Maintain pharmaceutical imprest stock

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to maintain pharmaceutical imprest stock, excluding the dispensing of prescriptions, and according to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and within legal requirements


The application of knowledge and skills takes place around standards, guidelines, organisation policies and procedures and under the supervision of a qualified person

Individuals may take responsibility for their own outputs

Work performed requires a range of well developed skills where some discretion and judgement is required


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria

Generate/receive and check stock requisition/imprest list

1.1 Establish needs to replenish stock and determine quantity against specified minimum/maximum levels

1.2 Use appropriate technology to complete stock checks and print picking list(s) of requisition items

1.3 Check that requisition lists comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs) and department requirements

1.4 Report deviations to an authorised person

Select and dispatch stock

2.1 Obtain clearance for the order from an authorised person

2.2 Select requisitioned products and place into appropriate delivery containers

2.3 Complete transaction in pharmacy computer and generate packing slip

2.4 Store and pack completed requisitions within the pharmacy prior to delivery

2.5 Deliver stock to the designated area

2.6 Check and confirm accuracy of stock placement

2.7 Store stock according to manufacturers’ recommended storage conditions

2.8 Ensure an authorised person verifies, checks and signs for medicines on receipt where required

Complete documentation process

3.1 Complete and file documentation

3.2 Collate medicines usage information and record statistics for authorised person

3.3 Update imprest lists, based on stock usage and medicines inventory changes in liaison with relevant staff

3.4 Report changes to stock usage that may impact on stock control to an authorised person

Required Skills

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

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes knowledge of:

Awareness of indemnity issues in relation to Commonwealth/State regulatory and legislative requirements

Common proprietary and generic names of pharmaceutical products

Identification and handling of pharmaceutical products, including

formulary medicines and non-formulary medicines e.g. clinical trial medicines and Special Access Scheme medicines

products with the required integrity as well as those whose integrity has been compromised e.g. damaged, contaminated or deteriorated stock

routine handling of products and products requiring special handling, e.g. cytotoxics and their spill management, refrigerated and frozen items, light sensitive materials and flammables

Infection control principles:

for maintaining a clean storage environment and equipment

personal hygiene and the use of protective clothing when handling pharmaceutical products

Knowledge of, and the rationale for, applicable legislation, organisation policy and in-house standard operating procedures (SOPs), relating to maintaining an imprest pharmaceutical store

Knowledge of the legal responsibilities of providers of health care in relation to confidentiality, client rights, duty of care and implications of negligence

Limitations of own work role including identification and referring of issues outside scope of practice to the authorised person

Work Health and Safety (WHS) policies, guidelines and symbols and their relevance to maintaining a pharmaceutical imprest stock

Pharmacy or health facility computer system to maintain pharmaceutical stock levels

Principles and practices of ethical and professional codes of conduct

Principles and procedures of:

maintaining security of pharmaceutical products

of stock control and maintenance of pharmaceutical products

storage requirements and the rationale for different types of products

Purpose of batch numbering and expiry dates on pharmaceutical products

Standard pharmaceutical references including Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary (APF), MIMs, AMH and Micromedex

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

Carry out maintenance of a pharmaceutical imprest system to meet the needs of the organisation

Refer issues identified outside scope of practice to the appropriate person

Select products accurately

Use technology to maintain imprest stock e.g. portable data entry (PDE) devices, pharmacy computer system

Work in accordance with relevant work health and safety, and infection control guidelines

Work in accordance with relevant organisation policy, legislative requirements, industrial awards and agreements and in-house standard operating procedures (SOPs)

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes the ability to:

Communicate and interact effectively with pharmacy staff and health care practitioners

Interpret stock usage and make suggestions for inventory changes

Take into account opportunities to address waste minimisation, environmental responsibility and sustainable practice issues

Use available resources and prioritise workload

Use literacy, numeracy and oral communication skills required to fulfil the position in a safe manner as specified by the health care facility

Use problem solving skills to ensure that the imprest system meets the needs of the organisation

Evidence Required

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 this competency unit:

The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills

Observation of workplace performance is essential for assessment of this unit

Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over the required range of situations relevant to the workplace

Where, for reasons of safety, space, or access to equipment and resources, assessment takes place away from the workplace, the assessment environment should represent workplace conditions as closely as possible

Context of and specific resources for assessment:

Assessment should replicate workplace conditions as closely as possible

Simulations may be used to represent workplace conditions as closely as possible. Acceptable simulation requires:

scope to determine that work is conducted within legislative and regulatory requirements

scope to determine that work is conducted within WHS and infection control requirements

Resources essential for assessment include:

access to relevant workplace or a simulated environment where assessment can take place

relevant legislation, regulations and guidelines

pharmacy imprest system

Method of assessment may include:

Formal appraisal systems

Interviewing and questioning

Observation in the work place

Supporting statement of supervisor(s)

Written assignments/projects

Access and equity considerations:

All workers in the health industry should be aware of access and equity issues in relation to their own area of work

All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment

In recognition of particular health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

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. Add any 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.

Designated area may include:

Automated medication distribution system


Drug safes

Medication drawers

Special storage area e .g. refrigerator as required for correct storage condition


Storage conditions may include:


Cold chain

Correct storage of hazardous substances

Correct temperature




Pest control




Not applicable.

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not applicable.