Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum age to learn CPR?

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 if you have any concerns.

Why is AED training included in all your CPR courses?

The science in the official 2010 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.

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

Heartsaver® CPR AED is probably best for you. The AHA offers this course in both classroom-based and eLearning formats. See our schedule to see when we are offering Heartsaver classes and eLearning skills sessions near you.

Are your courses OSHA compliant?

Our 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.
Through the AHA/OSHA Alliance, we work with OSHA to raise awareness about workplace safety and health to prevent injuries, illnesses, and fatalities in the workplace. Read about the OSHA/AHA Alliance at

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

First responders or professional rescuers generally include fire, police and emergency medical personnel. These types of prehospital professionals usually need to complete a BLS course. The AHA now offers a BLS course specifically for prehospital providers, BLS for Prehospital Providers. Check with your employer or licensing authority to know if this is the course for you.

Which course should a daycare provider take?

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

Can I take an AHA CPR course online?

The AHA offers a variety of eLearning courses through and our Distributors. For CPR and first aid courses, an eLearning course must be followed by a skills practice and testing session with an AHA Instructor within 60 days of completion and has an additional cost. The cost for skills sessions is determined by the AHA Training Center offering the session.

I see two online course options listed for BLS for Healthcare Providers. What is the difference between them?

The two online options are BLS for Healthcare Providers Online Part 1 and HeartCode® BLS  Part 1. Both of these self-paced courses are accessible anytime from any computer, cover the same curriculum, allow you access to reference material for 24 months and—upon successful completion—provide you a certificate to present to your Training Center when you go to your skills session. The outcome of successfully completing all three parts of either of AHA’s BLS eLearning programs is the same: students receive their BLS for Healthcare Providers course completion card.
The difference between the two courses is the method in which the content is delivered. HeartCode BLS Part 1 delivers the content through eSimulation, where students interact in real-time with the patient scenarios, while content in BLS for Healthcare Providers Online Part 1 is delivered through interactive question and answer lessons, mini-games and video segments.

Do the AHA’s BLS courses include first aid?

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 – classroom-based
  • Heartsaver First Aid Online Part 1 – to be followed by a skills session with an AHA Instructor
  • Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED – classroom-based
  • Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED Online Part 1 – to be followed by a skills session with an AHA Instructor
  • Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid CPR AED – classroom-based
  • Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid CPR AED Online Part 1 – to be followed by a skills session with an AHA Instructor
Is BLS included in the ACLS Course?

No, BLS is not included in AHA’s ACLS courses. However, it is expected that healthcare providers taking an ACLS course come to class already proficient in BLS skills. View our list of courses and their content at AHA 2014 Course Matrix. Find an AHA Training Center near you at

Is BLS a prerequisite for ACLS?

Students in ACLS courses are not required by the AHA to have a current BLS for Healthcare Providers card, but they are expected to be proficient in BLS skills.

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

In CPR and first aid training,

  • An infant is someone who is younger than one year
  • A child is someone who is older than one year and has not reached puberty
  • An adult is anyone who has gone through or is going through puberty
How do I sign up for a class?

You may call the Training Center, visit the Training Center’s website, or e-mail to inquire about costs and availability, and to register and pay for the class. This is because AHA Training Centers are independent businesses that have entered into an agreement with the AHA to provide CPR and first aid Training using our current curricula and products.

What should I wear to class?

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

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

Course eBooks may be purchased and downloaded at

May I use a copied manual/workbook?

No. 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 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 materials, submit a written request to the AHA at

May I translate your materials?

You can find information about the AHA’s guidelines for translating materials at the AHA’s copyright permission site.

I am visually impaired. Am I able to obtain course materials in Braille?

The AHA does not produce materials in Braille. However, through the proper channels we can provide you a student manual/workbook in digital format for your use. Please contact your Training Center Coordinator so he or she can assist you.

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

In most cases you will be issued your AHA card the day of your class. As a Training Center we are required to issue course completion cards within 20 business days of successful course completion. Please contact your AHA Instructor or Training Center Coordinator if you have any questions about your card.

Can I laminate my AHA course completion card?


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

To check the validity of an AHA course completion card, contact the Training Center that issued the card. The Training Center’s information can be found on the back of the card. You can also check our Course Card Reference Guide.

When do I need to renew my course completion card?

Course completion cards are valid for two years through the end of the month during which the course completion card was issued.

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

You may visit the schedule to see our available classes, call to speak to a representative or e-mail us with questions.

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

It is the responsibility of the AHA Training Center to issue a duplicate card if a card is lost, mutilated or otherwise becomes unusable. All requests for duplicate or replacement cards must be submitted directly to the Training Center that issued the original card. Please note that a Training Center may charge a fee for reissuing a card.

More Information Here.

If you don’t remember your Training Center’s information, here are some tips to help:

  • Ask a coworker or friend who took the class with you. The Training Center’s information can be found on the back of his or her card.
  • If your school or employer made the arrangements for the class, he or she should have the Training Center’s contact information.
  • Do you have a student manual/workbook from the class? It may have a label on it that includes the Training Center’s name.
  • Visit to search for Training Centers in the same area where you took the class.
  • If you are unable to get a response from your Training Center, please email, and include the Training Center’s name, the Instructor’s first and last name the city and state, as well as the details of your complaint.
Is my AHA course completion card accepted in all US states?

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

If I am an AHA Instructor, do I need to keep my provider card current?

Instructors are required to maintain current provider status as evidenced by a current provider card or demonstration of acceptable provider skills and successful completion of the provider written examination.

If the Instructor chooses the demonstration option, successful completion must be documented on the Instructor/Training Center Faculty Renewal Checklist. A new provider card may be issued at the discretion of the Training Center or by request of the renewing Instructor, but this is not required by the AHA.
To verify an Instructor’s status, please contact the Training Center with which the Instructor is aligned. Details can be found on the back of the Instructor’s Instructor card.

Does the AHA recognize Military Training Network cards?

Yes. Since 1984, the AHA has recognized the Military Training Network (MTN) for Resuscitative Medicine Programs as equivalent to an AHA Training Center.
The MTN uses the AHA’s curricula. MTN provider cards for AHA courses are the equivalent of the corresponding AHA provider card.
For more information, visit Find more information and pictures of the Military Training Network cards in the AHA Course Card Reference Guide.

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

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.

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

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.

The AHA still 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 at

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

The AHA does not endorse “cough CPR,” a coughing procedure widely publicized on the Internet. As noted in the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC, “cough CPR” is not useful for unresponsive victims and should not be taught to lay rescuers. Please visit our website here for more information.

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

No. The 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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