Unit of competency details

HLTPH304C - Maintain pharmaceutical ward or imprest stock (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by HLTPH305A - Maintain pharmaceutical imprest stockUnit updated in V5 Competency outcome changed to include additional essential knowledge from unit HLTPH301C 06/May/2012
Supersedes and is equivalent to HLTPH4A - Maintain pharmaceutical imprest/ward stockUnit updated in V4 - equivalent competency outcome 24/Mar/2011

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 25/Mar/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 060501 Pharmacy  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 060501 Pharmacy  04/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor


This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to maintain pharmaceutical ward or imprest stock, excluding issuing directly to clients, and according to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and within legal requirements

Application of the Unit


The application of knowledge and skills takes place around standards, guidelines, policies and procedures and under the supervision of a qualified person

Individuals may take responsibility for their own outputs

Work performed requires a range of well developed skills where some discretion and judgement is required

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Generate/receive and check stock requisition/imprest list

1.1 Establish needs to replenish stock  against specified minimum/maximum levels

1.2 Respond to enquiries from all staff courteously and effectively

1.3 Complete stock checks and print picking list(s) of requisition items

1.4 Check requisition lists for compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) and ward/department requirements

1.5 Report deviations to an authorised person in line with organisation/department procedures

2. Select and dispatch stock

2.1 Select requisitioned products and place into appropriate delivery containers

2.2 Complete transaction in pharmacy computer and generate packing slip

2.3 Obtain clearance for the order from an authorised person

2.4 Store and pack completed requisitions within the pharmacy prior to delivery

2.5 Deliver stock to the designated area within the ward/department, according to standard operating procedure and workplace health and safety guideline

2.6 Ensure an authorised person verifies, checks and signs for drugs on receipt where required

2.7 Store stock  according to manufacturers' recommended storage conditions

3. Complete and maintain documentation

3.1 Complete manual and electronic documentation according to organisation policies and procedures

3.2 Record manual information and statistics where necessary

3.3 Update imprest lists, based on stock usage and drug inventory changes in liaison with relevant staff

4. Record and collate drug usage

4.1 Collate drug usage information for authorised person and according to standard operating procedures

4.2 Report occurrences or deviations that may impact on stock control to an appropriate person

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge :

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes knowledge of:

  • Basic hygiene and the importance of maintaining a clean working environment and equipment
  • Common proprietary and generic names
  • Hospital or health facility in-house computer system
  • Identification and handling of products, including
  • formulary drugs and non-formulary drugs eg clinical trial drugs and special access scheme drugs
  • products with the required integrity as well as those whose integrity has been compromised eg damaged, contaminated or deteriorated stock
  • routine handling of products and products requiring special handling, eg cytotoxics and its spill management, refrigerated and frozen items, light sensitive materials and flammables
  • Knowledge of and the rationale for applicable legislation, organisation policy and in-house standard operating procedures (SOPs), relating to maintaining an imprest/ward pharmaceutical store
  • Knowledge and rationale of auditing policy of the organisation
  • OHS policies, guidelines and symbols and their relevance to working in a hospital pharmacy
  • Personal hygiene and the use of protective clothing
  • Principles and procedures of stock control and maintenance
  • Principles and procedures of maintaining security of pharmaceutical products
  • Procedures for dealing with drug alerts and company recalls
  • Purpose of batch numbering and expiry dates on pharmaceutical products
  • Purpose of drug usage data generated by requisitions to permit collation for an authorised person
  • Storage requirements and the rationale for different types of products

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Carry out effective and efficient maintenance of a pharmaceutical imprest system
  • Communicate effectively with internal and external clients
  • Refer issues identified outside scope of practice to the appropriate person
  • Select products accurately
  • Use technology appropriately e.g. PDE devices
  • Work in accordance with relevant organisation policy, legislative requirements, industrial awards and agreements and in-house operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Work in a safe manner

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes the ability to:

  • Communicate and interact appropriately with colleagues, health care practitioners and clients
  • Identify and select correct product with reference to form, dose, strength, brand and quality
  • Input and access data in pharmacy computer system
  • Input and access data relating to stock control
  • Interpret stock usage on a ward and make suggestions for inventory changes
  • Maintain stock control documentation
  • Take into account opportunities to address waste minimisation, environmental responsibility and sustainable practice issues
  • Use relevant technology such as portable data entry (PDE) systems
  • Use literacy, numeracy and oral communication skills required to fulfil the position in a safe manner as specified by the health care facility
  • Use problem solving skills
  • Use available resources and prioritise workload

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

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

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • Observation of workplace performance is essential for assessment of this unit
  • Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over the required range of situations relevant to the workplace
  • Where, for reasons of safety, space, or access to equipment and resources, assessment takes place away from the workplace, the assessment environment should represent workplace conditions as closely as possible

Context of and specific resources for assessment :

  • Assessment should replicate workplace conditions as far as possible
  • Simulations may be used to represent workplace conditions as closely as possible. Acceptable simulation requires:
  • scope to determine that work is conducted within legislative and regulatory requirements
  • scope to determine that work is conducted within OHS and infection control requirements
  • Resources essential for assessment include:
  • access to relevant workplace or appropriately simulated environment where assessment can take place
  • relevant legislation, regulations and guidelines
  • pharmacy imprest system

Method of assessment may include :

  • Observation in the work place (if possible)
  • Written assignments/projects
  • Interviewing and questioning
  • Formal appraisal systems
  • Supporting statement of supervisor(s)

Access and equity considerations :

  • All workers in the health industry should be aware of access and equity issues in relation to their own area of work
  • All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment
  • In recognition of particular health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

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. Add any 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.

Stock  (products ) may include :

  • Formulary drugs eg clinical trial drugs and special access scheme drugs
  • Products with the required integrity as well as those whose integrity have been compromised eg damaged, contaminated or deteriorated
  • Routine handling products and products requiring special handling eg cytotoxics and its spill management, refrigerated and frozen items, light sensitive material and flammables

Storage conditions may include :

  • Correct temperature
  • Humidity
  • Light
  • Pest control
  • Secured
  • Cold chain
  • Ventilated
  • Ambient
  • Isolated
  • Correct storage of hazardous substances

Ward storage may include :

  • Cupboard
  • Trolley
  • Automated medication distribution system
  • Special storage ara eg refrigerator a s required for correct storage condition
  • Medication drawers
  • Drug safes

Record processes may include :

  • Manual
  • Computer based
  • Print form
  • Electronic system

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable