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MSMWHS216 Operate breathing apparatus

Information about the course:

This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required to operate and maintain breathing apparatus and equipment in an irrespirable atmosphere, as defined by Australian Standards.

This unit of competency applies to an individual working alone or as part of a team or group and working in liaison with other shift team members and the control room operator, as appropriate.

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

Target audience:

This competency applies to operators who are required to wear breathing apparatus for part of their job - because they are working in a confined space, with hazardous gases/vapours, in an oxygen deficient atmosphere or for other applications requiring the wearing of breathing apparatus. They may also be required to wear it in emergency situations, however this is not the prime focus of this unit, and so makes this unit different from PUAFIR207A Operate breathing apparatus open circuit, as it has no prerequisite and is much broader in its application.


There are no prerequisites for this unit. However Australian standards requires no beards or other such issues that  allow the operator of the mask not to be be fully protective in an unsafe enviroment.

Award issued:

Students who successfully complete this nationally recognised training will be awarded the statement of attainment:  

  • MSMWHS216 Operate breathing apparatus

Course duration:

  • Full course: 7 hours face-to-face
  • Refresher course: 7 hours face-to-face

Pre course study options:

 There is no pre course study required for this course.

Related Course Documentation

What should I look for when choosing a training provider?

The Australian Skills and Qualifications Authority (ASQA) has developed a fact sheet to help you to be fully informed about your decision to enrol into a course. This information can be found by clicking here

A copy of the Student Agreement should be read before enrolling in this course.

What are my rights and responsibilties as a student?

The Australian Skills and Qualification Authority (ASQA) requires that students be aware of their rights and responsibilities once they have selected their training provider. By enrolling into any of our courses you are deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions outlined in our Student Agreement 

All students will be required to show proof of identification at the commencement of the course.

(MSMWHS216) What skills and knowledge will I get from this course?

Performance Evidence

Evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to and satisfy the requirements of the elements and performance criteria and must include the ability to:

  • conduct pre-donning tests on breathing apparatus
  • correctly don and operate breathing apparatus
  • identify hazards and apply control measures according to procedures
  • communicate while using breathing apparatus
  • determine the available working time from a breathing apparatus set
  • correctly close down, remove and clean breathing apparatus
  • report faults and/or damage to breathing apparatus.


Knowledge Evidence

Evidence must be provided that demonstrates knowledge of:

  • the effects of irrespirable atmospheres on the body and the need for protective equipment
  • characteristics, component parts, operation of compressed air breathing apparatus
  • operational testing, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and safe work practices when wearing breathing apparatus
  • use of procedures, personal lines and tallies
  • pre-use tests and checks
  • breathing apparatus control
  • entrapment procedures
  • communications while wearing breathing apparatus.


(MSMWHS216) How will I be assessed for this course?

The following assessment tasks are required for this course:

  • Theory Questions consisting of multiple choice and short answer questions
  • Performance Tasks
  • Practical Scenarios

(MSMWHS216) Where can I access a copy of the training package?

 You can access the training package here