This module aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to develop as autonomous practitioners in safe, effective and evidence-based practice in the technique and interpretation of spirometry.

Successful students will demonstrate sound knowledge of the role of spirometry in respiratory disease assessment. They will also demonstrate competent and safe practice in the technique and interpretation of spirometry and will be able to recommend subsequent treatment and management of common respiratory conditions based on findings from the spirometry assessments. Successful students will demonstrate an insight into the strategic approaches to delivery of patient centred care, to enable them to take a lead on the development of services where diagnostic spirometry is integral.

This module is validated by The Open University. The Regulations for validated awards of The Open University can be seen here.

Why choose this module?
Benefits include:

The opportunity to network with fellow students from a range of disciplines and specialties.
Access to experts.
Individuals will be able to challenge current practice and embed evidence based practice into their delivery of care.
Greater job satisfaction which leads to a deeper commitment to service delivery and patient care.
Opportunity to build to a Diploma in Higher Education or BSc (Honours) degree.
Gaining academic credit for a named award. A number of credits is assigned to each module, which indicates the amount of learning undertaken, and the specified credit level indicates the relative depth of learning involved. Credit is a means of quantifying and recognising learning whenever and wherever it is achieved. Credit may also help you transfer to another programme either within Education for Health or at a different institution.
Upon the completion of this module students should possess the qualities and knowledge to assist their further development as professionals.
What will I study?
The subjects covered include:

Preparation, calibration, cleaning of equipment and infection control policies
Preparation of the patient-considering the patient perspective
Contraindications to spirometry testing
Performing spirometry tests including reversibility
Recognising an acceptable trace
Interpretation of spirometry testing- restrictive and obstructive patterns
Reporting problems in obtaining a trace
Referral pathways.
Level of study and credit value
This is a Level 6 module, which carries 30 CATS (Credit Accumulation Transfer Scheme) points.

Where will I study and for how long?
This is a six months eLearning course with optional study days. It has a notional study time of 300 hours which includes time to study learning materials, attend study days and complete assessments.

This module is delivered by blended learning, with study days to support the online course.

Study day one is optional, although we advise you attend if you can as it is a great help to the eLearning and for networking with other students. However, your eLearning will not be compromised if you cannot attend study day one. You must attend study day 2 for all spirometry modules – this is a practical assessment day and as such this is a compulsory element of your module.

The location of study days is determined by the cohort you choose to join.

How is this module assessed and what is the criteria for a pass?
Part 1 – Practical examination
Students will be asked to demonstrate their ability to perform spirometry according to current recommended guidelines.

This will be a pass/fail component of the module. Students must obtain a pass in this element to pass the module, however it carries no weighting towards the overall module mark

Part 2 – Portfolio (50% of the total marks)
Students will be asked to submit a portfolio containing nine technically acceptable spirometry traces demonstrating varying degrees of airflow limitation that they have obtained from patients in their area of work. Students will be asked to interpret and analyse these traces and discuss their immediate management of the patient including referral routes where appropriate. Students must also show evidence of their knowledge and understanding of policies and protocols for patient preparation, equipment maintenance, including infection control. They will demonstrate QA by including 10 traces of physiological control and 20 copies of calibration/verification.

Part 3 – Assignment (50% of the total marks)
A 1500 word case study which incorporates a patient’s spirometry trace and reflects on a particular element such as validity and reproducibility. It should demonstrate how learning has changed practice and use real life examples applicable to their area of work.

Criteria for a pass
The pass mark for the module is 40%. Students must achieve a minimum of 40% in each assessment element and a pass mark in the practical examination. Reassessment is as per regulations in the Student Guide.

Can I take this module as part of a programme?
Successful completion of single modules can enable progression to DipHE/BSc (Hons) degree programme at Education for Health. More information on our programmes can be found here or contact our Programme Administrators at

What are the entry requirements for this module including spirometer access?
Students will need unlimited access to spirometry equipment including a calibration syringe and spirometer for regular use. They will need to able to show evidence of their ability to clean and disinfect the equipment as well as have regular access to a range of patients on whom they will perform the tests.

All applicants for The Open University validated modules must be registered or working within the UK. All applicants should have sufficient competency in the English Language to successfully study at Level 5/6.

All learning materials, teaching and assessment are conducted in the English language. Students will need to apply this to an academic environment.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that they have sufficient proficiency in the English Language to undertake the module or programme to which they are registered.

If you plan to undertake one of our programmes, further entry requirements are required, please refer to our admissions policy.