Course Title: Collect and classify plants

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2021

Course Code: BIOL5237C

Course Title: Collect and classify plants

School: 174T School of VE Engineering, Health & Science

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5367 - Diploma of Conservation and Land Management

Course Contact: Thierry Demathieu, Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 8359

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Seb Buckingham

Nominal Hours: 120

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to collect and identify plants using taxonomic keys.
It applies to individuals who analyse information and exercise judgement to complete a range of advanced skilled activities and demonstrate deep knowledge in a specific technical area. They have accountability for the work of others and analyse, design and communicate solutions to a range of complex problems. All work is carried out to comply with workplace procedures.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

AHCPCM502 Collect and classify plants


1. Prepare for plant collecting

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Confirm the purpose and objectives for collecting a range of plants 1.2 Define the area, location and habitat for collecting 1.3 Determine and prepare resources to assist in locating and identifying plants 1.4 Determine and prepare equipment required for collecting and preserving specimens 1.5 Obtain licences or permission to collect specimens from landowner or managing agency 1.6 Assess the range of likely operating conditions, hazards and difficult or sensitive environments for impact on collecting and preserving specimens 1.7 Identify work health and safety hazards associated with plant collecting, assess risks and implement controls


2. Collect plant specimens

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Observe collecting ethics when selecting specimens for picking 2.2 Enter into a field note book relevant information about the specimen, its characteristics and occurrence and note location coordinates 2.3 Confirm the specimen collected provides adequate material for identification and preserving 2.4 Tag and store specimens for later identification 2.5 Follow appropriate work health and safety requirements and work practices


3. Preserve specimens

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Preserve specimen while still fresh 3.2 Clean and prepare specimen for preserving 3.3 Preserve specimen using either pressing or drying techniques 3.4 Mount dried specimen and label with information from notebook


4. Identify plant specimen

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Use the relevant plant key to identify plant 4.2 Identify and document the basic characteristics of a plant 4.3 Confirm plant identity against botanical description of species 4.4 Document plant identity on label

Learning Outcomes

As per elements

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities include:
worksheets botanical drawings microscope work plant identification activities field trips

Teaching Schedule

Week No.

Week Starting


Learning activity



Cells – Intracellular Structure

Microscope, Drawing, Classification

1.In Class Assessment


Plant Structure (Flowering Plants, monocotyledon/dicotyledon

Video, Microscope, Drawing, Classification

1.In Class Assessment


Cell – Intracellular Structure

Making a model of animal cell and converting to plant cell

Analysing key characteristics/differences



Ecological Relationships (Eltham Copper Butterfly)


1.In Class Assessment

Andrew Yandell Reserve Banyule Council



Mosses, Ferns and Conifers

Identification, morphology, drawing

1.In Class Assessment


Wattles Family Fabaceae

Identification, morphology, drawing, using dichotomous plant keys

1.In Class Assessment



Identification, morphology, drawing

1.In Class Assessment


  1. Actinomorphic Zygomorphic Flowers and Leaf Morphology
  2. Preparing a Herbarium

Identification, morphology, drawing


Populate Job Safety Analysis worksheet for personnel collecting and classifying plants (work, health and safety)

Obtaining licenses or permissions; preparing a plant specimen using relevant equipment; conditions, hazards and sensitive environments; ethical considerations; collecting and preserving specimens

1. In Class Assessment


Mid Semester Break, no classes



Identification, morphology, drawing, using dichotomous plant keys

1.In Class Assessment


Maranoa Gardens (Balwyn)

Plant identification

1.In Class Assessment



Wonthaggi Fauna Camp

Vegetation and plant species survey for Wonthaggi Field Trip Report

2. Wonthaggi Field Trip Report (Fieldwork)


Wonthaggi Plant ID

Identification of specimens (leaves and flowers) selected by Assessor from Wonthaggi Field Trip




Identification, morphology, drawing

1.In Class Assessment



  1. Asteraceae, Lamiaceae
  2. Pea family Fabaceae (sub family

Identification, morphology, drawing, using dichotomous plant keys (Lamiaceae)

1. Submit In class Assessment Due

2. Wonthaggi Field Trip Report Due


Practice Dichotomous Key Test

4. Plant identification Test (Practice)



4. Plant identification Test

 (Dichotomous Key)

3.Herbarium Due

4. Plant identification Test Due


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

The required text book that must be purchased at the beginning of Semester is:

Costermans, L. F. 2009, Native trees and shrubs of south-eastern Australia, Reed New Holland Sydney

Overview of Assessment

Assessment in this course may include research assignments, written reports, quizzes, field trip work and plant collection & preservation (herbarium)

Assessment Tasks

Assessment 1.  In Class Practical (Week 16)

Assessment 2. Wonthaggi Field Trip Report (Week 14)

Assessment 3. Herbarium (Week 16)

Assessment 4. Plant identification Test (Week 16)

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

Credit Transfer and/or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
You may be eligible for credit towards courses in your program if you have already met the learning/competency outcomes through previous learning and/or industry experience. To be eligible for credit towards a course, you must demonstrate that you have already completed learning and/or gained industry experience that is:

  • Relevant
  • Current
  • Satisfies the learning/competency outcomes of the course

Please refer to to find more information about credit transfer and RPL.

Study Support: 

Study Support provides free learning and academic development advice to you. 
Services offered by Study Support to support your numeracy and literacy skills are: 

assignment writing, thesis writing and study skills advice 
maths and science developmental support and advice 
English language development 

Please Refer to find more information about Study and learning Support 

Equitable Learning Services (ELS):

If you are suffering from long-term medical condition or disability, you should contact Equitable Learning Services (ELS) to seek advice and support to complete your studies.
Please refer to to find more information about services offered by Equitable Learning Services (ELS).

Late submission: 

If you require an Extension of Submittable Work (assignments, reports or project work etc.) for 7 calendar days or less (from the original due date) and have valid reasons, you must complete and lodge an Application for Extension of Submittable Work (7 Calendar Days or less) form and lodge it with the Senior Educator/ Program Manager. 
The application must be lodged no later than one working day before the official due date. You will be notified within no more than 2 working days of the date of lodgment as to whether the extension has been granted. 
If you seek an Extension of Submittable Work for more than 7 calendar days (from the original due date) must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form under the provisions of the Special Consideration Policy, preferably prior to, but no later than 2 working days after the official due date. 

Submittable Work (assignments, reports or project work etc.) submitted late without approval of an extension will not be accepted or marked. 

Special consideration: 

Please Refer to find more information about special consideration 

Academic Integrity: 

"Academic integrity means acting with the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility in learning, teaching and research."

It means referencing the work of others while developing your own insights, knowledge and ideas.

Breaches of academic integrity include:

  • plagiarism and failure to correctly acknowledge sources
  • contract cheating or paying/getting another person to prepare an assignment
  • submitting work prepared by another person
  • copying other people’s work
  • cheating in exams
  • breaching the Research Code
  • using unauthorised materials or devices

Please Refer: to find more information about plagiarism. 

Other Information: 

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT email address and you must regularly check your RMIT emails.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview