M.C. Townsend Associates, LLC

Phone: 412-343-9946  Fax: 412-343-9947  Email: mct@mctownsend.com

NIOSH-Approved Web-based Spirometry Refresher

New opportunity for eligible technicians --- On-line NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Refresher Training!


Recommendations/ Requirements for NIOSH-approved Spirometry Certification

As of March 27, 2013, OSHA recommends that all spirometry technicians complete a NIOSH-approved course before conducting tests in the occupational setting. This best practice recommendation is in addition to OSHA-mandated training for technicians who test workers in compliance with certain exposure-specific standards. See OSHA's Guidance on Spirometry Testing in Occupational Health Programs: Best Practices for Healthcare Professionals for details.

Certificates of successful completion of a NIOSH-approved spirometry course remain active for 5 years from the course date. Certification can be extended in 5 year increments by completing a NIOSH Approved Spirometry Refresher course before the current certificate expires. NIOSH also instituted a 7 month grace period to give technicians ample time to renew their NIOSH course certificates. E.g., if a current course certificate was dated April 1, 2008, the technician would have up to 5 years and 7 months to complete a NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Refresher Course, i.e., until November 1, 2013.

Need for On-line NIOSH-Approved Refresher Training: In the current harsh economic climate, many technicians who are eligible to complete a NIOSH-Approved Refresher Course cannot travel to a live course to maintain their NIOSH certificates, and so another training option was needed. Though the interactive benefits of live courses are clear, this web-based NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Refresher Course, the only one of its kind, provides a useful alternative for eligible technicians to renew their NIOSH certificates in a timely fashion.

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Course Description

Goals of the Training: The course aims to help health professionals: 1) obtain acceptable and repeatable test results; 2) perform appropriate spirometer calibration checks; and 3) recognize the uses and limitations of spirometry in the occupational setting.

As described in Requirements for Course Completion below, successful completion of this web-based NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Refresher Course by an eligible technician will result in a 5-year extension of that technician's NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Course certificate.

Content of the Training: The web-based NIOSH-Approved Refresher course consists of:

  1. Overview of Pulmonary Anatomy and Physiology
  2. Overview of Spirometry
  3. Quality Assurance Procedures
  4. Spirometric Technique
  5. Basic Spirometric Calculations
  6. Comparison of Observed to Predicted Reference Values
  7. Evaluating Changes in Follow-Up Spirograms
  8. Overview of Standards for Spirometry Equipment
  9. Examples: Identifying and Correcting Problems That Affect Test Results
  10. Additional Exercises

Click HERE to view sample training materials.

Development of the Training: Developed by Dr. John Hankinson, with technical review by Dr. Mary Townsend.  Dr. Hankinson worked for over 30 years at NIOSH, helped develop the original NIOSH-Approved spirometry training materials, and has taught courses for many years.  That experience indicated the need for refresher training and for an alternative web-based method that meets NIOSH requirements for individuals unable to attend a live course.

Requirements for Course Eligibility

Only students who have successfully completed a NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Training Course in the past 5 years are eligible to take the NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Refresher Course.

If you are eligible for the NIOSH Refresher training course, click HERE to review the web-based course requirements. If you are eligible and wish to register for the refresher course, please submit the requested pre-course information. A registration form will be forwarded to you for enrollment in the course.

To register for a Refresher Course, students must provide a copy of their most recent NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Course certificate to establish eligibility for the Refresher course.

If you are not eligible for the NIOSH-Approved Refresher Training Course, you will need to register for an initial NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Course.

Requirements for Course Completion

When eligible technicians successfully meet the course requirements, as described below and summarized HERE, they obtain a NIOSH certificate that is valid for 5 years from the course completion date.

However, if the technician's performance is not adequate to qualify for a NIOSH spirometry certificate, the technician will obtain an alternate certificate of attendance for the Independent Study Spirometry Training Program, with continuing education contact hours.

To successfully complete the course, enrolled technicians must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete a set of 30 pre-course questions.
  2. Complete 10 chapters of on-line material and answer 94 chapter review questions, getting at least 70% of the answers right.
  3. Pass the 50-question post-course exam with a grade of 70% or better.
  4. Within 60 days of completion of the post-course exam, submit 10 valid spirometry test results (graphs must be included), performed using your spirometry equipment. Additional spirometry test results may be required if the original submission does not include 10 valid tests.

The course director will provide you with a summary assessment of your performance on the web-based training and comments on your submitted sample of spirometry tests. If your performance is acceptable on both the web-based training and the sample tests, your certificate of completion for the NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Refresher Training Course will be awarded.

Continuing Education

This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation, for 9.5 contact hours.

Registration Information

Eligible technicians may enroll in the NIOSH-Approved Spirometry Refresher Course for a course tuition of $330.
  • A NIOSH certificate, valid for 5 years from the course completion date, will be awarded if the technician successfully meets all stated course requirements, summarized above and HERE.
  • After enrolling in the course, if the technician fails to complete the stated course requirements, course tuition will not be refunded since expenses for evaluation of student progress have already been incurred. Such technicians will not receive a NIOSH certificate, but will receive a certificate of Independent Study Spirometry Course attendance, approved for 9.5 continuing education contact hours.

Tuition may be paid by check or using VISA, MasterCard, or American Express credit cards as noted on the Registration Form.