Part-time/Distance & Online Learning Advanced Certificate 6820ascert


Note: This program runs every two years. The next intake will start accepting applications on June 1, 2014.

New admission procedures effective November 15, 2013. Review the instructions carefully. View summary of the changes
Cardiovascular perfusion is the science of providing extracorporeal circulation in order to artificially support and temporarily replace a patient's respiratory and circulatory systems. Clinical Perfusionists are expert members of the cardiac surgical team, and can be found provide life saving support of patients requiring extra corporeal circulation, including but not limited to major cardiothoracic, vascular and transplant surgeries, as well as support of the critically-ill patient.

Clinical perfusionists are trained in the safe administration of blood products and drugs, and are experts in the implementation and management of blood salvage, intra-aortic balloon, and Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD's).

The primary aim of our Advanced Certificate in Cardiovascular Perfusion is to academically and clinically prepare the cardiovascular perfusion student for professional practice. The curriculum focuses on developing a strong knowledge base in cardiothoracic anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, as well as pharmacology, fetal and neonatal cardiac development and perfusion science. Throughout the program, the you are given many opportunities to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

An Advanced Certificate in Cardiovascular Perfusion credential is conferred after the completion of two years of academic and clinical study within this program.

Program Entry

Entrance requirements

Competitive Entry: Three step process

Preference will be given to applicants with:

  • Academic grades above the minimum
  • Requirements completed within the last five years
  • Related experience
  • Additional post-secondary academic courses*

Applications accepted June 1st** - October 1st

*Applicants with preferred entrance requirements are to submit transcripts and supporting documentation with their online application.

**or next business day

Note: This program does not accept applications from International students. View BCIT programs that do.

Step 1: Entrance requirements

  • Two years of education in English in an English-speaking country with one of the following:
    • English 12 (73%) or
    • Three credits of post-secondary English, Humanities or Social Sciences (73%) from a recognized institution

    What if I don’t meet these English requirements?

  • Bachelor's Degree

  • Plus one of the following:

    • Two years of current experience working as a Certified Respiratory Therapist or Critical Care RN and successful completion of the following post-secondary courses:


    • Successful completion of the following post-secondary courses:
      • Human Anatomy and Physiology (university level, comprehensive systems based) 6.0 credits
      • General Physics (100 level) 6.0 credits
      • Chemistry (100 level) 6.0 credits
      • Medical Terminology (CARD 1103* or equivalent)
      • Statistics (CARD 1187* or equivalent)
      • Research (MIMG 7006 or equivalent)
      • CARD 1186* (or equivalent as determined by Program Head) is required for applicants without relevant patient care experience

  • Completion of the following form for submission with your online application:

*For access to Cardiology courses (CARD 1103, CARD 1186, and CARD 1187), please complete a Special Approval Form [PDF] and submit to Cardiac Sciences prior to term start. Please note MIMG 7006 does not require departmental approval.

Applicants who completed post-secondary studies outside of Canada, United States or the United Kingdom will require a comprehensive evaluation of their credentials by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES).

Step 2: Requirements for selected applicants

  • Multiple Mini Interview Process (MMI)

Step 3: Conditionally selected applicants

If you have been conditionally accepted to BCIT you will be notified and the following information will be required in order to be accepted into the program:

Once these and any other outstanding conditions have been met, you will receive notification of your full acceptance.

Clinical requirements

Note: Effective immediately, all health care workers who come into contact with patients at publicly-funded health care facilities or in the community, including at long-term-care facilities, will have to get the influenza vaccine or wear a mask during flu season. This policy affects all students who will be entering a clinical setting.

As such, you will be required to provide proof of your immunization or agree to wear a mask at all times through the flu season prior to being placed in your clinical studies.

  • Current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to be completed prior to start of clinical practicum year

Apply to program

This program runs every two years. The next intake will start accepting applications on June 2, 2014.

Please check our list of programs that may have space available or access our program database for a complete list of BCIT programs.

Scheduled intakes

January of odd numbered years

The next intake of this program will be January 2015.


Within 3 weeks of applying to a program, you will be sent a letter in the mail confirming receipt of your application. The letter will identify your student number, BCIT e-mail address and instructions on how to login to your myBCIT account.

All official BCIT correspondence will be sent to your myBCIT account. Check myCommunication often during the application process and throughout your studies at BCIT.

You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within 4 weeks.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees and Textbooks [PDF]

Face respirator fit testing: approx $25 per year, annual re-fitting required.

As BCIT strives to keep our programs current, programs and courses are subject to change without notice.


Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Term 1 (15 weeks) Credits
  BHSC 6100 Applied Anatomy and Physiology 1 3.0
  PERF 7100 Cardiac Anaesthesia and Clinical Pharmacology 1 3.0
  PERF 7200 Perfusion Equipment and Techniques 1 4.0
Term 2 (15 weeks) Credits
  BHSC 6110 Applied Anatomy and Physiology 2 3.0
  PERF 7110 Cardiac Anaesthesia and Clinical Pharmacology 2 4.0
  PERF 7210 Perfusion Equipment and Techniques 2 4.0
Term 3 (15 weeks) Credits
  PERF 7220 Perfusion Equipment and Techniques 3 4.0
  PERF 7300 Pediatric Perfusion 3.0
  PERF 7400 Hemodynamic Monitoring/Diagnostic Imaging 4.0
Clinical (45 weeks) Credits
  PERF 8100 Cardiovascular Perfusion Clinical 1 3.0
  PERF 8200 Cardiovascular Perfusion Clinical 2 19.5
  PERF 8300 Cardiovascular Perfusion Clinical 3 19.5
  PERF 8400 Cardiovascular Perfusion Clinical 4 19.5
  PERF 8500 Cardiovascular Perfusion Clinical 5 4.5
Total Credits: 98.0

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

The Advanced Certificate in Cardiovascular Perfusion program is two years in length, consisting of a first year of part-time distance learning, followed by a second year of full-time clinical rotations.

The first academic year consists of three semesters of online distance courses. During this year you will gain the fundamental knowledge required for entry to the programs clinical rotations. A strong understanding of cardiothoracic anatomy, physiology and pharmacology will be essential knowledge in order for the students to grasp the physical principles of perfusion science. An emphasis on cardiothoracic pathophysiology, as well as surgical techniques will be introduced early in order to prepare students for clinical. You will be expected to spend approximately 9-12 hours/week completing coursework, including online group discussions, Instructor directed problem solving/quizzes, and peer reviewed lectures.

Upon successful completion of the first year, you will enter an intensive full-time 45-week clinical rotation. You will be expected to train alongside qualified clinical perfusionists in the hospital setting, using the experience to complete clearly defined clinical year objectives. The majority of this clinical year will be spent learning the theoretical and practical application of safe cardiopulmonary bypass, as well as taking part in class days, wet lab work, lectures and student presentations. You will be taught to communicate effectively with members of the health care team, patients and families.

You will learn to use reason, analysis, calculations, problem solving, critical thinking, and other learning skills to acquire knowledge, comprehend, and synthesize complex situations. Students must be prepared for achieving and maintaining a high level of knowledge and clinical competence, as well as having a distinct awareness of the consequence of error in judgment and/or skill. Under supervision the students will be assessed on how safely and effectively they work in often stressful situations.

Clinical site rotations are assigned using student input and a computer program to generate assignments. Although student input is used for site assignments, there is no guarantee that you will receive your preferred placements. The hospitals listed below will provide clinical placements:

Clinical site partners

BC Children's Hospital
Kelowna General Hospital
Royal Columbian Hospital
Royal Jubilee Hospital
St. Paul's Hospital
Vancouver General Hospital

Note: students rotate through the sites listed during the clinical year. This requires that students travel and make arrangements for accommodations in out of town sites according to the length of each rotation. The duration of the clinical courses are 3 weeks (2 courses) and 13 weeks (3 courses) and are scheduled from January 6th, 2014 to December 19th, 2014. One week of the first clinical course will be scheduled for December 2013. Complete clinical schedules will be available to students 3 months prior to beginning the clinical year.

Program length

Two years, part-time, with intake in January of odd numbered years.

Program location

Courses are offered through distance and online learning.

Graduating & Jobs

Graduating and careers

Employment opportunities for clinical perfusionists are increasing due to the growing number of people age 65 and older who are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and require open-heart surgery. This number of surgical procedures is expected to rise as the population continues to age. Also, new procedures in the treatment of cardiovascular disease are increasing the need for cardiovascular perfusionists.

Employment of perfusionists is expected to grow faster than the average for most medical professions through the year 2010 as the volume of cardiac surgery increases.

Professional affiliations

Students are encouraged to become student members of the following professional associations:

Apply for graduation

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, complete an Application for BCIT Credential [PDF] and submit to Student Information and Enrolment Services.

Allow approximately six to eight weeks for processing.

All financial obligations to the Institute must be met prior to issuance of any credential.

Professional associations

Canadian Society of Clinical Perfusion

Faculty, Advisors & Staff


Natalie Barlow
BSc, Respiratory Therapist, Cardiovascular Perfusionist, UBC Medical Student

Neil D Casey
Chief of Perfusion, BCCH / PHSA

Cindy Mazerolle
MBA, BSc Kinesiology

Saverio Spada
Canadian Certified Perfusionist, Respiratory Therapist

Dustin Spratt
Chief of Perfusion, Royal Columbian Hospital


Dr. Jim Abel
Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, FRCSC

Filippo Berna
BSc, US/Canadian Certified Perfusionist

Dr. Matt Klass
Anesthesiologist, FRCPC

Dr. Martin Lampa
Anaesthesiologist, FRCPC (Canada)

Steven St. John Gabbott
Canadian Certified Perfusionist

Dr. Calvin Wan
Cardiac Surgery, FRCSC

Advisory committee

  • Pam Aikman, Stroke Services BC / Cardiac Services BC
  • Neil Casey, BC Children's Hospital
  • Al Davenport, Royal Jubilee Hospital
  • Dr. Derek Gunning, Royal Columbian Hospital
  • Carol Laberge, Inerior Health Authority
  • John Miller, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute
  • David Nash, Vancouver General Hospital
  • Dustin Spratt, Royal Columbian Hospital

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Questions or comments?

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy.

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