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Portfolio

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Spirometry Portfolio.

How long will it take for me to complete my portfolio?
Completion of the portfolio will depend on your level of experience and current Spirometry Service.

To begin, we suggest candidates spend a short time (15 minutes) browsing the sections of the portfolio, to understand all the requirements. There are a number of sections of the portfolio; some require the candidate to answer questions, some require the candidate to collect evidence of their spirometry service.

From scratch, the collection of evidence will probably take one to two months, depending on the number of spirometry tests performed. Of course, if you have an established spirometry service, and can access evidence which dates back up to one year, you may have the all evidence you need immediately.

Once the evidence has been collected, the next step is to upload your evidence into the portfolio and answer all the questions. This final step should take approximately one day, however it is more common for candidates to complete their portfolio in multiple short sessions, for example two hours per week for one month.

How do I get started on my portfolio?
Check out this video which has suggestions on how to get started.

Support video: How do I upload evidence stored on my computer?

How do I save my work?
Whenever you enter text or upload evidence into your portfolio, you must select ‘Save your Work’ otherwise your work will be lost.

Once you have successfully saved your work, you will receive a confirmation that this was successful.

I forgot to click save. Have I lost my work?
Unfortunately yes, you have likely lost your work. Do get into the habit of saving. If in doubt, save!
Can I save my progress and come back?
Yes! You can return to your portfolio and make changes up to the point of portfolio submission. Even if you have ‘marked a unit complete’, you can return to it at any time and change your work before you submit the portfolio.
Can I skip any sections of the portfolio?
No, you must complete the entire portfolio. If you miss any sections it will be returned to you.
I can't see the work I just uploaded. Is it there?
If you remembered to CLICK TO SAVE after you uploaded your evidence, and you received a confirmation message to say that your work has been saved, your work has saved in your portfolio.

If your work is in text form, you can view the text in the text box. If your work is an uploaded file, you will see a mini preview of the upload or a link to the uploaded file.

If one or both of these hasn’t happened your work may not have saved.  Try again making sure you CLICK TO SAVE then contact us if you continue to have difficulties.

Watch this video to find out more.

Support video: I can’t see the work I just uploaded. Is it there?

How do I upload evidence stored on my computer?
If your portfolio evidence is stored on your computer as a digital file, you need to transfer it to your portfolio.

Firstly, make sure you know where the document is stored on your computer (i.e. My Documents folder). Now, open the portfolio and locate the relevant section of your portfolio for this evidence. Click ‘choose file’ and locate your document from the pop up box which will appear. Importantly, you must click to SAVE or your upload will disappear.  You will receive a confirmation message to say that your work has been saved successfully.

Watch this video to find out more.

Support video: How do I upload evidence stored on my computer?

How do I upload evidence which I have in hard copy?
If you have a hard copy of evidence that you want to upload to your portfolio, you need to convert it to a digital format in order to upload it to your digital portfolio.

There are a couple of options for this conversion:

  • Scan the file using a photocopier, and upload it to your portfolio
  • Take a photo of the trace using a smartphone or tablet, and upload the image of the trace

To take a photo of the trace, log in to the website using your smartphone or tablet and navigate to the relevant section of the portfolio. Select ‘choose file’. Here the phone or tablet will give the option to take a photo or upload from photos on the device. Importantly you must then remember to CLICK TO SAVE or your upload will disappear.

Watch the video below to learn more.

Support video: How do I upload evidence which I have in hard copy?

What format does my uploaded evidence have to be?
In order to upload a digital file to your portfolio, you need to make sure the file format is compatible with the portfolio. You can upload files in PDF, PNG, a JPEG, DOC or TIF formats.

Be aware, your portfolio may display your uploads differently depending on the file format.

Watch this video below to learn more.

Support video: What format does my uploaded evidence have to be?

Can I change something that I have already uploaded?
Yes. If you want to replace your evidence, you can click to upload another trace. The original file will be overwritten, and no longer attached to your portfolio.

Watch this video to learn more.

Support video: Can I change something that I have already uploaded?

Can I collect evidence from the past?
Yes, you can collect evidence from up to one year ago as long as it was performed by you. So if you can remember a test result that might be useful in your portfolio, you can find it and add it to your portfolio.
I want to upload evidence which is more than 1 page. What can I do?
In the portfolio, each upload field will only hold one file. This file can have more than one page, but you need to know how to created a multi-page file.

Here are some ways that you can create a multi-page file to upload to your portfolio.

  • Some Spirometers will create a multi-page file which can be uploaded straight into your portfolio
  • If you are capturing your evidence using a photograph, you could line up multiple pages and take a photo of them together. However, be aware that if the text is too small, the examiner will not be able to read your results.
  • If you are scanning your evidence, you can create a multi-page PDF file which you can upload to your portfolio. Alternatively, you can open a word document and insert multiple scanned files into the word document, before uploading it into your portfolio.

Can I use the same evidence as my colleague?
No, you should only upload evidence that has been performed by you. If your colleague performed the test, you cannot upload this result.

If you are really struggling to find evidence of a type of patient trace, it MAY be acceptable to upload the same trace as your colleague provided you explain your situation.

How do I answer the question in the portfolio about my local protocol?
This portfolio question asks about your local protocol for performing spirometry.   You are essentially being asked to confirm that your spirometry protocol matches the ARTP guidelines and to set out any differences to that standard protocol (together with a reason for that difference).  You are not being asked to upload your own protocol, rather you should go through the ARTP guidelines (there is a link in the portfolio question) and check them against your current protocol.  You should then either change your local protocol to match the ARTP guidelines or set out why, in the particular circumstances of your practice, your protocol is different and why.

