When an AHA instructor needs to recertify, do they go back through the instructor course?

When an AHA instructor needs to recertify, do they go back through the instructor course?

An American Heart Association (AHA) Instructor has to renew their certification every two years. The AHA provides guidance on how to maintain your instructor status. The short answer is no. When an AHA instructor needs to recertify, they do not have to go back through an instructor course. They do, however, have other processes to complete to maintain their certification.

AHA instructor renewal requirements:

  • Teach a minimum of 4 classes in 2 years
    • These classes can be a mix of Instructor Led or Heartcode courses
  • Pass both the Provider and Instructor exams for each discipline taught
  • Complete Skills Verification for each discipline taught
  • Keep current with all updates from the AHA
  • Be monitored by Training Center Coordinator or an AHA Faculty instructor designated by the TCC
  • The monitoring instructor will fill out the appropriate paperwork to process
  • The instructor is also responsible for maintaining AHA standards as outlined in the ECC Leadership Code of Conduct and the Program Administration Manual (PAM).
  • Failure to meet these requirements will result in the need to take the Instructor Course from the beginning, unalignment from the Training Center, or possible termination of certification.

More information can be found on the AHA Instructor Network.

27 thoughts on “When an AHA instructor needs to recertify, do they go back through the instructor course?”

  1. I was not able to teach an ACLS class in 2 years because of COVID and sickness. My card expired. How do I get it back?

    1. Hi Iva,
      If your ACLS Instructor card has expired and you have not taught the minimum number of classes, you will likely need to repeat the instructor training process to have a new certificate issued. You should reach out to your Training Center to determine their policy and process for renewing.

  2. Brigitte Ludwiczak

    I have a AHA Instructor certification expires 12/22, my BLS EXPIRES 2/22, how do I renew my BLS ? Or is it current til 12/22?

    1. Your BLS Instructor generally supersedes your BLS Provider certification. If you need a BLS Provider card for work, you can reach out to your Training Center to see if they are able to issue a BLS Provider that matches your instructor course dates. They may require that you carry separate cards and meet each course requirements independently.

  3. Does a BLS instructor have to go back through and take BLS again as if getting decertified to renew their instructor license?? or you just take the test? I am confused with the follow:

    Pass both the Provider and Instructor exams for each discipline taught
    Complete Skills Verification for each discipline taught.

    1. Since a Provider certification is required for each instructor-level discipline, yes, the Training Center should require you to complete your Provider level testing and skills every time you renew your instructor certifications.

  4. If my AHA instructors certification has expired. How much time do have have until I have to completely the course over? Like is it a time frame like with nursing certifications?

    1. AHA Instructor certifications don’t have a grace period – you’ll need to meet the requirements of teaching your courses and being monitored during your two year certification period. If your expiration date is recent, your Training Center may work with you to finalize your renewal if you met most of the requirements.

  5. I am an ER doctor and Clinical Assistant Professor . I had to take two days off and move many things around to do this course in 2019 . But then Covid hit and I could not teach any course for two years and it has expired. There should be a way out to renew this instructor certificate without going through all the process. Thanks

    1. Instructor renewals are completed on an ongoing education process throughout the certification period. Courses taught during that time will count towards your renewal so that you shouldn’t have a lot to do to finalize the renewal when your certification is expiring.

    2. Congratulations on being an ER doctor. Maybe your license allows you to tell staff when to begin and end compressions, when to administer epi, ami, or sodium bicarb, and when to cease efforts.

      That doesn’t allow you to sidestep the clearly-detailed AHA requirements that all instructors are required to adhere to, whether they’re a doctor or simply a lowly human provider.

      Your education is respectable. Your ego and conceit is not.

      1. The Doctor has a valid question. I’m not a Doctor, I’m just a CPR instructor and was not able to teach the required classes to meet the renewal requirements as an instructor. I do not find the Doctor conceited or arrogant at all!

      2. WOW, I hope next time you go to an ER your’re told to wait until the physician finishes BLS Instructor recert class. and Congratulations on being able to throw ALS med abreviations in to a sentence in a cool way. The Doctor is probably most concerned about the massive staffing shortages and trying to work out how to fit it all into the schedule. Your over developed sense of superiority is counter productive

  6. I am a bls instructor at Tennessee, I am moving to NY, can I still teach with the same certificate or I have to get a new one in New York. Thanks

    1. You’d need to ensure that your Training Center authorizes you to teach in NY. All Training Centers are authorized for a specific territory by the AHA.

  7. If you are an instructor in one training center and move to another in the same state do you need to be monitored again when you transfer to the new training center per the AHA my organization is in PA

    1. This would be very situation dependent. Training Centers have full-state geographic authorization from the AHA and most have multi-state authorizations, so unless the Training Center has its own policy requiring instructors being local, there isn’t an issue with the instructor moving to another location within the state. If the TC does have a requirement that you be local, then you may need to change to a new TC and they may require newly aligned instructors to be monitored before they are able to teach (or they may accept prior instructor certification in lieu of monitoring).

    1. Your instructor eCard is likely available through the AHA My Cards website here: https://heart.org/mycards

      If not, you’ll need to contact your Training Center for this information. Good luck!

  8. I am confuse on the term teaching 2 classes in two years and can you please clarify the requirement for renewal of Bls instructor license.

    1. The AHA requires that instructors teach at least four classes per renewal cycle (which is every two years). This includes being an assistant instructor provided they appear as such on the roster. Code One’s training center requires a minimum of 2 classes per year for our affiliate instructors to ensure that they uphold this standard and are remaining up-to-date with their instruction. Other training centers may vary in this requirement.

  9. Hi im from Malaysian and currently as a first aid trainer at a training provider company. I have a medical background. i would like to know how can i apply for the AHA Instructor courses.

    1. The American Heart Association has an International office that works with Training Centers that are outside of the United States – you can get to their website here: https://cpr.heart.org/en/international

  10. Can hours spent at Instructor class be counted towards CE credits?
    How about hours spent teaching a course?

    1. The AHA doesn’t approve CE credits – you would need to check with your professional / licensing board to see if they allow credits for teaching hours or attending instructor development courses. Some groups allow a specified number hours to come from teaching topics, some allow you to apply unlimited hours, and others may not allow teaching hours to count at all.

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