Unit of competency details

SIRCQUA401 - Coordinate a pharmacy quality system (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SIRCCPM002 - Coordinate a pharmacy quality systemNot equivalent. Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages. • Competency Field changed to Community Pharmacy Management to better reflect intent of the unit. •Significant changes to Elements and Performance Criteria to clarify content. •Changed knowledge requirements in relation to: o quality system documentation o scheduling requirements o communication methods o evidence based assessment and record keeping o monitoring methods. 30/Mar/2016

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 13/Jun/2012


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080317 Quality Management  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080317 Quality Management  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

New unit

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to coordinate a pharmacy’s quality system and procedures. It includes using strategies to actively encourage the team to participate in the quality process, monitoring and reviewing performance, and identifying opportunities for further improvements.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to pharmacy assistants or dispensary assistants responsible for coordinating pharmacy quality and continuous improvement processes and for preparing quality audits.

At this level, work will normally be carried out within routine and non-routine methods and procedures, which require planning and evaluation, as well as leadership and guidance of others in a pharmacy team led by a pharmacist.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


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. Coordinate continuous improvement systems and processes.

1.1.Ensure required quality system procedures and templates are established.

1.2.Promote a customer focus within the pharmacy.

1.3.Implement pharmacy systems  to engage staff in the quality procedures.

1.4.Encourage and support individual and team participation in decision-making processes.

1.5.Communicate continuous improvement processes  to individuals and teams.

1.6.Arrange mentoring and coaching  to support continuous improvement processes.

2. Monitor and review performance.

2.1.Monitor and review progress against quality standards  and identify ways in which procedures and operations could be improved.

2.2.Report all matters relating to the operations manual to the pharmacy owner or manager.

2.3.Ensure regular reviews of the operations manual are undertaken and maintain records of reviews.

2.4.Prepare documentation for cyclical external quality audits.

2.5.Coordinate remedial actions where required in response to external audits.

2.6.Modify the operations manual when approved.

3. Provide opportunities for further improvement.

3.1.Implement systems to ensure team members are informed of required quality procedures and service improvements.

3.2.Document work performance to assist in identifying further opportunities for improvement.

3.3.Manage records, reports and recommendations for improvement within the pharmacy’s systems and processes.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • coach and mentor team members
  • gain the commitment of individuals and teams to continuous improvement
  • liaise with the owner or manager on the administration and improvement of the system
  • communicate with external quality auditors
  • planning and organising skills to design better ways of working
  • learning skills to maintain currency on quality system requirements
  • literacy skills to:
  • document pharmacy quality procedures
  • maintain operations manual
  • record performance against quality benchmarks
  • technology skills to access systems required by the role

Required knowledge 

  • location and status of pharmacy procedures that respond to pharmacy quality standards
  • own role boundaries and reporting requirements
  • principles and techniques associated with continuous improvement systems and processes
  • pharmacy process for authorising changes to the operations manual
  • process for organising, preparing for and responding to an external quality audit
  • quality system record-keeping procedures

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 knowledge of key pharmacy quality procedures to encourage continuous improvement
  • take active steps to implement, monitor and adjust plans, processes and procedures to improve performance
  • support others to document and implement continuous improvement systems and processes, and to identify and report opportunities for further improvement
  • coordinate the process for organising, preparing for and responding to an external quality audit.

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 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:

  • an externally audited pharmacy quality program
  • an operations manual, including pharmacy protocols and procedures
  • information on range of merchandise or services
  • community pharmacy codes of practice, standards and guidelines.

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:

  • assessment of written reports
  • observation of presentations
  • written or oral questions appropriate to the language and literacy level of the learner to test relevant underpinning knowledge
  • review of how the pharmacy’s continuous improvement processes were communicated to individuals and teams
  • review of documentation of work performance
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

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.

Systems  may include:

  • email and other communication devices
  • newsletters and bulletins
  • pharmacy policies and procedures
  • staff reward mechanisms
  • team meetings
  • web-based communication devices.

Continuous improvement processes  may include:

  • cyclical internal audits and reviews
  • application of procedures
  • workplace, team and individual performance
  • evaluations and monitoring of effectiveness
  • implementation of quality systems, such as the Quality Care Pharmacy Program (QCPP)
  • external audits
  • modifications and improvements to systems, processes, services and products
  • policies and procedures that allow the pharmacy to systematically review and improve the quality of its products, services and procedures
  • seeking and considering feedback from a range of stakeholders.

Mentoring and coaching  may include:

  • providing assistance with problem solving
  • providing feedback, support and encouragement
  • teaching another member of the team, usually focusing on a specific work task or skill.

Quality standards  may include:

  • compliance with legal and professional standards
  • supply of medicines, medical devices and poisons
  • delivery of health programs and services
  • advertising and promotions
  • pharmacy premises and equipment
  • operating an effective and profitable business
  • complying with and improving the quality program
  • requirements for pharmacy stock and services
  • ordering, receiving, pricing and storing stock
  • hiring equipment
  • customer service
  • employing staff
  • inducting staff
  • managing staff
  • ongoing staff training
  • dismissals and resignations
  • maintaining safety and security
  • information technology.

Unit Sector(s)

Community Pharmacy

Competency field