Unit of competency details

SIRCDIS301 - Accept prescriptions and return dispensed medicines to customers (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SIRCDIS001 - Assist customers with prescriptionsNot equivalent. Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages. • Title simplified. • Additional Performance Criteria to follow organisational procedures. • Changed knowledge requirements in relation to: o role boundaries o prescription types and issuers o format and content of prescriptions o discrepancies o packaging types. 30/Mar/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to SIRPDIS001A - Accept prescriptions and deliver medicine 12/Jun/2012

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 13/Jun/2012


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  02/Oct/2012 
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Modification History

The version details of this endorsed unit are in the table below. The latest information is at the top.



First Release

This is an updated unit, based on and equivalent to SIRPDIS001A Accept prescriptions and deliver medicine.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to collect and verify customer’s prescription-related information, lodge scripts for dispensing, and return dispensed prescription items to customers on behalf of the dispensing pharmacist.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to pharmacy assistants and dispensary assistants who work in community pharmacies.

A person undertaking this role is required to work under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

All relevant federal, state or territory legislation, Pharmacy Board of Australia Guidelines, and established practice and quality assurance standards are to be met.



Support the supply of Pharmacy Medicines and Pharmacist Only Medicines

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Verify prescription and customer details.

1.1.Approach customer  and accept prescriptions in a timely manner.

1.2.Check customer’s prescriptions  for legality, validity and completeness .

1.3.Confirm customer details .

1.4.Respect customer privacy and confidentiality when requesting and providing information.

2. Confirm customer prescription needs.

2.1.Identify and confirm items to be dispensed.

2.2.Provide brand substitution information and determine customer preference.

2.3.Flag and refer prescription discrepancies  and other situations requiring additional assistance to appropriate pharmacy staff or a pharmacist.

2.4.Advise customers of expected prescription preparation time, including delaying factors  or delivery times as appropriate.

2.5.Lodge verified prescriptions together with relevant recorded customer information for dispensing.

3. Return prescribed medicines to customers.

3.1.Verify that dispensed prescriptions have been checked by a pharmacist and check dispensed medicines to ensure customer’s requested items and quantities have been dispensed.

3.2.Verify that the customer receives the correct medicine and that the customer or their agent signs and dates the prescription as confirmation of receipt.

3.3.Explain information provided on medicines  and question to confirm customer understanding.

3.4.Refer customers to a pharmacist in situations requiring additional assistance or therapeutic advice.

3.5.Supply dispensed medicines promptly in appropriate packaging .

3.6.Provide information on other products where required to effectively use medicines supplied.

3.7.Retain store-filled prescriptions in a nominated secure area.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • ask questions to identify and confirm customer requirements
  • explain information contained on cautionary and advisory labels in a level of English suited to the customer’s communication requirements
  • question to confirm that the customer understands the information provided
  • invite further questions from the customer
  • provide relevant information to the dispensing pharmacist and other staff members where required
  • seek direction from the dispensing pharmacist
  • use language and concepts appropriate to cultural differences
  • use and interpret non-verbal communication
  • literacy skills to:
  • check prescription information
  • read cautionary and advisory medicine labels
  • record customer information
  • planning and organising skills to:
  • plan and carry out work to meet dispensary workflow requirements
  • provide timely delivery of dispensed items to customers
  • teamwork skills to operate as part of a dispensing team

Required knowledge 

  • brand substitution information, including:
  • product costing policy reflecting brand price premiums and therapeutic premiums
  • the term ‘bio-equivalent’ products as defined by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
  • pharmacy procedures relating to:
  • accepting prescriptions
  • accessing and using pharmacy information systems required by the role
  • circumstances under which referral to a pharmacist or other pharmacy staff is required
  • collecting and supplying information to an agent acting on behalf of a customer
  • delivering dispensed prescriptions
  • maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of customer information
  • offering brand substitution
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medicare Australia system, and supply rules relating to:
  • customer eligibility and access
  • payments for general customers (without concessional cards) and concessional customers
  • co-payments
  • safety net entitlements
  • supplying repeat prescriptions
  • privacy principles as they relate to accepting prescriptions and delivering medicine

