Certification Extensions due to COVID-19

American Heart Association Statement:

Dear Global AHA Training Network,

Beginning in early March, to provide additional flexibility for providers, AHA Instructors, and AHA Training Centers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AHA issued extensions for AHA Instructor and Provider cards beyond their recommended renewal date, initially for 60 days, then to 120 days. Over the last 3 months, to support you during this challenging time, the AHA has also released guidance on additional precautions, options for healthcare and Heartsaver courses, CPR guidelines, just-in-time ventilation modules for healthcare providers, and is temporarily allowing virtual training through guidance to our Training Center Coordinators.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and Training Centers may be more able to return to training providers and Instructors using options provided by the AHA, we are issuing clarification and updates for card extensions as outlined below.

  • Those with AHA Provider and Instructor cards that expired in March and April, and those with cards expiring at the end of May and June can renew their card for up to 120 days from the recommended renewal date on their card. See below for specific recommended renewal and extension dates:
    Recommended Renewal Date on Card (end of month) New Renewal Due Date with 120-day Extension (end of month)
    March 2020 July 2020
    April 2020 August 2020
    May 2020 September 2020
    June 2020 October 2020
  • Beginning in July, we will resume normal timelines for renewing cards. Those with cards expiring at the end of July should plan to renew their cards by the recommended renewal date on their card (July 2020).
  • However, for those who may be in affected areas with restrictions still in place into July, Training Centers, at their discretion, may consider extending July cards past their renewal date, for no more than 120 days.
  • As always, AHA TCs are responsible for following the instructions from their local government or public health authority as it relates to actions around COVID-19. In accordance with the guidelines released by local government, the leadership of the TC should use discretion to evaluate the risk of disease transmission in their area before organizing any training events and take necessary precautions to avoid transmissions.

The AHA continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluate options for delivering resuscitation education while taking the proper precautions. Our top priority is the safety of both AHA Instructors and learners.

We know that high-quality CPR is the primary component in influencing survival from cardiac arrest. To save more lives, healthcare providers must be competent in delivering high-quality CPR, and patient care teams must be coordinated and competent working together effectively. Although COVID-19 is certainly our most immediate threat, we must remember the ever-lurking dangers of heart disease and stroke – which, year in and year out, are the top two killers worldwide.

As a reminder, the AHA offers many options to help meet your training needs and the needs of your learners. During this time of social distancing, our blended learning or self-directed learning may be good options for your organization. Consider offering blended learning courses such as the AHA’s HeartCode program for BLS, ACLS, and PALS, or Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED blended learning for non-healthcare providers. Students can complete the online portion of the course and then complete their skills session separately when it is convenient. Self-directed learning and skills competence can be obtained with social distancing outside the classroom with the AHA’s HeartCode Complete and RQI (Resuscitation Quality Improvement) programs for healthcare providers.

We remain committed to serving you as trusted resource to allow for the continuance of safe, high-quality CPR training, as feasible. Thank you for everything you are doing during this challenging time.

American Heart Association

Red Cross Statement:

“We understand that many of our customers still have to work and require current certification. That’s why we created two new offerings to provide flexibility to certificate holders and instructors.

• Provisional Courses: These new courses allow you to get the training you need, at a distance. New and re-certifying customers can take the online portion of a blended learning course and receive a certificate stating that the student has 90 days to successfully complete a skills check to receive full certification. Available for First Aid/CPR/AED as well as Basic Life Support.

• 90 Day Certification Extension: We are granting 90 day certification extensions to recertifying Lifeguarding and CPR for Professional Rescuers certificate holders.”

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