For example: Our spirometry protocol follows the ARTP guidelines except [put in any points where it may differ].

We don’t have a cleaning protocol in place. How do I complete my portfolio?
This is a great opportunity to put in place a cleaning protocol for your Spirometry Service. Although there are no set guidelines for this protocol, the manufacturers will have provided guidance on the best way to clean your spirometer, and your practice should already have standard cleaning protocols for a clinical environment.
I haven't got a cleaning schedule. What do I do?
The purpose of the cleaning schedule is to demonstrate that you have an appropriate cleaning protocol for your spirometry service, but we understand that you might not routinely keep a cleaning schedule.

Click here to download ICST’s Template Cleaning Schedule 

For the purpose of your portfolio, we have created a cleaning schedule template for you to download, complete and upload.

We don’t have a calibration syringe. What do I do?
Unfortunately you cannot complete your Spirometry portfolio without completing the section on Calibrating your Spirometer. Most Spirometers should be calibrated daily or every time they are used; the best way to check the accuracy of Spirometry results is to regularly perform a syringe calibration.

We are aware that some Spirometers do not need calibrating according to the manufacturer, either because they perform ‘auto-calibrations’ or because they are unaffected by change in temperature and pressure of their environment. If the manufacturer’s instructions state that your Spirometer does not need to be calibrated, please upload these instructions and provide an explanation.

I haven't got a syringe calibration log. What do I do?
The purpose of the syringe calibration log is to demonstrate that you have an appropriate calibration protocol for your spirometry service, but we understand that you might not routinely keep a calibration log. Most spirometers keep a digital record of calibration so a physical log might not be necessary.

Click here to download ICST’s Template Syringe Verification Log

For the purpose of your portfolio, we have created a calibration log template for you to download, complete and upload.

I calibrate my spirometer more than once per day. Can I use each calibration in my portfolio?
Yes of course. Your table of 20 calibrations will be completed twice as quickly!
I haven't got a physiological control log. What do I do?
The purpose of the physiological control log is to demonstrate that you have an appropriate acceptability range for your physiological control. The acceptability range accounts for normal day-to-day variation in spirometry results for normal subjects. Variation outside of the acceptability limits should be used as evidence to question the spirometer’s accuracy.


Click here to download ICST’s template Physiological Control Log Template

For the purpose of your portfolio, we have created a physiological control template for you to download, complete and upload.

How do I calculate the mean for my Physiological Control?
Once you have completed the table of results for your Physiological Control, you need to calculate the mean and acceptability limits.

In order to calculate mean for your PEF

  1. Add up all the PEF results that you achieved
  2. Now divide this number by the number of results you have. This is the mean, or average.

You can do the same for your FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC ratio

Watch the video below to find out more.

Support video: How do I calculate the mean for my Physiological Control?

How do I calculate the Acceptability limits for my Physiological Control?
Once you have calculated your Mean for each variable (PEF, FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC ratio), you can now work out the acceptability limits.

In order to calculate the mean for your PEF:

  1. Take the Mean PEF
  2. Work out what 5% of this mean is. You can do this by multiplying the mean by 0.05
  3. Now you need to work out the Mean + 5% and the Mean – 5%. This is your 5% Acceptability Limits

You can do the same for your FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC ratio

Watch the video below to learn more.

My physiological control results are very variable. Is that ok?
Yes, it’s ok to have some day-to-day variability in your Physiological Control, and this is likely to be caused by technique, especially if you are new to performing the test on yourself.

If you are confident that your physiological control subject is performing acceptable, repeatable spirometry every day, and still getting significant variability (more than 10% variability between days), your spirometer may be measuring inaccurately. Alternatively, of course, the physiological control subject may have underlying variable lung disease (i.e. asthma).

What patient information should I remove from my report?
You need to remove any information which can be used to link the trace to your patient, including the patient’s name, identification number, date of birth, contact details.

Watch this video to learn more.

Support video: What patient information should I remove from my report?

How do I anonymise my Test results?
You can mask these using a permanent marker pen or by covering with tape or paper.  It is very important that you are not able to see the writing through your masking materials. Any materials not anonymised sufficiently or at all will result in an immediate FAIL of your portfolio and your work will be deleted in accordance with Data Protection guidelines.
What happens if I forget to anonymise my results?
If you forget to anonymise your results your will automatically FAIL your portfolio and it will be deleted immediately. You will have to start again.
I can't find any patients with Obstructive Lung Disease. What do I do?
Good news! The new ARTP Spirometry portfolio does not require any specific patient test results. Instead, upload ten patient traces of any type, just make sure they are good quality tests.
I can't find any normal patients. What do I do?
Good news! The new ARTP Spirometry portfolio does not require any specific patient test results. Instead, upload ten patient traces of any type, just make sure they are good quality tests.
I can't find any patients with Restrictive Lung Disease. What do I do?
Good news! The new ARTP Spirometry portfolio does not require any specific patient test results. Instead, upload ten patient traces of any type, just make sure they are good quality tests.
My patient was unable to perform technically accceptable spirometry. Can I still use their result?
Generally, no. If your patient is unable to achieve acceptable, reproducible spirometry you cannot use their result in your portfolio.
Do the ten patient traces in the portfolio need to include an inspiratory loop?
No your patient traces do not need to include the inspiratory loop if this is not part of your routine practice.
What happens when I submit my portfolio?
When you submit your portfolio, your Tutor will be notified and they will mark your portfolio. The aim is to return your portfolio marked within 2 weeks of submission.

Example of tutor feedback on the portfolio

If there are changes to your portfolio, the tutor will provide feedback for you.

Watch this video to learn more.

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