Produce an advanced engineering design for a steel structure



Unit Descriptor

This unit of competency describes the knowledge and skills required to complete an engineering project brief, including the analysis and advanced design of steel structures from first principles, using appropriate design aids.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.


Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.


Application of the Unit

This unit of competency applies to a person working at para-professional level in a civil engineering environment and required to prepare the design of steel structures.





Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency. Elements describe actions or outcomes that are demonstrable and assessable.


Performance criteria describe the required performance needed  to demonstrate achievement of the element – they identify the standard for the element. Where bold / italicized text is used, further information or explanation is detailed in the required skills and knowledge and/or the range statement.

Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Identify steel structure to be designed

  • Occupational Health and Safety/Workplace, Health and Safety (OHS/WHS) and environmental requirements for a given work area are clarified.
  • Established OHS/WHS requirements and risk control measures and procedures are followed in preparation of the work.
  • Safety hazards, which have not previously been identified, are documented and risk control measures devised and implemented in consultation with appropriate personnel.
  • The design is identified from documentation, work requests or discussions with appropriate
  • Appropriate personnel are consulted to ensure the work is co-ordinated effectively with others involved at the work
  • Resources and equipment needed for the task are obtained in accordance with enterprise procedures and checked for correct operation and

2. Plan design approach

  • OHS/WHS requirements for carrying out the work are incorporated in the design plan.
  • Documentation relating to design project is collected and analysed.
  • Design references and equipment are available to complete the design, to conform to relevant standards or regulations, in accordance with enterprise

3. Complete the design

  • OHS/WHS requirements for carrying out the work are followed.
  • The design is completed to conform to relevant standards or regulations, in accordance with enterprise
  • Design references and equipment are used according to relevant standards, manufacturer’s manuals and enterprise procedures.
  • Results are recorded, analysed, examined and applied according to enterprise
  • Decisions for dealing with unexpected situations are made from discussions with appropriate personnel, job specifications and enterprise
  • Methods for dealing with unexpected situations are selected on the basis of safety and specified work

4. Compile, document and present results.

  • OHS/WHS requirements for completing the work are followed.
  • Design references and equipment are maintained and stored in accordance with enterprise
  • Results are recorded, analysed and reported to appropriate personnel in accordance with enterprise
  • Results are stored and archived according to enterprise procedures.



This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.


Required Skills:

    • reading skills to interpret task related documentation, specifications, drawings and OHS/WHS procedures
    • obtaining the appropriate resources and equipment to undertake design task
    • identifying and applying relevant standards and regulations to undertake design task
    • performing appropriate engineering design calculations
    • determining design for dead and live loads
    • determining wind loads on buildings
    • employing available design aids efficiently
    • preparing and maintaining records in accordance with specifications and statutory requirements
    • communicating and working with other team members

Required knowledge:

  • relevant Australian or other appropriate standards
  • load calculation on steel beams and frames
  • safe steel beam load tables
  • impact of wind loads on buildings
  • pin-jointed steel frames
  • biaxial bending stresses calculations
  • design considerations for welded plate girders
  • combined tension and bending on steel structures
  • design considerations for steel purlins and girts



The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold / italicised wording in the Performance Criteria is detailed below.


OHS/WHS requirements may include:


  • legislation
  • protective equipment
  • material safety management systems
  • hazardous substances and dangerous goods code
  • local safe operation procedures
  • awards provisions

Environmental requirements may include::


  • liquid waste
  • solid waste
  • gas, fume, vapour, smoke emissions, including fugitive emissions, dust
  • excessive energy and water use
  • excessive noise

Appropriate personnel may include:


  • supervisor
  • leading hand
  • foreman
  • manager
  • site engineer
  • trainer
  • mentor
  • teacher
  • team member


Resources and equipment may include:


  • specifications
  • manuals
  • standards, such as:
    • AS4100 – Steel Structures
    • AS5100 – Bridge Design

o  AS1170.0:200 o  AS1170.1:200 o AS1170.2:2002

  • catalogues
  • stationary
  • calculators

Enterprise procedures may include:


  • the use of tools and equipment
  • instructions, including job sheets, cutting lists, plans, drawings and designs
  • reporting and communication
  • manufacturers' specifications
  • operational procedures





The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Elements, Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment section in Section B of the Accreditation Submission.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

  • Assessors must be satisfied that the candidate can competently and consistently perform all elements of the unit as specified by the associated performance criteria, including required skills and knowledge. Specifically they must be able to:
    • implement OHS/WHS workplace procedures and practices including the use of risk control measures as specified in the performance criteria
    • demonstrate the ability to complete an engineering project brief including the analysis and advanced design of structural steel members in a steel structure from first principles using appropriate design aids on more than one occasion and in different
    • prepare and complete relevant documentation and present report/s

Context of and specific resources for assessment

  • This unit may be assessed on the job, off the job or a combination of both on and off the job. Where assessment occurs off the job, that is the candidate is not in productive work, then an appropriate simulation must be used where the range of conditions reflects realistic workplace situations. The competencies covered by this unit would be demonstrated by an individual working alone or as part of a team. The assessment environment should not disadvantage the candidate
  • Resources required for assessment include:
    • OHS/WHS policy and work procedures and instructions.
    • Access to workplace or work real environment and a variety of conditions
    • Operational access to relevant design equipment, tools, materials and consumables
    • Access to relevant Australian Standards, plans, drawings and instructions and manufacturer’s specifications/manuals.




Methods of assessment

  • For valid and reliable assessment of this unit, evidence should be gathered through a range of methods to indicate consistent performance.
  • Evidence must involve demonstration of practical skills and may also include:
    • observation of processes and procedures
    • oral and/or written questioning on required knowledge and skills
    • testimony from supervisors, colleagues, clients and/or other appropriate persons
    • inspection of the final design solutions or outcomes
    • portfolio of documented
  • Where performance is not directly observed any evidence should be authenticated by colleagues, supervisors, clients or other appropriate
  • Questioning techniques should not require language, literacy and numeracy skills beyond those required in this unit of competency.


Software/Hardware Used