Making Risky Business Safe


While medications contribute significantly to the health and well-being of an individual, they also have a potential to cause harm if not stored, checked, and administered safely. This training session explores the required safe practices related to each of these areas, to ensure medicines provided to the older person accomplishes the outcomes for which they were prescribed. Fundamental to safe medication administration is also recognising the responsibility of each member of the professional team involved with medicines and ensuring that appropriate communication occurs, especially when changes in the resident are observed or issues arise. In line with the organisation’s policy and procedures, the required documentation and reporting requirements are explored and practiced through different case studies incorporated within the education workshop.
Understanding the different ways medicine require to be administered as well as reviewing current individual practices to ensure that they are reflective of best practice is a key area of this education. In this area of the training the appropriate storage, security and expiry of medications are also discussed and reviewed.
Medication charts and associated documentation processes are looked at within this education including understanding of the medicine care plan and related documented information on medicine charts pertaining to medicine allergies and side effects and administration requirements.

Key topics include:
– The scope of practice of personal care workers in the administration of medications
– The roles and responsibilities responsibility of other members of the professional team involved with medicines.
– Ways to ensure safe and appropriate medication administration in aged care, including reading of medicine orders and chart areas to ensure understanding of required practices.
– How to safely administer medicines to a resident with a swallowing issue, including the risks associated with crushing medications.
– Infection control practices related to medication administration, including related cleaning practices and maintaining of medicine stocks in the medication trolley.
– Different modes of medication administration and how to safely administer these medicines in accordance with best practice.

Competency Assessment:
Included in this training is a range of competency assessment activities to assess both currency of skill and knowledge of the medicines as well as associated administration practices.
This includes:
– Completion of a written learning review workbook.
– Practical competency assessment of medicine administration, including from a DAA and for different medicine forms.
– Completion of case studies that require management of different medicine issues and resident needs and preferences.

Medication Competency Assessment System


IMGP2837_Red-001Competency is an observable measure that demonstrates not only the ability to perform a skill to a required standard of practice but involves the consistent and committed application of knowledge to ensure repeated procedures are similarly to this expected level. In competency assessment appropriate evidence is collected upon which professional judgements are made that reflect the meeting of required standards of practice and knowledge levels. It is the assessor’s responsibility to collect this evidence and upon evaluation conclude whether the achievement of competency has been established.

Specific resources are needed to not only detail the expected standards of competency that are required but also to document and provide evidence in relation to the assessment undertaken and achieved outcome. The Medication Management Competency Assessment System is designed to meet the needs of Residential Aged Care Facilities in accordance with assessing the competency of staff aligned to medicine administration and management. The system has been developed in accordance with legislative and regulatory requirements as well as professional standards and guidelines, with appropriate references provided for further review and reflection.

Overview – Resources for Medication Competency Assessment
Pathways medication competency assessment system includes the following resources:

  • Competency Assessment Policy and procedure – these are the foundations for the competency assessment system and cover all competency practices within the organisation.
  • The medication competency assessment tools are made of three parts including:
    • Competency Standard (CS) – Presents an overview of the area of competence that is to be assessed, including the assessment environment and any related professional, legislative or statutory guidelines that need to be maintained.
    • Practical Competency Assessment Guidelines (CAG) – Detail the expected competency that is to be achieved throughout the assessment area, including the individual elements that must be met by the participant in order for a judgement of competence to be made. Guidelines are reflective of the required performance standards of relevant legislative and regulatory authorities, as well as organisation performance requirements.
    • Practical Competency Assessment Form (CAF) – This is the documentation on which individual recording and reporting of the competency assessment outcomes are documented by an Assessor.
  • For each of the medication competency assessment guidelines there is a library of competency assessment resources that provides suggested tools to assess the knowledge and attitude (commitment) to the elements contained within the assessment form. These include case studies and scenarios that can be easily completed in a mock setup in the workplace.
  • A range of competency assessment tools for specific modes of administration including injections. This enables performance management of staff following a medicine incident (involving a particular mode of medicine administration) or where staff were unfamiliar with some of the different medicine modes.
  • Learning Review Workbook Resources – These are used to assess the knowledge and understanding of related competency areas as well as evaluate skills in accordance with a range of scenarios and different settings. Different assessment methodologies are used in the workbooks including multiple choice, true or false, case studies and short answer questions. Answer guides assist the assessor in reviewing and marking the learning review resources, as well as ensuring conformity across the organisation. These are available for Registered Nurses and Enrolled Nurses and a separate book for Personal Carers.

Download the free Sample Handwash Competency here


Download the Medication Competency assessment system – Table of Contents here


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