Professional Titles, Roles & Responsibilities

Professional Titles

The title for this role RRTs plays in varies between institutions. Although the title of “Anesthesia Assistant” (AA) is not legislatively protected, it has been associated with this role in some facilities in Ontario. In the Canadian Anesthesia Society’s (CAS) 2022 Position Paper on Anesthesia Assistants the CAS has supported the development of the “Anesthesia Care Team” (ACT) concept of care in which the specialist physician anesthetist practices with the assistance of dedicated, trained, and certified Anesthesia Assistant individuals.

Those working as AAs “should be experienced healthcare professionals who have pursued a defined period of didactic and clinical training specific to the competencies required to be an AA”.

In addition, the position of the CRTO and the CAS is that an RRT must not use the title of Anesthesia Assistant unless they have completed a recognized Anesthesia Assistant educational program.

CSRT’s Certified Clinical Anesthesia Assistant (CCAA)

The Canadian Society for Respiratory Therapy (CSRT) offers a credential for Anesthesia Assistants – the Certified Clinical Anesthesia Assistant (CCAA). This credential is awarded to regulated health care professionals who (1) have completed an accredited anesthesia assistant program, and (2) have successfully passed the credentialing exam offered by the Canadian Board for Respiratory Care (CBRC). Those holding the CCAA credential must remain registered with the CSRT and participate in the continuing education program for the CCAA.

Details of the program can be found on the CSRT website:

The CCAA is not a substitute for registration with a regulatory body – in fact, maintenance of the CCAA requires ongoing registration with a regulator. ALL RTs wishing to practice in Ontario must be registered with the CRTO. The CRTO does not require its Members who work as AAs to obtain the CCAA designation.


Working under the Direction and Supervision of an Anesthesiologist

The CAS 2022 Position Paper on Anesthesia Assistants stipulates that AAs work under the direction and supervision of an anesthetist. “The AA must not be used as a replacement for a physician anesthetist”. The same principle applies to all RTs, regardless of whether they have received AA training or not, which is that the RT is not to be the primary provider of anesthesia services.