Unit of competency details

SIRCHCS407 - Test blood pressure and advise on self-monitoring (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 13/Jun/2012

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SIRCHCS003 - Test blood pressure and advise on self-monitoringNot equivalent.Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages. • Additional Performance Criteria providing customers with information on specialist services • Changed knowledge requirements in relation to: o sources of information o common symptoms of high and low blood pressure o range of normal blood pressure levels o customer self-testing strategies o customer’s personal blood pressure records o pharmacy blood pressure testing records. 30/Mar/2016
Supersedes SIRPPKS012A - Provide information, products and services on blood pressureNew functional area. unit scope and outcomes changed to include performing blood pressure testing. 12/Jun/2012

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080501 Sales  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080501 Sales  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 but not equivalent to SIRPPKS012A Provide information, products and services on blood pressure.

New functional area. Unit scope and outcomes changed to include performing blood pressure testing.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to test blood pressure and provide advice on ongoing self-monitoring.

The unit covers a basic understanding of blood pressure, how to test and record blood pressure readings, recommend home monitoring equipment, and advise on lifestyle and self-care practices to support customers.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to community pharmacy employees working as pharmacy assistants or dispensary assistants. Pharmacy assistants work directly with customers. In situations where customers require referral to a pharmacist for therapeutic advice, the pharmacy assistant gathers information, refers the customer on, and then supports the pharmacist by finalising the service or the supply of relevant products.

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


Not applicable.

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. Identify customer needs.

1.1.Follow pharmacy protocols and procedures  to determine customer requirements. 

1.2.Identify and act on triggers for referral to a pharmacist .

1.3.Follow pharmacy procedures to respect and protect customer  privacy.

2. Test blood pressure.

2.1.Consult customer and explain that a single test is not an accurate indicator, and suggest monitoring at regular intervals.

2.2.Select a comfortable area without distractions and allow the customer to relax for five minutes before taking the test.

2.3.Select the blood pressure testing instrument , ensure that the cuff size fits, and explain the testing procedure to the customer.

2.4.Apply the cuff and use the testing equipment instrument to product manufacturer’s instructions to check pulse, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure, repeating the procedure to check accuracy.

2.5.Enter results on pharmacy blood pressure testing record  and refer to pharmacist for checking and follow-up with the customer where required.

2.6.Provide confirmed record to the customer and file a copy according pharmacy procedures.

3. Provide advice on blood pressure testing equipment and services.

3.1.Advise customer on the availability of repeat pharmacy blood pressure testing services.

3.2.Inform customer regarding the features and components of home blood pressure testing equipment from the pharmacy range.

3.3.Demonstrate use, care and maintenance  of digital home blood pressure testing equipment and recommend specific self-testing equipment to customers.

3.4.Assist customer in identifying relevant self-testing strategies  to achieve accurate readings.

3.5.Show customer how to keep a personal blood pressure record chart .

3.6.Interpret and apply pharmacy procedures for compliance with the conditions relating to supply  of blood pressure testing equipment.

4. Provide blood pressure management and self-care information where required.

4.1.Encourage customer to take and record regular blood pressure readings and show these to their doctor where required.

4.2.Advise customer to calibrate home blood pressure machine reading against their doctor’s mercury sphygmomanometer reading every six months.

4.3.Access relevant sources  and provide customer with information on lifestyle and self-care practices .

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • interact with the customer to:
  • ask questions to identify and confirm requirements
  • provide information
  • confirm understanding
  • explain pharmacy blood pressure testing services to customers
  • recommend and supply blood pressure testing equipment
  • provide advice on lifestyle, self-care practices, specialist services and practitioners
  • refer to the pharmacist for checking and follow-up on blood pressure readings
  • use language and concepts appropriate to cultural differences
  • use and interpret non-verbal communication
  • learning skills to maintain currency of knowledge about blood pressure testing equipment
  • literacy skills to:
  • follow pharmacy protocols and procedures
  • interpret product and self-care information
  • use specialist information and services to support the management of blood pressure
  • planning and organising skills to organise work to meet customer service requirements
  • teamwork skills to operate as part of a pharmacy team, providing relevant information and seeking advice from a pharmacist and other pharmacy staff as required
  • technical skills to:
  • perform blood pressure testing procedures
  • use equipment for home blood pressure monitoring
  • technology skills to access and use information systems required by the role

Required knowledge 

  • common factors that can contribute to or exacerbate blood pressure and related lifestyle and self-care information
  • pharmacy protocols and procedures relating to:
  • collecting information from customers
  • collecting and supplying information to an agent acting on behalf of a customer
  • identifying and acting on triggers for referral to a pharmacist
  • providing blood pressure testing services
  • respecting and protecting customer privacy
  • supplying blood pressure medicines, aids and equipment
  • product and health condition terminology relating to blood pressure, including:
  • systolic blood pressure
  • diastolic blood pressure
  • sphygmomanometer
  • monitoring equipment that may be of assistance to customers managing blood pressure health conditions
  • personal role boundaries and responsibilities and circumstances under which referral to a pharmacist is required
  • sources of information and specialist services relating to blood pressure
  • use, care and storage requirements for aids and equipment

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:

  • demonstrate use, care and maintenance of blood pressure testing equipment to customers
  • perform blood pressure testing services according to pharmacy protocols and procedures
  • provide information to customers in ways appropriate to customer needs and demonstrate appropriate techniques to confirm understanding
  • recognise and act on situations or requests requiring referral to a pharmacist
  • recommend and sell blood pressure testing equipment to customers
  • refer to relevant sources of information to assist the customer and maintain personal currency of knowledge.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure that competency is:

  • observed by the assessor or the technical expert working in partnership with the assessor as described in the assessment guidelines
  • demonstrated across a range of customers over sufficient time to include handling of a range of contingencies
  • demonstrated in a real or simulated pharmacy environment, which may include customer interruptions and involvement in other related activities normally expected in the pharmacy.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a range of real or simulated customers with different requirements
  • pharmacy protocols and procedures
  • state or territory legislation and guidelines where appropriate
  • relevant documentation, such as:
  • blood pressure testing product and service information
  • self-care and lifestyle advice.

