CTAS is a tool that enables Emergency Departments (ED) to:

  • Prioritize patient care and access requirements
  • Examine patient flow and care processes
  • Complement other workload, case mix, and resource requirement measures

The CTAS supports ED nurses and physicians to:

  • Triage patients according to acuity, risk, and care needs based on their presenting signs and symptoms
  • Ensure that the sickest and highest risk patients are seen first when ED capacity has been exceeded
  • Reassess patients required to wait for a treatment space

The CTAS allows ED managers to:

  • Capture and analyze ED patient visit based on volume, acuity and by CEDIS presenting complaint
  • Determine whether the ED has an operational plan and the resources to meet patient needs
  • Assess the ED’s role within the hospital and health care region

The triage level assigned using the CTAS criteria is a mandatory data element to be used in all Canadian Hospital Emergency Departments for reporting to theĀ Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).


The CTAS National Advisory Committee, a partnership between NENA and CAEP, conducts regular reviews of the CTAS guideline and educational materials and will publish updates when changes are required. For upcoming CTAS Course information, Instructor access to teaching documents (Membership Profile page) and Course Forms, please access NENA.ca/our-courses/


CTAS has been developed and approved by the following organizations: