Instructor Courses (BLS, ACLS, PALS) (2023)

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American Heart Association

Courses for Instructors

Instructor Courses (BLS, ACLS, PALS) (1)

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Are you already an instructor? Do you want to renew or join our center? Call our office for transfer/renewal forms.


This page provides an overview of how to become an American Heart Association BLS, ACLS, or PALS Instructor.

Becoming an AHA Instructor is by far a remarkable achievement. This demonstrates that you know the content and have demonstrated the ability to deliver vital course material to your students. We know, however, that becoming an instructor can be daunting for some, but our team of teachers are known for allaying the worries; in other words, we advise and support you every step of the way! The support we provide is so you can 'find your voice' in teaching a course and see your students succeed. Becoming an instructor is one of the most rewarding aspects of health education, “seeing your students do it” and hearing stories of how the people you've taught made a significant contribution to saving a life. We foster an environment that nurtures our students, prospective instructors, and teachers. Also, many become instructors so they don't forget material, especially if their exposure to "codes" is "very little" or it's been a while since their last provider course.

The first question to ask yourself is... Do you want to be an ACLS Instructor, PALS Instructor or BLS Instructor? (We welcome any combination but must ensure you meet the instructor course prerequisites. To enroll in an instructor course (ACLS, BLS or PALS) you will need to ensure you have the following:

  • A current AHA provider card that has not expired in the chosen discipline (ie, an ACLS, BLS, or PALS provider card).
  • A strong grasp of course content for the course you want to teach. (i.e. knowing textbook is great for all beginning instructors)
  • A copy of the provider's textbook for the chosen discipline (i.e. ACLS textbook, BLS textbook, or PALS textbook)
  • A training center/site willing to accept and align with you as an instructor (we are currently accepting instructors/instructor candidates if you don't have a training center to align with and want to teach in the NJ area - we are located in NJ) .
  • A positive and friendly attitude, with a willingness to teach.

What does the instructor process involve?

1. Complete an Instructor Candidate Form

(Video) American Heart Association RQI CPR, BLS, ACLS, & PALS certification courses in Northern California.

Once you register for your instructor course, you will have access to complete instructor documents in your account via our website. The Instructor Candidate Application is located in these documents. We encourage you to complete this packet in its entirety and at our office, PRIOR to your Instructor Course.
2. Have an up-to-date AHA PROVIDER card in the discipline you want to teach

This is the card you received when you took your ACLS, BLS, or PALS course; after enrolling in the course, we will send you a confirmation by email; Please reply to this email with a copy of the front and back of your provider card. Bring a copy (front and back) of your provider card to the instructor course.
3. Complete the AHA Instructor Core Course.

Upon receipt of your registration, you will receive an email on how to access it, either during or before your instructor course (usually in your course along with your instructor manual).
4. Attend an instructor course for ACLS, BLS or PALS,

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See the instructor course schedule below. Upon arriving at the instructor course, your BLS provider (or megacode for ACLS or PALS instructor candidates) skills and written exams will be assessed. You must pass the exam (in your subject) to continue in the instructor program. It is a good idea to review the provider course and/or perhaps take a refresher course before attending the instructor course.
5. Be successfully monitored by teaching your first course within six months of attending the instructor course.

6. Take the Instructor Course Exam and pass with an 84%.

Tip: Content will be found throughout the Instructor Course, the Online Instructor Core Course, and the Instructor Manual and Provider Manual. The provider manual is not included in the tuition fee for this course as it was provided to you during your provider course (if you took an online program, you may need to log into that program to access provider course content).

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How can I teach after completing the instructor process?

  • Upon completion of the instructor program, completion of supervisory requirements, and recommendation for instructor status by our faculty, you will be able to teach the programs in the discipline you completed (ACLS, BLS, or PALS). See below.
  • BLS Instructors - You can teach courses at our location (or yours). As a BLS Instructor, you can keep your clients and teach them; however, we do not allow you to teach clients who belong to our Training Center or another instructor in our organization.
  • Advanced Instructors (ACLS and PALS): You will be invited to teach our programs at our location. ACLS and PALS Instructors cannot independently teach the ACLS or PALS program through our center. ACLS and PALS Instructors must be Course Directors (and/or Training Center Faculty) to independently teach one of our programs. As an ACLS or PALS Instructor, you may also teach for another US AHA Training Center; give them your ACLS/PALS instructor card, and most training centers will allow you to teach at their center.
Instructor Courses (BLS, ACLS, PALS) (2)

Public:RN, APN, PA, LPN, MD, DO, EMT, EMTs, Technicians and more.

