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TLIL807C Complete

routine
administrative tasks
Learner Guide
Contents
What this Learner’s Guide is about ........................................ 1  
Planning your learning ........................................................... 2  
How you will be assessed ...................................................... 5  

Section 1............................................................................................. 7  
Handling mail ......................................................................... 7  

Section 2........................................................................................... 25  
Communicating and storing information............................... 25  

Additional resources ....................................................................... 35  

Feedback on activities .................................................................... 37  


TLIL807C Complete routine administrative tasks

What this Learner’s Guide is about

This  Learner’s  Guide  is  about  the  skills  and  knowledge  required  to  
complete  routine  administrative  activities  in  a  transport,  warehousing,  
distribution  and/or  storage  workplace,  including  receiving  and  
distributing  incoming  mail,  receiving  and  despatching  outgoing  mail,  
filing  documents,  and  receiving  and  relaying  written  and  oral  
messages.  

The  Elements  of  Competency  from  the  unit  TLIL807C  Complete  routine  
administrative  tasks  covered  in  this  Learner’s  Guide  are  listed  below.  

Receive  and  distribute  incoming  mail  

Receive  and  despatch  outgoing  mail  

File  documents  

Receive  and  relay  written  and  oral  messages  

This  unit  of  competency  is  from  the  Transport  and  Logistics  Training  
Package  (TLI07).  

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Planning your learning

It  is  important  to  plan  your  learning  before  you  start  because  you  may  
already  have  some  of  the  knowledge  and  skills  that  are  covered  in  this  
Learner’s  Guide.  This  might  be  because:  
• you  have  been  working  in  the  industry  for  some  time,  
and/or  
• you  have  already  completed  training  in  this  area.  

Together  with  your  supervisor  or  trainer  use  the  checklists  on  the  
following  pages  to  help  you  plan  your  study  program.  Your  answers  to  
the  questions  in  the  checklist  will  help  you  work  out  which  sections  of  
this  Learner’s  Guide  you  need  to  complete.  

This  Learner’s  Guide  is  written  with  the  idea  that  learning  is  made  more  
relevant  when  you,  the  learner,  are  actually  working  in  the  industry.  
This  means  that  you  will  have  people  within  the  enterprise  who  can  
show  you  things,  discuss  how  things  are  done  and  answer  any  
questions  you  have.  Also  you  can  practise  what  you  learn  and  see  how  
what  you  learn  is  applied  in  the  enterprise.  

If  you  are  working  through  this  Learner’s  Guide  and  have  not  yet  found  
a  job  in  the  industry,  you  will  need  to  talk  to  your  trainer  about  doing  
work  experience  or  working  and  learning  in  some  sort  of  simulated  
workplace.    

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Section 1: Receive and distribute incoming mail

Are  you  able  to:   Yes   No  


1. check  and  register  incoming  mail  to  
ensure  accuracy  of  records?        
2. promptly  identify  and  distribute  urgent  and  
confidential  mail  to  the  addressee?        
3. sort  and  dispatch  mail  to  nominated  
person/location?        
4. record  damaged,  suspicious  or  missing  
items  and  report  these  where  necessary  in  
accordance  with  workplace  procedures?        

Section 2: Receive and despatch outgoing mail

Are  you  able  to:   Yes   No  


1. collect  outgoing  mail  from  required  
sections  of  the  organisation,  check  and  
sort  this  mail  to  ensure  all  items  are  
correctly  prepared  for  despatch?        
2. collate,  record  in  the  register  (where  
applicable)  and  correctly  despatch  mail  to  
meet  designated  timelines?        

Section 3: File documents

Are  you  able  to:   Yes   No  


1. classify,  sort  and  file  documents  in  
accordance  with  workplace  procedures?        
2. refer  classification  uncertainties  to  other  
personnel  in  accordance  with  workplace  
procedures?        
3. identify  and  retrieve  documents?        
4. locate  specified  files/records  within  
designated  timelines?        
5. extract  located  files  from  system  and  
despatch  to  the  nominated  person?          

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6. follow  security  and  confidentiality  


procedures?        

Section 4: Receive and relay written and oral


messages

Are  you  able  to:   Yes   No  


1. receive  and  accurately  record  messages?        
2. clarify  areas  of  uncertainty  with  conveyor  
of  the  message?        
3. relay  messages  to  the  nominated  person  
within  designated  timelines?        

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How you will be assessed

Assessment  of  this  Unit  of  Competency  will  include  observation  of  real  
or  simulated  work  processes  using  workplace  procedures  and  
questioning  on  underpinning  knowledge  and  skills.  It  must  be  
demonstrated  in  an  actual  or  simulated  work  situation  under  
supervision.  

You  will  be  required  to:  


• process  incoming  and  outgoing  mail  according  to  company  
procedures  
• use  the  filing  system  to  file  and  retrieve  documents  
• take  and  pass  on  messages  accurately  to  others  in  the  
workplace.  

