Certificate III in Community Pharmacy

This qualification provides the skills and knowledge for an individual to be competent to work in a community pharmacy. Likely functions within the community pharmacy industry for those who achieve this level of competency include developing specialist product knowledge to support customers to prevent and/or manage health conditions, assisting in the dispensary, merchandising and marketing products and controlling stock, and basic staff development and training.

The work role of the community pharmacy/dispensary assistant is defined by the pharmacy registering authorities (state and territory Pharmacy Boards). When selling pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines, the pharmacy assistant provides a filter to identify customer information and requirements for referral to the pharmacist.

The structure of this qualification recognises the diversity of business models that characterise the community pharmacy industry. It supports multi-skilling and participation in work teams as appropriate to the size and structure of the business.

This qualification is suitable for an Australian Apprenticeship pathway.

Job roles

Pharmacy assistant



To achieve a Certificate III in Community Pharmacy, 34 units must be completed:

all 21 core units

13 elective units:

A minimum of 3 elective units must be selected from the Elective Units: Group A below.

A further 10 elective units may be selected as follows.

A maximum of 10 elective units may be selected from the Elective Units in Group A or Group B below.

A maximum of 2 elective units may be selected from the Elective Units: Group C below.

A maximum of 5 elective units may be selected from elsewhere in the Retail Services Training Package or from any other endorsed Training Package or accredited course. These must be units which are packaged within a Certificate II or higher qualification in the parent Training Package. Training Packages that overlap with Community Pharmacy activities include Health, Business Services and Beauty.

Elective units selected must be additional to those already counted towards a lower level qualification within this Training Package.

In all cases selection of electives must be guided by the job outcome, local industry requirements and the characteristics of this qualification (as per the AQF descriptors).


add topic HLTCSD306B

Respond effectively to difficult or challenging behaviour

add topic SIRPDIS001A

Accept prescriptions and deliver medicine

add topic SIRPPKS001A

Support the sale of pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines

add topic SIRPPKS002A

Identify, locate and sell products related to allergies

add topic SIRPPKS003A

Identify, locate and sell analgesic and anti-inflammatory products

add topic SIRPPKS005A

Identify, locate and sell cough and cold products

add topic SIRPPKS006A

Identify, locate and sell eye, ear and oral care products

add topic SIRPPKS007A

Identify, locate and sell products for gastro-intestinal conditions

add topic SIRPPKS008A

Identify, locate and sell first aid and wound care products

add topic SIRPPKS009A

Identify, locate and sell products for skin and fungal conditions

add topic SIRPPKS010A

Assist in the management of pharmacy and pharmacist-only medicines

add topic SIRXCCS001A

Apply point-of-sale handling procedures

add topic SIRXCCS002A

Interact with customers

add topic SIRXCLM001A

Organise and maintain work areas

add topic SIRXCOM001A

Communicate in the workplace

add topic SIRXIND001A

Work effectively in a retail environment

add topic SIRXINV001A

Perform stock control procedures

add topic SIRXMER001A

Merchandise products

add topic SIRXOHS001A

Apply safe working practices

add topic SIRXRSK001A

Minimise theft

add topic SIRXSLS001A

Sell products and services



add topic SIRPDIS003A

Assist in dispensary operations

add topic SIRPDIS004A

Assist in dispensary stock control

add topic SIRPDIS005A

Assist in preparing dose administration containers

add topic SIRPDIS006A

Assist in preparing extemporaneous prescriptions

Community Pharmacy: Product

add topic SIRPPKS011A

Provide information, products and services on asthma

add topic SIRPPKS012A

Provide information, products and services on blood pressure

add topic SIRPPKS013A

Provide information, products and services on complementary medicine

add topic SIRPPKS014A

Provide information, products and services on diabetes

add topic SIRPPKS015A

Provide information, products and services on diet, nutrition and weight management

