CPR is a must-have skill that can make a huge impact in an emergency situation. Knowing how to perform CPR can help stabilize a person’s heart and breathing until the arrival of professional medical help. However, a CPR certificate is not something you get once and have for a lifetime. It’s a repetitive and ongoing process that requires recertification and renewal of the CPR certificate.
So how long does a CPR certification last? In general, CPR certification is valid for 2 years, and it must be renewed on a regular basis. It’s important to ensure that individuals have the current knowledge and skills necessary to respond quickly. This is true regardless if you are a healthcare professional or just someone wishing to be prepared for an emergency.
In this context, we will answer the question of CPR recertification, the different types of CPR certifications, and the validity period, and offer other useful information.
Types of CPR Certifications
There are many CPR certificates available, each with a unique focus on proficiency, training required and set of specifications. The three most typical CPR certificates are the ones listed below:
- Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification – BLS is the most fundamental type of CPR certification and is often required for healthcare professionals. This certification focuses on providing emergency care to adult, child, and infant patients, including recognizing the signs of a cardiac arrest, performing CPR, using an automated external defibrillator (AED), and providing basic respiratory support.
- Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) Certification – ACLS is a more advanced type of CPR certification that is designed for healthcare professionals who may encounter cardiac arrest patients in a hospital setting. ACLS certification covers advanced techniques such as pharmacological interventions, airway management, and team dynamics during resuscitation efforts.
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Certification – PALS is a specialist CPR certification that allows trainees to practice giving children patients emergency treatment. This certification covers similar topics as BLS and ACLS, but with a specific emphasis on children and infants, including pediatric resuscitation algorithms, pediatric airway management, and pediatric pharmacology.
Specific requirements for CPR certification can vary depending on the certification provider. The requirements can also depend on the industry or job position.
Validity Period of CPR Certifications
Unless it’s part of your profession, you are most likely not utilizing CPR on a regular basis. This means that CPR skill retention may disappear within 3 to 9 months after the original training. The validity of your certificate has an expiration date, and it is a good idea to brush up on your CPR skills periodically, particularly if you are not applying it in your daily life.
Many people mistakenly believe that learning CPR is a one-time event, which is not true. It’s critical to update and refresh your knowledge, which is why CPR renewal, recertification, and refreshing are so vital.
Most CPR certifications have an expiration period – 2 years after the date of issue.
The period of validity of CPR certifications can depend on the organization that issued the certification and the industry you are working in. Here are some general guidelines:
- American Red Cross: Valid for two years.
- American Heart Association: Valid for two years.
- National CPR Foundation: Offers different types of certifications with varying validity periods, ranging from one to two years.
Since you already have the necessary information and skills and only need to be updated, the renewal session at the certification agency doesn’t take as long as the initial CPR certification class.
Options for CPR Certification Renewal
Renewal of a CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification involves keeping up with changes in the field and maintaining one’s proficiency in key concepts. As mentioned, the average CPR certification is good for two years, at which point it must be updated to ensure that the CPR skills and procedures are current.
Renewal Courses and Exams
Even though it is not compulsory, there are numerous reasons to renew your certification. These courses typically cover the latest guidelines and techniques for performing CPR, including chest compressions, breaths, and defibrillation. Renewal courses may also cover specific regulatory requirements, such as CPR for infants, children, or adults.
The average length of the lesson is 5.5 hours. The whole course’s content is relatively similar and often lasts nine hours. This implies that renewal might take a while, and finding a training provider in your region might not always be easy.
To renew your CPR certification, you will need to complete the renewal course and pass an in-person skills test. The skills test typically involves demonstrating your ability to perform CPR on a mannequin. After passing the skills test, you will receive your CPR recertification, which will be valid for an additional two years.
Online renewal options
If you have a busy schedule and have no time to attend a renewal class, think about enrolling in an online CPR course. You can take the online course on any kind of computer or smart device, at any time convenient for you. This benefits people in small towns and rural regions to have the same access to CPR renewals as people living in large cities.
Before enrolling in an online CPR certification renewal course, you should check with your employer or industry to ensure that the course meets their regulatory requirements. Some employers or industries may have specific requirements for CPR certification, such as the need for in-person skills assessments or certifications from specific organizations. Several professions require CPR competency, such as healthcare providers, police officers, daycare workers and teachers, personal trainers, etc.
Therefore, it is essential to clarify these requirements before taking an online course to avoid any issues with compliance or certification. It’s always better to be proactive and ensure that you are meeting all the necessary requirements for your job or industry.
Importance of Getting Recertified
Staying current with CPR certification is crucial for anyone who wants to be prepared to respond effectively in an emergency. CPR can be a life-saving technique in situations when someone requires your help during a medical emergency. Having up-to-date CPR certification means that you have the latest knowledge and skills to provide assistance when someone needs it most.
CPR guidelines may undergo changes over time as research and practices are renewed. Getting CPR certification, or renewing it, allows you to get access to the latest guidelines and techniques for performing CPR. Many jobs in the healthcare field, including nursing, EMS, and firefighting, require CPR certification as a condition of employment.
Certification renewal can help ensure that you remain qualified for your job by professional standards. It’s important to ensure that the course you choose is recognized by your employer and meets their regulatory requirements.
Saving someone in need is the foundation of giving CPR. Many states are introducing CPR in different institutions and for different job positions, including as a mandatory requirement for graduating from high school.
CPR certification relies on changes in legislation, depending on the state, so complying with them is a must. The main fear of bystanders administering CPR during an emergency is the possibility of legal actions against them. The Good Samaritan Law is a law that offers protection when offering CPR, but you must abide by all its principles.
Who needs recertification?
The certificate extension is meant for but is not limited to individuals whose employment status necessitates it. Due to the nature of their jobs, certain workers are obliged to have a valid CPR certificate, including fitness instructors, safety and security specialists, volunteers in the community, and human resource managers.
- Medical professionals – A healthcare professional must adhere to the latest CPR guidelines by maintaining a current CPR certificate. Patient care requires proficiency in the latest methods.
- Parents and caregivers – Parents should consider learning CPR, as it can help them respond quickly and effectively in case their child experiences a cardiac arrest or other emergency medical situation. Caregivers of elderly or sick family members should also learn CPR, as these individuals may have a higher risk of experiencing cardiac arrest or other medical emergencies.
- Volunteers, Community Groups, and Human Resource Managers – Community organizations and volunteers should consider learning CPR as they often work in public spaces where medical emergencies can occur. Human Resource Managers should also learn CPR as they are responsible for the safety and well-being of their employees. If an employee experiences a medical emergency, being trained in CPR can help respond quickly and effectively.
Obtaining a CPR certification is becoming a necessity during these stressful times. Your ability to provide life-saving assistance in the event of a medical emergency can be ensured by enrolling in an online CPR certification course.
Getting a recertification will refresh your knowledge and skills and allow you to assist people in need. Maintaining your CPR certification means maintaining your knowledge on the most recent CPR and CPR/AED developments.
Having a CPR certificate is a major bonus, regardless of whether it was a requirement for the job position or a personal choice. Once you get CPR certified, though, make sure to maintain your expertise and keep the certificate valid.