The Standards of Practice (Standards) outline the framework for legal and professional practice for all College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario (CRTO) Members, in all categories of registration. Members are professionally accountable to practise in accordance with these Standards. The CRTO may refer to this publication to determine whether appropriate Standards of practice and professional responsibility have been met and/or maintained by its Members. These Standards are intended to inform Respiratory Therapists (RTs)* of their accountabilities and to inform the public what they can expect when receiving care from an RT. These Standards apply to all RTs, regardless of their role, job description, and area of practice.

* For the purpose of this document, Respiratory Therapists (RTs)* refers to Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs), Graduate Respiratory Therapists (GRTs) & Practical Respiratory Therapists (PRTs).

It is important to note that s.1 (2) of the Professional Misconduct regulation (O. Reg. 753/93) states that it is an act of professional misconduct if a Respiratory Therapist is found to be: Contravening a standard of practice of the profession or a published standard of the CRTO, or failing to maintain the standard of practice of the profession.

Development of the Standards of Practice in 2017

The CRTO and the Saskatchewan College of Respiratory Therapists (SCRT) collaborated on the development of these Standards of Practice. Both the CRTO and SCRT wish to acknowledge the Standards of Practice Advisory Group members who assisted in the development of these Standards.

Standards of Practice Advisory Group

SCRT Representatives

Tracey La Saga, RRT – Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region
Candi Thompson, RRT/AA – Saskatoon Health Region
Chelsea Wilker – SCRT

CRTO Representatives

Tracy Bradley, RRT – Cornwall Community Hospital
Pam Hall, RRT – Conestoga College & London Health Sciences Centre
Jason Proudman, RRT/AA – North York General Hospital
Katie Reise, RRT – SickKids
Lily Yang, RRT – Sinai Health System
Sharmilla Srinithiananthasing, RRT – Grand River Hospital
Carole Hamp, RRT – CRTO
Lori Peppler-Beechey, RRT – CRTO

The Standards of Practice Advisory Group would like to extend a special thank you to Dianne Parker-Taillon & Dawn Burnett of Parker-Taillon Consulting Inc. for their expert guidance in the development of this Standards of Practice document.

2019 Revisions to the Standards of Practice

The CRTO Standards of Practice were updated in September 2019 to ensure alignment to the CRTO Professional Misconduct regulation.

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.

Standards of Practice serve a variety of purposes to different stakeholder groups as outlined in Table 1.

Table1. Purpose of Standards of Practice According to Stakeholder Group




Outlines performance requirements, accountabilities, and responsibilities involved in providing safe, competent and ethical care.

Regulatory College

Provides a reference for professional practice, complaints, and discipline against which actual performance can be compared.


Outlines what the public and patients/clients can expect when receiving care from, or interacting with, Members; contributes to the protection of the public.

Other Health Professionals

Provides others with a description of the profession’s specific roles and RTs’ responsibilities.


Provides a reference for the development of job descriptions, professional roles/ supports, and performance evaluation.


The Standards are based on the following:

  • Respiratory Therapists are committed to:
    • providing safe, competent, collaborative, and ethical patient/client-centred care;
    • maintaining a high standard of professional practice through self-governance;
    • lifelong learning and the development of knowledge, skills, and abilities throughout their careers;
    • ongoing professional development;
    • the principles of accountability in all aspects of their professional practice; and
    • practising in a manner consistent with legislation/regulations.
  • The Standards are intended to:
    • reflect the CRTO’s public responsibility/commitment to the public;
    • collectively outline mandatory minimum performance expectations/criteria that all Members are expected to adhere to regardless of their experience, role or area of practice; and
    • be used in conjunction with other CRTO documents (e.g., Ethical Guidelines/Code of Ethics, Position Statements, and Professional Practice Guidelines) that together describe and guide professional practice.