How to Become a CPR Instructor Online

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The American Heart Association provides online courses to become a CPR instructor.
The American Heart Association provides online courses to become a CPR instructor. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The non-profit American Heart Association (AHA) is a leading provider of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and education in the United States. Training is available to the public through a nationwide network of AHA training centers. AHA-certified instructors conduct a range of courses, both in the training center and in the workplace. To become an AHA-certified CPR instructor through online coursework, you must first identify an AHA Training Center to align yourself with. All instructors must work through their aligned training center. Before submitting your instructor application, you must pass an online Core Instructor course and a Provider-level course that requires some classroom practice.

Align with an AHA Training Center that is accepting new instructors. Contact your local training center to inquire (see Resources). If you haven't aligned with a training center, you won't be able to complete these steps.

Navigate to the American Heart Association’s website and access the Core Instructor course Web page (see Resources). Under the heading “Purchase Now,” the companies from whom you can purchase access to the online course will be displayed.

Complete the Core Instructor course. You'll subsequently be issued a Certificate of Completion.

Enroll in and complete a Provider-level course in one of four recognized disciplines. The company you selected for your Core Instructor course also offers Provider-level courses. The recognized disciplines are: Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS); Basic Life Support (BLS); Pediatric Advanced Life Support; and Heartsaver, which deals with CPR skills for the workplace. Each of these courses requires three parts: the cognitive portion, which can be completed online, and the practice and examination portions, which must be completed in the presence of a certified instructor. You can complete the second and third portions at your aligned Training Center. To obtain instructor certification, you must score 84 percent or better on the written examination. After completing all three parts of the course, you'll be issued a Provider card, which is proof that you have completed the course.

Download an Instructor Candidate Application from the AHA website (see Resources). You must agree, by signature, to teach at least four courses in your aligned training center within two years. You must secure the signature of the coordinator at your aligned training center. Afterwards, you must obtain a recommendation from your Provider-level course instructor. Your instructor must make this recommendation on the application itself.

Complete the application and submit it to your aligned training center.

Teach a Provider-level course within six months of completing your initial Core Instructor course. Your teaching must be supervised by certified instructors at your training center. On the recommendation of your supervising instructor, you'll be issued an Instructor card within 30 days. Your card will expire two years after the issue date.

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