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 candidate in the workplace:
  • performing blood pressure testing
  • demonstrating use, care and maintenance of blood pressure testing equipment to customers
  • recommending and selling blood pressure testing equipment to a range of customers
  • advising on lifestyle and self-care practices
  • written or oral questions appropriate to the language and literacy level of the learner to test relevant underpinning knowledge
  • role plays to confirm communication skills to meet diverse customer requirements
  • 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.

Pharmacy protocols and procedures  may include:

  • interacting with the customer to establish:
  • who the product or service is for
  • symptoms
  • duration of symptoms
  • other existing health conditions
  • blood pressure medications being used by the customer
  • cold and flu medications currently being used
  • customer level of physical activity immediately before presenting for testing
  • caffeinated drinks consumed immediately before presenting for testing
  • assessing:
  • customer responses to questions
  • own confidence that the product or service requested by the customer or envisaged by the pharmacy assistant is right for the customer’s symptoms.

Customer requirements  may include:

  • a single blood pressure test
  • home testing equipment
  • regular blood pressure monitoring at intervals advised by a doctor.

Triggers for referral to a pharmacist  may include:

  • customer who is:
  • a child under 2
  • an aged person
  • pregnant or breastfeeding
  • taking other medicines
  • customer who has:
  • had the complaint for some time
  • other health conditions, such as asthma and diabetes
  • used the product before but is not satisfied with its efficacy
  • customer appears to be:
  • sick
  • angry
  • confused
  • dissatisfied
  • uncertain
  • under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • pharmacy assistant is unsure and needs confirmation of the medicine selected, even if the product has been requested by name
  • request for Pharmacist Only Medicine.

Custome  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.

Blood pressure testing instrumen  may include:

  • mercury (aneroid) sphygmomanometer
  • electronic digital sphygmomanometer.

Pharmacy blood pressure testing record  may include:

  • pharmacy identification and telephone number
  • a customer copy and duplicate pharmacy file copy with the following minimum content:
  • customer’s name and address
  • date of test
  • blood pressure measurement, including systolic blood pressure over diastolic blood pressure
  • pulse
  • indication that the reading suggests:
  • level is within normal limits
  • level is above normal range on this occasion and warrants customer consultation with a doctor to have blood pressure checked
  • level is very high on this occasion and an immediate doctor consultation is strongly recommended
  • pharmacist authorisation signature
  • relevant notes regarding individual customer circumstances that may have impacted on the reading, such as:
  • being upset
  • being in a rush.

Use, care and maintenance  may include:

  • attaching cuff line to machine
  • checking machine calibration
  • cleaning and storing machine and cuff attachment
  • demonstrating use of:
  • on and off switch
  • start switch
  • interpreting the screen display, including:
  • systolic blood pressure reading
  • diastolic blood pressure reading
  • pulse
  • locating and attaching cuff to patient’s arm
  • replacing battery
  • taking a test reading.

Self-testing strategies  may include:

  • avoiding the following behaviour that can cause blood pressure to rise in the two hours before taking the reading:
  • drinking caffeinated drinks, such as tea, coffee or cola
  • smoking
  • being relaxed and comfortable when taking a reading by:
  • selecting a comfortable place without distractions, such as TV or music
  • relaxing for at least five minutes before taking the reading
  • developing a good technique for attaching the cuff
  • following machine instruction steps
  • standing for at least two minutes before testing, when doctor requests a reading while standing
  • where possible, measuring blood pressure under the same conditions, at about the same time of day, in the same manner each time
  • taking at least two readings on each occasion.

Personal blood pressure record chart  may include:

  • date and time
  • comments that may be useful to the doctor, such as just woke up, resting, taken medication, etc.
  • pulse
  • diastolic blood pressure
  • systolic blood pressure.

Conditions relating to supply  may include:

  • federal and state or territory legislation
  • industry codes of practice, standards and guidelines
  • pharmacy protocols and procedures relating to the sale of blood pressure medicines and products, aids and equipment.

Relevant sources  may include:

  • Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) website and phone line
  • pharmacist
  • manufacturer information
  • self-care and health-care information
  • product brochures and leaflets supplied by a pharmacist
  • website of support organisations, such as Heart Foundation.

Lifestyle and self-care practice  may include:

  • achieving or maintaining ideal body weight
  • being physically active
  • carrying a list of medicines and doses
  • decreasing salt intake
  • limiting alcohol intake
  • quitting smoking
  • taking prescribed blood pressure medication at the same time each day
  • using a weekly pill box.

Unit Sector(s)

Community Pharmacy

Competency field

Health Care Support

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