/component supplies. Typically the improvements will be of some complexity, requiring approval in accordance with the organisation’s policies.
The person doing this unit might manage one or more improvement projects, however the primary role covered in this unit is overseeing a project to ensure that it is completed, evaluated and any further improvements resulting from this project are captured. This might include approving or getting approvals for any changes to the project plan (e.g. scope, timelines or budget).
The development of project plans and the gaining of sanction are covered in other units in this qualification.
1 Establish required support for proposed sustainability related improvements
This element is about identifying stakeholders, and convincing each of them that the project has advantages for them. It includes dealing with any difficulties that arise with stakeholders, for example, simple apathy or even the active ‘white-anting’ of the project. Consultation may be necessary to address resistance and to finalise the details of the project at commencement.
So an important aspect of successful project implementation is to identify and neutralise (or even better turn to a positive support) any potential resistance to the project. It is about clearing the obstacles before the project seriously gets under way.
The communications and key messages will vary depending on the stakeholder group.
So for the:
- accountant – the benefit is the return on investment and other dollar benefits
- operations – the benefit may be better reliability of the re-jigged process
- maintenance – the benefit may be the increased reliability
- the regulator – the benefit may be better compliance and greater safety margins
- and so on.
2 Establish systems for monitoring implementation
This element is about the project management task of setting agreed parameters to monitor the project and raise early warning signs of problems. It also helps to get everyone ‘on the same page’ for the project.
Indicators of progress for the sustainability improvement projects are about ‘how would we know if the project is on track and if it delivers the suggested benefits? These need to be decided before implementing the project so that progress can be monitored and success can be measured.
For a capital project the indicators of progress might be the completion of key installation or construction stages. A project focusing on procedures might use the completion of each procedure, or parts of a procedure if it is large.
Ideally they are quantitative measures and relate to the project aims. Tracking the amount of budget spent will not necessarily indicate progress; all spending could in fact be ‘completed’ without the project being finished. This would be an invalid indicator. It doesn’t mean that budget and other resources don’t need to be tracked; but they don’t measure progress itself.
‘Systems’ means more than random checks that may or may not happen. It implies planning out what will be monitored, by whom and how frequently. Monitoring implementation might include regular meetings, reports to management, monitoring tasks and timelines, milestone reporting and tracking budget expenditure.
3 Implement improvement plan
This is about monitoring progress against the project plan and indicators that have been identified in order to make adjustments based on any non-conformances or other issues that arise. It might mean helping to resolve barriers or other issues within a project, getting approvals for amendments to scope and budget or ‘managing’ the project managers to keep things on track.
Reporting on progress should be done using the enterprise systems. This might mean a formal report but could be a verbal report to management or an implementation committee.
4 Recommend further improvements
This moves from monitoring progress to evaluating the outcomes of the project. It focuses on measuring what the project has achieved and whether it has delivered what it set out to. . It is important to review what happened in order to identify future improvement projects. This includes looking at successes as well as projects that did not deliver (‘non-compliances’).
‘Further improvements’ might include, for example:
- additional projects (new improvements)
- improvements within the project that can be implemented within existing resource allocation and authorities
- improvements within a project that will require additional projects and/or approvals.
As an RTO your assessment must cover all of the requirements of the unit of competency, including Elements, Performance Criteria, Range Conditions and the new Assessment Requirements. While the Assessment Requirements can be downloaded (training.gov.au) as a separate document they are part of the complete unit of competency.
The Assessment Requirements comprise Performance Evidence, Knowledge Evidence and Assessment Conditions. The Performance Evidence and Knowledge Evidence sections are self-explanatory and go some way to defining the evidence that you need collect.
However, they do not specify how the reports on progress of the implementation projects should be presented or what processes should be used to obtain approvals for further improvements.
This enables you to identify how these activities are typically undertaken in a sector or business, and use these within your assessment processes and evidence collection.
In some businesses the protocol for reporting on improvement projects might be a written report. However, in some workplaces it might be acceptable to present the report in a meeting based on hand written notes. Both of these could generate evidence to meet the requirements of the unit.
The Assessment Conditions define the conditions that must apply to the assessment process, for example:
- The collection of performance evidence is best done from a report and/or folio of evidence drawn from:
- a single project which provides sufficient evidence of the requirements of all the elements and performance criteria
- multiple smaller projects which together provide sufficient evidence of the requirements of all the elements and performance criteria.
- A third party report, or similar, may be needed to testify to the work done by the individual, particularly when the project has been done as part of a project team.
- Assessment should use a real project where the determination of the carbon footprint along a value chain or portion of a value chain occurs for an operational workplace.
They also provide outline how the assessor can meet the requirements for vocational competency and currency:
- Technical competence can be demonstrated through:
- relevant VET or other qualification/Statement of Attainment AND/OR
- relevant workplace experience
- Currency can be demonstrated through:
- performing the competency being assessed as part of current employment OR
- having consulted with an organisation providing relevant environmental monitoring, management or technology services about performing the competency being assessed within the last twelve months.
Most units of competency require some skills that are ’embedded’ or assumed, or are business specific. These are required within the unit but are not spelled out in the elements or performance criteria or range statement.
In this unit they include:
- project planning and monitoring
- data analysis and presentation
You need to take these into consideration in planning your resources and delivery. You will need to determine whether your participants already have these skills or whether you need to cover them in your training and skills development activities and your resource materials.
Assessment of the embedded skills is a given; they must be assessed because they form part of the unit. In other words, if the unit is assessed correctly it will automatically include an assessment of these embedded skills.
If the embedded skills can not be demonstrated additional training, mentoring or other skills development activities might be required. In some cases these might align to other units of competency.
In developing a training and assessment strategy you need to customise a program and decide which units to package into your program and whether to group any units for delivery and assessment. You might want to cluster units; or you might want to integrate the content into modules or learning objects.
How (and whether) to group the units will vary depending on the needs of the participant, the needs and goals of the business and how it operates.
In some situations it might be useful to cluster MSS015009A Implement sustainability plans with units that provide supporting skills, for example:
- MSS015002 Develop strategies for more sustainable use of resources
- MSS015001 Measure and report carbon footprint
- MSS015010 Conduct a sustainable water use audit
- MSS015011 Conduct a sustainability energy audit
- MSS015012 Conduct an emissions audit
- MSS015013 Conduct a sustainability related transport audit
- PMAOPS511 Determine energy transfer loads
- PMAOPS512 Determine mass transfer loads
In some contexts a business case may need to be put forward to management for capital expenditure and to ensure that proposed sustainability improvements are consistent with higher level strategic plans. In this situation it might be useful to cluster MSS015009 Implement sustainability plans with MSS015007 Develop a business case for sustainability improvements.