CHS2 Assist in the administration of medication


This standard is about assisting in the administration of medication either to an individual, or as part of a larger process where a “drug round” may be undertaken. You will always work with other staff within this context whose role is to lead the process and need to work within your own role and area of responsibility.

This activity may be undertaken in a variety of settings, including hospitals, residential and nursing homes, hospices, including the individual’s own home.

The administration may include medication(s) from various drug categories such as:

• General Sales List

• Pharmacy only

• Prescription only medication

Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies.

Version No 1

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:

  1. the current European and National legislation, national guidelines, organisational policies and protocols in accordance with Clinical/Corporate Governance which affect your work practice in relation to assisting in the administration of medication
  2. your responsibilities and accountability in relation to the current European and National legislation, national guidelines and local policies and protocols and Clinical/Corporate Governance
  3. the duty to report any acts or omissions in care that could be detrimental to yourself, other individuals or your employer
  4. the importance of working within your own sphere of competence and seeking advice when faced with situations outside your sphere of competence
  5. the importance of applying standard precautions when assisting with the administration of medication and the potential consequences of poor practice
  6. why medication should only be administered against the individual’s medication administration record and consistent with the prescriber’s advice
  7. who is responsible within your work setting for checking and confirming that the details and instructions on the medication label are correct for the client and with the medication administration record sheet/protocol
  8. the actions you should take if you disagree with the person leading the administration of medication
  9. the instructions for the use of medication on patient information leaflets and manufacturers instructions
  10. the different routes for the administration of medication
  11. the information which needs to be on the label of a medication and its significance
  12. the various aids, which can be used to help individuals take their medication
  13. the importance of communication and different ways in which you can communicate
  14. the importance of identifying the individual for whom the medications are prescribed
  15. why it is vital that you confirm the medication against the prescription/protocol with the person leading the administration before administering it
  16. the importance of correctly recording your activities as required
  17. the importance of keeping accurate and up to date records
  18. the importance of immediately reporting any issues, which are outside your own sphere of competence without delay to the relevant member of staff

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:

  1. apply standard precautions for infection prevention and control any other relevant health and safety measures
  2. check that all medication administration records or protocols are available, up to date and legible with the member of staff leading the process
  3. report any discrepancies or omissions you might find to the person in control of the administration and to relevant staff as appropriate
  4. read the medication administration record with the person leading the administration, checking and confirming the medication required, the dose and the route of administration against the record/protocol, and confirming the expiry date of the medication
  5. refer confusing or incomplete instructions back to the relevant member of staff or the pharmacist
  6. check and confirm the identity of the individual who is to receive the medication with the person leading the activity and with the individual themselves, using a variety of methods, before the medication is administered
  7. contribute to administering the medication to the individual in the appropriate manner, using the correct technique and at the prescribed time according to the care plan
  8. assist the individual to be as self managing as possible and refer any problems or queries to the relevant staff or pharmacist
  9. seek help and advice from a relevant member of staff if the individual will not or cannot take the medication
  10. check and confirm that the individual actually takes the medication and does not pass medication to others
  11. contribute to completing the necessary records relating to the administration of medications legibly, accurately and completely
  12. return medication administration records to the agreed place for storage and maintain the confidentiality of information relating to the individual at all times
  13. ensure the security of medications throughout the process and ensure all medication is stored in the correct safe place when administration is complete
  14. check the stock level of medications and assist in the reordering if necessary and applicable

Additional Information

This National Occupational Standard was developed by Skills for Health.

This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004):

Dimension: HWB5 Provision of care to meet health and wellbeing needs

This standard has replaced HCS_CP20, HCS_GI12 and HCS_N3
CHS2 Assist in the administration of medication
Final version approved June 2010 © copyright Skills For Health
For competence management tools visit tools.skillsforhealth.org.uk