Unit of competency details

SIRPDIS005A - Assist in preparing dose administration containers (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SIRCDIS406 - Assist in preparing dose administration aids 12/Jun/2012
Supersedes WRPDIS307A - Assist in preparing dose administration containersUnit based on WRPDIS307A but not equivalent. SIRPDIS005A also incorporates: WRPDIS304A Assist in dispensary administration Element 1 of WRPDIS306A Assist in dispensary housekeeping/maintenance. 25/Feb/2011

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 26/Feb/2011


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  26/Feb/2011 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit covers skills and knowledge required to package or pre-pack pharmaceutical products in dose administration containers under pharmacist direction.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to community pharmacy employees working as dispensary assistants. Work is carried out under direction of a pharmacist.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

SIRPPKS001A Support the sale of pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines

SIRPDIS003A Assist in dispensary operations

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

The required outcomes described in this unit contain applicable facets of employability skills. The Employability Skills Summary of the qualification in which this unit is packaged will assist in identifying employability skills requirements.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

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

Elements and Performance Criteria




Prepare to package medicine into dose administration aids.


Follow safety requirements and personal hygiene procedures  prior to commencing packing.


Clean and prepare packing work area and equipment .


Identify dose administration and packaging documentation , instructions and procedures.


Identify and set up packaging containers , other consumables and equipment .


Confirm that dispensed customer medicine is available for packing.


Pack or pre-pack products.


Fill dose administration containers to meet prescription requirements and pharmacist instructions.


Prepare and attach labels  to dose administration containers.


Complete dose administration aid documentation.


Check filled containers against documented requirements.


Present filled containers for verification by a pharmacist.


Complete dose administration activities


Clean and store packaging equipment.


Identify, reconcile and report any discrepancies between dispensed and packed medicines.


Maintain the dose administration work area to meet housekeeping requirements.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

The following skills must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • apply literacy skills to read and interpret instructions for assisting in the preparation of dose administration containers, record information and prepare labels in plain English
  • demonstrate procedures for preparing packaging containers and related equipment consistent with protocols and procedures
  • pack and label dose administration aids
  • use dispensary information system to maintain packing details
  • respect and maintain privacy and confidentiality of customer information
  • maintain dispensary packing area to meet good housekeeping requirements
  • plan and organise work to meet packing workflow requirements.

The following knowledge must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • pharmacy policies, protocols and procedures relating to packing medicine into dose administration aids
  • dispensary workflow and layout
  • procedures for controlling accessing and maintaining security of the dispensary
  • personal hygiene requirements
  • properties, characteristics and applications of different dose administration aids
  • features and operating requirements of dose administration aid equipment
  • handling and storage requirements of dispensed items
  • characteristics of medicine not suitable for packaging in dose administration containers, e.g. hydroscopic medicines; medicines that may be cross-contaminated
  • medicine storage and handling requirements
  • literacy skills to confirm packing requirements and to check that label information is legible and expressed in plain English
  • information to be displayed on dose administration aids
  • communication methods and systems to operate as part of a team and provide relevant information to a pharmacist and other pharmacy staff as required
  • handling and disposal of waste, including maintaining confidentiality of customer details on waste containers
  • dispensary data-bases and information systems
  • dispensary housekeeping checklist and responsibilities.

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 competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • applies pharmacy policies, standards and guidelines, industry legislation and codes of practice in regard to filling of dose administration aids, including:
  • identifying dose administration aids and dispensed medicines for filling
  • filling medicines into dose administration containers (manual or automated)
  • preparing and attaching labels
  • handling medicines to meet handling and storage requirements
  • procedures for reconciling dispensed medicines with packed medicines
  • respects and protects customer privacy when disposing of containers that may contain customer information and maintaining customer records
  • recognises situations requiring referral to a pharmacist or other pharmacy staff according to pharmacy policy
  • applies OHS and personal hygiene practices
  • maintains housekeeping standards in the dispensary packing area
  • plans and carries out work to meet workflow requirements.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • demonstration of preparation of dose administration aids over a period of time
  • demonstration of working with dispensed medicines with special handling and storage requirements
  • performance is observed by the assessor or the technical expert working in partnership with the assessor.
  • assessment must be undertaken in a real workplace environment that meets Pharmacy Board and relevant industry standards for dispensary layout and equipment requirements for pharmacies engaged in supplying extemporaneous prescriptions
  • access to relevant pharmacy protocols and procedures
  • access to state and territory legislation and guidelines where appropriate
  • access to dispensary stock control record-keeping systems
  • access to relevant documentation, such as:
  • service contracts
  • orders or requisitions
  • prescription purchase orders
  • access to a range of medicines
  • access to dose administration containers and related packaging equipment.

Methods of assessment 

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

  • a qualified workplace assessor, or a technical expert working in partnership with the assessor to observe the dispensary assistant preparing dose administration aids, over sufficient time to demonstrate handling of a range of contingencies.
  • written or verbal questioning to assess knowledge and understanding.
  • evidence that completion of workplace documentation and records relevant to dose administration aids is timely and accurate.

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

Assessing employability skills 

Employability skills are integral to effective performance in the workplace and are broadly consistent across industry sectors. How these skills are applied varies between occupations and qualifications due to the different work functions and contexts.

Employability skills embedded in this unit should be assessed holistically in the context of the job role and with other relevant units that make up the skill set or qualification.

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 in the performance criteria is detailed below.

Preparing dose administration aids  must comply with:

  • federal and state or territory legislation
  • industry codes of practice, standards and guidelines
  • community pharmacy policies, protocols and procedures relating to packing medicines into dose administration aids.

Personal hygiene procedures  may include:

  • hand washing
  • wearing gloves and other protective clothing
  • tying back long hair or use of hairnets.

Clean and prepare packing work area and equipment  may include:

  • cleaning work surfaces and equipment
  • disinfecting equipment
  • checking that work surfaces and equipment are undamaged
  • checking calibration (as appropriate to equipment)

Dose administration and packaging documentation  may include:

  • service contracts
  • orders or requisitions
  • prescriptions.

Packaging containers  may include:

  • dosage administration aids and containers
  • tamper-proof dose administration containers
  • blister packs
  • heat-seal or press-seal equipment
  • durable dosette boxes.

Equipment  may be operated manually or automatically and may include:

  • scales and measures
  • irons and heat sealing equipment
  • tweezers
  • automated filling equipment.

Labels  may include:

  • name of the patient
  • pharmacy details, including name, address, telephone number
  • name, strength and form of all medicines supplied in the container
  • directions for use of each medicine as prescribed
  • date on which the container was filled
  • any cautionary and advisory labels for the particular substance where appropriate.

Unit Sector(s)


Community Pharmacy

Competency field

Competency field