Respiratory Care Board of California

Continuing Education (CE)

§1399.349. Continuing Education Defined.

"Continuing Education" means the variety of forms of learning experiences, including, but not limited to, lectures, conferences, academic studies, in-service education, institutes, seminars, home study, internet courses, and workshops, taken by respiratory care practitioners for licensure renewal. These learning experiences are meant to enhance the knowledge of the respiratory care practitioner in the practice of respiratory care in direct and indirect patient care. Continuing education does not include basic education or training needed to become a licensed RCP.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 3719 and 3722, Business and Professions code. Reference: Sections 3719 and 3740, Business and Professions Code.

§1399.350. Continuing Education Required.

  1. (a) Each respiratory care practitioner (RCP) is required to complete 15 hours of approved continuing education (CE) every 2 years. At least two-thirds of the required CE hours shall be directly related to clinical practice.
  2. (b) To renew the license, each RCP shall report compliance with the CE requirement. Supporting documentation, showing evidence of compliance with each requirement under this Article, shall be submitted if requested by the board.
  3. (c) CE supporting documentation shall be retained by the licensee for a period of four years.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 3719 and 3722, Business and Professions Code.

§1399.350.5 Law and Professional Ethics Course.

  1. (a) As part of required continuing education, every person licensed under this chapter shall successfully complete a course in law and professional ethics as provided in section 1399.352.7 of this division, during every other license renewal cycle.
  2. (b) Continuing education units earned in accordance with this section shall represent three units toward the non-clinical practice requirements set forth in section 1399.350(a). However, the course may be taken for continuing education credit only once during any renewal period.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 3719.5 and 3722, Business and Professions Code. Reference cited: Section 3719 and 3719.5, Business and Professions Code.

§1399.351. Approved CE Programs.

  1. (a) Any course or program meeting the criteria set forth in this Article will be accepted by the board for CE credit.
  2. (b) Passing an official credentialing or proctored self-evaluation examination shall be approved for CE as follows:
  3. (1) Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) - 15 CE hours if not taken for licensure;
  4. (2) Certified Pulmonary Function Technologist (CPFT) - 15 CE hours;
  5. (3) Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (RPFT) - 15 CE hours;
  6. (4) Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care Specialist (NPS) - 15 CE hours;
  7. (5) Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) - number of CE hours to be designated by the provider;
  8. (6) Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) - number of CE hours to be designated by the provider; and
  9. (7) Pediatrics Advanced Life Support (PALS) - number of CE hours to be designated by the provider.
  10. (8) Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) - number of CE hours to be designated by the provider
  11. (c) Examinations listed in subdivisions (b)(1) through (b)4 of this section shall be those offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care and each successfully completed examination may be counted only once for credit.
  12. (d) Successful completion of each examination listed in subdivisions (b)(5) through (b)(8) of this section may be counted only once for credit and must be for the initial certification. See section 1399.352 for re-certification CE. These programs and examinations shall be provided by an approved entity listed in subdivision (h) of Section 1399.352.
  13. (e) The board shall have the authority to audit programs offering CE for compliance with the criteria set forth in this Article.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 3719 and 3722, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 3719, Business and Professions Code.

§1399.352. Criteria for Acceptability of Courses.

Acceptable courses and programs shall meet the following criteria:

  1. (a) The content of the course or program shall be relevant to the scope of practice of respiratory care. Credit may be given for a course that is not directly related to clinical practice if the content of the course or program relates to any of the following:
  2. (1) Those activities relevant to specialized aspects of respiratory care, which activities include education, supervision, and management.
  3. (2) Health care cost containment or cost management.
  4. (3) Preventative health services and health promotion.
  5. (4) Required abuse reporting.
  6. (5) Other subject matter which is directed by legislation to be included in CE for licensed healing arts practitioners.
  7. (6) Re-certification for ACLS, NRP, PALS, and ATLS.
  8. (7) Review and/or preparation courses for credentialing examinations provided by the National Board for Respiratory Care, excluding those courses for entry-level respiratory therapy certification.
  9. (b) The faculty shall be knowledgeable in the subject matter as evidenced by:
  10. (1) A degree from an accredited college or university and verifiable experience in the subject matter, or
  11. (2) Teaching and/or clinical experience in the same or similar subject matter.
  12. (c) Educational objectives shall be listed.
  13. (d) The teaching methods shall be described, e.g., lecture, seminar, audio-visual, simulation.
  14. (e) Evaluation methods shall document that the objectives have been met.
  15. (f) Each course must be provided in accordance with this Article.
  16. (g) Each course or provider shall hold approval from one of the entities listed in subdivision (h) from the time the course is distributed or instruction is given through the completion of the course.
  17. (h) Each course must be provided or approved by one of the following entities. Courses that are provided by one of the following entities must be approved by the entity's president, director, or other appropriate personnel:
  18. (1) Any post-secondary institution accredited by a regional accreditation agency or association recognized by the United States Department of Education.
  19. (2) A hospital or health-care facility licensed by the California Department of Health Services.
  20. (3) The American Association for Respiratory Care.
  21. (4) The California Society for Respiratory Care (and all other state societies directly affiliated with the American Association for Respiratory Care).
  22. (5) The American Medical Association.
  23. (6) The California Medical Association.
  24. (7) The California Thoracic Society.
  25. (8) The American College of Surgeons.
  26. (9) The American College of Chest Physicians.
  27. (10) Any entity approved or accredited by the California Board of Registered Nursing or the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.
  28. (i) Course organizers shall maintain a record of attendance of participants, documentation of participant's completion, and evidence of course approval for four years.
  29. (j) All program information by providers of CE shall state: "This course meets the requirements for CE for RCPs in California."
  30. (k) All course providers shall provide documentation to course participants that includes participants name, RCP number, course title, course approval identifying information, number of hours of CE, date(s), and name and address of course provider.
  31. (l) For quarter or semester-long courses (or their equivalent), completed at any post-secondary institution accredited by a regional accreditation agency or association recognized by the United States Department of Education, an official transcript showing successful completion of the course accompanied by the catalog's course description shall fulfill the requirements in subdivisions (i), (j) and (k).
  32. (m) The board may audit providers offering CE for compliance with the criteria set forth in this Article.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 3719 and 3722, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 3719, Business and Professions Code.

