This qualification reflects the role of individuals who apply pharmacy product and service knowledge along with retail skills to provide service to customers in a community pharmacy environment. Work is undertaken with some autonomy but under the supervision of a pharmacist.
The structure of this qualification recognises the diversity of business models that characterise the community pharmacy industry. It supports multiskilling and participation in work teams as appropriate to the size and structure of the business.
Individuals with this qualification are able to perform pharmacy assistant roles, such as:
communicating with customers to identify needs
accepting and delivering prescriptions to and from customers
applying specialised product knowledge to recommend and supply pharmacy products and services to customers
operating within the legislative framework, regulation and protocols that apply to community pharmacy
recognising and acting on situations or requests that require referral to a pharmacist
assisting in the dispensary
creating and maintaining displays
merchandising products and performing stock control.
To achieve a Certificate III in Community Pharmacy 26 units must be completed:
17 core units
9 elective units:
5 units must be selected from Group A Pharmacy Support
the remaining 4 units may be selected from:
Group B General Elective Units, or
SIR07 V3 Retail Services Training Package or another endorsed Training Package or accredited course, provided the units are first packaged at AQF level 2, 3 or 4 in the parent 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).
This qualification is suitable for an Australian Apprenticeship pathway and is not recommended for VET in Schools delivery.
Pathways into the qualification
People may enter this qualification with limited or no vocational experience and without a lower level qualification, or they may have previously completely a Certificate II qualification.
Pathways from the qualification
After achieving this qualification, people may progress to a Certificate IV in Community Pharmacy or to Certificate IV qualifications other service industry fields.
There are no entry requirements for this qualification.
All relevant federal, state or territory legislation, Pharmacy Board of Australia Guidelines, and established practice and quality assurance standards are to be met.
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.
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.
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 evidencebased 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.
Planning and organising
Operate within 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 point-of-sale, information and database systems. Sell a range of products including kits, aids and equipment. Explain how these items operate. Assist the customer in appropriate selection depending on their need or capacity, demonstrate safe use and provide information on care and maintenance as appropriate.