College of Respiratory
Therapists of Ontario




September 2019

College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario 

CRTO publications contain practice parameters and standards which should be considered by all Ontario Respiratory Therapists in the care of their patients/clients and in the practice of the profession. CRTO publications are developed in consultation with professional practice leaders and describe current professional expectations. It is important to note that these CRTO publications may be used by the CRTO or other bodies in determining whether appropriate standards of practice and professional responsibilities have been maintained.


The ‘Standards of Practice’ of a profession describe the requirements for professional practice. Many standards are written down and formally approved by the CRTO. Other standards are unwritten expectations that define generally accepted practice adopted by Ontario respiratory therapists. Collectively, the standards, as well as relevant legislation (including regulations and bylaws), position statements, policies and practice guidelines, establish a framework for the practice of Respiratory Therapy in Ontario. Health regulatory bodies like the CRTO are required to develop and maintain standards of practice that establish the following:

  • The level of quality and safety required of professional services provided to the public by its Members.
  • A legal framework for the professional practice for all Members, in all classes of registration regardless of their roles, job descriptions, and areas of practice.
  • A means to determine whether appropriate standards of practice and professional responsibilities have been met or are being maintained by Members.
  • A reference against which to consider any complaints about the practice of CRTO Members.
  • A mechanism to promote the continuing competence of self-regulated health care professionals by helping Members to identify continuing quality improvement opportunities.

Members of the CRTO are professionally accountable to practice in accordance with these Standards. Standards of Practice can be revised at any time, and it is individual practitioners’ responsibility to be aware of any changes relevant to their practice.

It is important to note that employers may have policies in place that relate to specific Standards. If an employer’s policies are more restrictive than the CRTO’s expectations, the RT must abide by the employer’s policies. Where an employer’s policies are more permissive than those of the CRTO, the RT must adhere to the CRTO’s requirements.

How the Standards of Practice are Organized

The Standards are designed as a comprehensive, integrated entity. Each Standard should be considered in conjunction with the others. The Standards of Practice are organized alphabetically for ease of access.

Each Standard includes the following headings:

  • Standard statement: describes the legal and professional expected level of performance of Members.
  • Performance expectations: outlines the actions that must be demonstrated to indicate how the standard is met. The expectations are not outlined in order of importance, nor are they a comprehensive list.
  • Patient/client expected outcome: describes what patients/clients should expect when they receive care.
  • Related standards: provide essential additional information related to the specific standard. Members are strongly encouraged to read the information included in Related Standards.
  • Resources: includes a list of documents that provide additional information related to the standard.
  • Glossary: includes a list of definitions of key terms used in the standards. Words are bolded the first time they appear in the standard.