Accredited CPR Certification & Education Process

When earning your CPR certification — especially if it is a requirement of your employment or profession — you want to make sure you’re getting the highest quality and most up-to-date CPR training. 

Learn all about accredited CPR certification, how courses are accredited, our Four Pillars of education, and what we teach in addition to the American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for CPR and ECC to ensure you are receiving the highest quality CPR training possible. 

Explore Online CPR Certification

How Does CPR Accreditation Work?


Very few organizations accredit CPR curriculum providers and the organizations that do might not be who you expect.
There are many misconceptions about CPR accreditation. In fact, very few organizations are accrediting organizations. For example, while OSHA and Joint Commission are important authorities, neither are accrediting organizations for CPR. Rather, organizations like them have CPR training requirements that ProTrainings meets.

Accrediting organizations have a dedicated process to review a CPR training organization from top to bottom and ensure they meet training requirements.  Organizations such as CAPCE, which oversees the EMS profession, and US Coast Guard, which oversees Coast Guard captains both have this type of process.

How Are CPR Guidelines Created?

The guidelines for CPR as a life-saving technique are developed through a process of looking at scientific studies that evaluate the likelihood of survival depending on which CPR methods are used. These studies are shared and deliberated at an international conference called International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR), which meets every 5 years.

The United States' liaison of ILCOR is the American Heart Association (AHA). After ILCOR meetings, the AHA publishes updated guidelines on how to best perform CPR, based on what ILCOR decides.

For example in 2010, the American Heart published the findings from ILCOR that state CPR should be performed in the order of Compressions, Airway, Breathing, instead of the long-standing order of Airway, Breathing, Compressions (invalidating hundreds of company names, posters, and other resources that emphasized the “ABC's of CPR”).

Who Uses ILCOR & AHA Guidelines to Teach CPR?

Using ILCOR guidelines, communicated by the AHA, training companies are able to form their own systems and curricula for teaching. Among these training companies are the two largest – The American Heart Association and the American Red Cross – as well as several private companies including ProTrainings.

All these organizations develop their programs using the same ILCOR CPR guidelines as the framework of their own training process; however, they may teach them in different ways, at different price points, and using different modalities that students can choose from to find the best match that suits their schedules and needs.

CPR training companies create curriculum based on the recommendations published by the AHA per ILCOR’s deliberations on CPR research. The AHA is not involved in the curriculum-building process outside of their organization and therefore cannot approve other CPR training companies’ programs.

Choosing ProTrainings CPR courses means that you have a training program that follows the guidelines that ILCOR creates and AHA publishes. Through student feedback and professional experience, ProTrainings has also exceeded the AHA’s recommendations when building our curriculum by offering additional videos, like our most loved “When CPR Doesn’t Work” lesson.

Where Can I Learn the Best CPR Skills?

At ProTrainings, we follow the latest CPR guidelines, but we also add recommendations, tips, and real-world skills from active EMTs and other medical professionals. Students often find that our courses are more up-to-date and more robust than other CPR courses out there, especially given that ILCOR guidelines can take several years to evolve.
Until 2005, the AHA recommended that persons performing CPR “shake and shout” to the victim to see if he or she is responsive. The organization updated this recommendation in 2005 to say that shaking could be dangerous, depending on the victim’s condition, and persons performing CPR should tap the victim’s clavicle instead. 

However, ProTrainings co-founder and lead instructor, Roy Shaw began recommending the clavicle tap in 2004, long before the official guidelines were updated. As an education platform, ProTrainings aims to give students the most current CPR guidelines, as well as industry-wide best practices that are being actively used in the field to save lives. 
ProTrainings consistently leads the industry with innovative ways to make CPR training safer and easier for everyone.

For example, we've offered remote hands-on options for practicing hands-on CPR skills with dummies and completing live video-based skills evaluations with trained evaluators since 2014.

Our CPR experts developed an easy-to-ship, disposable Single Use Manikin Option (SUMO) to facilitate hands-on learning without the spread of germs from multi-use manikins used in the past.

In April 2020, the AHA followed our lead and started offering hands-on remote training due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is ProTrainings' Educational Process

ProTrainings CPR courses strictly adhere to ILCOR and the American Heart Association CPR & ECC/ILCOR guidelines for emergency cardiac care. Our education process is based on best practices, testing, and improving over time to maximize learning and efficiency.

