Airway/Respiratory Labs Registration

The ANZRS is one of the professional bodies responsible for providing guidance on appropriate setup and endorsement of upper airway and respiratory testing labs.

Although most general otolaryngology patients do not require specialised airway testing,  the Australian and New Zealand Rhinologic Society represents members of the Australian Society of Otolaryngologists/Head & Neck Surgeons and other specialist groups that have a interest in the management of upper airway disorders and sino-nasal disease and often require  specialised assessments. The society’s members are the primary source of specialist care to the Australian Community for the management of upper respiratory/airway conditions.

Similar to ear specialists (otologists) requiring specialised auditory and vestibular testing (such as brainstem evoked potentials), our society’s members need to be able to provide complex assessments of the upper airway for many reasons:

  1. We provide medical and surgical care to the airways
  2. We are the main provider of pediatric sleep apnea care
  3. We perform tracheostomies and undertake airway reconstruction
  4. We are the main specialist providers of care to the upper airway
  5. We are heavily involved in the management of adult sleep apnea and disordered breathing.

Otolaryngologists, sleep physicians, allergists and respiratory physicians share the burden of providing care to the Australian community that have disorders which require the services defined under “Respiratory and Sleep Studies”. Many respiratory labs are focused on the lower ariway and our members need to ensure that they have access to qualifed and reliabile testing facilities/labs for the upper airway.

Complex measurement of properties of the respiratory system, including the upper airway, lungs and respiratory muscles need to be performed in an airway or respiratory lab that maybe based in or out of a hospital setting.

The ANZRS provides guidance, education, training and registration of appropriately qualified Respiratory Labs for accreditation to provide upper airway assessments required by rhinologists.

The ANZRS sub-committee on Respiratory/Airway testing have defined the following criteria to be met for registration by the society:

  1. Staffing

The lab needs to run under the direction of a specialist who is responsible for staff training, supervision, quality assurance and the issuing of written reports on tests performed. This specialist needs to be a current member of the ANZRS. The member should be knowledgeable about normal and abnormal respiratory physiology of the upper airway. This must be combined with clinical experience in order to evaluate the significance of laboratory findings in relation to patient care. A working knowledge of medical instrumentation, computer utilisation and statistics is essential. The supervisiong specialist will have overall responsibility for the accurate interpretation of the results of all respiratory function studies which must be promptly communicated to the referring practitioner. It is the responsibility of the spuervisong specialist to ensure that practitioners reporting studies from his/her laboratory are competent to do so.

Have a dedicated respiratory scientist. The Airway/Respiratory Scientist must meet any of the criteria below:

  1. Hold an appropriate tertiary degree and complete a minimum of one year of clinical experience in the field of airway, otolaryngology or respiratory science, to be interpreted as a minimum of 35 hours per week employed in an airway/respiratory function laboratory.


  1. Complete five years of clinical experience in the field of airway, otolaryngology or respiratory science, interpreted as a minimum of 20 hours per week employed in an airway/respiratory function laboratory.


  1. Hold a tertiary degree at level 8 or greater (honours or higher degree), are regularly involved in airway/respiratory function testing within a clinical and/or research environment and have successfully completed an ANZRS airway assessment and/or rhinoscopy course
  1. Tests

Able to perform a range of testing:

  • spirometry
  • rhinometry
  • acoustic rhinomanometry
  • direct nasal allergen challenge testing

Other ancillary tests:

  • olfaction – eg UPSIT, SIT or TDI
  • allergy – skin prick tests, epicutaneous
  • taste
  1. Operations
  • Standard operating procedures around tests offered (SOP)
  • Perform test-retest variability assessment
  • Maintain calibration of equipment
  • Maintenance of documentation for the above

SOP: A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of written instructions that describes, in detail, how to perform a laboratory process or experiment safely and effectively.

If you currently perform respiratory testing of the upper airway or keen to provide these services to the Australian community then please email the ANZRS to register your lab. Please provide the details of the staffing, tests and PDF copy of your SOP to