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Section 1

Handling mail

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Section outline

Areas  covered  in  this  section  


Handling  mail  including:  
− incoming  mail  
− outgoing  mail  
− following  workplace  procedures  for  mail  
− completing  required  records  of  mail  movements  

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How do you handle mail within your workplace?

What is the system for handling incoming mail?

The  arrival  of  email  was  predicted  to  be  the  end  of  mail  in  the  form  of  
letters.    This  has  not  proved  to  be  the  case  for  a  number  of  reasons:  
• documents  requiring  a  signature,  and  usually  connected  to  
business  transactions,  cannot  be  emailed  
• small  parcels  still  require  posting  
• specialised  services  have  been  developed  for  priority  
postage  (e.g.  Express  Post  where  there  is  guaranteed  next  
day  delivery  to  capital  cities)  
• some  people  prefer  hand  writing  material  
• despite  a  high  level  of  computer  ownership  across  
Australia,  many  computer  users  do  not  have  email  access  
• the  highly  developed  infrastructure  for  mail  already  in  
existence  (e.g.  the  number  of  post  boxes  around  suburbs  
and  towns)  
• company  and  government  regulations  that  require  
financial  documents  (invoices,  receipts,  etc)  to  be  in  paper  
based  form  rather  than  electronic.  

Some  experts  predict  that  email  will  become  less  popular  as  the  
amount  of  junk  email  grows  (also  known  as  ‘Spam’).  

Mail  continues  to  be  a  popular  way  of  communicating  information.    


This  unit  will  look  at  both  electronic  mail  and  paper  based  mail.  

Consider  a  one-­‐person  business.    In  that  business,  all  mail  will  be  for  
that  person  unless  it  has  been  delivered  to  the  wrong  address  or  
delivered  to  an  address  incorrectly  written  on  the  envelope.    As  the  
business  grows,  so  will  the  volume  of  mail.    The  volume  of  incoming  
and  outgoing  mail  generated  by  a  business  of  100  people  is  large  and  
necessitates  specialised  systems  to  manage  efficiently.  

Paper  based  mail  will  be  considered  first.    The  starting  point  for  mail  is  
a  post  box  at  the  post  office,  some  sort  of  mailbox  or  hand  delivery  to  
the  reception  counter.    Where  a  post  office  box  is  used,  someone  has  
to  collect  the  mail  and  bring  it  back  to  the  workplace.  

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The  next  job  will  be  to  sort  the  mail.    Some  businesses  will  have  a  sign  
on  the  letterbox  or  an  arrangement  with  the  post  office  that  means  
that  ‘unaddressed  or  unsolicited  mail’  is  not  wanted.    This  is  a  way  of  
trying  to  limit  the  volume  of  unwanted  mail  arriving  at  the  workplace  
that  has  not  been  requested  by  the  company.      

Company  policy  may  include  a  statement  that  personal  mail  is  not  to  
be  sent  to  the  workplace.    While  this  policy  is  in  place,  the  sender  may  
not  know  that  this  policy  is  in  place.    As  the  sorter,  you  will  have  to  
know  what  to  do  in  this  instance.    Options  might  include:  
• passing  the  letter  on  to  the  addressee  on  the  envelope  
• forwarding  the  mail  to  a  manager  who  then  speaks  to  the  
person  receiving  the  personal  mail  
• returning  to  sender.  

Again,  company  policy  will  outline  what  you  are  expected  to  do  with  
personal  mail.  

In  larger  offices,  the  mail  may  be  opened  at  a  central  point,  sorted  and  
registered.    Part  of  the  sorting  process  may  involve  deciding  whom  the  
appropriate  person  is  to  pass  the  letter  on  to.    Registration  will  include  
details  of:  
• addressee  (person  to  whom  the  letter  is  addressed)  
• sender  
• date  of  receipt  
• subject  matter.  

For  example,  imagine  a  letter  arrives  at  a  transport  company  


advertising  cheap  insurance  for  public  liability  and  worker’s  
compensation.    Insurance  matters  would  probably  be  handled  by  a  
Human  Resources  manager  or  the  manager  if  there  is  no  dedicated  
person  for  this  function.    The  entry  in  the  register  might  be  as  follows:  

 
MAIL  REGISTER  FOR  ACE  INDUSTRIES  
Date   Addressee   Recipient   Sender   Subject  matter  
30/03/03   Manager   Rose  Porter   General  &   Insurance  rates  for  
(HR   Life   Public  Liability  and  
Manager)   Insurance  P/L   Worker’s  Comp.  

The  purpose  of  the  register  is  to  keep  a  record  of  what  is  received,  
when  it  was  received,  to  whom  is  was  addressed  and  who  the  letter  
was  passed  on  to,  and  what  the  letter  related  to.    The  record  could  be  

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used  in  the  future  to  check  whether  a  particular  piece  of  
correspondence  was  received.      

