How To Get BLS Certification

BLS certification or recertification is required for a variety of professions across several industries. However, most BLS certified individuals work in the medical field. Learn more about who needs BLS certification here. BLS certification is simply a training company's assurance that a person was presented information (how to do BLS) and demonstrated competency of that information via test and/or skill evaluation on that day. It might be surprising that training companies would state that their certification does not in any way guarantee future performance of BLS (CPR) by the certified individual.

What type of BLS training a person needs or prefers will affect how they get their certification. At this point, there are three different types of BLS certification trainings -- 100% online, blended, and 100% classroom.

BLS Certification

100% classroom trainings are found through fire stations, hospitals, colleges, and training centers. Some of these can easily be found online while others will take a call or two to track down. Useful websites include the Red Cross, AHA and ASHI websites, which will provide the location of the training centers and usually the date, time, and cost for a class. The phone book usually has a few training centers listed as well.

At this point, all one must to do is sign up for a class, attend, pass the written and practical exam, and he/she will be BLS certified! Classes can last anywhere from 2-8 hrs depending on the instructor, the people in the class, and whether it is an initial (first time) certification or a recertification. Cost can also vary drastically.

Blended BLS Certification

Blended Learning, which refers to education that includes both an online and classroom component, is becoming more and more popular. This may be because people prefer a self-paced environment and are getting more comfortable with Internet and computer use. This option also tends to be moderately less expensive than a classroom. All the major training centers (listed above) provide a blended option on their websites. also provides a blended BLS certification.

With all training companies, the training and written portion of the test are performed online. The student must then go to a local training center to do the practical hands-on portion with an instructor. Online training usually takes 1-2 ½ hrs followed by a 15-45 minute skill evaluation. After the skill evaluation is confirmed by the certification company, the card will can be mailed to the student or given at the center.

Online BLS Certification

100% online BLS certification is also gaining in popularity with some controversy because of the lack of a hands-on, practical demonstration. Despite this missing component, there are a slew of online BLS certification companies that are easily found on the Internet.

With this online option, all a person would need to do is choose a company, register, train, test, and pay. Training can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on the chosen website. The cost of these courses is easily the least expensive of all certification options, but this also varies from company to company. Not all of these companies are equal so it is important to know how to choose an online BLS certification company.

There are some interesting controversies surrounding classroom vs. blended vs. 100% online.

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