Entry into Practice Standards

Accreditation Standards for Entry into Respiratory Care Professional Practice

At its September 9, 2021 Board meeting, the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) proposed revisions to Standard 1.01 of the Accreditation Standards for Entry into Respiratory Care Professional Practice.

The CoARC is now conducting a Call for Comments to encourage broader participation in the Standards revision process and requests that any member of the community of interest please provide their feedback.

The Call for Comments survey, the proposed revisions to Standard 1.01 and Interpretive Guideline, the revision timeline, and a revised CoARC Position Statement on Respiratory Care Education are available by clicking the hyperlinks provided above. This Call for Comments will remain open until October 15, 2021.

Additionally, a virtual Open Hearing is scheduled for Friday, December 10.  More details will follow in a later announcement.

If you have any questions regarding this Call for Comments, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards,


Thomas R. Smalling, Ph.D., RRT, RRT-SDS, RPFT, RPSGT, FAARC
Chief Executive Officer
O: 817-283-2835
M: 631-912-7920
F: 817-510-1063
E: tom@coarc.com
W: www.coarc.com
264 Precision Blvd.
Telford, TN 37690

Effective 7/1/20 (updated 4/21)

Qualifications for a minimum degree from an Educational Sponsor in Standard 1.01 (Institutional Accreditation)

For more information concerning this announcement, please contact Tom Smalling, Chief Executive Officer at tom@coarc.com or (631) 912-7920.


(Changes to Standard 1.01 as of January 1, 2018)

What effect would the change have on existing accredited associate degree programs?

Existing associate degree programs will be able to participate in the accreditation process provided that they continue to comply with CoARC Standards and Policies. Programs with citations will still be allowed to continue.

My sponsoring institution has submitted a Letter of Intent application for an associate degree program. How will this change impact us?

There will be no impact on your application. The process for seeking an Approval of Intent remains the same.

How many applications for new associate degree programs have there been in recent years?

In 2012, there were two Letter of Intent applications submitted by sponsoring institutions limited to granting an Associate degree. From 2012-15, there have been two applications submitted by such institutions; two applications for associate degree programs were submitted by sponsoring institutions able to grant a baccalaureate or higher degree.

What if my institution submits a Letter of Intent application after January 1, 2018? Will we still receive accreditation?

No. All sponsoring institutions seeking accreditation of an associate degree program must submit a Letter of Intent application on or before December 31, 2017. After that date, the CoARC will no longer accept applications for new associate degre programs.

What happens if my associate degree program withdraws after January 1, 2018 and we subsequently seek reaccreditation?

In the reaccreditation process, applicant programs are considered to be new programs and must therefore comply with current, applicable Standards. Accordingly, after January 1, 2018, for such an application to be considered, the program sponsor would need to be capable of awarding a baccalaureate or graduate degree upon program completion.

Will this proposed change have any impact on CoARC’s plans to establish a threshold for the higher cut score on the NBRC TMC exam?

No. Compliance with this new threshold will be required starting with the annual reports due on July 1, 2018.

Questions about the Standards and its review process should be sent to the Chief Executive Officer at tom@coarc.com.

Coronavirus Icon


Search Icon

Find CoARC Accredited Programs

Job Board Icon

Job Board

Reports Icon

Map of Program Outcomes

Program and Personnel Changes