What Does It Mean to be a Self-Regulated Professional

The College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario is the regulator for the profession of Respiratory Therapy. The CRTO regulates and ensures the ongoing improvement of the practice of Respiratory Therapy, to protect and serve the public interest. This means the CRTO protects patients’ rights to safe, competent and ethical care by supporting Respiratory Therapists to maintain the standards of practice of the profession and by holding them accountable for their conduct and practice.

Self regulation for a profession means two things.

  1. Respiratory Therapists are involved in determining the rules that govern the profession (ex. being involved as Council members); and
  2. Respiratory Therapists are accountable for their own behaviour (ex. they are accountable to self-regulation) with the CRTO providing assistance and oversight.

The work of the CRTO is directed by a Council (similar to a Board of Directors) whose job it is to represent the interests of the patients/public. The Council is made up of Respiratory Therapists who have been elected by their peers, members of the public who have been appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and academic representatives from the colleges in Ontario who provide entry level education programs. It is the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) that gives the CRTO its mandate to regulate the practice of Respiratory Therapy and gives health-care patients and the public a strong voice in the regulation of Respiratory Therapists by requiring an equitable balance of public appointees and elected professionals on the CRTO Council.