For  instance,  imagine  a  company  advertised  a  position  with  a  closing  


date  of  close  of  business  14/5/03.    After  the  position  is  filled,  an  
applicant  claims  that  the  process  was  unfair  as  this  person  was  not  
interviewed  and  felt  that  they  had  the  experience  and  qualifications  
called  for  in  the  position  description  for  the  job.    Further  questioning  
reveals  that  the  applicant  sent  their  application  by  letter.    The  register  
shows  that  the  application  was  received  on  16/5/03,  two  days  late.    The  
applicant  can  be  shown  the  register  as  proof  that  their  application  
could  not  be  considered  as  it  was  after  the  due  date.    

Once  mail  is  registered,  it  needs  to  be  distributed  within  the  
organisation.    For  larger  organisations,  the  system  often  used  is  to  
have  ‘pigeon  holes’  or  boxes  with  each  staff  members  name  and  space  
to  put  in  external  mail  and  internal  communications.    The  responsibility  
is  then  in  the  hands  of  each  staff  member  to  check  for  mail.  

In  smaller  organisations,  mail  may  be  then  delivered  to  each  person.    A  
potential  problem  can  be  where  the  person  is  not  at  their  desk  or  
workstation  when  the  distributor  (yourself)  comes  around  with  the  
mail.    Alternatively,  if  all  staff  members  come  past  the  reception  desk  
or  front  counter,  the  mail  might  be  held  there  and  passed  to  each  
person  as  they  pass  the  front  counter.      

The  actual  system  used  will  depend  on:  


• size  of  the  organisation  
• layout  of  the  buildings  
• volume  of  mail  received  
• policies  and  procedures  in  place.  

The  tools  you  will  need  to  sort  mail  will  include:  
• policies  and  procedures  for  handling  incoming  mail  
• list  of  personnel  and  functions  
• register  for  mail  (if  applicable).  

Mail  may  be  marked  “ATTENTION’  or  “URGENT’.    If  you  receive  mail  
marked  like  this,  you  obviously  need  to  bring  this  to  the  attention  of  
the  recipient.    You  might  do  this  by:  
• placing  in  pigeon  hole  of  that  person  and  sending  an  email  
or  making  a  phone  call  to  inform  them  and  personally  
deliver  to  the  person.  

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A  good  strategy  is  to  have  some  record  that  you  passed  on  the  item  as  
soon  as  possible  so  that  if  the  recipient  is  slow  to  respond,  the  
problem  is  not  seen  as  your  lack  of  attention  to  detail.  

Incoming  mail  systems  are  investigated  in  the  first  activity.  

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Activity 1: Incoming mail systems

Discuss with your trainer the system used for incoming mail.
Summarise what you are required to do including what you have to
do in relation to:
• personal mail
• unsolicited mail
• recording mail received including what details are required to
be recorded
• ‘junk’ mail
• urgent items of mail
• mail received that is incorrectly addressed to your company
• mail received for persons no longer with the company
• mail addressed to the company rather than anyone in particular
or mail addressed to a function (e.g. ‘Marketing Manager’) that
does not exist within your company.

Use the answers to the following questions to help you describe the
system for handling mail:

Provide details in your response of the tools you use to assist you
with mail sorting and distribution;
• what tools do you have to assist you with mail sorting and
distribution?
• where do you put mail once it is sorted and registered?
• how does each person get his or her mail once it is sorted and
registered?
• does your company have a post office box (if so, who goes an
gets the mail?), letterbox or have mail delivered to a front
counter?

There is feedback on this activity at the back of this Learner’s


Guide.

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In  2002,  following  the  World  Trade  Centre  bombing  in  USA,  companies  
were  forced  to  consider  the  possibility  of  mail  being  used  by  terrorists  
to  spread  diseases  such  as  anthrax  which  is  potentially  fatal  to  
humans.    Mail  sorters  and  those  handling  incoming  mail  were  warned  
to  be  on  the  lookout  for  suspicious  parcels  and  letters  that  appear  to  
contain  a  white,  dry  powdery  substance.      

Other  indicators  include:  


• was  the  parcel  or  letter  expected?  
• does  the  company  know  the  sender?  

Some  organisations,  such  as  government  offices,  issue  mail  sorters  


with  disposable  latex  gloves  to  protect  employees  from  potential  
harm  in  such  situations.  

On  receipt  of  any  suspicious  parcel  or  letter,  the  following  actions  are  
recommended:  
• do  not  panic  
• do  not  smell,  touch  or  open  the  item  
• move  away  from  the  item  and  alert  others  to  stay  away  
from  the  item  
• notify  the  authorities  (police  and  management)  
• turn  off  circulating  fans,  air  conditioning,  etc  to  prevent  
possible  spread  through  the  air  
• do  not  attempt  to  wash  off  or  disperse  the  substance  
• wait  for  authorities  to  arrive.  

The  danger  from  anthrax  spore  is  through  inhalation,  ingestion  or  
entry  of  spore  through  cuts  or  eyes.    

The  Australian  Comcare  web  site  at  http://www.comcare.gov.au  


provides  useful  information  in  relation  to  this  topic.  

Similar  procedures  should  be  followed  for  parcels  suspected  of  being  
dangerous  such  as  letter  bombs.    While  the  possibility  of  situations  
such  as  these  arising  is  not  very  high,  organisations  should  be  prepared  
and  have  relevant  policies  and  procedures  and  provide  adequate  
training  for  dealing  with  these  events.    

