Summary Ever since pioneering technology brought objective lung function measurement out of the laboratory with the introduction of “office spirometers” nearly 50 yrs ago, there has been a debate on whether nonspecialist practitioners can reliably achieve accurate lung function measurements. This debate continues today, because although it is certain that some users can achieve excellent-quality lung function measurements in general practice, occupational medicine and other nonspecialist practices, it is equally certain that some very poor-quality spirometry measurements are being performed. Examples of these poor quality measurements are presented as evidence that respiratory measurements should only be performed in controlled conditions by expert operators. Whether this is true can only be speculated upon, unless it is possible for an expert to review every spirometry measurement. You may think that this would be impossibly time consuming and expensive, but the internet, expert software and other technological advances have made this achievable and inexpensive; much cheaper than inaccurate lung function measurements.