Course sponsors must request approval from NIOSH of faculty before they can teach in any NIOSH-approved course. Course sponsors must submit their faculty request to NIOSH. Individuals who wish to teach a NIOSH-approved spirometry course should either contact an approved sponsor or submit an application for course sponsorship. Faculty designations are not transferable between course sponsors. In other words, faculty who are approved for one sponsor may not teach for another sponsor until the second sponsor submits a separate request and receives approval from NIOSH.
There are established minimum requirements for course faculty. Criteria for determining a faculty member’s participation level are as follows:
A. Course Technical Director
The course technical director must meet one of the following criteria:
- a physician who has at least 3 years training and experience in the technical procedures and instrumentation for spirometry testing and in the diagnosis of occupational lung diseases or 1 year full-time experience supervising a pulmonary function laboratory,
- a health professional with an advanced degree in pulmonary physiology or a related field who has at least three years training and experience in the technical procedures and instrumentation for spirometry testing (e.g., Ph.D. in pulmonary physiology, bioengineering, etc.), or
- a health professional with licensure or professional certification in the pulmonary function testing field with at least three years documented experience under the supervision of individuals strictly described in 1. or 2. above.
It is the responsibility of the course director to assure that all faculty meet qualification criteria and that the course content is consistent with the minimum requirements established in the OSHA Cotton Dust Standard. The course director should be an active participant in the course through supervision of all faculty, monitoring the progress of each student, and availability to answer questions which arise in lecture or practice sessions.
B. Course Lecturer
Each course lecturer must meet one the following criteria:
- a faculty-level member of the institution (MD or PhD) with at least 1 year of teaching experience at the collegiate level or equivalent (basic anatomy and physiology or some course related to spirometry),
- an instructor-level member of the institution (RN, RRT, MS) with greater than 50% of workload dedicated to teaching or with at least 3 years teaching experience,
- a health professional with licensure or professional certification in the pulmonary function testing field with at least three years documented teaching experience under the supervision of individuals described in 1. or 2. above.
The course lecturer is responsible for teaching the course content as defined by the requirements in the OSHA Cotton Dust Standard. The lecturer must have intimate knowledge of spirometry testing guidelines and techniques. The greatest strength of the lecturer is to present the information by whatever method necessary so that each student can understand the material and apply it to the practice of collecting spirometry data.
C. Practicum Instructor
The practicum instructor shall have at least three years experience in background, training, and the practical aspects of collecting spirometry data (e.g., occupational health nurses or pulmonary function technicians). This instructor should also have successfully completed a NIOSH-approved spirometry course.
The practicum instructors are responsible for the small break-out groups whereby students gain hands-on-knowledge in correctly administering spirometry tests, including coaching subjects and operating a spirometer. Students will also practice identifying spirometry curves with errors and gain knowledge in how to prevent the error in subsequent trials.
- Page last reviewed: June 9, 2015
- Page last updated: October 23, 2015
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Respiratory Health Division