You  may  also  be  required  to  report  damaged  parcels  and  letters,  
particularly  where  an  insurance  claim  will  be  made  for  damaged  goods.    
Generally,  the  carrier  (Auspost  or  transport  company)  will  be  required  
to  replace,  credit  or  otherwise  reimburse  your  company  in  this  event.    

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Your  own  workplace’s  system  for  such  parcels  is  looked  at  in  the  next  
activity.  

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Activity 2: Reporting suspicious and damaged items

Talk to your supervisor, your trainer and other relevant staff in your
organisation to determine what policies and procedures exist for
dealing with suspicious parcels and letters and for reporting
damaged parcels and letters. Summarise your findings in the
space below.
________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

There is feedback on this activity at the back of this Learner’s


Guide.

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What is the system for handling emailed and


faxed correspondence?

With  the  introduction  of  email  and  fax,  many  messages  are  now  sent  
via  these  means.    Because  email  is  sent  almost  instantly,  the  sender  of  
the  email  may  expect  an  immediate  response.    The  same  speed  of  
response  is  not  always  expected  with  faxes  as  your  company  may  have  
only  one  fax  machine  and  that  could  be  away  from  your  desk  or  work  
area.  

Email  can  be  stored  in  files  and  retrieved  at  any  point.    The  list  of  
received  emails  also  contains  the  date  and  time  of  receipt  of  email,  the  
sender  and  a  given  subject  line  (which  may  or  may  not  reflect  or  
describe  the  contents  of  the  email).    In  this  way,  a  register  is  created  
similar  to  the  mail  register  described  for  letters  and  parcels.    As  with  
the  register,  this  can  be  used  to  show  that  a  particular  piece  of  
correspondence  was  received  or  not  or  when  the  email  was  received.  

With  faxes,  a  printout  can  be  made  of  faxes  received  and  sent.    The  
level  of  detail  provided  by  this  printout  is:  
• time  and  date  
• fax  number  of  recipient  of  fax.  

Note  that  the  sender  is  not  identified  nor  is  the  contents.    Some  
organisations  will  have  a  fax  register  for  users  to  indicate  their  name  
and  the  contents  of  the  fax.    Fax  has  the  advantage  of  transmitting  
exactly  what  has  been  sent.    So,  a  document  can  be  written  on,  a  
drawing  added,  text  from  another  source  added  without  retyping  (just  
stuck  on  with  tape,  etc).    With  faxes,  what  you  send  is  what  your  
addressee  receives.    At  the  same  time,  anyone  coming  past  the  fax  is  
able  to  see  what  has  been  sent.  

Similarly  to  mail,  your  company  may  have  developed  an  email  policy.    
This  could  cover  similar  aspects  to  a  mail  policy.    A  comparison  of  what  
can  be  contained  in  mail  and  email  policies  is  useful:  

© Australian National Training Authority 2003 Page 17


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Policy  area   Relevant  in   Relevant  in   Comments  


mail  policy   email  policy  

Personal          
mail/use  

Damaged      Not    
mail   applicable  

Suspicious         In  case  of  email,  applies  


items   to  emails  that  may  
contain  viruses    

Urgent         Email  is  sent  direct  to  


items   recipient  with  no  
sorting  process  

Register         For  mail,  if  established;  


with  email  is  automatic  

Unsolicited         Email  filters  can  be  used  


items   to  delete  ‘spam’  or  junk  
email  as  it  arrives  

General      Addresses   Company  may  have  


items  for   are  for   general  email  address  
company   recipients   for  inquiries.    Can  be  
not   only   forwarded  instantly  to  
individual   relevant  person  

Confidential         All  emails  are  


mail   confidential  in  the  
sense  of  going  straight  
to  addressee  but  access  
can  be  gained  via  
administrator  

In  the  next  activity,  email  and  mail  policies  in  your  workplace  are  
investigated.  

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Activity 3: Email and fax use policy

Talk to your trainer and other relevant staff in your organisation to


determine what policies and procedures are in place within your
workplace for use of email. Compare the policy and procedures to
the mail policy in place. Summarise your findings in the space
below.
________________________________________________________________

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Does your company have any policies on use of the fax machine?

There is feedback on this activity at the back of this Learner’s


Guide.

© Australian National Training Authority 2003 Page 19


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What is the system for handling outgoing mail?

As  the  person  responsible  for  incoming  mail,  you  will  probably  also  
have  responsibilities  for  handling  outgoing  mail.    This  could  include:  
• letters  
• parcels  (smaller  items  that  are  not  handled  internally  and  
are  sent  via  bicycle  or  motor-­‐bike  courier  or  other  external  
courier).  

The  system  for  handling  letters  or  mail,  will  involve:  


• collecting  the  mail  
• working  out  the  postage  required  
• affixing  stamps  (or  franking  or  sorting  for  post  office  
stamping)  
• taking  mail  to  post  office.  

Mail  might  be  placed  in  a  box  or  given  directly  to  you,  depending  on  
the  size  of  the  company  that  you  work  in  and  company  procedures.      

