Implementation Guidelines for the Canadian Emergency Department Triage & Acuity Scale (CTAS)


The primary operational objective of the triage scale is related to the time to see a physician. This is because most decisions about investigation and initiation of treatment do not occur until the physician either sees the patient, or has the preliminary results necessary to recommend a course of action. Since it is access to appropriate care not simply physician assessment, the time from triage to see a physician is not a strict requirement and may change based on the introduction of delegated care plans or verbal review with physicians. Updates to these guidelines were published in 2014.


  • Introduction and Background
  • Goals of Triage
  • Role of Triage Personnel
    • A. General Triage Guidelines
    • B. Triage Interview
    • C. Nursing Process
    • D. Documentation Standards
    • E. Triage Nurse Qualifications
  • Triage & Acuity Scale Definitions
  • Paediatric Considerations
  • Triage in Rural Emergency Health Care Facilities (REHCF’s)
  • Setting Up The Triage Area
  • Triage Orientation Schedule
  • Quick Look Summary - Triage Categories

Type of Tool:

Publication Date: 
1998 & 2014 update

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