§1399.352.5 CE Hours

The board will accept hours of approved CE as follows:

  1. (a) The number of hours designated by those entities identified in subdivision (h) of Section 1399.352 as it pertains to their own course or a course approved by them.
  2. (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), one (1) academic quarter unit is equal to ten (10) CE hours and one (1) academic semester unit is equal to fifteen (15) CE hours.
  3. (c) Providers may not grant partial credit for any CE course. Partial credit is defined as any time segment less than the total designated course duration or time period.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 3719 and 3722, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 3719, Business and Professions Code.

§1399.352.7 Law and Professional Ethics Course Criteria

An acceptable course in law and professional ethics shall meet the following criteria and be approved by the board:

  1. (a) The course shall be provided by the American Association for Respiratory Care or the California Society for Respiratory Care.
  2. (b) The Course shall be three hours in length.
  3. (c) The content of the course shall consist of the following subject areas:
  4. (1) Obligations of licensed respiratory care practitioners to patients under their care;
  5. (2) Responsibilities of respiratory care practitioners to report illegal activities occurring in the work place; and
  6. (3) Acts that jeopardize licensure and licensure status.
  7. (d) One hour of instruction shall consist of not less than 50 minutes of actual classroom time or actual time spent by the licensee completing the coursework on the internet.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 3719.5 and 3722, Business and Professions Code. Reference cited: Section 3719.5, Business and Professions Code.

§1399.353. Audit and Sanctions for Noncompliance.

  1. (a) The board shall audit a random sample of RCPs for compliance with the CE requirements.
  2. (b) If documentation of the CE requirement is improper or inadequate, or the licensee fails to provide the requested documentation within 30 days, the license becomes inactive. The practice of respiratory care, or representation that one is an RCP, is prohibited while the license is inactive. Practice on an inactive license shall constitute grounds for appropriate disciplinary action pursuant to the B&PC.
  3. (c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), if the Board determines that through no fault of the licensee the CE completed does not meet the criteria set forth in this Article, the Board may grant an extension, not to exceed six months, for the licensee to complete approved CE.
  4. (d) Misrepresentation of compliance shall constitute grounds for disciplinary action.
  5. (e) Documentation supporting compliance with CE requirements shall be available to the board upon request during the four year period following relicensure.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 3719 and 3722, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Sections 3719 and 3750, Business and Professions Code.

§1399.354. Waiver of Requirements.

At the time of making application for renewal of a license, an RCP may request a waiver from completion of the CE requirements. The board shall grant a waiver only if the RCP verifies in writing that, during the two-year period immediately prior to the expiration date of the license, he or she:

  1. (a) Has been absent from California for at least one year because of military service reasonably preventing completion of the CE requirements; or
  2. (b) Has been prevented from completing the CE requirements for reasons of health or other good cause which includes:
  3. (1) Total medical disability of the RCP for at least one year; or
  4. (2) Total medical disability of an immediate family member for at least one year where the RCP has total responsibility for the care of that family member. Verification of the disability under subsection (b) shall be verified in writing by a licensed physician and surgeon.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 3719 and 3722, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 3719, Business and Professions Code.

§1399.355. Renewal After Inactive or Delinquent Status.

  1. (a) For the renewal of an expired license more than two year and within three years from the date of expiration, the applicant shall provide documentation of completion of the required 30 hours of CE during the four-year period preceding the application for renewal.
  2. (b) For the renewal of an expired license two years or less from the expiration date, the applicant shall provide documentation of completion of the required 15 hours of CE during the two-year period preceding the application for renewal.
  3. (c) After a license has been expired for three years, it will be cancelled and the applicant must make application just as for an initial license and meet all the current criteria required for licensure.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 3719 and 3722, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Sections 3719 and 3774, Business and Professions Code.

§1399.356. License Status.

A licensee may request, in writing, to change the status of his/her license as follows:

  1. (a) To change the status of a license from active to inactive, the licensee shall make application to the board for such a change.
  2. (b) To change the status of a license from inactive to active, the licensee shall request such in writing, pay all current, delinquent and accrued renewal fees, and provide documentation of completion of 15 hours of CE during the two-year period preceding the request for active status.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 701, 704, 3719 and 3722, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Sections 3719, 3774 and 3775, Business and Professions Code.