Patients with asthma that is uncontrolled despite high intensity medication can present in both primary and specialist care. An increasing number of novel (and expensive) treatments are available for patients who fail conventional asthma therapy, but these may not be appropriate for all such patients. It is essential that a rigorous evaluation process be undertaken for these patients to identify those with biologically severe asthma who will require novel therapies, and those who may improve with control of contributory factors. In this article, we describe three key steps in the diagnostic evaluation process for severe asthma. The first step is confirmation of asthma diagnosis with objective evidence of variable airflow obstruction. The second involves management of contributory factors such as non-adherence, poor inhaler technique, ongoing asthma triggers, and comorbidities. The third step involves phenotyping and endotyping of patients with severe asthma. We provide a practical approach to implementing these measures in both primary and secondary care.