Navigating California’s New CEU Regulations for Respiratory Therapists

For the approximately 23,600 Respiratory Therapists (RTs) who work in California, there are new mandates in the regulations detailing how CEUs will need to be obtained in the future. The new regulations will be a surprise to the vast majority of RTs in CA who do not read the meeting minutes of the Respiratory Care Board of California. These regulations have been discussed for a few years now but just recently have been approved and effective January 1, 2024. 

Adapting Learning Styles to California’s Updated CEU Requirements

In the past, the Respiratory Care Board of California allowed each individual Respiratory Practitioner to utilize their predominant learning style when pursuing their continuing education. So, whether an RT was a Visual learner, Audio Learner, Read/Write Learner, or Kinesthetic Learner they were all available. As educational research shows, when all learning style options are available there is increased knowledge transfer.

The Respiratory Care Board of California has stated that one of their intended goals is to increase the RTs clinical knowledge. They therefore put into effect a mandate that 50% or 15 of the 30 CEUs must be learned via the “Audio” learner style. 

For those RTs who openly acknowledge that “Audio” is not their predominant learning style and consequently won’t absorb as much of the knowledge, they will need to determine how they can work within this new mandate. For the Visual, Read/Write and Kinesthetic learners, this appears to now make gaining educational value from these 15 “Audio” CEUs a bit more challenging.

Balancing Act: Clinical vs. Management CEUs for California RTs

Another stated goal by the Respiratory Care Board of California is that they want more managers. As a result, they mandated that 33% or 10 of the 30 CEUs be management related. This is welcome news to the approximate 38% of Respiratory Therapists who have an interest in pursuing management in some capacity. Now they can earn CEUs while gaining valuable managerial and leadership skills. However, as the research indicates in any profession, there are approximately 62% of individual contributors or in this case RTs who have no interest or desire to move into management. So, for the 62% of RTs the hope is that the courses will still provide value in the current individual roles. While it is true there will be a reduction of clinical related CEUs by 33% or 10 CEUs, the unstated calculus appears to hope that the gain in management related knowledge will be of greater value than the loss of clinical related knowledge. For all objective CA Respiratory Therapists, the goal to prepare more RT leaders is a clear and obvious need, history will be the judge to see if this approach achieves the desired outcome.

Strategic Support: TheCEPlace Guides RTs Through Regulatory Changes

As an educator of RTs in CA we will offer all the required management and live courses starting 1/1/2024. For us, we want to make sure all our RTs remain compliant with these new changes. We are also going to absorb the significant increase in costs to support these changes such as live instructors. This will not be felt in the pocketbook of our Respiratory Therapists as they will still receive 30 CEUs for only $80. No need to get stuck in an annual subscription model which can be more than double the costs. 

The good news is the Respiratory Care Board of California has implemented a 2-year transition period allowing you to still use your predominant learning style “read/write” and purchase our non-traditional (self-study) online courses up until your next license renewal date which falls within 1/1/204-12/31/2025. Here is an example, to help you understand the transition period. Let’s suppose your next license renewal date is 10/31/2025. You can continue to purchase our non-traditional courses as you always have over the years up until 10/30/2025. After your next renewal date, you will need to follow the new regulations.

TheCEPlace will do what we can to support you so you can navigate through these changes by offering bundled classes to meet the required “live” and “management” related RT CEUs. We will offer all of this at the same incredibly low price of $80 for 30 CEUs. These regulatory changes will of course increase our costs to serve you by adding live instructors, but we do not want the cost to be pushed onto you. We know California is expensive to live here and we do not want to add to your expenses! 

For further details on the 2-transition period please see below:

Critical Dates and Guidelines: California’s CEU Transition for RTs

The new CE regulations will be implemented beginning January 1, 2024, with a two-year transition period that ends December 1, 2025.

The first group to be affected by the new CE requirements are licensees with a December 31, 2023, license expiration date. If your license expires December 31, 2023, you must begin to earn CE under the new requirements beginning January 1, 2024, to meet the new CE requirements. Below is a schedule for all renewal dates during the transition.

While RCPs whose licenses expire December 31, 2023, must begin to earn CE under the new framework beginning January 1, 2024, licensees with later renewal dates have the option to begin earning CE under the new framework as soon as they like, but not later than their license expiration date.

During the two-year transition, so long as the license expiration date (noted in the first column above) has not passed, an RCP may renew his/her license under the old CE requirements1, the new CE requirements, or a combination of both as follows:

  • Obtain a minimum of 15 hours of CE directly related to the practice of respiratory care and
  • Obtain another 15 hours that meets the old requirements or the new requirements or a combination of both. [The “live” course requirement will not be applicable]

However, beginning with your “Renewal Date” as indicated in the first column, all CE earned thereafter, must meet the new CE requirements. Every license that is renewed on or after December 31, 2025, must have earned CE that meets the new requirements.

For example, a person with a November 30, 2024, license expiration date must begin to earn CE under the new CE requirements on December 1, 2024. However, that same RCP may choose to begin to earn CE under the new requirements between January 1, 2024, and November 30, 2024. So, when the licensee renews on November 30, 2024, the RCB will accept CE meeting either the new CE requirements, old CE requirements or a combination as noted above. When this same licensee renews his/her license on November 30, 2026, ALL the CE earned from December 1, 2024, through November 30, 2026, must meet the new requirements.

Comments are closed.