CRCE® Application Overview

CRCE Policy Manual (updated January 2015)

Download the AARC CRCE Policy Manual.

CRCE® Application—An overview of features

This web-based application system allows the submission of educational programs for evaluation by the AARC for CRCE® accreditation. Key functionality includes:

  • Programs are approved for a fixed period of time following the initial offering date of the program (a program begins on June 1, 2015 would expire on June 1, 2016).
  • Either a 1or 2 year accreditation option is available for non-traditional programs. Traditional programs may be accredited for one year only.
  • Educational content categories must be designated. Individual sessions in traditional programs must be individually assigned while one content area must be assigned for nontraditional courses.
  • Program attendees will be reported through the system which will allow AARC member transcripts to be updated instantaneously.
  • Enhanced communication between course sponsors and the AARC regarding the status of application status. This includes immediate email notification of application receipt, review status, and accreditation.
  • Clearly defined application sections that contain explanations of required information and prompt for missing information during completion. Navigation menu provides notice of completed sections. Sections can be reviewed and modified any time prior to final submission.
  • Session contact hours for traditional programs are calculated automatically according to the session beginning and ending times and time allowed for breaks.
  • Speaker and program planner information it is stored and available for future use in other programs.
  • Optional evaluation and course certificate forms are populated with the information provided in the application as an alternative to developing one’s own custom forms.
  • A basic marketing flyer that is populated with information provided in the application is provided.
  • Provides direct uploading of commonly used files types from computers.
  • Repeat programs can be added at the time the application is completed or any time during the time for which the program is accredited.
  • Previously approved applications can be cloned then modified to create a new application.

Purpose and Foundational Principles of the AARC CRCE Program

The Continuing Respiratory Care Education (CRCE®) system is committed to assuring that programs meet requirements for continuing education established by State Boards of Respiratory Care. In doing so, this system assures that each accredited program:

  • Is planned based upon educational needs identified for respiratory therapists.
  • Specifies learning outcomes by providing written behavioral objectives.
  • Is planned and conducted by qualified individuals.
  • Provides content and instructional methods based on the specified learning outcomes.
  • Includes methods to evaluate a participant’s attainment of the specified learning outcomes.
  • Is assigned a number of CRCE contact hours that accurately reflects time required to master the content.

The sponsors (providers) of CRCE accredited programs must comply with AARC CRCE policies by furnishing accurate information to potential participants about course content, faculty, number of contact hours awarded, and the requirements for successful course completion. They must provide a certificate of completion to each participant who successfully completes the course, accurately report their contact hours earned to the AARC, and maintain records of their attendance.

Continuing Education Defined

The purpose of the AARC’s Continuing Respiratory Care Education (CRCE) is to accredit continuing educational programs for respiratory therapists. The criteria for accrediting programs are established by the AARC and reflect the continuing education requirements of the Respiratory Care State Boards throughout the United States of America.

“Continuing Education” is defined as the variety of learning experiences meant to enhance the knowledge of the respiratory therapist enabling them to provide safe, and effective respiratory care to patients. Continuing education may also be used to define learning experiences related to the education and management of respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy services, health promotion and disease management, patient safety, health care cost containment, healthcare law and ethics and emergency preparedness Educational activities are planned, organized, efforts, either provider-directed or learner-directed and aimed at accomplishing educational objectives.

One CRCE contact hour is defined as 60 minutes of learning activity. In calculating learning time, time to complete testing and course evaluation is allowed. Examinations are required only for learner directed (nontraditional) programs. The AARC makes the final determination of the number of contact hours awarded.

Traditional and Nontraditional Education Defined

Traditional (Provider-Directed)

A traditional or provider directed educational activity requires the learner and provider to interact in real time. They need not be in the same place but they must be able to communicate either verbally or in writing with each other during the time the learning activity is occurring. The provider determines pace of the program and schedules the activity. Contact hour credit awarded is based on the time allocated for the exchange of information between the presenter and the learner. Examples of provider directed activities include, but are not limited to, live lecture educational sessions that are part of conventions, courses, seminars, workshops, lecture series, and distance learning activities such as webcasts, videoconferences and audio conferences in which the learner can interact with the provider. The accreditation fee varies depending on the number of contact hours requested. In traditional courses each session may have its own content designation. A post-test is not required for provider-directed learning activities. The cost of reviewing and accrediting traditional programs is variable and depends on the number of hours for which it is approved. These courses are approved for one year. They may be repeated any time during their accreditation period by providing the required information and fees through the application process. These repeat programs will be instantly accredited upon application. Only traditional programs may allow partial credit to participants if requested by the course sponsor. This means that CRCE contact hours can be awarded for attending specific sessions within the entire program. It is incumbent upon the course sponsor to report only the sessions actually attended by each participant.

Nontraditional (Learner-Directed)

A nontraditional learner-directed (independent study) is conducted by the learner at his or her own pace. The instructor does not interact with the learner in real time. The number of contact hours awarded is determined by the AARC and is based on the estimated average time required to complete the learning materials, tests and evaluations. The formats for non-traditional activities include, but are not limited to studies of web-based courses, archived webcasts, pod casts videotapes, audiotapes or monographs or the content of journals listed in Index Medicus. In contrast to traditional courses, only one content designation may be assigned to a nontraditional course. Satisfactory completion of a post-test is required to meet the requirements of all learner-directed courses. A fixed fee is charged to review and administer the program. In addition there is a fee based on the length of the course to review the course learning materials. Nontraditional courses are approved for either one or two years.

