Care for computer hardware

This unit defines the competency required to manage the selection, maintenance and location of hardware.No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Establish safe work practices

1.1. Determine, record and apply relevant legal requirements and OH&S standards to the installation and maintenance of computer hardware

1.2. Determine, record and apply requirements specified by hardware manufacturers

1.3. Determine, record and apply safe work practices, taking into account legal and manufacturer requirements

2. Establish location requirements for hardware and peripherals

2.1. Determine and apply suitable environmentalconditions for hardware and peripherals

2.2. Determine and apply system protection devices

2.3. Determine and apply requirements when moving hardware

2.4. Determine and apply suitable storage principles for hardware and associated peripherals and media

3. Establish maintenance practices

3.1. Determine maintenance requirements specified by the equipment manufacturer

3.2. Produce maintenance schedules, including removal of dust and grease build-up

3.3. Perform diagnostic functions, including replacing suspect components with other serviceable components and reloading of associated software

3.4. Determine whether unserviceable components are replaceable through warranty, replacement or upgrade

3.5. Perform diagnostic functions using the operatingsystem and third-party diagnostic tools

4. Determine appropriate hardware quality standards

4.1. Consider and apply business requirements in respect of hardware matters

4.2. Determine and apply quality standards to the selection of appropriate hardware and associated peripherals

Required Skills

Required skills

Diagnosis of hardware problems

Ability to work safely, in respect of the specific hardware

Selection of appropriate hardware for a given situation

Problem solving skills

Communication and comprehension of basic workplace documents

Clear and precise communication

Ability to set up and maintain hardware

Interpretation of user manuals and help functions

Required knowledge

General OH&S principles and responsibilities

OH&S principles specific to equipment powered by mains electricity

Viruses, worms and other security issues

System hardware and associated peripherals functions

Potential environmental effects of common types of hardware

Importance of maintenance

Handling of high-impedance devices

Span of quality levels in common hardware

Software related to hardware operations

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

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

Evidence of the following is essential:

Assessment must ensure the ability to establish safe work practices, establish siting requirements for system hardware and associated peripheral devices, establish maintenance practices and determine appropriate hardware quality standards.

To demonstrate competency in this unit the learner will require access to:


Software and diagnostic tools

Records and reports

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Hardware encompasses all the physical connections that allow electronic communication to take place. Hardware is intertwined with software and this unit addresses software/hardware connections.

The breadth, depth and complexity of knowledge and skills in this competency would cover selecting, adapting and transferring skills and knowledge to new environments and providing technical advice and some leadership in resolution of specified problems. This would be applied across a range of roles in a variety of contexts with some complexity in the extent and choice of options available.

Assessment must ensure:

Performance of a defined range of skilled operations, usually within a range of broader related activities involving known routines, methods and procedures, where some discretion and judgement is required in the section of equipment, services or contingency measures and within known time constraints would be characteristic.

Applications may involve some responsibility for others. Participation in teams including group or team coordination may be involved.

Method of assessment

The purpose of this unit is to define the standard of performance to be achieved in the workplace. In undertaking training and assessment activities related to this unit, consideration should be given to the implementation of appropriate diversity and accessibility practices in order to accommodate people who may have special needs. Additional guidance on these and related matters is provided in ICA05 Section 1.

Competency in this unit should be assessed using summative assessment to ensure consistency of performance in a range of contexts. This unit can be assessed either in the workplace or in a simulated environment. However, simulated activities must closely reflect the workplace to enable full demonstration of competency.

Assessment will usually include observation of real or simulated work processes and procedures and/or performance in a project context as well as questioning on underpinning knowledge and skills. The questioning of team members, supervisors, subordinates, peers and clients where appropriate may provide valuable input to the assessment process. The interdependence of units for assessment purposes may vary with the particular project or scenario.

Guidance information for assessment

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

An individual demonstrating this competency would be able to:

Understand hardware related issues for safe and secure operation of electronic components

Demonstrate basic theoretical knowledge of hardware and software interoperability

Safely remove and replace hardware components

Conduct maintenance on hardware parts

Additionally, an individual demonstrating this competency would be able to:

Demonstrate some relevant theoretical knowledge

Apply a range of well-developed skills

Apply known solutions to a variety of predictable problems

Perform processes that require a range of well-developed skills where some discretion and judgement is required

Interpret available information, using discretion and judgement

Take responsibility for own outputs in work and learning

Communicate with team members to clarify job requirements

Take limited responsibility for the output of others

Maintain knowledge of industry products and services

Range Statement

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, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

OH&S standards may include:

correct posture


type of desk

type of monitor

style of chair

typing position

repetitive strain injury prevention


light position

correct lifting method

electrical safety

monitor time


Hardware may include but is not limited to:


personal computers

modems or other connectivity devices


DSL modems

remote sites


Environmental conditions may consist of but is not limited to:



extreme cold

temperature stability

air circulation


Business requirements may include:

cost and quality


industry standard components

capability for further system upgrades

Equipment may include but is not limited to:


personal computers

modems or other connectivity devices


hard drives

DSL modems




personal digital assistant (PDA)

other peripheral devices

Components may include:


CMOS battery

central processing unit (CPU)

CD and DVD drives

interface cards


fax/modem cards

RAM upgrades

CPU upgrades

Software may include but is not limited to:

commercial, in-house, packaged or customised software

Safe workpractices may include but are not limited to:

handling of mains electricity

handling of high-impedance devices

handling of hazardous material

System protection devices may include but are not limited to:

surge protection

uninterruptible power supplies

Peripherals may include but are not limited to:

Printers, scanners, tape cartridges

Speakers, multimedia equipment

Personal computer fax/modems

Input equipment may include mouse, touch pad, keyboard, pens

Mobile phones, palmtops and personal digital assistants (PDAs), laptops and desktop computers

Bluetooth devices, universal serial bus (USB), Firewire (IEEE 1394)

Maintenance may include:

on-site response

remote diagnostics

return to depot

Operating system may include but is not limited to:

Linux 6.0 or above

Windows 98 or above

Apple OS 8 or above


Unit sector


Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor