The mission of the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) is to ensure that high quality educational programs prepare competent respiratory therapists for practice, education, research and service.  To achieve its mission, the CoARC holds programs accountable to their communities of interest - the profession, patients, employers, students and their families, practitioners - and to one another, by ensuring that program graduates are competent to fulfill their expected roles.  The CoARC uses the Accreditation Standards for Entry into Respiratory Care Professional Practice to ensure that all accredited programs can prepare students to successfully complete the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing examinations.  These examinations objectively assess the extent to which program graduates have achieved the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

On January 5th, 2016, the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) revised its position statement on Respiratory Therapist Education.  The AARC’s new position is that all programs applying for accreditation be able to award a minimum of a baccalaureate degree upon student completion of programmatic and degree requirements.  The position statement emphasizes that the AARC supports continuing the accreditation of existing associate degree programs that meet the CoARC Standards. 

The CoARC acknowledges that respiratory therapists with baccalaureate and graduate education are needed in larger numbers to serve as educators, researchers, managers, clinical specialists, and other roles throughout the healthcare delivery system.  Likewise the CoARC recognizes the prominent role played by associate degree respiratory therapy programs.  To support the increasing extent and complexity of the skills required of graduates of Respiratory Care programs and the associated movement of the profession toward baccalaureate and graduate degrees, the CoARC Board of Commissioners, in collaboration with the AARC, is proposing the following change to Standard 1.01 in the Accreditation Standards for Entry into Respiratory Care Professional Practice, to be effective January 1, 2018.

CoARC Board members will meet numerous times and the revision of the Standard will be a continuing item on the CoARC meeting agendas until final approval and implementation. After the final draft is completed, it will be distributed for additional comment. The final copy of Standard will be sent to the CoARC’s collaborating organizations for their endorsement before they take effect.
Questions about the Standards review process should be sent to the Executive Director, Tom Smalling, at
Comments are also being accepted electronically by emailing or by regular mail:
Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
Attn: Standard 1.01 Revision
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, TX 76021-4244
Thank you!

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* 1. This section of the survey asks for important demographic and contact information.

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* 2. Please complete the information below by checking all that apply. (This information will not be linked to your identifying information and will only be used in the aggregate to allow the CoARC to track the types of individuals submitting comments.)

Which term(s) describe your relationship to the respiratory therapy (RT) educational community?

The remainder of this survey asks for your comments about the proposed accreditation Standard 1.01 revisions and allows you to provide comments.

Your comments will be used to complete the revision process.  Please note:  Since Survey Monkey only displays a clean version, it may be helpful to view the PDF version as you complete the survey so all modifications can be easily identified.  This may be downloaded and printed from the CoARC web site at (“CoARC’s response to the AARC Position Statement on Respiratory Therapist Education”).