Certification for Asthma and Respiratory Educators (CAEs and CREs)

In 1999, the Canadian Network for Asthma Care (CNAC) established a national certification program for Canadian asthma educators – creating the Certified Asthma Educator (CAE). In 2007, the Certified Respiratory Educator (CRE) exam was developed for educators of both asthma and COPD. In 2009, the organization changed its name to the Canadian Network for Respiratory Care (CNRC). In 2012, CNRC created the Certified COPD Educator (CCE) credential for US healthcare professionals.

Who Can Become a CAE or CRE?

Nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, dieticians, and medical doctors – are among the many healthcare professionals who have chosen to become certified as asthma and/or respiratory educators.

Certified Asthma and Respiratory Educators teach Canadians about their asthma and COPD, preventative measures, how to avoid triggers, the proper use of medications, diet and lifestyle counselling, and the use of written action plans that allow rapid adjustment of medications when symptoms worsen.

How Do Educators Become Certified?

CNRC CAE & CRE National Learning Objectives

The Certified Asthma Educator (CAE) and Certified Respiratory Educator (CRE) exams test educator proficiency in two integral aspects of asthma and
respiratory education:

  • up-to-date knowledge about asthma and COPD (the "what to teach"); and
  • better understanding on the part of educators about educational theory and process (the "how to teach").

National Learning Objectives (core curriculum) have been established to provide a common set of technical and teaching competencies for Canadian asthma and respiratory educators. Proficiency in these competencies is required for national certification.