Assist in preparing dose administration containers

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


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


SIRPPKS001A Support the sale of pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines

SIRPDIS003A Assist in dispensary operations

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

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 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 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


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


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.



Community Pharmacy

Competency Field


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.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.