Print Download PDF

PHARM12.2016 Order pharmaceutical stock


This standard covers the ordering of pharmaceutical stock that is necessary to provide a pharmacy service. Your practice will be consistent with your occupational role and carried out under the regulatory, professional and ethical frameworks established in the context of current legislation. You will need to take a reflective approach to your work. You will work at all times within Standard Operating Procedures that relate to the way in which a pharmacy service is provided in your place of work. A caring and compassionate approach should be adopted in line with current healthcare guidance. Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies. Version No 2

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:
  1. the Standard Operating Procedures and the importance of adhering to them at all times
  2. the importance of working within the limits of your competence and authority, when to seek agreement or permission from others and when to refer on to an appropriate person
  3. current health and safety legislation and how it applies to the working environment
  4. legal, organisational and policy requirements relevant to your role, the role of others in your organisation and the activities being carried out
  5. the relevant national and local guidelines, policies and procedures that are available and how and when they should be accessed
  6. the importance of adhering to information governance policies and maintaining confidentiality when sharing information about individuals with others
  7. the duty to report any acts or omissions that could be detrimental to individuals, yourself, colleagues or your employer
  8. the different procurement processes and legislation that applies to the ordering of pharmaceutical stock
  9. your responsibilities and current guidelines that apply when ordering pharmaceutical stock
  10. the difference between proprietary and generic medicines
  11. the different forms of medicines and why it is important to order appropriate quantities of the correct form and strength
  12. how to place an order with the appropriate supplier
  13. the importance of ensuring that stock is available based on the needs of individuals
  14. the impact stock availability may have on the care of individuals
  15. the importance of taking account of seasonal variations when ordering pharmaceutical stock
  16. the action to be taken if stock is unavailable
  17. the input and retrieval of stock data to ensure levels are appropriate for stock management
  18. the importance of recording, storing and retrieving information in accordance with organisational procedures

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:
  1. work within the relevant Standard Operating Procedures including the relevant health and safety procedures and within your own limits of competence
  2. accurately identify pharmaceutical stock requirements
  3. confirm the order contains the correct:
    1. item
    2. form
    3. strength
    4. amount required
  4. allow for seasonal variations in use of stock when placing the order
  5. check the order with an appropriate person, when necessary
  6. process the order with the correct supplier/location using the documentation/method required in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures
  7. if stock is unavailable from the supplier/location, take appropriate action to ensure that the care of individuals is not affected
  8. ensure that particular attention is paid to any special orders and the progress of any outstanding orders
  9. act within the limits of your authority and refer any problems to an appropriate person
  10. complete all relevant documentation and store appropriately in accordance with legal and organisational requirements

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: G3 Procurement and Commissioning
PHARM12.2016 Order pharmaceutical stock
Final version approved February 2016 © copyright Skills For Health,
For competence management tools visit