Produce an engineering design for a reinforced concrete structure




Unit Descriptor

This unit of competency describes the knowledge and skills required to produce a design for a flexural reinforced concrete structure consistent with requirements of a project brief.

The unit includes the design principles of flexural reinforced concrete members such as suspended slabs, beams, columns and footings as well as 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 paraprofessional level in a civil engineering environment where design of reinforced concrete structures is undertaken.





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 reinforced concrete structure to be designed

  • Occupational Health and Safety/Workplace Health and Safety (OHS/WHS) requirements and environmental requirements for a given work area are obtained and interpreted.
  • 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.
  • Design requirements are 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 workplace.
  • Resources and equipment needed for the task are obtained in accordance with enterprise procedures and checked for correct operation and safety.

2. Plan design approach

  • Documentation relating to design project is collected and analysed.
  • Design brief is reviewed and discuss with relevant personnel
  • Design references and equipment are available to plan the design, to conform to relevant Australian and/or local standards or regulations, in accordance with enterprise procedures.

3. Complete the design

  • OHS/WHS requirements for carrying out the work are followed.
  • The design is completed to conform to relevant Australian and/or local standards or regulations, in accordance with enterprise
  • Design references and equipment are used according to relevant Australian standards, manufacturer’s manuals and enterprise
  • 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 outcomes.

4. Compile, document and present results.

  • Design references and equipment are maintained and stored in accordance with enterprise
  • Results are recorded, analysed, documented and presented 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:

    • consulting and communicating with other team members involved in the design project
    • identifying and following relevant OH&S procedures
    • reading and interpreting a design brief and related documentation
    • using design reference material
    • preparing a design project plan
    • producing a design for a reinforced concrete structure that meets the requirements of design brief and relevant Australian standards
    • preparing and updating design documentation

Required knowledge:

  • loads
  • moments
  • shear forces
  • ultimate strength theory for bending using rectangular stress block
  • moment capacity
  • rectangular beam design from first principles
    • durability, exposure classifications and minimum concrete cover
  • design aids for rectangular beam design
  • strength equations:
    • for doubly reinforced beams,
    • for T-beams and L-beams
  • T-beams and L-beams.
  • length for tension and compression reinforcement
  • reinforcement:
    • hooks and cogs
    • curtailment of reinforcement
    • arrangement of reinforcement
  • shear:
    • shear equations
    • design of shear reinforcement
  • shear reinforcement and appropriate design aids



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.


HS/WHS requirements may include but not limited to:

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

Environmental requirements may include but not limited to:

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

Appropriate personnel may include but not limited to:

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

Resources and equipment may include but not limited to:

  • specifications
  • appropriate manuals
  • standards
  • catalogues
  • stationary
  • calculators

Enterprise procedures may include but not limited to:

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


Design references and equipment

  • specifications
  • manuals
  • standards
  • CAD / design aid software
  • tables / graphs / charts




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 procedures and practices including the use of risk control measures as specified in the performance criteria and range
    • demonstrate the ability to design flexural reinforced concrete structure using appropriate design aids which complies to a brief, relevant Australian standards and building codes on more than one occasion and in different

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