CSRT Position Statement on Baccalaureate Degree as Entry-to-Practice
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As the national professional association for respiratory therapists in Canada and the credentialing body for
respiratory therapists in non-regulated Canadian jurisdictions, the Canadian Society of Respiratory
Therapists (CSRT) believes that respiratory therapists must have the necessary knowledge, skills and
professional judgment to provide safe and effective patient care. Paramount to achieving this aim is
ensuring that respiratory therapists are scholarly practitioners who are equipped to provide patients with
care that is based on the best available evidence, while drawing from their clinical expertise and
integrating the preferences of patients and families. Implementation of a baccalaureate degree level of
education as entry-to-practice for respiratory therapists in Canada is a central step in achieving this aim.
The Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) supports the position that a professional
baccalaureate degree in the discipline of respiratory therapy be held as the minimum entry-to-practice
requirement for respiratory therapists (RTs) in Canada.
Canada’s complex health care environments are rapidly evolving in response to such factors as advances in
research, the evolution of technology and medical therapies, and the changing health care needs of
Canadians. These environments challenge respiratory therapists to respond and practice in a scholarly
and evidence-informed manner.
As scholarly practitioners, health care professionals are expected to demonstrate a lifelong commitment
to excellence in practice through continuous learning, engagement in evidence-informed decision-making,
and by contributing to scholarship and knowledge translation (KT).1 To that end, respiratory therapists
must adopt and demonstrate the characteristics of a scholar. The competencies associated with scholarly
practice are not sufficiently engendered in respiratory therapists through the current minimum entry to
practice standard of diploma-level education in Canada as outlined in the National Competency
Framework for the Profession of Respiratory Therapy (2016-2021), Part 1: National Standards for Entry to
The CSRT contends that achievement of a baccalaureate degree level of education is essential to meet the
competency requirements associated with scholarly practice. The CSRT calls on provincial and federal
health and education stakeholders to take constructive action towards achieving this goal.