Informal carers play a key role in supporting patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), particularly when disease is advanced. They also enable delivery of healthcare professional advice. There is a well-established impact of the caring role on carers in both the generic and COPD-specific literature. The needs of carers of patients with COPD are both generic to the caring role and disease specific. Healthcare professionals and health systems supporting patients with COPD need to actively identify and support carers. Carer assessment enables unmet needs to be identified and appropriately addressed. Assessments should consider carers' support needs, their caring capacity and practices, and carers own clinical needs. This narrative review outlines considerations for the assessment process including what should be assessed, who should conduct assessment and what should happen as a result of assessment.