- Before 31st March 2021 you are expected to be named on the national Association for Respiratory Technology and Physiology (ARTP) register to demonstrate competence in performing and/or interpreting spirometry 1,2
- The certification scheme aims to raise the standards of spirometry for respiratory diagnosis 1
- Depending on how and where you use spirometry, there are 3 levels of certification plus a paediatric certificate option 3,4
- You are not required to train before certification, but this is recommended if you are new to spirometry or have trained over 3 years ago 5,6
- To maintain your name on the register, you will need to re-certify every 3 years and demonstrate that you are regularly performing and/or interpreting spirometry 2
- Being registered is not a mandatory requirement but it is considered best practice 7
- The General Medical Council may become involved if nurses perform diagnostic spirometry after 2021 when they have not been deemed competent 7
Why certification has been introduced
- Diagnostic spirometry has to be performed to a high standard to avoid a significant risk of an incorrect diagnosis 2
- If diagnosed incorrectly, patients may receive inappropriate and potentially harmful treatment, or be denied treatment that could help them 2
- 1 in 4 people on COPD registers may not meet diagnostic criteria for COPD and could be receiving inappropriate medication and treatment 8
The certification levels
- Interpretation Only
Routes to certification
- Training course: Recommended if you are new to Spirometry or if your previous training was more than 3 years ago 6
- No training course: If you are an experienced spirometry practitioner and trained less than 3 years ago, you may choose to apply directly for certification 6
What does the course involve?
- The online course is appropriate if you will only be interpreting spirometry measurements. It does not provide a practical workshop on taking spirometry measurements however will provide resources that you can access after certification 6
- The blended course consists of online modules and a face-to-face workshop which discusses practical aspects of taking spirometry measurements 6
Just remember that only ARTP provide the certificate of competence. 5
- Primary care respiratory update, Certification scheme to raise standards of spirometry for respiratory diagnosis. 2016; 3 (4). https://www.pcrs-uk.org/sites/pcrs-uk.org/files/SpriometryCertificationInfo_PCRUDec2016.pdf Accessed March 11, 2019.
- NHS England et al, Improving the quality of diagnostic Spirometry in adults: the National Register of certified professionals and operators. September 2016. https://www.respiratoryfutures.org.uk/media/69814/improving-the-quality-of-diagnostic-spirometry-in-adults-sept_16.pdf Accessed March 11, 2019.
- ARTP, Certification Process. http://www.artp.org.uk/en/spirometry/becoming-certified/Certification-Process/index.cfm Accessed March 11, 2019.
- ARTP, Paediatric Spirometry Certificate. http://www.artp.org.uk/en/spirometry/paediatric-spirometry.cfm Accessed March 11, 2019.
- ARTP, Becoming Certified. http://www.artp.org.uk/en/spirometry/becoming-certified/index.cfm Accessed March 11, 2019
- The Institute of Clinical Science & Technology, Step two the course. http://www.clinicalscience.org.uk/5-steps-to-the-artp-register/step-two-the-course/ Accessed March 11, 2019.
- ARTP, ARTP Spirometry Register. http://www.artp.org.uk/en/spirometry/artp-spirometry-register.cfm Accessed March 11, 2019
- PCC, A Guide to Performing Quality Assured Diagnostic Spirometry. 2013. http://www.artp.org.uk/download.cfm/docid/2A5E7DA5-584A-4517-8BCA3E65FAEED204 Accessed March 14, 2019
- CQC, Nigel’s surgery 83: Spirometry in general practice.
https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/gps/nigels-surgery-83-spirometry-general-practice, Accessed March 14 2019
- ARTP, Spirometry training. http://www.artp.org.uk/en/spirometry/spirometry-training/index.cfm Accessed March 11, 2019.
- The Institute of Clinical Science & Technology, Five easy steps to get on the register. http://www.clinicalscience.org.uk/5-steps-to-the-artp-register/ Accessed March 14, 2019