CSRT Position Statement on Baccalaureate Degree as Entry-to-Practice

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.

Policy Recommendation

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.