Requirements for Licensure
- Education Requirement
Pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 3740(a), all applicants for licensure must complete an education program for respiratory care that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) or its successor and been awarded a minimum of an associate degree from an institution or university accredited by a regional accreditation agency or association recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Here is a list of approved Respiratory Care Education Programs in California.
EDUCATION WAIVER: At the RCB's discretion, it may waive its educational requirements if evidence is presented and the RCB deems it as meeting the current educational requirements that will ensure the safe and competent practice of respiratory care. This evidence may include, but is not limited to:
- Work experience
- Good standing of licensure in another state
- Previous good standing of licensure in the State of California
MILITARY EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING: Pursuant to California Code of Regulations section 1399.330(3), the RCB may waive the education requirements if an applicant for licensure has:
- Completed a minimum of a one-year respiratory care approved program and;
- Has practiced care while serving in the U.S. military for a minimum of two years, full-time, within the four years immediately preceding filing of an application for licensure and;
- The military verifies the applicant is in “good standing” as it pertains to his or her past or current employment.
An applicant must provide sufficient documentary evidence to establish to the satisfaction of the RCB, that the applicant meets each requirement.
If you have questions or need further information, please contact the RCB toll free at (866) 375-0386 or by email at email@example.com.
- Examination Requirement
To obtain licensure as an RCP in California, you must first obtain a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). To obtain an RRT credential, you must successfully pass the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination (TMC), at the cut-off level required to qualify for the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE), AND the Clinical Simulation Examination.
Once you have completed your accredited respiratory care education program, you may apply for examination directly through the NBRC. The first examination you must take is the TMC Examination. There are two established cut scores for the TMC Examination. If you achieve the lower cut score, you will earn your CRT credential. However, if you achieve the higher cut score, you will earn your CRT credential AND become eligible for the CSE. Once you have passed both the TMC and the CSE, you will earn the RRT credential, and will satisfy the examination requirement for licensure.
For more information about the examination process or to schedule your examination, please visit the NBRC’s website at https://www.nbrc.org/.
The RCB will obtain your examination results directly from the NBRC as long as you have a California address.
If you have already passed the TMC and CSE and earned your RRT credential through the NBRC, you must login to your NBRC account and request an official credential verification letter be sent directly to the RCB.
If you earned a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential prior to January 1, 2015, no additional examination requirements must be met.
- Ethics Course Requirement
All applicants must successfully complete an RCB-approved Law and Professional Ethics Course prior to licensure. The RCB has approved two law and professional ethics courses, developed independently by the California Society for Respiratory Care (CSRC) and the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), which are available online (the CSRC also provides "live" sessions on designated dates).
Each of the approved courses are unique, though they both are 3-hours in length and consist of the following subject areas:
- Obligations of licensed respiratory care practitioners to patients under their care;
- Responsibilities of respiratory care practitioners to report illegal activities occurring in the work place; and
- Acts that jeopardize licensure and licensure status.
Please be advised that only ONE law and professional ethics course is required to be completed prior to licensure (either the CSRC's or AARC's course). Before deciding which course to take, applicants are encouraged to visit each providers' web site to review additional information pertaining to the administration of each course. Each applicant can then select the course provider that best meets his/her individual needs.
Prior to licensure, applicants must provide the RCB with a copy of a Certificate of Completion, from either the AARC or CSRC, verifying successful completion of the mandatory course.