What your organization needs to know about the 2020 AHA CPR Guidelines 

At ProTrainings, we’re committed to delivering the best CPR training and we’re equally committed to helping you stay up-to-date on all things CPR, including American Heart Association guideline updates. It’s just one way we help you ensure your organization’s training program meets all compliance requirements. 

Many of this year’s updates focus on broadening the base of people certified to perform CPR,  increasing access to training and utilizing different modalities to deliver impactful training. Here’s what you need to know about the recently released 2020 AHA guidelines for CPR training:


The Guidance: Self-paced courses – such as that offered online – with or without hands-on manikin training, is now recommended for lay rescuers when in-person training is not available.

The Benefit: This update supports expanded access to quality CPR training. The AHA has long accepted video-based training as compliant with all aspects of CPR training but now, with this more direct recommendation, we look forward to more people receiving CPR certification.

In issuing this update, the AHA cited studies that indicate “self-instruction or video-based instruction is as effective as instructor-led training for lay rescuer CPR training.”


The Guidance: CPR courses that encourage students to practice their learnings and be tested on those learnings to gauge progress and mastery of the topic are recommended by the AHA.

The Benefit: The old adage “practice makes perfect” rings through in this new AHA guideline. CPR training that incorporates learning techniques that reinforce concepts and measure against those may improve a person’s ability to learn and retain material, making them more likely to be able to respond properly in an emergency.

One example of this in action may be the hands-on training with manikins after completing an online CPR course. 


The Guidance: CPR-certified persons should engage in refresher training between certification periods.

The Benefit: Reviewing basic elements of CPR in-between the two-year certification period prevents loss of key information and training. Remaining current with CPR knowledge improves the chance that a person will be ready and able to act in an emergency.


The Guidance: CPR simulations should be performed in clinical settings.

The Benefit: CPR can be needed anywhere, but the confines of some clinical settings can provide unique challenges in delivering this care. Practicing CPR simulations in clinical settings enables staff to practice skills where they may be most needed, allowing them to develop techniques that enable them to effectively administer CPR in some of the most challenging environments.


The Guidance: ACLS training is now recommended as reasonable for anyone working in a healthcare role.

The Benefit: Ensuring all medical professionals receive formal training for advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) further extends their medical training to increase their ability to provide essential life-saving care if and when needed. 


The Guidance: Incorporating gamification and virtual reality in CPR training may help to improve knowledge acquisition and retention.

The Benefit: Advancing technology offers new ways of delivering training that accommodate different learning styles and may help more people more fully retain teachings.

Existing video training platforms may be ideally suited to incorporate these concepts into their offerings. 


The Guidance: The AHA supports the use of EMS systems to track medical professionals’ exposure to cardiac arrest situations outside of clinical settings.

The Benefit: Tracking staff members’ interactions with cardiac arrest outside of their work settings increases visibility to their skills and experience. This information helps medical facilities and professionals better assess training and skills status.

So, there you have it – the scoop on all things new from the American Heart Association for CPR training this year. It is exciting to see the AHA put such emphasis on making it easier for your medical staff to receive quality CPR training. 

We applaud the AHA’s leadership in promoting different modes of training and subject matters in training. And, we promise to continue delivering training that meets or exceed the AHA’s guidelines, ensuring your organization’s ability to meet all CPR training, certification and compliance needs.

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