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Choosing a Course

Q: Is there a difference in BLS CPR certification?

A: Different organizations or employers may have specific requirements for BLS CPR certification. The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Red Cross are widely recognized providers of BLS CPR training and certification. These organizations are known for their comprehensive training programs and adherence to industry standards.

Many healthcare facilities, first responder and schools for healthcare occupations often require American Heart Association (AHA) BLS CPR certification. 

It's important to check with your employer, school or the specific organization you are affiliated with to determine the specific certification they require. They can provide you with the most accurate information about the accepted providers and any additional requirements or guidelines for CPR certification.

Q: What is the minimum age to learn CPR?

A: The AHA does not mandate a minimum age requirement for learning CPR. The ability to perform CPR is based more on body strength than age. Studies have shown that children as young as nine years old can learn and retain CPR skills. Please speak with an AHA Instructor or Training Center if you have any concerns. 

Q: Why is AED training included in all your CPR courses?

A: The science in the official AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC shows that victims have a greater chance of survival from cardiac arrest when high-quality CPR includes use of an AED.

Q: I need a general CPR course to prepare me to save the life of a loved one. Which course is best for me?

A: Family & Friends® CPR provides basic CPR training in a dynamic group environment using the research-proven practice-while-watching method.  

Q: I am not a healthcare professional and I need a CPR and AED course for work purposes. Which course should I take?

A: Heartsaver® CPR AED is probably best for you. We offer this course and hands-on skills sessions and in a blended learning course. You can still take a CLS course which includes the use of bag mask devices.

Q: Is your courses OSHA compliant?

A: Our BLS and Heartsaver Courses are for anyone with limited or no medical training who needs a course completion card for job, regulatory or other requirements. While these courses are designed to meet OSHA requirements, OSHA does not review or approve any courses for compliance.

Q: Which CPR course should a "first responder" or “professional rescuer” take?

A: First responders or professional rescuers generally include fire, police, and emergency medical personnel. These types of prehospital professionals usually need to complete a Basic Life Support (BLS) course. Check with your employer or licensing authority to verify which AHA or Red Cross BLS they require. our BLS course options.

Q: Which course should a daycare provider take?

A: The AHA’s Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid CPR AED Course is designed to meet regulatory requirements for childcare workers in all 50 United States. The AHA offers this course in both blended learning and classroom-based formats. 

Q: Can I take an AHA BLS CPR course online?

A: Yes, AHA BLS Group Virtual Training (Available until August 31, 2023) 

Our virtual training program enables you and or your staff to participate in group sessions remotely. This course includes a mix of AHA videos, visual instruction on CPR and AED usage for adults, children, and infants, and a short open resource exam. Upon completion, each participant will receive an AHA Basic Life Support CPR and AED Certification, valid for 2 years. 


Q: Do the AHA’s BLS courses include first aid?

A: No, first aid is not included in the AHA’s BLS courses. The AHA offers a variety of courses that will prepare you to respond to a first aid emergency, including

  • Heartsaver First Aid

  • Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED

  • Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid CPR AED

Basic Training LLC does offer first aid courses and hands-on skills sessions for blended learning courses.

Q: For the purposes of AHA’s CPR and first aid training, what age constitutes an infant, child and adult?

A: In CPR and first aid training,

  • An infant is younger than one year

  • A child is older than one year and has not reached puberty approximately age 8 or younger.

  • An adult is anyone who has gone through or is going through puberty

Q: Can an AHA Instructor come to my office or home to teach a course?

A: Basic Training is an independent business that have entered into an agreement with the AHA and American Red Cross to provide CPR, first aid and advanced cardiovascular care training, using current courses and products. Basic Training LLC will be able to tell you if they can send an instructor to you for on-site training 458-243-4646. 

Q: Do you offer courses in other languages?

A: Please contact a local AHA Training Center to inquire about courses in other languages. Find an AHA Training Center near you.

Q: How do I sign up for a class?

A: You can schedule a class with Basic Training.

Q: What should I wear to class?

A: Our CPR and first aid courses involve hands-on practice sessions, so wear something comfortable. If you have long hair, it is best to wear it back.

Q: How do I get the student materials I need (in the US)?

A: First, ask your Training Center Basic Training (TC). The TC may offer the course materials to you as part of the overall course. The TC may also direct you to purchase training materials through the AHA directly.

Q: May I use a copied manual/workbook?

A: No, American Heart Association state that each student must have his or her own current and appropriate manual or workbook readily available for use before, during and after the course.

