The Primary Care Respiratory Society

Inspiring best practice in respiratory care

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Standard Fit to Care

Key Knowledge, Skills and Training for clinicians providing Standard Respiratory Care

Key considerations

  • A recognition of one’s own limitations and competencies is paramount and clinicians require access to an experienced mentor for advice and/or ongoing supervision and reflective learning.
  • Clinicians should regularly source training updates and consider a reflective CPD journal using real case studies. These can be discussed during clinical supervision to support safe practice and be part of a professional revalidation process where necessary.
  • Clinicians remain accountable for their own practice and to their regulating body and must work to local and national protocols and guidelines.

Key skills, knowledge and training for providing standard respiratory care

Skills Knowledge Training

Accurately record clinical data and understand its significance, for example:

  • Heart rate and rhythm, respiratory rate, pulse oximetry, peak flow rate, blood pressure, carbon monoxide level
  • Scoring tools: RCP questions/ACT questionnaire, CAT score, MRC breathlessness score
  • Mental health scoring tools
Good understanding of respiratory anatomy and function

Clinicians working at this level should have basic training in how to conduct a respiratory review accurately in a well-managed patient living with a respiratory disease


Understanding of commonly used respiratory medications including indications, safety, optimal dosing, inhaler and NRT delivery devices and techniques Good understanding of more common respiratory pathophysiology Local NHS approved training/in-house training with a suitably qualified professional with an expertise in the field of respiratory care
Understanding of non-pharmacological interventions such as weight management, physical activity and psychological interventions

Familiar with local, national and, where relevant international guidelines for management of asthma and COPD, for example:

Ongoing clinical supervision with a qualified mentor working at an advanced or expert level in the field of respiratory care
Understanding of the holistic approach to management of long-term conditions and their impact on physical and mental well being and the supportive role of the healthcare professional  

Completion of NCSCT online training ‘Very Brief Advice on Smoking’ or similar online, locally provided accredited course.

Other desirable skills, knowledge and training

Completion of or working towards completion of respiratory assessment module/s, for example: