DEISCA617 : SCADA and Distributed Control Systems

Nominal duration: 48 hours total time commitment

This time commitment includes the structured activities, preparation reading, and attendance at each webinar, completing exercises, practical assessments and proctored assessments.

It is also expected that students spend additional time on readings, personal study, independent research and learning, practicing on remote labs and required software and working on any projects and assignments.

This module covers the fundamental principles of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, core functions of components, the characteristics of distributed control systems (DCS), and procedures for operator interfacing, control and implementation.


The purpose of the module is for participants to build general knowledge to oversee critical aspects of SCADA systems in industry: specification, design, installation, commissioning and troubleshooting.

MODIFICATION HISTORY Original module approved in 2010 (52368WA); April 2014 (52684WA).  This version is Version 3.0


Modules that must be delivered and assessed before this module:

  • Create PLC programs using IEC 61131-3 DITPLC611

Modules that must be delivered concurrently with this module:

  • N/A




Assessors should gather a range of evidence that is valid, sufficient, current and authentic. Evidence can be gathered through a variety of ways including direct observation, supervisor's reports, project work, structured assessments, samples and questioning. This will include short answer questions on the knowledge content, the use of remote and virtual labs, and writing tasks to apply the learning to academic tasks.


Assessor Requirements:

Assessors must satisfy the assessor requirements in the standards for registered training organisation (RTOs) current at the time of assessment.

Assessors must also hold a tertiary qualification in engineering or related field.

The RTO must also ensure that trainers and assessors keep their industry knowledge up to date through ongoing professional development.

Assessment Conditions:

Questioning techniques should not require language, literacy and numeracy skills beyond those required in this module. The candidate must have access to all tools, equipment, materials and documentation required.

The candidate must be permitted to refer to any relevant workplace procedures, product and manufacturing specifications, codes, standards, manuals and reference materials.

Assessments may be open book assessment and may be completed off campus. Invigilation software will be used for some assessments to ensure authenticity of work completed.

Model answers must be provided for all knowledge-based assessments to ensure reliability of assessment judgements when marking is undertaken by different assessors.


On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Explain fundamental principles of SCADA
  2. Outline core functions of key SCADA system components
  1. Outline the essential characteristics of DCSs
  2. Determine procedures for DCS operator interfacing, control and implementation

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes specify what students will be able to do as a result of the learning.


Assessment criteria provide the criteria by which achievement of the learning outcomes will be judged.

1. Explain fundamental principles of SCADA

1.1.  Explain the concept of ‘wide area’ SCADA systems

1.2.  Describe basic SCADA system hardware

1.3.  Compare commercially available SCADA software packages

1.4.  Explain, using examples, applications of the following communication protocols in SCADA systems:

(a) TCP/IP


(c) DNP3

1.5.  Outline fundamental characteristics of human machine interface (HMI) systems for SCADA applications

2. Outline core functions of key SCADA system components

2.1.  Outline core functions of components of SCADA systems, specifically:

(a) Servers

(b) Historians

(c) RTUs

(d) Firewalls

(e) Alarms

2.2.  Determine considerations for SCADA system installation and commissioning

2.3.  Determine procedures for SCADA system troubleshooting and maintenance

3. Outline the essential characteristics of DCSs

3.1.  Outline DCS system elements

3.2.  Compare the core functions of DCSs, SCADA systems and PLCs

3.3.  Outline the core features of effective DCS data communications

3.4.  Determine procedures for configuration and programming of DCS controllers

3.5.  Formulate an overall security philosophy for SCADA systems

4. Determine procedures for DCS operator interfacing, control and implementation

4.1.  Outline fundamental requirements for DCS operator interfacing

4.2.  Explain the concept of DCS control in terms of:
(a) DCS controller configuration
(b) Advanced control strategies

4.3.  Identify typical DCS implementation issues

Delivery Mode

Online and face-to-face

Specialised Resources



Software/Hardware Used


  • CvSize v3_5_0_5_


  •  N/A