In order to answer this question, we must first understand some basic definitions.

Let’s take a look at what the term “authority” means in the true sense of the word. Merriam-Webster defines authority as (1) a conclusive statement or set of statements (as an official decision of a court). (2) a decision taken as a precedent.

In the CPR certification realm, the ECC and ILCOR are the authority by which new recommendations and guidelines are decided and communicated. These guidelines, which are released every five years, may be most accurately described as a “best practices statement.”

Next, let’s look at the definition of the word “expertise.”

  1. Expert advice or opinion.
  2. Skill or knowledge in a particular area. and were co-founded by an experienced, licensed paramedic with years of Advanced Life Support medical and trauma experience. Additionally, the company’s co-founder holds several certifications for “Trainer” and “Train the Trainer” programs, including the American Heart Association Instructor Trainer program for CPR and Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. By all industry standards, this would be a description of a professional with a great deal of practical and educational experience, able to stand as an authority and expert in the areas of Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

Next, we will investigate the word “standards,” which is defined as: (3) something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example or criterion (4) something set up and established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value or quality.

The guidelines for CPR and Basic Life Support are developed using a consensus model. Those involved in determining the consensus guidelines include practicing and non-practicing persons in the areas of medicine and emergency response, as well as victims of heart disease. These standards are not the law, but they are encouraged since they are based on scientific outcomes and are continually re-evaluated with further testing and study.

The final definition for this study is “certification,” which is defined as (2) confirmation that some fact or statement is true through the use of documentary evidence.

A synonym for “certification” is “confirmation” — information that confirms or verifies.’s programs hold authority to certify that students have met specific outcomes and have demonstrated a base knowledge of how to recognize and treat persons who may or may not be suffering some type of illness and injury until emergency medical services arrive or advanced medical help is available to take over. This certification statement is based on a testing program that adheres to the consensus guidelines. The program combines cognitive scenario-based skills evaluation and testing and/or a combination of cognitive and tactile skill evaluation and testing provided by a trained and qualified skill evaluator or instructor who has been trained to recognize the ECC/ILCOR recommendations for approved return skill demonstrations. The certification is neither permission to perform or not perform any specific skill or function nor is it a hindrance to performing any act of goodwill or care in the case of an emergency, but simply stands as a written document that states that the holder of the certificate has completed a training and/or test of which they were able to perform to the minimum standards based on the consensus of the ECC/ILCOR recommendations in order to be approved as certified that they successfully completed a CPR/First Aid program.

So, as one can clearly see, certification cannot be provided by just anyone who would like to open a training company and write their own curriculum. In fact, there are very good reasons that we have definition requirements such as “expert,” “authority,” “standards” and “certification.” For more than 18 years, has been asked, “Who certifies your company to provide CPR and first aid certification?” And for years, we have been telling people, “No one, because the company is not certified, the company certifies the training.” But what the person is likely asking is, “By what authority do you certify students regarding CPR and first aid training?” And to that question, the answer is, “By the expert authority of Roy Shaw, EMT-paramedic and Instructor Trainer and in adherence to the American Heart Association and the ECC/ILCOR recommendations and guidelines.” ProTrainings, LLC, certifies students as having passed or failed a CPR and First Aid course and is just as qualified to do so as any other training company.

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