You have several options when looking for a CPR class near you. While certification courses vary widely, training facilities are often aligned with one of two dominant organizations:
Both of these organizations offer similar courses ranging from Basic Life Support (AHA) or CPR for the Professional Rescuer (ARC) to courses in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). You should be aware of the important differences that could decide which certification is accepted by your employer or school.
The similarities between the AHA and ARC Certifications
Both organizations use the guidelines for CPR training that have been established by the American Heart Association. The AHA is responsible for the research and setting the guidelines for high quality CPR that are accepted and used around the world.
- The Red Cross adheres and teaches the principles of these guidelines.
- Both organizations offer hybrid and in-person courses.
- Both also offer First Aid and CPR/AED certifications to laypeople as well as healthcare professionals.
The differences between the AHA and ARC Certifications
- While the ARC allows an 80% or higher on their exams as passing, the AHA requires a score of 84% or greater. This additional rigor is one of the reasons why the AHA courses are more widely accepted.
- The AHA certifies their students for two years. The ARC certification is good for one or two years, depending on the level of CPR certification.
- The AHA approach greatly reduces costs for employers and employees.
- Further, it aligns certification boundaries.
- It also reduces the time needed to be spent in courses.
- Most healthcare professionals are expected to hold AHA certification. Most healthcare institutions do not accept ARC certifications for their staff.
Be sure to check you are clear on what your employer or school will accept before registering for any class.