Education Starts Here

CRCE versus Contact Hours


Many respiratory therapists often are confused between the AARC’s CRCE® and contact hours of education. They are calculated differently, and often confused. To help with this, please see some of the information below.

Contact Hours

A contact hour of continuing education is when there is 50 consecutive clock minutes of academic course work, online or correspondence course or seminar/workshop. This means that for every 50 minutes of education, you earn 1 contact hours.

Q: What about if the lecture I participated in was 60 minutes long, how many contact hours did I earn?

A: You earned 1.2 contact hours. To calculate this, take 60 and divide it by 50. This equals 1.2.


AARC’s CRCE contact hour is defined as 60 minutes of learning activity. This means that for every 60 minutes of education, you earn 1 CRCE.

Q: What about if the lecture I participated in was 60 minutes long, how many CRCEs did I earn?

A: You earned 1 CRCE.

Q: What about if the lecture I participated in was 50 minutes long, how many CRCEs did I earn?

A: You earned 0.83 CRCE. To calcuate this, take 50 and divide it by 60. This equals 0.83. 


We often call our continuing education, CEUs. Did you know that 1 CEU is actually 10 contact hours of education? CEU stands for Continuing Education Unit. A CEU is a unit of credit equal to ten hours of participation in an approved educational activity.

We hope that this helps you when determining if you have enough continuing education to maintain your license. Remember, if you are an AARC Member, all CRCE approved courses are tracked in your AARC Membership account. Visit to look up your records.

Arizona Society for Respiratory Care    (AzSRC)

Continuing Education Position Statement

One purpose of the AzSRC is to provide Continuing Respiratory Care Education to the Respiratory Therapist. The criteria for approving programs for continuing education units (CEU) are established by the AzSRC and reflect the continuing education requirements of the Arizona State Board of Respiratory Care Examiners (BOE).

“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:

  1. Define learning experiences related to the education and management of Respiratory Therapists and Respiratory Care services.
  2. Promote health and disease management.
  3. Provide patient safety.
  4. Discuss health care cost containment.
  5. Provide knowledge of healthcare law and ethics.
  6. Provide knowledge of emergency preparedness.


How Do I Apply for Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?

The Arizona Society for Respiratory Care (AzSRC) is one of several organizations that have been accepted by the Arizona State Board of Respiratory Care Examiners (BOE) to approve valid continuing education units (CEUs) for Arizona licensure. If a continuing education certificate has been issued by the AzSRC, it will be recognized by the Board of Examiners if it falls within the BOE guidelines. The AzSRC is not responsible for the maintaining of individual licenses. For specific licensing questions, please contact the Board of Examiners at 602-542-5995.


(Pay, Apply, Send, Decision)

  1. Pay the appropriate fees as indicated on the CEU Application or CEU Invoice. (The Invoice is intended for institutions). If applying as an Individual, the cost for each program date is twenty dollars ($20) for an AARC Member / fifty dollars ($50) for a Non-AARC Member. If applying as an Institution the cost is $50 for each program date or if a CEU Invoice is completed and pre-payment received to the AzSRC, the annual cost is reduced and varied. If applying using the Institutional Invoice and the program approved, the CEU certificate can be copied and distributed to attendees of the program by the program provider.Payment can be by check or money order made out to “AzSRC,” or by credit card via the AzSRC website. NO CASH PLEASE.

Note: Any unused fees paid to the AzSRC via the Invoice, will expire annually on December 31 and will not be transferable in to the next year.

  1. Apply for CEUs by completing the CEU Application thoroughly and completely.

3. Send the CEU application to the AzSRC CEU Committee for Review. The application can be mailed, faxed or emailed. All current mailing information can be found on page two (2) of the CEU Application.

  1. A decision on approval will be granted by the CEU Committee.

If the program is approved the CEU Certificate will be mailed or emailed to the individual / institution. If the program is denied—The CEU Committee will return the application with an explanation.

  1. Per the Arizona State Board of Respiratory Care Examiners, all CEU certificates and documentation must be kept for a period of five (5) years. (Refer to 

AzSRC Continuing Education Approval Criteria and Information

ACLS, PALS, and NRP do not require approval by the AzSRC. The American Heart Association is an approved organization by the BOE. A copy of the course card is valid for five (5) CEUs. Only one course will qualify for license renewal. Basic Life Support is not valid for CEUs.

  1. The AzSRC will approve programs related to the practice of Respiratory Therapy. The program faculty must be knowledgeable in the topic being taught demonstrated by an educational degree, professional experience in the subject matter or teaching experience in the subject matter. Objectives must be specific and consistent with the program expected outcomes. The AzSRC will not approve college completed courses.
  2. Approval will be issued when the application is legible and complete. An agenda/time breakdown must be present with the application if requesting more than three (3) CEUs. No CEU credit will be given for course introductions, breaks, testing or evaluations.
  3. Each program date approved will count as an individual application per the cost structure. Any subsequent dates of a program will count as another application per the cost structure. A program counts as one application regardless of length. (Example: If a program is one (1) hour in length, it will count as one application. If a program is two days in length, it will count as one application.)
  4. Institutions, after paying the fee, can apply for CEU credit for programs offered/sponsored by their own facility. Individuals can apply for CEUs, after paying the fee and completing the CEU application. All costs are set by the AzSRC Board of Directors.
  5. CEUs can be applied for any time in advance by an Institution however, applications received more than forty five (45) days following a program will not be considered for approval. Individuals applying for CEUs must submit their application after attending a program with proof of completion of that program.
  6. The AzSRC does not approve any successfully completed NBRC Examinations or completed college courses for CEUs. (Refer to for acceptance of NBRC Examinations)

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