Are Online CPR Certifications Legit? New Study! -


Human life is very precious. As a result, any activity involving the preservation and restoration of life requires a stamp of authenticity to ensure its credibility. CPR, the method used to revive the patients suffering from sudden cardiac arrest is one such activity that requires the vote of confidence before we can avail the service.

Caregivers providing CPR therefore need to be formally trained by Instructors who themselves must be officially certified to act as one. Certifications therefore have assumed a crucial role in ensuring the credibility of CPR Instructors.

A host of online certifications has made it extremely convenient for anybody willing to start off as a CPR Instructor to enroll in them. However, the authenticity of these online courses is often questioned. Moreover, as CPR is a physical treatment which involves applying the right amount of pressure on the patient to help in normalizing the heart beat, face-to-face classroom sessions become a necessity. The capability of online training sessions to meet this requirement is therefore a serious concern.


The two traditional providers of CPR training have been the American Red Cross (ARC) and the American Heart Association (AHA). It is therefore always advisable to opt for CPR certifications that are provided by these august institutions. In recent years, CPR certifications from CPRToday have also begun to find favor among employers. The last mentioned offers a 100% acceptance guarantee. This ensures you will get a complete refund of your investment if your employer does not accept online CPR training by CPRToday.

These organizations have several mandatory requirements which every candidate needs to satisfy. Stricter regulations are designed to provide CPR Instructors with the necessary training so as to help them deliver the appropriate assistance. The affiliations or the associations that Training centers have or do not have therefore become a crucial parameter in selecting the appropriate online certifications. This is also the deciding factor to proclaim the legitimacy of these courses.

To understand why we need to focus on these approved Training centers, like the AHA, it is important to take a look at the training methodology followed at these institutes. The organization divides their training into three significant phases. These are as follows:

§  Phase 1 – The American Heart Association accredited online course provides videos and online modules which you may undertake to complete at your own pace.

§  Phase 2 – Once you are through with the theory sections and have a clear understanding of all that is required to know, you will have to fix up an appointment with the AHA instructor for a hands-on session.

§  Phase 3 – This is followed by a detailed assessment to gauge the level of your understanding.

It is only on successfully completing all three phases are you able to start off on your own. The certificate issued to you will be valid for two years and will be sent only after the completion of all three phases mentioned above. The certificate would have to be renewed past its expiration date.

Any instruction which does not include a blend of online as well as classroom sessions should not be your ideal choice. One of the prime reasons being, that it will not be recognized by any of the associations like AHA or American Red Cross Society.

There are several online courses, like the one offered by CPR Prompt Home Learning System, which provides students with a whole host of learning materials. These include mannequins that are programmed to provide human like responses to indicate the appropriateness of the pressure being applied. In addition to these, the center also provides video modules and a printed material. The learning is supplemented by helpful aids like audio tips facilitating your improvement and understanding as well as helpful illustrations.

The materials, though elaborate, however, do not provide any official certification, which somehow fails to establish its credibility. Enrolling in courses such as these may help you get sufficient information on CPR and the methods involved in reviving patients suffering cardiac arrests. However, these will be totally ineffective in enabling you to work either full-time or even on a voluntary basis.

Any organization providing a complete online CPR course fails to establish its credibility. The function of CPR makes it mandatory to include the hands-on sessions in order to understand the benefits and mechanics of the task at hand better. Therefore, refrain from online-courses if they do not build-in a hands-on session into its curriculum.

A case in point is the Blended learning program by ARC which is just the perfect option for busy professionals. The course is perfectly designed to enable participants to move at their own pace and review their progress as and when they prefer.

CPR certifications that do not include the perfect blend between hands-on and theory sessions are not acknowledged by AHA or the other associations. Therefore, the utility of such certifications obtained thus has no value in helping you obtain positions in hospitals and community centers as an acknowledged CPR Instructor.

Most CPR certifications that are available online are basically only first aid courses. The curriculums that they provide do not focus on CPR in its full essence. Though they do provide a certificate at the end of the course, these are not acknowledged by organizations and do not help you bag good employment opportunities.

The legitimacy of an online CPR certificate depends on four very vital factors. These are:


  1. The course curriculum includes a perfect blend of classroom along with online instructions;
  2. The course culminates with a final assessment that has to be undertaken and passed in front of an instructor;
  3. The certificate needs to bear the seal of AHA or the American Red Cross Society. This establishes its credibility.
  4. No certificate carries a lifetime validity clause. It should be renewable in order to be legitimate. Local branches of the AHA and ARC have also launched refresher courses of shorter duration for recertification.

You should not enroll for any CPR certification that does not provide any or all of the above mentioned parameters. There are several organizations that provide CPR certifications with terms and clauses that are dubious in intent. Read every clause in detail to understand the underlying meaning. This will help you to separate the wheat from the chaff and help your career to move in the right direction.



  1. Avatar
    Randy Leal
    April 09, 2014 17:29 Reply

    I have recently taken a course in which I found out that after the CPR training was complete the card I was issued did not bear the American Heart Association logo on it. I corresponded with the owner of the company and he stated via email that his course follows AHA guidelines and is just the same. I have been offered a job that requires AHA approved CPR for Healthcare Provider (BLS). What can be done to prevent others from encountering this same issue as I have. Why are companies allowed to operate in this manner?

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