The Medical Society of the State of New York formed a Special Joint Committee in Inhalation Therapy on May 11, 1954. One of its purposes was "... to establish the essentials of acceptable schools of inhalation therapy (not to include administration of anesthetic agents) ..." In June 1956, the House of Delegates of the AMA adopted its Resolution No. 12, introduced by the Medical Society of the State of New York. The delegates "Resolved, that the Council on Medical Education and Hospitals is hereby requested to endorse such or similar 'Essentials' and to stimulate the creation of schools of inhalation therapy in various parts of these United States of America." A report entitled, "Essentials for an Approved School of Inhalation Therapy Technicians," was adopted by sponsor participants (AAIT, ACCP, AMA, and ASA) at an exploratory conference in October 1957. The AMA's House of Delegates granted formal approval in December 1962. The first official meeting of the Board of Schools of Inhalation Therapy Technicians was held at AMA's Chicago headquarters on October 8, 1963.
The Joint Review Committee for Respiratory Therapy Education, the successor group to the Board of Schools came into being on January 15, 1970 as a recommending body to the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation (CAHEA). The JRCRTE was dissolved in 1996 and the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care became its successor organization, as a recommending body to the newly formed Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). In 2008, the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care began the process of becoming an independent accrediting body: the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care became a freestanding accreditor of respiratory care programs on November 12, 2009. CoARC accredits degree-granting programs in respiratory care that have undergone a rigorous process of voluntary peer review and have met or exceeded the minimum accreditation Standards as set by the professional association in cooperation with CoARC. These programs are granted accreditation status by CoARC, which provides public recognition of such achievement.
At its meeting on September 24-25, 2012, the CHEA Board of Directors reviewed the recommendation of the CHEA Committee on Recognition regarding the recognition application submitted by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). The board of directors accepted the committee's recommendation and granted recognition to CoARC.