ProTrainings education process is based on what we call The Four Pillars, which include: 
You learn better when it happens where you want, at your own pace. Convenient training is quality training that meets each individuals needs.
Your skills stay ready with regular refreshers over time versus a one-time session.
You might be nervous about performing CPR. We’ve studied the most common fears and address them head-on.
Get guidance on how to deal with emotions from someone who has seen the best and worst of CPR.

Student Training Evaluation

Students are provided with a student manual and support materials. If students have questions, they are able to re-watch videos, use our chat or phone support to get answers from our highly educated staff and instructors. 

Students are also engaged throughout the training with shorter video segments and section pre-test questions that ensures comprehension of the material.

Upon completion of the training, students take the multiple choice test, which they must pass with an 80% or better.

The test is remedial, meaning that students are given a helpful explanation when they answer a question incorrectly. In addition, the questions on the final test are randomly chosen from a group of relevant questions developed by our education team, so no test is completely the same. They are also adaptive to each student and identify the areas where a student struggled the most. 

At the end of the test – regardless of pass or fail – students are able to re-watch the videos related to the questions they answered incorrectly. When the student passes the written test, they are able to print out verification.

If the student has elected to do a blended program with a hands-on evaluation, they also get access to a study guide for the hands-on test. Next, they meet with a certified skill-evaluator or instructor to perform the hands-on practice and test. Upon successful completion, the student is awarded a certification card and able to apply for CE credits.

Is ProTrainings Accredited?

Yes! ProTrainings is accredited by national entities such as CAPCE. We also work with other accrediting agencies, like PIM, that is an approving branch for education for entities such as Academy for Continuing Medical Education (ACME), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), American Dental Association (ADA), International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), and others.

However, if you’re asking if ProTrainings is accredited by the American Heart Association, the answer is a bit more complex. The AHA is not an accrediting organization. 

In fact, the AHA states on their website, “The American Heart Association is not an accrediting agency... Please contact your accrediting body to see if they will accept/award CE credits for this or any other course you complete successfully. The authority comes from accrediting bodies.”

Accreditation is given only after meeting an accrediting organization’s standards. To achieve accreditation, the training organization submits their training curriculum and materials to the accrediting agency. Then, after a lengthy review process, a national accrediting organization provides their stamp of approval of a course, or accreditation of the entire organization’s curriculum. 

Accrediting organizations are usually industry-specific, such as CAPCE, that accredits organizations to provide education and training to EMS professionals. They provide the national standard for EMS  licensing agencies, state departments, and EMTs with a list of organizations that they can use to meet their training requirements for continuing education and licensing.

While many professionals use the lists provided by accrediting bodies to verify their training and CPR standards, it’s more likely that you will also need to adhere to state- and employer-level requirements, as well, for your CPR and other training courses.

A lengthy and rigorous process where a CPR training provider’s educational process and course materials are reviewed. This results in a stamp of approval on the training provider rather than a specific course.


A lengthy process of reviewing and evaluating a specific training course, culminating in an explicit course approval, and adding the training provider to a list of “approved” course providers.


A review of enough course materials to determine that a course meets the pre-designated requirements of the organization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is online CPR legitimate?

Absolutely! In fact, research has shown that the flexibility, accessibility, and adaptability of online learning makes online CPR training and certification programs more effective than traditional, in-class learning. 

Adding in the ability to do a hands-on portion to a CPR course through live remote sessions has also improved the experience.

Now more than ever, healthcare professionals, educators, and employers all believe that online CPR is not only legitimate, but preferred.

Read more about the scientific research behind and legitimacy of online CPR here.

Is ProTrainings approved by my national organization?

ProTrainings courses are accepted by national accrediting organizations, state departments, and independent entities across many occupations.

Among some of the most popular regulatory organizations, ProTrainings is approved by ACME, ANCC, ACPE, ADA, CAPCE, the US Coast Guard, the US Department of Labor, and more.

For a complete list of the national organizations that have approved ProTrainings’ CPR certification programs, view our Compliance Packet here.

Is ProTrainings Approved in Canada?

Like in the US, there are several organizations that can dictate what CPR course you're able to take.  It is best to check with them to make sure you take the correct course. However, we do follow the Heart and Stroke Foundation Guidelines and we are used by thousands of individuals and companies in Canada. 

You can contact us or visit our informational page to learn more about our acceptance and our online CPR courses for Canada.