Provide information, products and services on complementary medicine

This unit covers skills and knowledge required to develop a basic understanding of complementary medicine and provide information to customers on products, services and customer self-care practices to support customers to purchase appropriate complementary medicine and related products.


This unit supports front-of-store sales work roles and is carried out under direction of a pharmacist.


SIRPPKS001A Support the sale of pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines.

Elements and Performance Criteria




Develop knowledge of complementary medicines and products and their application.


Identify pharmacy range of complementary medicines and products.


Identify health conditions that may benefit from use of complementary medicines and products.


Identify and access sources of information, specialist services and practitioners.


Identify methods of using complementary medicines according to relevant information sources.


Identify customer needs.


Identify customer needs, symptoms, duration and severity.


Determine customer's current use of other medications and other medical conditions.


Identify and act upon situations requiring referral to pharmacist.


Provide information on complementary medicine-related products and support services.


Provide customers with information on lifestyle, self-care practices and specialist services to support complementary medicine management.


Recommend complementary medicines and products appropriate to customer symptoms and needs.


Provide the customer with information and directions for product use.


Explain and demonstrate use, care and maintenance of aids, test kits and equipment as appropriate to customer needs.


Identify and act upon opportunities to suggest companion products relevant to desired health care outcomes.

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 medication and self-care information

respect and maintain privacy and confidentiality of customer information

demonstrate procedures for identifying symptoms and identifying and selling complementary medicines and products

locate specialist information and services to support complementary medicine

maintain currency of knowledge about complementary medicines and products

demonstrate procedures for using relevant aids, self-testing kits and equipment that may assist customers

access and use information systems as required by the role

plan and organise work to meet customer service requirements.

The following knowledge must be assessed as part of this unit:

pharmacy policies, protocols and procedures relating to the sale of complementary medicines, aids, kits and equipment

common symptoms of conditions that may benefit from the use of complementary medicine

lifestyle, self-care and support service information

range of complementary medicines and basic understanding of methods of use and application and modes of action

common side effects of taking complementary medicines, including awareness of common interactions with other medicines

product and health condition terminology

complementary medicine aids and equipment

principles of evidence-based assessment as they apply to assessing the efficacy of complementary medicines and awareness of credible sources of information on product range

use, care and storage requirements for aids and equipment

sources of information, advice and specialist services related to complementary medicine

role boundaries and responsibilities, and circumstances under which referral to a pharmacist or other pharmacy staff is required

communication skills to collect and provide information to customers, including use of structured and open-ended questions and interpretation of non-verbal cues

procedures to follow for collecting and supplying information to an agent acting on behalf of a customer

communication methods and systems to operate as part of a team and provide relevant information to a pharmacist and other pharmacy staff as 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 complementary medicines, aids and equipment, including:

collecting the required information from customers

identifying situations or requests requiring referral to a pharmacist and refer appropriately

identifying and supplying the relevant medicines, information, aids and equipment to meet customer needs

demonstrating use of complementary medicines, aids and equipment

applies knowledge of the common symptoms that may benefit from the use of complementary medicines

applies knowledge of complementary medicines, aids and equipment appropriate to treat or manage conditions

applies knowledge of lifestyle, self-care practices and support services

identifies and refers to specialist sources of information, advice and expertise to assist the customer and maintain currency of knowledge

respects and protects customer privacy when communicating with customers

provides information to customers in ways appropriate to customer needs and demonstrates appropriate techniques to confirm understanding

recognises the situations requiring referral to a pharmacist or other pharmacy staff according to pharmacy policy

plans and carries out work to meet customer service workflow requirements.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

demonstration of the sale of complementary medicines and products, over sufficient time to demonstrate handling of a range of contingencies

performance is observed by the assessor or a technical expert working in partnership with the assessor.

access to a real or simulated pharmacy environment

access to relevant pharmacy protocols and procedures

access to relevant documentation, such as:

complementary medicine and product and service information

self-care and lifestyle advice

access to a range of customers with different requirements (real or simulated)

access to a range of complementary medicine products.

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 selling complementary medicines, aids and equipment 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.

Complementary medicines and products:

may include:




essential oils


miscellaneous supplements.

must comply with:

federal and state or territory legislation

industry codes of practice, standards and guidelines

community pharmacy policies, protocols and procedures relating to the sale of complementary medicines and products, aids and equipment.

Health conditions that may benefit from use of complementary medicines and products may include:

cardio-vascular conditions


pregnancy and breast feeding.

Sources of information, specialist services and practitioners may include:

health care information

pharmacy or supplier product leaflets, brochures and manuals

manufacturer information

industry and professional publications

medicines databases



support organisations

other health care specialists

relevant websites.

Methods of using complementary medicines may include:

ingesting, e.g. vitamin tablets

topical preparation, e.g. vitamin E cream

inhalation (oil burners, vaporisers).

Other medications may include:

prescription medicines

pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines.

Recommendations refer to:

only those medicines not requiring referral to a pharmacist for therapeutic advice. This may include S2 medicines and general (non-scheduled) items

aids, test kits and equipment.



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.