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

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

Evidence of the ability to:

  • accept and lodge prescriptions for dispensing
  • identify different types of prescriptions and entitlements
  • follow verification procedures when providing dispensed medicines to customers
  • operate as part of a dispensing team and provide relevant information to a pharmacist and other pharmacy staff as required
  • provide prescription information to customers in ways appropriate to customer needs and demonstrate appropriate techniques to confirm understanding
  • recognise and act on situations requiring referral to a pharmacist or other pharmacy staff.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure that competency is:

  • consistently demonstrated over a period of time and observed by the assessor or the technical expert working in partnership with the assessor as described in the assessment
  • demonstrated in a real pharmacy workplace environment that meets Pharmacy Board of Australia and relevant industry standards for dispensary operations, which may include client interruptions and involvement in other related activities normally expected in the pharmacy.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a range of customers with different prescription requirements and entitlements who are typical of the customer base
  • dispensed medicines for return to customers
  • relevant documentation, such as:
  • PBS information
  • pharmacy procedures
  • prescriptions.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • observation of the learner performing a range of tasks in an actual or simulated work environment, over sufficient time to demonstrate handling of a range of contingencies, which may include:
  • accepting prescriptions and delivering medicine to a range of customers
  • completing pharmacy documentation relevant to accepting prescriptions
  • returning dispensed medicines to customers
  • seeking direction from the dispensing pharmacist
  • role plays to confirm communication skills that meet diverse customer requirements
  • written or oral questions appropriate to the language and literacy level of the learner to test relevant underpinning knowledge
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

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. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. 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) may also be included.

Customer  may include people:

  • from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and with varying mental and physical abilities
  • visiting the pharmacy, contacting the pharmacy by phone, or in their own home
  • with special needs, such as:
  • the elderly
  • infants
  • who are:
  • drug or alcohol affected
  • emotionally unstable
  • mentally unstable
  • physically unwell.

Customer’s prescriptions  may include:

  • a limited approved range of scripts from providers, including:
  • dentists
  • doctors
  • nurse practitioners
  • optometrists
  • podiatrists
  • veterinary surgeons
  • National Health scripts
  • private scripts
  • repatriation scripts or Veteran Affairs scripts.

Legality, validity and completeness  may include:

  • adequate written instructions on the dosage regimen
  • compliance with timing rules to fill repeat scripts
  • doctor’s or prescribing practitioner’s full name, current address, telephone number and date
  • name of medicine, quantity prescribed and clearly indicated dosage directions
  • currency of prescription
  • clear prescription with no indication of tampering or forgery
  • self-treatment instructions that meet legal and regulatory requirements.

Customer details  may include:

  • full name and current address
  • date of birth where patient is elderly (over 70 years) or young (under 12 years)
  • entitlement number, if any, under the PBS
  • Medicare details
  • private health cover and receipt requirements
  • allergies or adverse reactions suffered in the past to medications
  • current use of other medications, including complementary medicines.

Prescription discrepancies  may include:

  • incomplete or incorrect prescriber or customer details
  • out-of-date prescriptions
  • prescriptions marked ‘cancelled’ or in other ways that indicate they have been dispensed and completed
  • invalid prescriptions, such as:
  • forged or altered information
  • written by prescriber for self-treatment
  • requests for excessive quantities.

Delaying factors  may include:

  • out-of-stock prescribed medicines
  • special preparation requirements, e.g. compounded products.

Information provided on medicines  may include:

  • pharmacy labels
  • cautionary or advisory labels
  • additional information or advice prepared by a pharmacist
  • information provided by the supplier
  • self-care and health information
  • Consumer Medicine Information (CMI).

Appropriate packaging  may include:

  • packaging that protects customer privacy and medicine handling requirements, such as:
  • light-sensitive tray-controlled packaging
  • opaque packaging
  • paper bags
  • packaging determined by the pharmacist.

Unit Sector(s)

Community Pharmacy

Competency field