Postal  rates  are  available  on  the  Auspost  web  site  at  
http://www.auspost.com.au/.    Postal  rates  depend  on  weight  and  size  
of  envelope.    A  set  of  scales  is  useful  for  weighing  parcels  and  a  ‘letter  
gauge’  is  available  from  Auspost  to  help  determine  postal  rates  based  
on  envelope  size.    

When  you  are  asked  to  arrange  express  delivery  of  a  letter  or  parcel,  
Auspost  has  available  a  service  for  next  day  delivery  of  mail  and  small  
parcels  (such  as  CD  ROMs,  tapes,  samples)  to  capital  cities.    This  is  
called  Express  Post.    Details  are  available  through  the  Auspost  web  site  
or  from  a  local  Post  Office.  

Your  collection  of  resources  and  tools  should  include  the  rates  and  
contact  numbers  for  couriers  suited  to  the  types  of  parcels  you  need  
to  send  out.    The  Yellow  Pages  is  a  useful  resource  for  locating  
couriers.    Your  company  may  have  a  preferred  courier  based  on  
positive  experience.  

Some  companies  have  a  ‘franking  machine’  that  imprints  the  postage  


that  you  have  calculated  and  is  read  by  Auspost  and  charged  to  your  
company’s  account.    These  machines  are  less  common  than  they  used  
to  be.    In  smaller  offices,  postage  stamps  will  be  purchased  in  bulk  (a  
roll  of  100)  and  fixed  to  letters  and  parcels.    A  third  alternative  is  that  
the  letters  are  sorted  into  bundles  according  to  expected  postage,  
taken  to  the  Post  Office  and  stamps  purchased  as  required.  

Page 20 © Australian National Training Authority 2003


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Your  company  may  also  require  that  you  record  all  outgoing  mail  so  
that,  if  a  customer  makes  a  claim  that  an  item  was  not  received,  the  
problem  can  be  tracked  back  to  check  that  it  actually  left  your  
company.    The  details  recorded  will  probably  include:  
• sender  
• date  
• addressee  (person  to  whom  letter  or  parcel  is  sent)  
• description  of  item  
• reference  number  
• delivery  mode  (courier,  Express  Post,  ordinary  mail,  etc).  

The  postage  of  dangerous  and  hazardous  goods,  including  sending  


such  items  overseas,  is  governed  by  a  separate  set  of  regulations.    
Parcels  sent  overseas  require  a  Customs  declaration  that  lists  the  
goods  contained  in  the  parcel  and  the  value  of  those  goods.    This  
requires  a  signature  on  a  sticker  that  is  then  affixed  to  the  parcel.    
Certain  goods  cannot  be  sent  by  air  such  as  explosives,  aerosol  cans  or  
those  with  gas  as  a  propellant,  combustible  or  highly  flammable  
material.    Further  details  of  substances  that  are  not  allowed  to  be  sent  
by  air,  are  available  from  a  Post  Office.  

The  Dangerous  Goods  Act  also  governs  the  sending  of  certain  goods  
within  Australia.    Goods  that  fall  within  this  category  must  be  clearly  
labelled  with  the  appropriate  signage  detailing  the  type  of  goods  being  
sent  including  goods  that  are:  
• corrosive    
• flammable  
• oxidizing  agents  (are  not  flammable  but  readily  support  
combustion  or  burning  of  other  materials)  
• poisonous  
• radioactive.  

Check  with  others  in  the  workplace  if  you  are  unsure  of  the  regulations  
for  sending  such  materials.    You  may  get  assistance  from:  
• your  trainer  
• OHS  officers  within  the  company  
• Post  Office  
• Customs  
• WorkSafe  or  other  government  agency  for  OHS.  

© Australian National Training Authority 2003 Page 21


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Activity 4: Handling outgoing mail

Talk to your trainer about the system you are expected to follow for
outgoing mail. Summarise this system below and make sure that
you answer the questions listed.
• are personal items allowed to be included in the outgoing mail
(already stamped)?
• how is the mail collected and passed on to you?
• do you have to record all outgoing mail? If so, what details are
recorded?
• what tools and resources do you have to help you determine
postage for individual items (scales, ‘letter gauge’, price lists,
contact details and rates for couriers)?
________________________________________________________________

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________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

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________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

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________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

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________________________________________________________________

There is feedback on this activity at the back of this Learner’s


Guide.

Page 22 © Australian National Training Authority 2003


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Activity 5: Special classes of mail

Talk to your trainer about any goods that are subject to the
Customs Act or Dangerous Goods Act. Find out if these sort of
goods are likely to be sent out from your company. Answer the
questions listed below as part of your research.
• what goods are handled by your company that are classified as
dangerous or hazardous goods?
• does your company send any goods overseas?
• what procedures do you have to follow when sending out
dangerous or hazardous goods or sending parcels overseas?
________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

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________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

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________________________________________________________________

There is feedback on this activity at the back of this Learner’s


Guide.

