What are the levels of CPR training?

The American Heart Association produces CPR courses to deliver the most appropriate lifesaving training for each target audience. Audiences learning CPR are typically broken into three categories – people who want to know CPR but do not require a certification for their job, people who need to have a CPR certification but do not work in a healthcare setting, and people who need to have a CPR certification for work in a healthcare setting.

People who want to know CPR but being certified is not required for their job:

Most people fall into this category. CPR is one of the most important skills everyone should learn – and for good reason – less than half of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander initiated CPR and this negatively contributes to a low rate of survival.

In the past decade, many high schools have implemented programs which require basic CPR training to graduate. Training in hands-only CPR has also become mainstream enabling people to learn and practice lifesaving skills without having to attend a formal class or invest very much time.

Empowering people with CPR skills improves the chance of them acting in an emergency.

There are several options for learning Hands-Only CPR described here.

People who need to have a CPR certification but do not work in a healthcare setting:

This category covers industrial safety teams, teachers, coaches, and professionals – essentially anyone who does not work in a healthcare setting but needs to be prepared for a cardiac arrest emergency. Participants learn how to recognize when someone needs CPR, how to call for help, providing CPR for adults (child and infant CPR are optional components of this course), and use of an AED. The terminology is kept simple to allow for easy recall in an emergency. There is also no required written exam for this course, however, participants are tested on the skills that they learn.

The American Heart Association’s Heartsaver CPR AED provides this training with a two year certification, student workbook, and a pocket mask. More information on Heartsaver CPR AED training is here.

People who need to have a CPR certification for work in a healthcare setting for clinical responsibilities:

The American Heart Association BLS Provider course is intended for healthcare professionals with clinical responsibilities.  Included in this target audience are nurses, physicians, EMTs and paramedics, medical assistants, lifeguards, dentists, and allied health professionals. Students that are training for health careers are usually required to have current BLS Provider certification for entry into their clinical rotations.

BLS Providers learn to provide one-rescuer and team-rescuer CPR for adults, children, and infants. Skills including use of an AED, bag-valve mask, pocket mask, and special considerations are also covered in this course. Upon conclusion of the training, participants complete a 25 question written exam (passing score is 84%) and a skills test. Successful completion results in a BLS Provider certification card which is valid for two years.  


Not sure which course is most appropriate for you? Code One can help you choose the right course – contact us today.

2 thoughts on “What are the levels of CPR training?”

  1. Thank you for helping me to understand what the different levels of CPR training are. My sister would like to become CPR certified. It would probably be a good idea for her to look online for a certification course.

  2. I’m glad you mentioned the training for professionals not in the healthcare setting and how to provide CPR for adults. I want my entire safety team for my construction site to be CPR certified so everyone knows what to do if someone is in danger of choking. Seems like a good idea to find an institution that can teach my workers CPR.

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