Certification in The Management of the Altered Airway (Tracheostomy & Laryngectomy)


The Programme is accredited and recognised as follows:

  • Accredited by ENT-UK: 47 CPD hours
  • Accredited by the AARC (American Association for Respiratory Care; CRCE: 42 CME hours)
  • Approved by the Difficult Airway Society (UK)
  • Approved by the British Laryngological Association
  • Approved by the Global Tracheostomy Collaborative


The Management of the Altered Airway (Tracheostomy & Laryngectomy) programme is designed specifically for Healthcare Professionals, including Nurses, Speech & Language Therapists, Physiotherapists, Surgeons (ENT, Max Fax.), Anaesthetists, Intensivists and Community Nurses, who are involved in caring for patients with a Tracheostomy or Laryngectomy.

  1. The Rila Institute of Health Sciences has developed the programme with a core team of Healthcare experts.
  2. It is accredited by the ENT-UK (The Professional organisation for UK ENT Surgeons) for 47 CPD credits and The AARC (American Association for Respiratory Care) for 42 CME credits.
  3. The Certification is also approved by The GTC (Global Tracheostomy Collaborative), the BLA (British Laryngological Association) and DAS (Difficult Airway Society).
  4. This means that when you successfully complete all parts of the programme, you will have an accredited qualification which is recognised by employers and healthcare organisations.
  5. You will enrol as a student of the Rila Institute of Health Sciences.
  6. When you have successfully completed the full programme you will be provided with a “Certificate”, and a Transcript indicating your achievement. Those individuals who do not complete the full programme will be given transcripts of the elements that they have successfully completed.
  7. The programme is delivered by experts in the field of managing patients with Tracheostomy & Laryngectomy and will include Clinicians, Nurses, physiotherapists, Intensivists, Anaesthetists and other Health Professionals.
  8. The quality and standards are monitored by a core programme team overseen by a Programme Director.

General information – The Management of the Altered Airway (Tracheostomy & Laryngectomy):

  1. The “Certification in The Management of the Altered Airway (Tracheostomy & Laryngectomy) is delivered in two hub locations: London (UK) and Boston, Massachusetts (USA).
  2. The Course runs over approximately 22 weeks, providing a structured and blended form of learning. The course integrates several components of learning. For exact course dates and locations please check website.

Structure of the “Certification in the Management of the Altered Airway (Tracheostomy & Laryngectomy)


  1. There is a 1 day workshop, at a central location, with lectures and practical hands on experience held at the start of the course, providing a sound basis for managing patients with tracheostomy & laryngectomy.
  2. There are up to 15 online reading topics (each with its associated assessments, completed online)
  3. The reading topics i.e. resource learning material, which have been specifically commissioned by Rila Institute of Health Sciences, cover the core knowledge required for Managing patients with an Altered Airway.
  4. A series of Interactive webinars are also delivered
  5. The student is also expected to identify a local mentor/supervisor and engage in doing clinical sessions to gain competency in a range of practical skills. A logbook provides a structured framework for these sessions.

Award of the “Certificate in Management of the Altered Airway (Tracheostomy & Laryngectomy)”.

  1. The programme ends with a half day Final Examination, at a hub location, and which consists of “Higher Order Thinking Assessment Questions and Clinical diagnostic photo questions”.
  2. Successful performance in the ongoing assessments, attendance at the workshops, completion of the logbook (and signed off) and in the final examination will lead to the award of “Certification in The Management of the Altered Airway (Tracheostomy & Laryngectomy).
  3. The student is permitted only 1 re-sit in the final summative examination. A re-sit examination requires an additional fee payment.


Course Syllabus

Core Knowledge:

  • Anatomy, physiology
  • Indications for tracheostomy/laryngectomy
  • Surgical techniques
  • Airway tubes
  • Key bedside equipment and its use
  • Emergency kit and its use; tube changing.
  • Role of the physiotherapist
  • Role of the nurse practitioner
  • Role of the speech and language therapist (humidification, aspiration, communication, swallowing, stoma care, weaning, decannulation)
  • Special cases (paediatric and neurological)
  • Above cord vocalisation
  • Silicone tubes
  • Discharge into the community

Core Competencies

  • Demonstrates the function/component parts of a trachy tube
  • Assesses cuff inflation/pressures
  • Change and clean inner tubes
  • Clean & dress a trachy site
  • Change and fasten ties..
  • Able to safely deliver oxygen via a trachy tube
  • Application of humidification
  • Changing and removal of a trachy tube
  • Identify when and how to safely suction a trachy tube and take a specimen
  • Demonstrate the features of a blocked tube and its management
  • Plus more

Minimum Requirements for the web learning aspects:

  • A specific area of the Rila Institute of Health Sciences website is dedicated to the Programme.
  • You will be issued with a user name and password.
  • You MUST have computer access to the internet and it will be your responsibility to ensure that this is the case.
  • The website will provide facilities such as Forums, a Bulletin Board, On-Line Chat Room etc.
  • You will be provided with information on how to use the web site.

Admission Criteria

  • Students admitted to this programme must be in active clinical practice and involved in the Management and Care of the Altered Airway (Tracheostomy and/or Laryngectomy).
  • All students must have a Professional qualification appropriate for their area of healthcare expertise.
  • Identified a suitable local mentor/supervisor to assist in the Practical Skills aspects

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