Assessor Resource

Test blood pressure and advise on self-monitoring

Assessment tool

Version 1.0
Issue Date: June 2019

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.

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.

You may want to include more information here about the target group and the purpose of the assessments (eg formative, summative, recognition)


Not applicable.

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Evidence Required

List the assessment methods to be used and the context and resources required for assessment. Copy and paste the relevant sections from the evidence guide below and then re-write these in plain English.

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.

Submission Requirements

List each assessment task's title, type (eg project, observation/demonstration, essay, assingnment, checklist) and due date here

Assessment task 1: [title]      Due date:

(add new lines for each of the assessment tasks)

Assessment Tasks

Copy and paste from the following data to produce each assessment task. Write these in plain English and spell out how, when and where the task is to be carried out, under what conditions, and what resources are needed. Include guidelines about how well the candidate has to perform a task for it to be judged satisfactory.

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


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

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


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


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:






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.

Customermay 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


who are:

drug or alcohol affected

emotionally unstable

mentally unstable

physically unwell.

Blood pressure testing instrument 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


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


locating and attaching cuff to patient’s arm

replacing battery

taking a test reading.

Self-testing strategiesmay 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


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.


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


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 practices 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.

Copy and paste from the following performance criteria to create an observation checklist for each task. When you have finished writing your assessment tool every one of these must have been addressed, preferably several times in a variety of contexts. To ensure this occurs download the assessment matrix for the unit; enter each assessment task as a column header and place check marks against each performance criteria that task addresses.

Observation Checklist

Tasks to be observed according to workplace/college/TAFE policy and procedures, relevant legislation and Codes of Practice Yes No Comments/feedback
Follow pharmacy protocols and procedures to determine customer requirements. 
Identify and act on triggers for referral to a pharmacist. 
Follow pharmacy procedures to respect and protect customer privacy. 
Consult customer and explain that a single test is not an accurate indicator, and suggest monitoring at regular intervals. 
Select a comfortable area without distractions and allow the customer to relax for five minutes before taking the test. 
Select the blood pressure testing instrument, ensure that the cuff size fits, and explain the testing procedure to the customer. 
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. 
Enter results on pharmacy blood pressure testing record and refer to pharmacist for checking and follow-up with the customer where required. 
Provide confirmed record to the customer and file a copy according pharmacy procedures. 
Advise customer on the availability of repeat pharmacy blood pressure testing services. 
Inform customer regarding the features and components of home blood pressure testing equipment from the pharmacy range. 
Demonstrate use, care and maintenance of digital home blood pressure testing equipment and recommend specific self-testing equipment to customers. 
Assist customer in identifying relevant self-testing strategies to achieve accurate readings. 
Show customer how to keep a personal blood pressure record chart. 
Interpret and apply pharmacy procedures for compliance with the conditionsrelating to supply of blood pressure testing equipment. 
Encourage customer to take and record regular blood pressure readings and show these to their doctor where required. 
Advise customer to calibrate home blood pressure machine reading against their doctor’s mercury sphygmomanometer reading every six months. 
Access relevant sources and provide customer with information on lifestyle andself-care practices. 


Assessment Cover Sheet

SIRCHCS407 - Test blood pressure and advise on self-monitoring
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Assessment Record Sheet

SIRCHCS407 - Test blood pressure and advise on self-monitoring

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