If you are willing to teach and have a positive attitude, an instructor program may be right for you!

Instructor Courses (BLS, ACLS, PALS) (3)

Instructor Courses (BLS, ACLS, PALS) (4)

Instructor Courses (BLS, ACLS, PALS) (5)

Upon completion of this course, you will receive an American Heart Association (AHA) instructor card in the discipline you wish to teach (ACLS Instructor, BLS Instructor, PALS Instructor). These are all great credentials to earn and they look great on your resume!

How much does the course fee cost and what does it include?

    • ACLS, BLS, and PALS program tuition varies by location and course. Therefore, please refer to the course schedule (next page) for tuition fees for each respective program.
    • Included in monthly fee:
      • instructor course,
      • Access to the basic course for online instructors,
      • follow-up sessions,
      • Instructor Integration Pack,
      • Instructor Alignment with CardiacEd (our training center if desired),
      • Access to our online Instructor Portal for those teaching BLS courses,
      • supporting faculty
      • Contact hours (nursing)

    To complete this course, you must:

    • Register and pay for the course.
    • Complete the online portion of the ACLS, BLS, or PALS Basic Instructor Course (delivered in your Instructor Course)
    • Bring the necessary items (see below) to the course.
    • Successfully demonstrate skills for BLS (or pass megacode for ACLS or PALS)
    • Pass the Written Exam for the Provider Course with an 84% or higher
    • Complete the proctoring requirements for your course (BLS x 1 proctor; ACLS or PALS x 2 proctor)*.
    • Complete the Instructor Course exam with an 84% or higher
    • Complete the Post-Course Assessment.

    *Occasionally, some instructor candidates need more follow-up sessions than listed above.

    Instructor Courses (BLS, ACLS, PALS) (6)

      Instructor Courses (BLS, ACLS, PALS) (7)

      Bring with you to the course:

      • Your Instructor Essentials course completion certificate printed online.
      • photo ID(i.e. driver's license).
      • Trainer Pack (Completed): Available in your account on our website.
      • Copy of your ACLS, BLS, or PALS provider card for the instructor course you are enrolled in.

      Opening hours (nursing):The number of contact hours varies depending on the course:

      • ACLS Instructor: 15.2
      • PALS Instructor: 19.2
      • BLS Instructor: 11.9

      *California Board of Registered Nursing Provider (Provider #CEP17561) and Florida Board of Nursing (Provider#50-24286) for the above contact times.

      General Schedule: (sample) order is subject to change.

      • Registration/Login/Welcome/Submissions
      • Provider written exam(i.e. ACLS, BLS, or PALS)(must score 84% or higher)(prepare by reading your course's online AHA program/provider textbook)*
      • BLS Provider Skills Exam (and Mega Code for ACLS or PALS) (must pass)(prepare by reading your course's online AHA program/provider textbook)*
      • Overalls
      • Instructor Manual Overview
      • Access to issued Instructor Essentials online course
      • Role Play – Watch as You Practice – Instructor Candidates role play teaching other Instructor Candidates in the group, using the video and/or lesson maps as a guide.
      • Overalls
      • Training Center Specifications / Documentation Verification
      • Schedule Monitoring Assessment (Monitoring Course/Instructor Written Examination)
      • Summary and ratings
      • To postpone

      *Note: The Instructor Course provides information on how to teach an AHA course (ACLS, BLS, or PALS). The Instructor Course is NOT a content review of the Provider Course. So it isHIGHLY recommends that you review, at a minimum, the course provider's textbook BEFORE participating in the Instructor Program. You may feel more comfortable taking a refresher course next to your instructor course in some cases. Upon arrival at the Instructor Course, your BLS provider skills (and megacode for ACLS and PALS) and provider written exam will be assessed. You are expected to demonstrate superior skills and pass the exam (84% or better) to continue the course.Make sure you are prepared for this mandatory test session; You can order an updated (2020) provider manual from the following pages.

      Faculty:Our teachers are exceptional! They are not intimidating, knowledgeable and genuinely interested in helping you successfully complete this program.

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      Note: After registration, wait up to 24 business hours to receive a confirmation email; Check your junk/spam folder (or email us for forwarding: The instructor manual will be delivered directly to the course if you select our office pickup during checkout.

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