The AHA owns the copyrights to AHA textbooks, manuals and other CPR, first aid, and advanced cardiovascular care training materials. These materials may not be copied, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the AHA. To request permission to reprint, copy or use portions of CPR, first aid, and advanced cardiovascular care materials, submit a written request to the AHA at

Course Completion Cards

Q: When can I expect to receive my course completion card from the AHA?

A: Training Centers must issue course completion cards within 20 days of successful course completion. Please contact your AHA Instructor We provide contact information to expedite your E-card on request, they usually charge an additional of $10.00 

Q: Can I laminate my AHA course completion card?

A: Yes.

Q: How can I tell if my card is a valid AHA course completion card?

A: The front of the card will provide you with the issue date and eCard Code number, (all cards are valid for 2 years).  The issuing Training Center’s information can be found on the back of the card. To check the validity of an AHA course completion card, you can contact  for assistance or use the American Heart Association web site verification tool.

Q: When do I need to renew my course completion card?

A: Course completion cards are valid for two years through the end of the month during which the course completion card was issued. For more information, please refer to the Course Card Reference Guide. If you can't remember your Training Center or Instructor's information, visit our Lost Your AHA Completion Card page for more information.

Q: My card is about to expire. How do I get a new one?

A: Contact to inquire about your options for renewing your course completion card. We will also be able to answer questions about class availability and cost.

Q: I lost my course completion card. How do I get a replacement?

A: Before reaching out to your Training Center to request a new card, first try to run a few searches in your email inbox to make sure you didn’t overlook the email with the link to access your eCard.

Q: Is my AHA course completion card accepted in all US states?

A: Yes, AHA course completion cards are accepted in all US states.

Q: Can I use my Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada course completion card for employment in the US?

A: The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) works closely with the AHA. The HSFC provider card is recognized by the AHA and can be used for admission to an AHA provider course (renewal or update) or Instructor course in the same discipline. The HSFC Instructor card is recognized by AHA Training Centers the same way as an instructor card issued by an AHA Training Center.

We suggest that you show your employer the AHA Course Card Reference Guide to see pictures of HSFC cards and read about our relationship.

Instructor Courses

Q: How do I become an AHA Instructor?

A: Visit the AHA Instructors page to learn about becoming an instructor and for Instructor resources.

Q: What is the minimum age to teach a CPR, first aid or advanced cardiovascular care course?

A: The AHA requires that instructors be at least 18 years of age to teach Heartsaver and BLS courses. ACLS, PALS and PEARS Instructors must be at least 18 years of age and licensed or certified in a healthcare occupation where the skills are within the provider’s scope of practice.

Q: Can BLS Instructors teach first aid?

A: Yes, BLS Instructors are authorized to teach all Heartsaver-level courses, including Heartsaver First Aid, Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED and Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid CPR AED. Instructors must have a copy of the appropriate Instructor manual for the course that they are teaching. It is also highly recommended that BLS Instructors review a copy of the student workbook for each course prior to teaching the course.

Training Center Questions

Q: How do we become a Training Center in the US?

A: Current AHA Instructors and Training Sites can find current Training Center Criteria and more information on the process to become an AHA Training Center on the AHA Instructor Network.

Q: How do we become a Training Center outside the US?

A: If you wish to establish an International Training Center in your country, please take a few minutes to complete the International Training Centers form to begin this process.


Miscellaneous Questions

Q: I heard you can do CPR without giving breaths now. Is that correct?

A: Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended for use by bystanders who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an “out-of-hospital” setting (such as at home, at work or in a park). It consists of two easy steps:

  1. Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that).

  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest at a rate of 100-120 pushes per minute.

The AHA recommends that healthcare providers use conventional CPR with a combination of breaths and compressions. Conventional CPR should also be used for

  • All infants (up to age 1)

  • Children (up to puberty)

  • Anyone found already unconscious and not breathing normally

  • Any victims of drowning, drug overdose, collapse due to breathing problems, or prolonged cardiac arrest

Learn more about Hands-Only CPR.

Q: I heard that you can cough repeatedly and vigorously to perform CPR on yourself. Is this true?

A: The AHA does not endorse "cough CPR," a coughing procedure widely publicized on the Internet. As noted in the AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC, “cough CPR” is not useful for unresponsive victims and should not be taught to lay rescuers. For more information, see the Cough CPR information page on

Q: Does my AHA course completion card certify me to do CPR?

A: No, AHA does not certify people in CPR, first aid, or advanced cardiovascular life support skills; the AHA verifies that, at the time a person successfully completed training, he or she was able to perform skills satisfactorily.

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