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Online community pharmacy compliance survey

The purpose of the Community pharmacy compliance survey (CPCS) is to:

  • replace a program of scheduled site visits currently not possible due to COVID-19 restrictions
  • guide community pharmacies as they transition to the new incoming medicines legislation
  • establish a consistent baseline level of compliance across the community pharmacy environment.

This online survey does not cover all requirements for compliance. Rather it targets high risk areas in pharmacy practice and those areas likely to change under the new legislation.

Survey questions

The survey questions fall into 3 broad categories:

  • HDPR or HR requirement: current compliance is expected under the prevailing legislation, namely the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (HDPR) and Health Regulation 1996 (HR).
  • Supplementary information: provides qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. What health services or programs does the pharmacy offer).
  • Anticipated change due to new legislation: provides pharmacists with an insight into the new incoming medicines legislation.

Evidence of compliance

Please note the CPCS is utilising inspector powers under Section 129 of the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 in requiring pharmacists to produce for inspection certain documents in the pharmacist’s possession relating to controlled drugs and to provide extracts or copies from these documents.

Patient privacy

When providing documents as evidence of compliance, pharmacies can choose to de-identify patient names and address details and prescriber names to protect patient privacy. Records received will be kept securely and not used for any other purpose, except as required by law.

Data security

The online survey data is being collected using SSL (secure sockets layer) that encrypts the data being saved into the system. The data is stored in a system which has been configured to ensure the information is secure.

Pharmacies are encouraged to use Kiteworks secure file transfer (SFT) when sending supporting documents as evidence of compliance to PIRP. This secure email process uses digital authentication and encryption technology to protect or secure the email message body and attachments sent to This account can only be accessed by PIRP staff. There is no cost to the pharmacy to set up an SFT email account. Information on how to set up and use an SFT email account will be sent along with the survey information.

Information collected via the above data collection methods will be stored on the Department of Health's electronic document records management system (eDRMS) with security access controls limiting access to PIRP staff only.

Sensitive information which is received will be either de-identified or destroyed once reviewed by an inspector of PIRP. Confidential information will be stored in eDRMS in a separate file for each pharmacy.

How to complete this survey

This survey should be completed by the senior pharmacist on site within 4 weeks of being provided with the survey login details. If you require more time, please contact the PIRP team at

Which parts do I need to complete?

The survey form is divided into 3 parts:

  • Part A and Part B – completed by ALL pharmacies
  • Part C – additional form for pharmacies offering compounding.

Providing photos or scans as evidence

Where a question asks you to provide photos or scanned copies please:

  • number each photo, screen shot or scanned copy with the corresponding question number, save documentation into 1 folder labelled with your pharmacy name; then
  • email the photos along with the name of your pharmacy by using Kiteworks SFT to so it can be included with your survey responses.

Using secure file transfer (SFT)

The following instruction documents have been created to help pharmacists with setting up and using secure file transfer. Please note, these instructions apply to CPCS only:

Information on using an SFT email account to submit supporting documentation for the CPCS will be provided to pharmacists when they are invited to complete the survey.

Alternative to using a secure file transfer (SFT) account

If you are unable to open or access an SFT email account, you can submit your CPCS supporting documentation to PIRP by registered post to:

Pharmacy Inquiry Response Program
Chief Medical Officer Branch
GPO Box 48
Brisbane Qld 4001

Tips for completing the survey

Parts A, B and C (if required) of the survey do not need to be completed in one sitting; they can be completed in parts. However, incomplete forms cannot be saved. If you exit your browser your progress will not be saved if the survey is incomplete and not submitted, you will have to start again. Each form must be completed in full and submitted in one session.

We suggest you complete the check boxes and written responses for all questions first, then return to the questions that require photos or scanned copies of information. This way photos, scans and screenshots can be taken at the same time.

If you have an electronic controlled drugs register you may prefer to take a screenshot of the relevant page instead of taking a photo or printing and scanning documents.

List of scheduled medicines and poisons

If you are unsure about the scheduling of a medicine or poison, review the TGA's Poisons Standard (also known as the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP)).

Survey forms

The PIRP team will contact pharmacies directly to provide them with access to the survey and supporting information. To prepare for the CPCS, pharmacies are welcome to review the survey questions and complete the self-assessment checklist (PDF 472 kB). Pharmacists can also review the survey questions for Parts A and B (PDF 184 kB) and Part C (PDF 150 kB) to help prepare for the survey. Please note these documents are for reference only, they cannot be submitted.

Contact us

If you require any further information in relation to the CPCS, please contact the PIRP compliance team:

Phone: 0448 608 556

Last updated: 12 October 2021