Unit of competency details

HLTPH315A - Procure, store, maintain and distribute pharmaceutical stock (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by HLTPHA004 - Order, maintain and distribute pharmaceutical stockThis version was released in HLT Health Training Package release 2.0 and meets the requirements of the 2012 Standards for Training Packages. Merged HLTPH312/313/315. Minimal changes to the elements and performance criteria. New evidence requirements for assessment, including volume and frequency. Significant changes to knowledge evidence 05/Aug/2015

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 07/May/2012


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 089901 Purchasing, Warehousing And Distribution  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 089901 Purchasing, Warehousing And Distribution  02/Oct/2012 
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Modification History

HLT07 Version 4 

HLT07 Version 5 


  • HLTPH312B Procure, store and maintain pharmaceutical products
  • HLTPH313B Distribute pharmaceutical products in a health setting

HLTPH315A Procure, store, maintain and distribute pharmaceutical stock

New Unit – Combined competency outcomes from HLTPH312B and HLTPH313B.

  • Addition of new unit into HLT31412 Certificate III in Hospital/Health Services Pharmacy Support

Unit Descriptor

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to maintain a pharmaceutical stock control system and distribute pharmaceutical products according to standard operating procedures (SOPs) that comply with good pharmacy practice and 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

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

  • Procure stock

1.1 Identify items for order

1.2 Obtain requisition requirements from authorised personnel

1.3 Source supplier

1.4 Identify availability and cost of item and provide information to pharmacist

1.5 Generate order

1.6 Place order following approval by delegated staff member

  • Process new stock

2.1 Accept delivery of stock and match delivery documentation with stock delivered

2.2 Check condition of stock and report deviations to the appropriate person

2.3 Reconcile stock with control lists and/or check products against order and report discrepancies to the appropriate person

2.4 Inform pharmacist of scheduled medicines according to legal requirements

2.5 Maintain batch traceability

2.6 Accurately complete data capture requirements

2.7 Comply with organisation procedures to return stock to supplier

  • Handle and maintain stock

3.1 Store stock according to stock storage requirements

3.2 Maintain conditions to minimise the risk of contaminating products

3.3 Monitor stock on a regular basis report deviations to the appropriate person

3.4 Monitor and maintain correct storage requirements and report deviations to the appropriate person

3.5 Maintain location maps

  • Ensure stock security
  • 4.1 Check compliance with security procedures

4.2 Report security irregularities to the appropriate person

  • Select and pack item order
  • 5.1 Select items according to order requirements
  • 5.2 Pack items correctly
  • 5.3 Complete all data entry requirements associated with processing orders
  • 5.4 Check labelling, specific handling instructions and delivery information for accuracy in line with identified requirements
  • 5.5 Check order for completion
  • 5.6 Check packaging is completed according to specific instructions
  • Dispatch orders accurately and in a timely manner
  • 6.1 Check route sheets and other delivery documentation for accuracy and follow requirements
  • 6.2 Implement packaging and handling procedures to ensure the security, integrity, cold chain maintenance and breakage avoidance of delivered goods
  • 6.3 Complete medicine registers, where required
  • 6.4 Complete other documentation as required
  • Process returned stock
  • 7.1 Comply with organisation procedure for receiving returned stock
  • 7.2 Inspect returned products for their expiry date and integrity, and place in designated area
  • 7.3 Place re-usable returned stock in appropriate designated area
  • 7.4 Dispose of unusable returned items according to organisation procedure

7.5 Complete inspection documentation accurately and forward for authorisation

7.6 Maintain accurate records and complete credit process in a timely manner

  • Assist in stocktaking procedures
  • 8.1 Check stock lists of all items for stocktaking
  • 8.2 Reconcile actual stock against stock lists
  • 8.3 Count stock and check expiry dates
  • 8.4 Identify stock discrepancies and report to the appropriate person
  • 8.5 Determine minimum and maximum stock levels and report to the appropriate person
  • Maintain relevant documentation
  • 9.1 Complete and file documentation
  • 9.2 Reconcile statements and invoices
  • 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:

    • Awareness of indemnity issues in relation to Commonwealth/ state/territory regulatory and legislative requirements
    • Different methods of disposal of unwanted pharmaceutical products and outdated stock
    • Identification and handling of products, including:
    • formulary medicines and non-formulary medicines (e.g. clinical trial medicines and Special Access Scheme (SAS) medicines)
    • products with the required integrity as well as those whose integrity has been compromised (e.g. damaged, contaminated or deteriorated stock)
    • routine handling of products and products requiring special handling, (e.g. cytotoxics and their spill management, refrigerated and frozen items, light sensitive materials and flammables)
    • Infection control principles, including:
    • maintaining a clean working environment and equipment
    • personal hygiene and the use of protective clothing
    • Knowledge of and the rationale for applicable legislation, organisation policy and in-house standard operating procedures (SOPs), relating to stock procurement, storage maintenance and distribution
    • Knowledge of the legal responsibilities of providers of health care in relation to confidentiality, client rights, duty of care and implications of negligence
    • Limitations of own work role, including identification and referring of issues outside scope of practice to the authorised person
    • Medical/pharmaceutical terminology required for hospital / health services pharmacy work
    • Work Health and Safety (WHS) policies, guidelines and symbols relating to stock procurement, storage, maintenance and distribution
    • Packaging and transport specifications for various products
    • Pharmacy or health service computer system to input and access data relevant to stock control
    • Principles of procurement of pharmaceutical products including:
    • central supply systems and tender processes
    • purpose and process of purchasing contracts
    • sources of stock, including non-formulary items and SAS items
    • sources to determine legitimate receivers of stock
    • stock ordering processes
    • Principles and practices of ethical and professional codes of conduct
    • Principles and procedures of stock control and maintenance including:
    • input and access of data relevant to stock control
    • financial implications of stock level control
    • maintaining security of pharmaceutical products
    • purpose of batch numbering and expiry dates on pharmaceutical items
    • procedures for dealing with drug alerts and company recalls
    • Procedures for dealing with returned stock
    • Principles of storage of pharmaceutical products including storage requirements and the rationale for different types of items
    • Standard pharmaceutical references including Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary (APF), MIMs, AMH and Micromedex
    • Understand the difference between generic drug and trade name/(s) of medicines

    Essential skills:

    It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

    • Procure and store pharmaceutical stock accurately and efficiently
    • Refer issues identified outside scope of practice to the appropriate person
    • Work in accordance with relevant work health and safety, and infection control guidelines
    • Work in accordance with relevant organisation policy, legislative requirements, industrial awards and agreements and in-house standard operating procedures (SOPs) to procure, store, maintain and distribute pharmaceutical stock
    • Apply correct distribution principles to prevent contamination or deterioration of the items, damage to packs or confusion of items
    • Communicate and interact effectively with colleagues, health care practitioners and clients
    • Distinguish between ‘look alike’ and ‘sound alike’ pharmaceutical items in procuring, storing and disposing of stock
    • Ensure optimal usage of stock prior to expiry date
    • Enter and access data on pharmacy computer system
    • Identify discrepancies/deviations of pharmacy stock and refer to the appropriate person
    • Identify, maintain and report working stock levels, (e.g. slow moving items, overstocks, discrepancies, out-of-stocks, expired stock and damaged stock)
    • Store and maintain pharmaceutical products, including:
    • maintenance of location maps
    • maintenance of stock control documentation
    • maintenance of stock security
    • monitoring the quality of stock and storage conditions, including temperature, light, humidity, pest control and stock organisation
    • Source supplier and place an order
    • Take into account opportunities to address waste minimisation, environmental responsibility and sustainable practice issues
    • Use available resources and prioritise workload
    • 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

    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 WHS and infection control requirements
    • Resources essential for assessment include:
    • access to relevant workplace or a simulated environment where assessment can take place
    • relevant legislation, regulations and guidelines
    • stock reporting and data systems

    Method of assessment

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

    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 culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) environments
    • 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.

    Check condition of stock includes checking:

    • Cold chain indicator
    • Evidence of inappropriate exposure to light
    • Evidence of moisture damage
    • Packaging integrity
    • Expiry date

    Storage requirements may include:

    • Ambient
    • Cold chain
    • Correct storage of hazardous substances
    • Correct temperature
    • Humidity
    • Isolated
    • Light
    • Logical and auditable system
    • Pest control
    • Quarantined
    • Rotation of stock
    • Secured
    • Ventilated

    Monitor stock includes but is not limited to monitoring:

    • Over stocks
    • Quality of stock includes:
    • expired
    • deteriorated
    • damaged stock
    • out-of-stock
    • Slow moving stock
    • Stock discrepancies

    Security procedures may apply to:

    • Handling controlled substances (e.g. Schedule 8 medicines)
    • In-store security
    • Stock dispatched
    • Stock received

    Pack items correctly includes complying with procedures:

    • For hazardous items
    • To maintain integrity, cold chain and security
    • To maintain temperature, security and safety requirements
    • To minimise breakages

    Data entry requirements include:

    • Enter transaction into pharmacy computer system
    • Generate packing slip and include in package
    • Label clearly, including specific handling instructions

    Orders may be from :

    • Clinics
    • Hospitals
    • Pharmacies
    • Sub-acute, non-acute and residential care facilities

    Unit Sector(s)

    Not applicable.

    Custom Content Section

    Not applicable.