© Australian National Training Authority 2003 Page 23


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Page 24 © Australian National Training Authority 2003


ADELG1049 Customised and developed by Armstrong’s Driver Education Pty Ltd October 2008
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Section 2

Communicating and storing


information

© Australian National Training Authority 2003 Page 25


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Section outline

Areas  covered  in  this  section  


Communicating  and  storing  information  including:  
− filing  business  information  
− retrieving  business  information  from  files  
− receiving  and  relaying  oral  messages  

Page 26 © Australian National Training Authority 2003


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How do you communicate and store business


information?

What is the system in your workplace for filing


business information?

The  files  in  your  workplace  will  contain  a  variety  of  business  
information  that  is  useful  to  your  company’s  business.    This  might  
include:  
• business  history  such  as  contracts  
• financial  information  
• product  information  including  that  of  rivals  
• useful  resources  
• correspondence  
• Standard  Operating  Procedures  (SOPs),  other  procedures,  
training  and  induction  material  
• pricing  and  fee  schedules  
• relevant  legislation,  regulations  and  procedures.  

This  list  is  a  sample  of  what  your  workplace  stores.    Some  of  this  
information  will  be  located  in  other  areas  or  with  specialist  personnel  
such  as  financial  information  that  is  stored  in  the  accounts  section  of  
your  workplace.    In  smaller  offices,  your  role  may  also  involve  finances  
and  your  files  will  include  this  type  of  business  information.  

A  good  filing  system  allows  for:  


• easy  retrieval  of  required  information  
• minimising  ‘useless’,  irrelevant  and  out  of  date  information  
• security  of  confidential  documents  such  as  personnel  
records  
• systematic  storage  so  that  related  information  is  stored  
together.  

You  have  probably  ‘inherited’  a  filing  system  or  someone  else  in  the  
workplace  has  designed  the  system  or  has  overall  management  of  the  
system.    In  this  case,  your  responsibility  will  be  to  use  the  system  to  file  
and  extract  business  information.  

© Australian National Training Authority 2003 Page 27


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TLIL807C Complete routine administrative tasks

As  most  offices  are  equipped  with  computers,  the  filing  system  will  link  
with  information  storage  in  electronic  format  as  files.    Some  
companies  store  both  an  electronic  copy  of  business  documents  and  
information  and  a  paper-­‐based  or  hard  copy.    Where  this  is  not  
company  policy  or  practice,  the  paper-­‐based  system  will  store  
documents  received  in  paper-­‐based  format  and  documents  that  have  
been  produced  within  your  workplace  but  have  additions  to  them  such  
as  a  signature  in  the  case  of  a  contract  or  agreement.  

In  order  to  understand  the  system  that  is  in  use,  you  will  need  to  find  
out  what  types  of  information  are  stored  and  under  what  broad  
categories.  

If  every  piece  of  information  were  kept  forever,  the  filing  system  
would  soon  become  too  large.    Two  processes  are  used  to  manage  a  
filing  system:  
• archiving  
• sorting  and  destroying.  

The  second  process  –  sorting  and  destroying,  may  be  undertaken  in  
conjunction  with  archiving.    Some  information  becomes  out  of  date  or  
no  longer  relevant  and  can  be  removed  from  the  system.    Other  
information  may  become  useful  or  may  be  required  to  be  kept  fro  a  
period  of  time,  according  to  a  regulation  or  legislation.    This  
information  is  archived  –  put  into  boxes  and  stored,  either  on  the  
premises  (in  a  storeroom,  etc.)  or  with  a  specialist  company  that  stores  
archived  material.      

Your  company  will  have  procedures  in  place  for  storage  of  ‘useful  but  
not  immediately  wanted  information’  or  information  that  is  required  to  
be  stored  for  a  period  of  time  such  as  financial  and  tax  records.  
Some  information  will  be  confidential  such  as:  
• personnel  details  
• personal  details  (home  addresses  and  phone  numbers,  
etc.)  
• tax  records  
• financial  information  
• company  business  history  
• contracts.  

Confidential  information  may  be  protected  via  locked  filing  cabinets,  


locked  storage  rooms  or  similar  security  measures.    For  electronic  
records,  a  password  is  used  to  prevent  access  to  those  not  permitted  
to  view  this  information.  

Page 28 © Australian National Training Authority 2003


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Within  each  ‘chunk’  of  filed  information,  an  ordered  or  systematic  
process  needs  to  be  followed  so  that  information  can  be  readily  
retrieved.  For  instance,  contracts  may  be  filed  by  date  or  by  the  name  
of  the  company  or  individual  with  whom  the  contract  is  made;  
correspondence  may  be  filed  according  to  the  subject  of  the  
correspondence,  the  sender  of  the  correspondence  or  again  by  date.  

Where  a  number  of  team  members  are  filing  information  into  a  


common  filing  system  or  in  larger  workplaces,  the  system  may  include  
a  file  register.    As  a  new  file  is  created  or  as  entries  are  made  into  a  file,  
the  person  filing  the  information  will  be  required  to  list  the  information  
filed.    The  register  might  include:  
• date  
• person  entering  information  into  file  or  creating  a  new  file  
• details  of  information  being  filed  
• physical  location  of  file  
• expected  lifetime  for  use  of  this  file  (especially  of  required  
to  be  kept  for  a  period  of  time  according  to  legislation  or  
regulations).  

The  file  register  allows  others  to  locate  a  file  that  may  be  misfiled  or  be  
capable  of  being  filed  in  a  number  of  places.    For  example,  a  letter  
from  a  contractor  seeking  a  contract  variation  may  be  filed  in  a  
correspondence  file,  under  the  contract  or  under  contract  variations.  

The  design  of  your  workplace’s  information  filing  system  is  the  focus  
of  the  next  activity.  

© Australian National Training Authority 2003 Page 29


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Activity 6: The system behind the filing system

Discuss with your trainer and others in your work area, how the
filing system is designed. Summarise your findings in the space
below. Answer the questions listed to help you find out about the
system used in your workplace.
• what are the main types of information stored?
• how do the filing system and the computer system connect for
information storage?
• how is confidential information protected in the filing system?
• when does the system get cleaned out or material archived?
who is responsible for this?
• to whom do you refer problems with filing when you are unsure
of the correct filing location?
• does your company have a file register? if so, how does this
assist in locating information? if not, why is this not part of the
filing system?
________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

There is feedback on this activity at the back of this Learner’s


Guide.

Page 30 © Australian National Training Authority 2003


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TLIL807C Complete routine administrative tasks

“Can you please take a message”?

Part  of  your  role  will  include  taking  messages  for  others.    Messages  
might  also  include:  
• customers  and  visitors  arriving  at  your  work  station  or  
desk  
• phone  callers  
• fellow  team  members  and  those  from  other  areas  of  the  
business.    

While  taking  messages  for  others  may  be  a  nuisance,  particularly  if  you  
are  busy  or  there  seems  to  be  an  endless  stream  of  callers,  message  
taking  is  an  important  part  of  communication  with  customers  and  
across  your  organisation.    A  message  lost  could  mean  a  loss  of  an  
important  piece  of  business  or  losing  an  important  client.  

Message  pads  are  available  commercially  through  stationery  suppliers.    


The  features  of  these  might  include:  
• caller  
• intended  receiver  of  message  
• date  and  time  (some  have  a  clock  face  for  indicating  time  
of  call)  
• caller’s  telephone  number  or  contact  details  
• content  of  message  
• if  message  is  urgent  
• your  initials  or  signature  as  the  message  taker  
• tear  off  messages  with  carbon  copy  for  your  records  (not  
included  in  all  commercially  available  memo  pads)  
• ‘quick  messages’  such  as  at  below  right:  
 
 
MESSAGE DATE: / /
  TIME: ………… AM/PM
TO: …………………………………… TEL: …………………
  FROM: ……………………………….. URGENT
DETAILS: …………………………….
 
………………………………………… Telephoned
  ………………………………………… Will ring back
  ………………………………………… Please ring
………………………………………… Called in
 
SIGNED:

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These  types  of  message  pads  include  the  main  features  of  the  message  
so  that  the  receiver  of  the  message  can  get  back  to  the  person  without  
having  to  search  for  a  phone  number,  or  worse  ignore  the  message  as  
there  is  no  way  of  getting  back  to  the  person.  

With  emails,  messages  can  be  typed  directly  into  an  email  and  sent  
immediately  to  the  person  for  whom  the  message  is  required.    Email  
can  also  remove  the  need  for  message  taking  as  the  sender  can  email  
their  message  directly  to  the  intended  receiver  of  the  message  without  
going  through  a  receptionist  or  third  person.  

When  taking  oral  messages,  it  is  good  practice  to  repeat  back  essential  
details  to  make  sure  you  have  taken  the  message  correctly.    You  may  
have  to  summarise  the  message,  so  checking  the  message  can  prevent  
miscommunication.      

A  small  Case  Study  follows  for  you  to  complete.  

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Activity 7: Message taking

You pick up the phone and the following conversation occurs:

CALLER: “I’d like to speak to Robin Cloak”.

YOURSELF: “I’m sorry but Mr Cloak is not in at present, he left for


the warehouse about 5 minutes ago.”

CALLER: “Are you sure?”

YOURSELF: “Yes. I checked my watch as he left at 11.45 am,


because I’m expecting a visitor for Ms Trott at 12.00 noon and she
is also out at present.”

CALLER: “OK, this is Brad Miner from Pittsville Press ringing about
the order he placed. Can you leave him a message that the
calendars are printed. Oh, so are his business cards and the
letterhead and the wall posters. I’ll deliver them tomorrow but I
need his OK on the colours as I couldn’t match the purple exactly
but it’s so close you can’t tell. I’ll have Sam drop a sample in so it’s
there for him to look at in an hour or so. Anyway, I went ahead and
I reckon he’ll be happy with these. He said he wanted them pretty
quickly, so I’ve done them quick smart.”

YOURSELF: “Can I have your number please and can you tell me
what time you will be there until as I’m not expecting Mr Cloak to
return until about 3.00 pm this afternoon?”

