Which CPR Certification Should You Get: American Heart Association or American Red Cross?

Admin November 11, 2022
Which CPR Certification Should You Get: American Heart Association or American Red Cross?

There are plenty of options available to you if you want to obtain your CPR certification. The American Heart Association and the American Red Cross, however, are two of the most widely known organisations. 

So how do you decide whether you’re certain you want to go with one or the other? The lectures and training provided by the AHA and the Red Cross are very similar, despite the fact that there are advantages and disadvantages to choosing one of these programmes over an online certification programme. Both include programmes for laypeople as well as extremely thorough training for medical professionals. But there are a few important differences. 

First, in addition to offering CPR instruction, the American Heart Association (AHA) also conducts research. Its goal is to conduct research, set national standards for CPR training that are followed by both traditional and online CPR training providers, and to use those standards to encourage people to learn CPR. The American Red Cross follows AHA guidelines for creating its teaching materials, as do the majority of other CPR training programmes

The Red Cross and the American Heart Association both provide classes for laypeople and community members, corporate CPR training, medical professionals, and other groups at various levels. 

Saying that either the ARC or the AHA offers “superior” CPR training is not correct. In reality, when the ARC abridged its courses beginning in 2011, many of the significant disparities between the organization’s courses vanished. However, prices and employer acceptance vary, so depending on your goals, one organization’s CPR course might be a better fit for you than another. The following is a brief comparison of the features of ARC and AHA CPR courses so you can decide which is best for you before registering. 

Length of Certification 

The AHA used to be the clear choice for a typical CPR certification, sometimes known as CPR for the layperson. Unlike the ARC, whose certifications were always valid for one year, AHA’s are valid for two years. On January 1, 2011, the ARC started also offering two-year CPR certifications, which brought about a change. 

A more advanced CPR course is required for healthcare professionals. Both “CPR for the Professional Rescuer” by the ARC and “Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers” by the AHA are valid for two years. 

Duration of the classes 

The ARC revised their courses and made some significant adjustments in 2011. The ARC’s courses used to be much lengthier than the similar AHA courses, which caused many students to enrol in the AHA courses. Now, the length of the ARC and AHA courses is comparatively the same. 


In general, AHA courses cost a little less than ARC courses. However, since private businesses typically teach AHA, prices can differ greatly. 

An AHA course handbook must be purchased by the student in advance; they range in price from $10 to $15. Some businesses that provide AHA classes include the manual in the course fee, while others do not. Check to see if the manual is provided. The financial impact of not including the AHA course manual can be significant. 

A top-notch skills reference manual is provided by the ARC as part of the course fee. The ARC course manual is not included in the cost of the course, but if you want to read in-depth about the skills you’ve acquired, its best to buy it (it costs roughly $10).   

American Heart Association vs. Red Cross: Acceptability and levels of difficulty 

The courses offered by the American Heart Association are frequently more extensively needed for healthcare workers and are sometimes regarded as being a little more challenging and in-depth than those offered by the Red Cross. But it depends on the classes you take and what your employer requires of you. 

The notion that the American Heart Association has the tougher programme, however, might have some truth to it. On its certification exams, the American Red Cross demands a passing percentage of roughly 80%, while the American Heart Association demands a rate of 84-85%. 

Regarding acceptance by employers, both organisations enjoy broad support across the nation. There are many exceptions to the generalisation that the American Heart Association CPR certification is more well-known and acceptable. 

Although the courses provided by the American Heart Association and the Red Cross are often comparable in duration, complexity, and substance, be aware that many healthcare companies will only accept one of the two—not both. To find out whether one is favoured or whether both are acceptable, be sure to check with your employer. 

You will learn the identical procedures in classes offered by both the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association, with a few minor exceptions. Many hospitals and healthcare facilities accept both. The one that’s best for you should be available if you check with your employer before enrolling.  Contact MWT Global Academy for more information if you need further assistance in making your decision. 

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