Support the sale of pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines

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


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.



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 saleof 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

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 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 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:




refer or recommend



who is the patient?

how long have they had the symptom?

actual 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.



Community Pharmacy

Competency Field

Community Pharmacy Product

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.