Practical Medication Competency Assessment


While nursing and care staff are initially qualified to administer medications, just as important is the ongoing measure of the competency of their skills and practices. Competency assessment is used to measure the ongoing capability and skills of staff to continue with their assigned medicine administration practices and responsibilities, as well as to evidence the safety of the overall organisation’s operational medication process.
Pathways offers in this service the re-assessment of both nursing and personal care staff in relation to their medicine practices. A range of competency assessment activities are used to assess both currency of skill and knowledge of the medicines as well as associated administration practices for the individual worker, aligned to their scope of practice and organisation role. It involves the assessment of individual staff knowledge, practical skills and ongoing commitment to safe medicine administration.
To achieve this a range of competency assessment strategies are used including completion of a written learning review workbook, practical competency assessment of medicine administration and working through different scenarios for medicine related issues and possible incidents.
In line with the organisation’s needs assessments can be arranged to occur either:
– Through simulation, off the job assessments using a range of medicine resources including DAA, medication examples and medicine charts that mirror the operation system at the aged care facility:
On the job during a medicine workplace round / individual resident administration.

Competency Assessment Inclusions:
1. Documenting of individual competency assessment and outcomes achieved
2. Provision of an overall management report summarising competency assessment outcomes and individual staff performances.
3. Where personal care workers are deemed not yet competent, individual training plans are developed and provided for the aged care facility to action.
4. Issuing of participant certificates in accordance with individual competency achievements, including notation of allocated CPD points as relevant for nursing staff.

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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