Unit of competency details

SIRPPKS001A - Support the sale of pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SIRCHCS201 - Support the supply of Pharmacy Medicines and Pharmacist Only MedicinesNew functional area. Unit descriptor expanded to define regulatory environment. Application statement expanded to define scope and boundaries of pharmacy assistant role. No change to the overall scope or outcomes of the unit. 12/Jun/2012
Is superseded by and equivalent to SIRCPPK309 - Assist customers seeking to relieve common allergic symptom reactionsNew unit title. Technical modification of all areas of the unit. No change to the overall scope or outcomes of the unit. 12/Jun/2012

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 26/Feb/2011


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  26/Feb/2011 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit covers skills and knowledge required to support the sale of pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines (S2 and S3).

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit may apply to both front of store and dispensary work roles and is carried out under direction of a pharmacist. There are some minor differences in state and territory regulations relating to the sale of these items.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 


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




Identify and locate S2 and S3 medicines in the pharmacy.


Identify legal requirements and industry standards  to be met by pharmacy assistants in supporting the sale of products  in community pharmacies.


Identify medicines according to schedule .


Identify storage locations and requirements for product according to schedule.


Identify common medicine categories for which pharmacy or pharmacist-only medicines are available.


Identify pharmacy roles and responsibilities to support sale of medicines.


Identify the responsibilities of the pharmacy assistant in supporting the sale of pharmacy medicines to meet customer needs .


Identify the responsibilities of the pharmacy assistant in supporting the sale of pharmacist-only medicines to meet customer needs.


Identify and refer situations requiring input from a pharmacist.


Apply relevant protocols and procedures  when selling medicines.


Identify and locate advice  on pharmacy or pharmacist-only medicines

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:

  • interpersonal communication skills to:
  • communicate with the customer including obtaining and providing information and confirming understanding through clear and direct communication
  • ask questions to identify and confirm requirements
  • use language and concepts appropriate to cultural differences
  • use and interpret non-verbal communication
  • apply literacy skills to read and interpret information on product labels and record customer information
  • maintain privacy and confidentiality of customer information
  • demonstrate procedures for selling pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines consistent with pharmacy protocols and procedures
  • access and use information systems as required by the role.

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

  • pharmacy policies, protocols and procedures relating to pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines
  • system for scheduling medicines
  • role of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in approving sale of new medicines
  • role of the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC) in scheduling medicines
  • broad factors taken into account when determining scheduling, e.g. quantities and concentration of active ingredients in packaged medicine
  • types of scheduled medicine
  • legal requirements and pharmacy procedures for positioning and advertising scheduled items within a pharmacy
  • sources of information on scheduled medicines
  • common problems or health conditions for which pharmacy or pharmacist-only medicines are used
  • common medicine terminology
  • health privacy principles
  • an understanding of the concept of evidence-based assessment of the efficacy of products and levels of evidence
  • role boundaries and responsibilities, and circumstances under which referral to a pharmacist or other pharmacy staff is required.

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 protocols and procedures when selling pharmacy or pharmacist-only medicines, including:
  • identifying scheduled products and storage locations
  • applying knowledge of common medicine categories and related health conditions to identify appropriate medicines
  • collecting the required information from customers
  • identifying situations or requests requiring referral to a pharmacist and refer appropriately
  • providing information on self-care and medication to customers
  • ensuring customers have access to a pharmacist for advice.
  • respects and protects customer privacy and confidentiality when communicating with customers and maintaining customer records
  • uses tact and discretion when collecting and providing information to customers
  • provides information to customers in ways appropriate to customer needs and demonstrates appropriate techniques to confirm understanding
  • identifies and understands common medical terminology
  • understands the general legal requirements to be met by community pharmacies as they affect the role of the pharmacy assistant
  • locates information sources to update technical knowledge
  • recognises the situations requiring referral to a pharmacist or other pharmacy staff according to pharmacy policy
  • plans and carries out work to meet workflow requirements and provide timely service to customers.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • demonstration of procedures to support the sale of pharmacy or pharmacist-only medicines over sufficient time to demonstrate her/his handling of a range of contingencies
  • interaction with customers, including a range of customers typical of the customer base
  • sale of medicines in response to product and symptom-based requests
  • performance is observed by the assessor or the technical expert working in partnership with the assessor.
  • access to a real or simulated workplace environment that meets Pharmacy Board and relevant industry standards for dispensary operations
  • access to relevant pharmacy protocols and procedures
  • access to state or territory legislation and guidelines where appropriate
  • access to relevant documentation, such as advice on pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines
  • access to a range of customers with different requirements (real or simulated)
  • access to a range of S2 and S3 medicines and pharmacy storage locations.

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:

  • observation of the candidate in the workplace supporting the sale of pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines to a range of customers
  • written or verbal questioning to assess knowledge and understanding
  • role plays to confirm communication skills to meet diverse customer requirements.

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

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.

Legal requirements and industry standards  may vary between states and territories and include:

  • consumer law, environmental law, OHS and welfare law specific to federal, state or territory and local legislation
  • the Pharmacy/Pharmacists Act and related regulations
  • drugs, poisons and controlled substances legislation
  • Therapeutic Goods Act
  • Health Act and related regulations
  • privacy legislation
  • Trade Practices and Fair Trading Acts
  • Pharmacy Board Guidelines and directives
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's Professional Practice Standards
  • codes of conduct and ethics.

Sale of products  must comply with:

  • federal and state or territory legislation, regulations, industry codes of practice, standards and guidelines
  • community pharmacy policies, protocols and procedures relating to accepting prescriptions and delivering dispensed medication.

Scheduled medicines  are defined by Standards for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons (SUSDP) and may include:

  • general medicines (non-scheduled)
  • pharmacy medicines (S2)
  • pharmacist-only medicines (S3)
  • prescription-only medicines (S4)
  • controlled medicines (S8).

Customers  may include:

  • customers or their agents
  • customers visiting the pharmacy, contacting the pharmacy by phone or in their own home
  • customers with special needs, e.g. elderly, non-English-speaking background and infants
  • people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and with varying physical and mental abilities
  • customers who may be unwell, drug-affected, grieving or upset.

Customer needs  may include:

  • seeking product or information for self or another person
  • requests for a specified brand or manufacturer
  • requests related to condition, function and usage
  • cost or lifestyle factors
  • physical characteristics, including allergic reactions, physical disability or a need or desire to use natural products
  • requirement to drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery.

Protocols and procedures  may include:

  • CARE:
  • check
  • assess
  • refer or recommend
  • explain
  • who is the patient?
  • how long have they had the symptom?
  • actual symptoms?
  • treatment
  • symptoms?
  • totally sure?
  • overuse or abuse?
  • pharmacy medicine or pharmacist referral?
  • GO: provide information or explain reason for referral to pharmacist.

Advice  may include:

  • self-care and health care information
  • product brochures and leaflets supplied by a pharmacist
  • manufacturer information
  • Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) website and phone line
  • industry and professional publications.

Unit Sector(s)


Community Pharmacy

Competency field

Competency field 

Community Pharmacy Product