Don’t Panic – Have a Plan! Mastering the Art of Locum Staffing with SOP

As a pharmacy owner or manager, you know that unexpected staffing shortages can happen at any time. That’s why it’s crucial to have a plan in place to ensure your pharmacy continues to operate at its best. Pharmacy SOS is here to help you stay prepared and minimize the impact of any unexpected staffing shortages.

When partnering with Pharmacy SOS, you gain access to a pool of highly skilled and experienced locum pharmacists, but there are other tips and tricks you can use to optimize your experience. Here are a few suggestions:

Firstly, plan ahead by having a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in place for handling unexpected staffing shortages. Your SOP should include contact information for Pharmacy SOS, so you can quickly and easily access our services when needed.

Secondly, keep our phone number visible in your pharmacy to ensure you and your staff can easily access it when required. This can be done by displaying it on a whiteboard or any visible area in your pharmacy.

Lastly, know your staffing needs when contacting Pharmacy SOS to ensure we can provide the best possible solution. Whether you need a locum pharmacist for a short shift or a longer-term placement, knowing your needs ahead of time can help us find the right fit for your pharmacy.

At Pharmacy SOS, we understand that when the unplanned happens, you need a reliable and effective backup plan. That’s why we’re committed to providing you with the best possible locum staffing solutions, so you can focus on what you do best – providing excellent care to your patients.

To help you get started, we’ve provided a template for a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Locum Pharmacists. You can copy the template and change it as required.

Remember, your backup plan is our top priority. Stay prepared with Pharmacy SOS.

Sample SOP Template

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Locum Pharmacists


The purpose of this SOP is to outline the procedure to be followed when a pharmacy requires a locum pharmacist to cover a shift.


This SOP applies to all staff members responsible for managing and scheduling pharmacy staff.


When a pharmacy requires a locum pharmacist, the following procedure should be followed:

Step 1: Internal staff availability

Check if any internal staff members are available and can cover the shift. If an internal staff member is available, confirm that they are competent to cover the shift and update the staff schedule accordingly.

Step 2: External locum availability

Check if any external locum pharmacists are available and can cover the shift.

Preferred Locum Contact Are they a Pharmacy SOS Locum*
eg. John Smith 0400 000 000 Yes

Step 3: Pharmacy SOS

If no internal staff or external locum pharmacists are available, contact Pharmacy SOS on 1300 505 247 or email Provide the details of the shift and the requirements for the locum pharmacist.


All requests for locum staff should be documented in the pharmacy’s scheduling or staffing system.


The following staff members are responsible for following this SOP:

  • Management
  • Scheduling or staffing coordinators


All relevant staff members should receive training on this SOP and be aware of the process for requesting locum staffing.

Review and Revision

This SOP will be reviewed annually by management and updated as necessary.

When the unplanned happens, we are the plan. Ensure that Pharmacy SOS’s phone number is included somewhere visible and easy to access in case of emergencies.

End of SOP.

*If the preferred locum was introduced through Pharmacy SOS, please also notify Pharmacy SOS if the locum is rostered.