CALLER: “It’s 9333 7654 and I’ll be here until about 6.30 pm. No,
better make that 5.45 at the latest as I have to make a delivery on
the way home. OK, thanks, cheers.”

Summarise the required information as a message for Robin Cloak.


Use the message pad below for your answer.

MESSAGE DATE: / /
TIME: ………… AM/PM
TO: …………………………………… TEL: …………………
FROM: ……………………………….. URGENT
DETAILS: …………………………….
………………………………………… Telephoned
………………………………………… Will ring back
………………………………………… Please ring
………………………………………… Called in
SIGNED:

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Customised and developed by Armstrong’s Driver Education Pty Ltd October 2008 ADELG1049
TLIL807C Complete routine administrative tasks

What did the message taker fail to do? (perhaps they didn’t get the
chance but good practice …)

There is feedback on this activity at the back of this Learner’s


Guide.

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Additional
resources

© Australian National Training Authority 2003 Page 35


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TLIL807C Complete routine administrative tasks

Web  sites:  
• Postal  rates  are  available  on  the  Auspost  web  site  at  
http://www.auspost.com.au/  
• The  Australian  Comcare  web  site  at  http://www.comcare.gov.au  
provides  useful  information  in  relation  to  suspected  mail  items  
containing  anthrax  spores.  
• The  CASA  web  site  at  http://www.casa.gov.au/dg/freight/index.htm  
provides  information  on  transport  of  goods  by  air.  

Organisations:  
• WorkSafe  Victoria  
http://www.workcover.vic.gov.au/  

Other  resources:  
• Your  own  workplace  may  have  a  variety  of  resources  to  support  
your  learning.    These  might  include  templates  used  in  the  
workplace,  forms,  procedures  and  manuals,  mail  registers,  etc.  

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TLIL807C Complete routine administrative tasks

Feedback on
activities
The responses provided in this section are suggested responses.
Because every workplace is different, your responses may vary
according to your specific workplace procedures, the equipment
available and the nature of the business.

© Australian National Training Authority 2003 Page 37


Customised and developed by Armstrong’s Driver Education Pty Ltd October 2008 ADELG1049
TLIL807C Complete routine administrative tasks

Activity 1: Incoming mail systems

Discuss your responses with your trainer and supervisor. Your


response should give a good picture of how mail is received, sorted
and distributed to staff including an outline of relevant policies and
procedures.

Activity 2: Reporting suspicious and damaged items

Policies and procedures will vary across organisations. The


important point is to have policies and procedures in place in the
unlikely event that such a situation (receipt of a suspicious item)
arises. Damaged items may require an insurance claim to be
made. You or another team member may make the claim. Be
clear on your responsibilities in this situation. Discuss your
responses with your trainer and supervisor. The advice provided in
this section of the Learning guide is useful information for
organisations to develop a procedure, if this does not already exist.

Activity 3: Email and fax use policy

Your company’s email and mail policy will probably cover similar
areas. If you do not have an email policy in your company, talk to
your trainer and other relevant staff to determine what unwritten
expectations and regulations exist (e.g. no personal use, etc.)
Discuss your answers with your trainer.

Similarly, a policy on faxes may be in place in your organisation or


there may be ‘unwritten’ rules.

Generally, private use of company facilities is not allowed or


discouraged but some companies may allow limited or emergency
use of fax and email by individual team members.

Activity 4: Handling outgoing mail

The system you are expected to follow for outgoing mail should
allow for the most efficient way to gather the mail in a convenient
location, record this mail (if required by your workplace) and get the
mail to the post office. Mail will include parcels and delivery of
these items may involve couriers. Cost, reliability and efficiency will
be indicators that your system suits your workplace.

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Activity 5: Special classes of mail

You company may not have goods sent out that fall within the
categories outlined. Where your company does send out such
goods, the relevant regulations include the Dangerous Goods Act
and Customs Act. Failure to comply with these regulations is an
offence. Check your answers with your trainer and supervisor.
Seek help from others in the workplace if relevant procedures have
not yet been developed or are not written down.

Activity 6: The system behind the filing system

Discuss your answers with your supervisor, trainer and others in


your work area, especially the person who designed or manages
the system. System will vary according to legislation having an
impact on work operations, confidentiality requirements, the size of
the organization and policies and procedures.

The system should be systematic, make for easy retrieval, ensure


currency of information and help not hinder your work and that of
your fellow team members.

Activity 7: Message taking

Message taker should have checked contents of message, as it


was long and a bit complicated. Sample response is below.

MESSAGE DATE: today’s date


TO: Robin Cloak TIME: 11.50 AM
FROM: Brad Miner from Pittsville Press TEL: 9333 7654
DETAILS: Has completed order but URGENT
purple not exact match (very close).
Check with sample on your desk and
phone him with OK tonight up to 5.45  Telephoned
pm. Will deliver tomorrow if you OK. Will call back
SIGNED: (Your name)  Please ring
Called in

© Australian National Training Authority 2003 Page 39


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