add topic SIRPPKS016A

Provide information, products and services to support home health care

add topic SIRPPKS017A

Provide information, products and services on pregnancy and maternal health

add topic SIRPPKS018A

Provide information, products and services on smoking cessation

add topic SIRPPKS019A

Provide information, products and services on women's and men's health

add topic SIRPPKS020A

Provide information, products and services on wound care



add topic SIRXADM001A

Apply retail office procedures

add topic SIRXADM002A

Coordinate retail office


add topic SIRXFIN002A

Perform retail finance duties

add topic SIRXFIN003A

Produce financial reports

Human Resources Management

add topic BSBWOR301A

Organise personal work priorities and development

add topic TAAASS301A

Contribute to assessment

add topic TAADEL301A

Provide training through instruction and demonstration of work skills


add topic SIRXINV002A

Maintain and order stock


add topic SIRXMER002A

Coordinate merchandise presentation

add topic SIRPMER001A

Market and promote pharmacy products and services area


Management and Leadership

add topic SIRXMGT001A

Coordinate work teams

add topic SIRXMGT002A

Maintain employee relations

Quality and Innovation

add topic SIRXQUA005A

Maintain operational quality and productivity

Risk Management and Security

add topic SIRXRSK003A

Apply store security systems and procedures


add topic SIRXSLS003A

Coordinate sales performance

add topic SIRXSLS004A

Build relationships with customers


Computer Operations and ICT Management

add topic SIRXICT001A

Operate retail technology


add topic SIRPDIS002A

Deliver prescription medicines to customers outside the pharmacy


add topic SIRXFIN001A

Balance point-of-sale terminal

Community Pharmacy: Product

add topic SIRPPKS004A

Identify, locate and sell baby and infant products

Retail Product Knowledge

add topic SIRXRPK001A

Recommend health and nutritional products

add topic SIRXRPK002A

Recommend hair, beauty and cosmetic products and services

Subject lists

Certificate III in Community Pharmacy cbf5e
Certificate III in Community Pharmacy cbf5e
Certificate III in Community Pharmacy cbf5e


    Not applicable.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements

There are no prerequisites for entry to this qualification.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.

Employability Skills


SIR30107 Certificate III in Community Pharmacy

The following table contains a summary of the employability skills required by the community pharmacy industry for this qualification. The employability skills facets described here are broad industry requirements that may vary depending on qualification packaging options.

Employability skill

Industry/enterprise requirements for this qualification include:


Use communication skills to establish customer requirements, answer questions and provide information on pharmacy products and services. Communicate about highly personal and sensitive information that requires empathy, tact and confidentiality. Manage difficult, elderly, ill or drug affected customers. Be familiar with technical terms used to describe products and/or used in product and health care information.

Problem solving

Solve problems within a framework of established business procedures and protocols and with reference to the pharmacist. Source information and services to meet customer needs and requests. This involves evaluating product information, for example, to distinguish between hearsay and evidence-based product information to support appropriate customer choices.

Initiative and enterprise

Use initiative in identifying the most appropriate products and services for customers and to maintain current knowledge of product range and market trends. Opportunities for initiative and enterprise occur within established business procedures and protocols and with reference to the pharmacist.


Work closely with the pharmacist to assist in managing the sale of appropriate products and services to community pharmacy customers. This may include supporting other pharmacy team members to carry out their role as required and according to business size and structure.

Planning and organising

Understand the boundaries of their job role, established by legislation, guidelines and business protocols and procedures. Assist the pharmacist in managing the sale of products including scheduled medicines. This can include managing information systems, stock management and display and ensuring that procedures and protocols are implemented.


Understand the legal context, including the boundaries of the job role and also an awareness of the special requirements for selling medicines and managing scheduled medicines. This involves a detailed understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the pharmacy assistant and how these relate to the role of the pharmacist. Take responsibility for their own time management and actively seek and respond to advice and feedback.


Maintain current knowledge about the products and services sold by their pharmacy. Access a range of sources of information and expertise to update their own knowledge and provide current information to customers.


Use computer-based information and database systems. Sell a range of products including kits, aids and equipment. Understand how these items operate, assist the customer in appropriate selection depending on their need/capacity, demonstrate safe use and provide information on care and maintenance as appropriate.

Due to the high proportion of electives required by this qualification, the industry/enterprise requirements described above for each employability skill are representative of community pharmacy in general and may not reflect specific job roles. Learning and assessment strategies for this qualification should be based on the requirements of the units of competency for this qualification.