Online CPR

The definitive guide to online CPR training & certification

  • History of online CPR
  • Learning CPR online
  • Online CPR acceptance
  • Online CPR test and manikin practice
  • Your CPR certification card
  • Online CPR for businesses
  • Ongoing CPR training
  • Controversies surrounding online CPR

Learning CPR online has many advantages over the more traditional method of taking your CPR training in a classroom. Students of online CPR courses commonly mention convenience, time efficiency, and flexibility as the top reasons they recommend taking an online CPR course. Statistics show that the biggest failure in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is that people don’t take action quickly enough. With free, high quality CPR training courses available on the Internet, this life-saving skill is more accessible than ever before, reducing the barriers to training and directly resulting in more saved lives. Still, online CPR training has its critics.

As one of the first online CPR training companies, ProCPR has observed and helped to shape how this industry has changed over the years. This guide offers a comprehensive look at all things “Online CPR” and is designed to be a living, breathing document that is continually updated and supplemented with additional resources, links, and content. Our knowledge of the best science and technology to provide life-saving CPR training is always improving, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often. Or subscribe to receive updates when there’s something new.

History of online CPR

You may be familiar with the history of CPR, which has its first origins in the mid 1700s. But what about the history of online CPR? With the popularity of sites like YouTube, Udemy, Lynda, Pluralsite, MasterClass, and others, it’s a given today that you can learn anything online. However, that hasn’t always been the case.

CPR training with dial-up

Online CPR certification had its first beginnings around 1999 with one or two websites offering basic HTML-based training and a multiple choice test to be certified. Remember that during this time in Internet history, most people were still using dial-up to connect to the Internet from their homes and ISDN connections from work. At these speeds, video-based multimedia training wasn’t feasible yet. Remember watching blurry videos on Real Player, anyone? Online CPR certification was used mostly by healthcare professionals who had been trained previously, used CPR on a regular basis, and needed an efficient way to prove their competency.

Broadband makes video CPR training possible

Around 2004, the Internet connectivity situation in the US underwent a major shift. By April, Pew Research reports that more than half of college educated people age 35 and younger had broadband connections at home, which was up 60% from a year earlier! YouTube launched in February, 2005, and the number of videos being uploaded every day has been steadily increasing ever since. Netflix streaming video launched in 2007.

Before the end of 2005, right on the cusp of widespread broadband availability and the explosion of streaming video, ProCPR launched the Internet’s first full online video CPR course taught by a licensed paramedic. The American Heart Association and the Red Cross would later also launch online video-based courses to supplement the classroom course.

Remote evaluation of CPR skills by webcam

The next major innovation in online CPR certification came with the near ubiquity of laptops and smartphones with built in cameras for video conferencing. In early 2014, ProCPR began experimenting with remote CPR skill evaluations using GoToMeeting, and later Zoom. What began as an experiment has evolved into a widely used and accepted method for demonstrating tactile proficiency.