Acceptable Continuing Education Topics
  • All areas addressed in the content matrix of the credentialing examinations of the National Board for Respiratory Care:
    • Certified Pulmonary Function Technologist (CPFT®)
    • Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care Specialist (CRT-NPS® or RRT-NPS®)
    • Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (RPFT®)
    • Sleep Disorders Testing and Therapeutic Intervention Respiratory Care Specialist (CRT-SDS® or RRT-SDS®)
    • Adult Critical Care Specialty (ACCS)
    • Therapist Multiple Choice Examination and Clinical Simulation Examination for the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT®) and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT®) credentials
  • All areas addressed in the content matrix of the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists’ (BRPT) RPSGT® examination.
  • All areas addressed in the content matrix of the National Asthma Educator Certification Board’s (NAECB) AE-C® examination.
  • Emerging technology and its application in the delivery of respiratory care
  • Courses and/or programs may be accredited if the content of the course or program is not directly related to clinical practice but relates to the following:
    • Education, supervision, and management
    • Health care cost containment or cost management
    • Preventative health services and health promotion
    • Medical ethics and legal aspects of health care
    • Patient safety/infection control
    • Bioterrorism and emergency preparedness

Through special arrangement, CRCE contact hours may be awarded for participation in the peer-review process of journals listed in Index Medicus. To be able to provide CRCE to their reviewers, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal must have their review process and the amount of CRCE awarded approved by the AARC’s CRCE accreditation system.

CRCE Accreditation Fees and Payment Information

A non-refundable fee is assessed for reviewing applications and maintaining records of programs. Fees may be paid with a credit card or check. The fee schedule is below:

Type of Program Not-For Profit
(must provide federal tax ID number)
For Profit
Traditional (Provider Directed)
First Program Date (by contact hours):
• 3.0 hrs. or less $65 $130
• 3.1–8.0 hrs. $70 $135
• 8.1–13.0 hrs. $75 $145
• 13.1–21.0 $85 $155
• 21.1–31.0 $95 $165
• Greater than 31 hrs. $110 $180
Subsequent program (repeat) dates $13 $26
Late Fee
(applications received less than 30 days prior to the course delivery date)
$40 $40
Nontraditional (Learner-Directed)
1 year accreditation $65 $130
2 year accreditation $130 $260
Materials review fee (1 hour minimum) $13/credit hour $26/credit hour
Late Fee
(applications received less than 30 days prior to the course delivery date)
$40 $40

Payment, which must be submitted with the application, may be paid by check, money order, or Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards. If paying by check or money order, payment must be sent to the AARC office. Payment may be sent prior to application with a note of explanation. Application will not be processed until payment is received.

If paying by check or money order, after your application/repeat date(s) have been submitted, please print and send the AARC CRCE invoice from the Application Service Center with your payment. Failure to send this invoice with your check may delay the processing of your application. Fees paid for application review are not refundable: A fee of $125.00 will be assessed for a check returned from the bank for any reason.

Make checks payable to the AARC.

Send payments to:
AARC
ATTN: CRCE
9425 N. MacArthur Blvd, Ste 100
Irving, TX 75063

AARC State Society CRCE Application Information

Only provider-directed programs (traditional programs) sponsored by AARC State Societies are exempt from application fees. Fees for nontraditional program applications are not waived. A late fee will be charged if the application is submitted within 30 days of the program date. Exempt programs include those in which the State Society assumes complete fiscal responsibility and access is available to all AARC members in the state. The AARC will make the final determination regarding waiving the fee.

Application Process

Before starting—what you need to

  • Designate a key contact person to be responsible for submitting the application and interacting with the AARC
  • Identify the purpose/goal of the activity
  • Determine your method of payment

Obtain the following minimum information about planning committee member(s):

  • Name
  • Postal and email address
  • Their employer (if applicable)
  • Employment position
  • A description their expertise/experience in planning and ensuring the quality of continuing education activities
  • Any conflict of interest disclosures that relate to the program being planned.

For author(s) or presenter(s), you will need to provide:

  • Name
  • Postal and email address
  • Their employer and employment position (if applicable),
  • A description their expertise/experience related to the subject matter
  • And any conflict of interest disclosures that relate to the information being presented

Review the AARC CRCE Policy Manual

Tips for completing the application

  • You may go back and modify any of the information until you submit the application.
  • Once you have submitted, you will be unable to edit your application.

Step-by-step instructions for completing your application

What happens after the application is submitted?

  • You will receive an email that acknowledges receipt of your application and provides a timeline for the review process.
  • Your application will be assigned to a reviewer by the CRCE administrator
  • During the review process you will be notified by email of any additional information that is needed
  • After the review is completed you will be notified by email that your course has been either approved or disapproved. If approved, a course number is assigned.

Professional Credential Requirements for Presenting Clinical Topics

The person who delivers the content in the course or program is called the presenter in a traditional activity or the author in a non-traditional activity. The presenter/author is identified as a content expert and, as such, must be able to deliver the content in the context of respiratory care, in a language that is understood by respiratory therapists, and without commercial influence. The provider of the activity is responsible for ensuring the qualifications of the presenter/author for the activity. Qualified presenters/authors are those who are credentialed and/or hold a professional license that defines the scope of practice encompassing the topic being presented. Persons without a valid credential or license are not qualified for CRCE® approval. Exceptions are made for those persons for whom exceptional expertise can be provided and aligned with the program objectives.

Clarification: This policy allows appropriately licensed or credentialed employees of industry to present educational topics approved for CRCE but excludes presenters who do not hold an appropriate license or credential. This policy also allows approved CRCE topics to be presented by licensed professionals who are not respiratory therapists when their scope of practice includes the topic being presented.

Content Designation Explanations

Reporting Attendance

Obtaining a Receipt or Invoice for CRCE Applications

Adding New Dates for Repeating Currently Accredited Traditional Programs

Browser Requirements

The CRCE Program Accreditation System has been tested with the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 7+
  • Firefox 3.0+
  • Safari 4.0+
  • Google Chrome
  • Opera 10.0+