Procure, store, maintain and distribute pharmaceutical stock

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to maintain a pharmaceutical stock control system and distribute pharmaceutical products according to standard operating procedures (SOPs) that comply with good pharmacy practice and legal requirements


The application of knowledge and skills takes place around standards, guidelines, 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

Procure stock

1.1 Identify items for order

1.2 Obtain requisition requirements from authorised personnel

1.3 Source supplier

1.4 Identify availability and cost of item and provide information to pharmacist

1.5 Generate order

1.6 Place order following approval by delegated staff member

Process new stock

2.1 Accept delivery of stock and match delivery documentation with stock delivered

2.2 Check condition of stock and report deviations to the appropriate person

2.3 Reconcile stock with control lists and/or check products against order and report discrepancies to the appropriate person

2.4 Inform pharmacist of scheduled medicines according to legal requirements

2.5 Maintain batch traceability

2.6 Accurately complete data capture requirements

2.7 Comply with organisation procedures to return stock to supplier

Handle and maintain stock

3.1 Store stock according to stock storage requirements

3.2 Maintain conditions to minimise the risk of contaminating products

3.3 Monitor stock on a regular basis report deviations to the appropriate person

3.4 Monitor and maintain correct storage requirements and report deviations to the appropriate person

3.5 Maintain location maps

Ensure stock security

4.1 Check compliance with security procedures

4.2 Report security irregularities to the appropriate person

Select and pack item order

5.1 Select items according to order requirements

5.2 Pack items correctly

5.3 Complete all data entry requirements associated with processing orders

5.4 Check labelling, specific handling instructions and delivery information for accuracy in line with identified requirements

5.5 Check order for completion

5.6 Check packaging is completed according to specific instructions

Dispatch orders accurately and in a timely manner

6.1 Check route sheets and other delivery documentation for accuracy and follow requirements

6.2 Implement packaging and handling procedures to ensure the security, integrity, cold chain maintenance and breakage avoidance of delivered goods

6.3 Complete medicine registers, where required

6.4 Complete other documentation as required

Process returned stock

7.1 Comply with organisation procedure for receiving returned stock

7.2 Inspect returned products for their expiry date and integrity, and place in designated area

7.3 Place re-usable returned stock in appropriate designated area

7.4 Dispose of unusable returned items according to organisation procedure

7.5 Complete inspection documentation accurately and forward for authorisation

7.6 Maintain accurate records and complete credit process in a timely manner

Assist in stocktaking procedures

8.1 Check stock lists of all items for stocktaking

8.2 Reconcile actual stock against stock lists

8.3 Count stock and check expiry dates

8.4 Identify stock discrepancies and report to the appropriate person

8.5 Determine minimum and maximum stock levels and report to the appropriate person

Maintain relevant documentation

9.1 Complete and file documentation

9.2 Reconcile statements and invoices

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/territory regulatory and legislative requirements

Different methods of disposal of unwanted pharmaceutical products and outdated stock

Identification and handling of products, including:

formulary medicines and non-formulary medicines (e.g. clinical trial medicines and Special Access Scheme (SAS) 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, including:

maintaining a clean working environment and equipment

personal hygiene and the use of protective clothing

Knowledge of and the rationale for applicable legislation, organisation policy and in-house standard operating procedures (SOPs), relating to stock procurement, storage maintenance and distribution

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

Medical/pharmaceutical terminology required for hospital / health services pharmacy work

Work Health and Safety (WHS) policies, guidelines and symbols relating to stock procurement, storage, maintenance and distribution

Packaging and transport specifications for various products

Pharmacy or health service computer system to input and access data relevant to stock control

Principles of procurement of pharmaceutical products including:

central supply systems and tender processes

purpose and process of purchasing contracts

sources of stock, including non-formulary items and SAS items

sources to determine legitimate receivers of stock

stock ordering processes

Principles and practices of ethical and professional codes of conduct

Principles and procedures of stock control and maintenance including:

input and access of data relevant to stock control

financial implications of stock level control

maintaining security of pharmaceutical products

purpose of batch numbering and expiry dates on pharmaceutical items

procedures for dealing with drug alerts and company recalls

Procedures for dealing with returned stock

Principles of storage of pharmaceutical products including storage requirements and the rationale for different types of items

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

Understand the difference between generic drug and trade name/(s) of medicines

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

Procure and store pharmaceutical stock accurately and efficiently

Refer issues identified outside scope of practice to the appropriate person

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) to procure, store, maintain and distribute pharmaceutical stock

Apply correct distribution principles to prevent contamination or deterioration of the items, damage to packs or confusion of items

Communicate and interact effectively with colleagues, health care practitioners and clients

Distinguish between ‘look alike’ and ‘sound alike’ pharmaceutical items in procuring, storing and disposing of stock

Ensure optimal usage of stock prior to expiry date

Enter and access data on pharmacy computer system

Identify discrepancies/deviations of pharmacy stock and refer to the appropriate person

Identify, maintain and report working stock levels, (e.g. slow moving items, overstocks, discrepancies, out-of-stocks, expired stock and damaged stock)

Store and maintain pharmaceutical products, including:

maintenance of location maps

maintenance of stock control documentation

maintenance of stock security

monitoring the quality of stock and storage conditions, including temperature, light, humidity, pest control and stock organisation

Source supplier and place an order

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

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 far 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

stock reporting and data systems

Method of assessment

Formal appraisal systems

Interviewing and questioning

Observation in the work place

Supporting statement of supervisor

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 culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) environments

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.

Check condition of stock includes checking:

Cold chain indicator

Evidence of inappropriate exposure to light

Evidence of moisture damage

Packaging integrity

Expiry date

Storage requirements may include:


Cold chain

Correct storage of hazardous substances

Correct temperature




Logical and auditable system

Pest control


Rotation of stock



Monitor stock includes but is not limited to monitoring:

Over stocks

Quality of stock includes:



damaged stock


Slow moving stock

Stock discrepancies

Security procedures may apply to:

Handling controlled substances (e.g. Schedule 8 medicines)

In-store security

Stock dispatched

Stock received

Pack items correctly includes complying with procedures:

For hazardous items

To maintain integrity, cold chain and security

To maintain temperature, security and safety requirements

To minimise breakages

Data entry requirements include:

Enter transaction into pharmacy computer system

Generate packing slip and include in package

Label clearly, including specific handling instructions

Orders may be from :




Sub-acute, non-acute and residential care facilities


Not applicable.

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not applicable.