The American Heart Association offers CPR training for three primary audiences via two methods.

Training Methods

Let's start with the either-or option for accessing the American Heart's core content. When it comes to American Heart Association certification training, there are two parallel methods to access the core content - classroom-based learning or eLearning. These two options are either or options, meaning you will choose the classroom-based option or the eLearning option. Both options yield the same exact certification card, as well as show the same core content (videos, simulations, and [in the BLS Provider content] written test).

 Classroom Method

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 eLearning Method

AHA Skill Session Logo CTC 200x200

In the classroom method, all content is directed and delivered by the instructor. This method can be considered an all-inclusive method because all you have to do it show up to class with a current textbook. Many times the classroom method is also more cost-effective.


The eLearning (aka blended learning) covers all the core content via the AHA’s eLearning platform. Just like the classroom option, the same videos, simulations and even the same written test (if taking BLS Provider content) are found in the AHA's eLearning platform. You will also have to attend an instructor-led skill session to merge the learned online content with hands-on skills. With this option, you will need to be self-motivated and spend extra money to gain the convenience of completing the core content in your PJs.

CPR Audiences

Do I take BLS Provider or Heartsaver CPR? CPR Fact - CPR is CPR but the AHA designed CPR content around common response environments and the audience's certification requirements. Broadly speaking content is broken down for healthcare professionals, non-healthcare professionals, and lay responders. 

Healthcare Professionals


Non-Healthcare Professionals


Lay Providers

BLS Provider (formally called BLS for Healthcare Providers) is the AHA’s training option accepted by every healthcare facility/provider in the United States. BLS Provider is specifically designed for anyone needing a healthcare level CPR certification. The BLS Provider option reflects science and education from the most current Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC. BLS Provider teaches both single-rescuer and team basic life support skills for application in both prehospital and in-facility environments, with a focus on high-quality CPR and team dynamics.   Heartsaver courses are designed for anyone with little or no medical training who needs a course completion card for job, regulatory (for example, OSHA), or other requirements. The Heartsaver content prepares learners to provide emergency care in a safe, timely, and effective manner. Heartsaver CPR AED covers adult CPR and includes optional add on child and infant modules. A first aid certification is also a stand-alone course or can be added on to any Heartsaver CPR class.   Sometimes you just want to learn CPR for the sake of being ready. Hands-only CPR will not offer a certification card but it will help you keep a victim alive until help arrives. Learn more about hands-only CPR. 

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