Certification for Asthma, Respiratory Educators, COPD and Tobacco Educators

In 1999, the Canadian Network for Respiratory Care (CNRC) – originally founded as the Canadian Network for Asthma Care – 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.

With increased interest from healthcare professionals from outside Canada, CNRC created the Certified COPD Educator (CCE) credential for US healthcare professionals. CNRC continues to expand its certification programs internationally.

In 2014, CNRC created the Certified Tobacco Educator (CTE) credential for healthcare professionals providing tobacco prevention and cessation services in Canada. The funding for the development of this program was provided through a generous grant from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Who Can Become a Certified Respiratory or Tobacco Educator?


CNRC credentials are open to healthcare professionals who have a degree or diploma in a recognized healthcare profession that includes counselling in its scope of practice. This includes a diverse group of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals working in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including: nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, dieticians, dental hygienists, social workers and addictions professionals, and medical doctors.

Strong Foundation in Health Education

All of CNRC’s credentials are based upon a strong foundation of core health education competencies. These core competencies i.e. the skills, knowledge and abilities include:

  1. Health Promotion and Education
  2. Communication (including motivational interviewing)
  3. Educational Interventions
  4. Resource Management
  5. Professional Practice
  6. Program Evaluation

Certified Respiratory Educators

Certified Asthma, Respiratory and COPD Educators teach clients 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.

Certified Tobacco Educators

Certified Tobacco Educators provide comprehensive, evidence-informed care in tobacco prevention and cessation.