Unit of competency details

SIRCDIS406 - Assist in preparing dose administration aids (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SIRCDIS004 - Assist in preparing dose administration aidsNot equivalent. Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages. • Additional Performance Criteria to follow organisational procedures. •Changed knowledge requirements in relation to: o DAA documents o medications not suitable o dispensary software for DAA records. 30/Mar/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to SIRPDIS005A - Assist in preparing dose administration containers 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 a revised unit, based on and equivalent to SIRPDIS005A Assist in preparing dose administration containers.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to package or pre-pack pharmaceutical products in dose administration aids (DAAs) under the direction of a pharmacist. It includes setting up pre-packaged doses of prescribed medicines to be administered over set periods. This may be for new and ongoing individual customers or for multiple customers in residential care settings.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to dispensary assistants working in the dispensary area of a community pharmacy. The pharmacist in charge of the community pharmacy business is responsible for ensuring that dispensary assistants are limited to those functions that do not require them to exercise professional judgement or discretion.

A person undertaking this role is required to work under the supervision and direction 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.



Assist in dispensing prescriptions

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. Prepare to package medicine into dose administration aids.

1.1 Follow the pharmacy process  for dealing with a new DAA patient where relevant.

1.2 Follow safety requirements and personal hygiene procedures  prior to and during packing.

1.3 Check dose administration and packaging documentation , instructions and procedures.

1.4 Set up packaging containers , other consumables and equipment .

1.5 Confirm that all dispensed patient medicines are available and identify requested medications that are not suitable for packing in a DAA.

2. Pack dose administration aids.

2.1 Prepare and attach labels to header cards.

2.2 Fill DAAs according to the record of medications to be packed for each patient and pharmacist instructions.

2.3 Include Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) with patient DAAs where relevant.

2.4 Ensure all medications requested by the patient but not packed in the DAA are provided with the DAA.

2.5 Present filled containers, any additional medications, CMI and each patient’s record of medications for evidence checking by a pharmacist to ensure all requested medications are assembled.

2.6 Sign off on document and pack filled containers.

3. Perform dose administration and maintenance activities.

3.1 Store filled DAA orders in designated area awaiting collection or delivery.

3.2 Follow pharmacy procedures  to clean and maintain the dose administration area.

3.3 Maintain and follow dispensary system  for recording the filling of DAAs.

3.4 Make changes to DAAs already provided to patients as directed by pharmacist.

3.5 Dispose of waste  according to environmental requirements, patient privacy protocols and pharmacy waste management procedures.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • seek and respond to direction from a pharmacist
  • request that a pharmacist checks off filled dose aids
  • initiative and enterprise skills to follow environmental protection practices, such as the identification and handling of products, including:
  • handling and storage requirements of dispensed items
  • medicine storage and handling requirements
  • safe disposal of waste according to pharmacy waste management procedures
  • literacy skills to:
  • confirm packing requirements
  • record information and prepare labels in plain English
  • follow procedures for preparing packaging containers and related equipment
  • follow procedures to respect and maintain privacy and confidentiality of patient information
  • apply prescription or medication record chart requirements
  • planning and organising skills to:
  • meet packing workflow requirements
  • pack and label DAAs
  • maintain dispensary packing area to meet housekeeping requirements
  • teamwork skills to:
  • work effectively under the direction of a pharmacist
  • work with other staff
  • technology skills to use dispensary software to record packing details

Required knowledge 

  • protocols of the dispensary area:
  • checklist and responsibilities for DAA preparation, cleaning and maintenance
  • system for recording the filling of DAAs
  • workflow and layout
  • features and operating requirements of DAA equipment
  • information to be displayed on DAAs
  • industry guidelines for packing DAAs
  • pharmacy procedures relating to:
  • accessing and maintaining security of the dispensary
  • disposing of rejected dispensary items according to dispensary procedures, with particular attention to:
  • minimising waste
  • maintaining confidentiality of patient information on waste containers
  • environmental protection practices
  • safety requirements and personal hygiene requirements
  • properties, characteristics and applications of different DAAs

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:

  • apply personal hygiene practices and maintain housekeeping and waste disposal standards in the dispensary packing area
  • follow pharmacy procedures relating to filling DAAs
  • pack medicines into DAAs, prepare and attach labels, and reconcile dispensed medicines with DAA packed medicines
  • locate DAAs and ensure that dispensed medicines for filling meet DAA packing workflow requirements
  • maintain dispensary DAA record system.

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 workplace environment that meets Pharmacy Board of Australia and relevant industry standards for the preparation of DAAs.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • relevant pharmacy procedures
  • relevant industry guidelines
  • dispensary stock control record-keeping systems
  • relevant documentation, such as:
  • drug charts
  • industry guidelines for packing DAAs
  • patient or customer medication profiles
  • prescriptions
  • service contracts
  • a range of dispensed medicines
  • DAAs and related packaging equipment.

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 working as part of a dispensary team to:
  • set up and maintain DAA preparation area
  • prepare and check filled DAAs
  • perform DAA-related dispensary tasks
  • 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 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.

Pharmacy process  may include: 

  • confirming that contents of items to be packed are suitable for placing in a DAA
  • creating packing records
  • providing:
  • information about the service
  • advice about how to use the DAA.

Safety requirements and personal hygiene procedures  may include:

  • hand washing
  • tying back long hair or using hairnets
  • using antibacterial wipes
  • using tweezers
  • wearing gloves and other protective clothing.

Dose administration and packaging documentation  may include:

  • drug charts
  • industry guidelines for packing DAAs
  • patient or patient medication profiles
  • service contracts
  • orders.

Packaging containers  may include:

  • tamper-proof DAAs and containers
  • blister packs
  • re-usable dosette boxes.

Equipment  may be operated manually or automatically and may include:

  • automated filling equipment
  • counter trays
  • heat or press sealing equipment
  • irons
  • pill splitters
  • tweezers.

Labels  may include:

  • ancillary cautionary and advisory labels for the particular substance, where appropriate
  • required DAA label information, including:
  • pharmacy name and address
  • phone number
  • consumer name
  • active ingredients
  • brand name
  • strength
  • directions for use
  • packing date
  • date of commencement
  • typical characteristics of the medicine, such as shape or colour
  • signature of packer and checker.

Pharmacy procedures  for cleaning and  maintaining  may include:

  • disinfecting equipment
  • cleaning work surfaces and equipment
  • checking that work surfaces and equipment are undamaged
  • checking equipment calibration
  • storing packaging equipment.

Dispensary system  may include: 

  • a record for each patient that includes:
  • current medications and their doses
  • items not supplied in the DAA
  • details of any significant communications with the prescriber
  • a log of all DAAs packed, and then checked by the pharmacist.

Waste  may include: 

  • packaging materials
  • unused medications in returned DAAs
  • unused hard copy DAA packing records
  • unwanted:
  • used DAA header cards
  • packing records.

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field