How to Renew First Aid & CPR

Renewing certification ensures that your skills are current.
Renewing certification ensures that your skills are current. (Image: sign. first aid sign image by L. Shat from

Anyone who has sat through a first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification class knows that it can last all day, depending on the teacher. Thankfully, you do not have to sit through one of these classes every year to maintain certification. There are a few options available to you if you remember your skills.

Call the organization where your first certification was acquired. Choose between the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association if you've forgotten, as these are nationally recognized organizations.

Have your certificate available from last year to prove that you have been previously certified. Call the organization that certified you and ask them to reprint the certificate if you've lost it. Be prepared to pay a small fee to have them send you a new certificate.

Ask the CPR/FIrst Aid class manager at your chosen organization if you can perform a "challenge." Know that a challenge consists of retaking the written test and performing CPR/first aid skills in front of a certified instructor.

Set the appointment far enough in the future to allow study time. Use the manual you were given in your first certification class to read over CPR and first aid skills. Practice them safely on a friend if necessary.

Arrive for your challenge, take the written test and perform your skills in front of an instructor. Pay a fee of $55 to $65, depending on the organization. Receive your new certificate.

If you no longer possess the skills you need, sign up for a new CPR/first aid class. Call the organization, give them your name and put down a deposit if required. Pay the same fee as you would for the challenge and take the class. Receive your new certificate.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember that certifications from certain organizations last longer than others. The American Heart Association currently certifies CPR skills for two years, while the American Red Cross certifies for one. First aid skills typically are certified for three years. Don't renew your certificate until you have to, or you will be paying for something before you need it.

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