Standards, policies and protocols

UK Inhaler Group

Inhaler Standards and Competency Document (January 2017)

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NICE COPD Quality Standard 10 (2016)

COPD is a long term respiratory condition characterised by airflow obstruction that is not fully reversible. The airflow obstruction does not change markedly over several months and is usually progressive. COPD is predominantly caused by smoking. Other factors, particularly occupational exposures, such as harmful dust and chemicals, may also contribute to developing COPD. People with COPD often have exacerbations, when there is rapid and sustained worsening of symptoms beyond their usual day to day variation.

This quality standard covers the assessment, diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It does not cover prevention, screening or case finding. For more information see the COPD topic overview.

This quality standard has been updated. The topic was identified for update following the annual review of quality standards in 2014. The review identified that there had been changes in the areas for improvement for COPD. For further information about the update, including statements from the 2011 quality standard that are no longer national priorities for improvement but are still underpinned by current accredited guidance, see update information at



NICE Quality Standard 2: Inhaler technique

People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are prescribed an inhaler have their inhaler technique assessed when starting treatment and then regularly during treatment. [2011, updated 2016]

Inhaler technique QS2


NICE Asthma Quality Standards 2014

Asthma is a long term condition that affects the airways in the lungs in children, young people and adults. Classic symptoms include breathlessness, tightness in the chest, coughing and wheezing. The goal of management is for people to be free from symptoms and able to lead a normal, active life. This is achieved partly through treatment, tailored to the person, and partly by people getting to know what provokes their symptoms and avoiding these triggers as much as possible.

This quality standard covers the diagnosis and treatment of asthma in adults, young people and children aged 12 months and older. 

Asthma QS


NICE Quality Statement 4: Inhaler technique

People with asthma are given specific training and assessment in inhaler technique before starting any new inhaler treatment.

Inhaler technique QS4

Title Publication date Description Type
Inhaler Standards (January 2017) January 2017 Document