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Which class should I take?

Choosing the correct class for your needs can be tough. That's why StartCPR has created this simple to follow guide to help you determine which class is right for your individual circumstances. Further information on each course can be found on the corresponding course page. 


Disclaimer: The occupations listed below may require more or less certification than listed. The below information is not comprehensive and is meant to act as a guide to aid decision making. Please consult your employer to determine which course is needed to satisfy your individual requirements.

The American Heart Association's Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) Provider Course provides the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate and manage the first 10 minutes of an adult ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia (VF/VT) arrest.

Occupations that typically require ACLS Certification:

  • Physicians

  • Nurses

  • Paramedics

  • Respiratory Therapist

The American Heart Association’s Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course enhances healthcare providers’ skills in treatment of pediatric arrest and periarrest patients. The goal of the PALS Course is to improve the quality of care provided to seriously ill or injured children, resulting in improved outcomes.

Occupations that typically require a PALS Certification:

  • Physicians

  • Nurses

  • Paramedics

The American Heart Association's Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers course is a video-based, instructor-led course that teaches both single-rescuer and team basic life support. This course trains participants to promptly recognize several life-threatening emergencies, give high-quality chest compressions, deliver appropriate ventilations and provide early use of an AED.

This course is for healthcare providers who require a course completion card in CPR/AED & first aid, in most cases to meet a job requirement.

Occupations that typically require a BLS Certification:

  • Physician / Nursing

  • Physical / Occupational Therapists

  • Certified Nursing Assistant

  • Medical Assistant 

  • Any person who holds a medical license or certificate

The American Heart Association's Heartsaver First Aid, CPR & AED course is a video-based, instructor-led course that teaches students critical skills needed to respond to and manage a first aid, choking or sudden cardiac arrest emergency in the first few minutes until emergency medical services arrives. In this course, students learn skills such as how to treat bleeding, sprains, broken bones, allergic reaction (Epi Pen), shock and other first aid emergencies. This course also includes all teachings of the Heartsaver CPR & AED course. 

This course is for anyone with limited or no medical training who requires a course completion card in CPR, AED, and first aid or any person who is wishing to learn how to save a life. 

Occupations that typically require a CPR, AED, & First Aid Certification:

  • Personal Trainers

  • Parents

  • Life Guards

  • Fitness Professionals

  • Child Care Provider

  • Security Guards

The American Heart Association's Heartsaver CPR AED course is an instructor-led program that teaches adult CPR and AED use, as well as how to relieve choking on an adult. Modules include child CPR and AED use, infant CPR and child and infant choking.

This course is for anyone with limited or no medical training who requires a course completion card in CPR & AED training or any person who is wishing to learn how to save a life.

Occupations that typically require a CPR & AED Certification:

  • Personal Trainers

  • Life Guards

  • Volunteers

  • Coaches

  • Athletic Trainers

  • Child Care Provider

  • Fitness Professionals

The American Heart Association's Family & Friends CPR course is for people who want to learn CPR but do not need a CPR course completion card to meet a job requirement.

This course is ideal for community groups, new parents, grandparents, and others interested in learning how to save a life. This course runs for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours, and does not include certain material presented in our Heartsaver CPR & AED course. A Family & Friends student book is provided. No certification card is provided for this course.

Online courses allow students to complete a portion of the course at their own pace. StartCPR uses the American Heart Association's HeartCode software to provide high quality content in the following tracks:

  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support

  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support

  • Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers

  • Heartsaver First Aid CPR & AED

  • Heartsaver CPR AED

The American Heart Association allows students who have ​completed the online portion of the course to verify their skills through Skill Sessions administered by our instructors. Only those who have completed an AHA online course should register for a skills session. 

Zoom/Virtual Online ACLS & PALS Skills Sessions

A convenient alternative to the in-person skills session is the virtual online session, which the AHA has approved. The Virtual Skill Sessions for ACLS or PALS will take place over Zoom, a video conferencing software, where instructor and student can interact together as if in the same room. Requirements to take the course are:

  • Audio and Video compatible smartphone, laptop, or desktop computer for instructor-student interaction

  • Presence on screen for the duration of the class

  • Interaction with the instructor

  • Solid and stable internet connection

To register for an ACLS or PALS Virtual Skills Session, click the button below to be directed to our class schedule. Online courses purchased through StartCPR do not require an additional cost for the skills session. 


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