In the interest public health and safety and to help reduce death and serious injury, millions of people are required by federal, state, and provincial regulatory agencies, occupational licensing boards, national associations, commissions, and councils to be certified in CPR, first aid, or both.
This is because people trained in first aid and CPR can mitigate the consequences of injury and reduce the potential for death from life-threatening conditions.
Unfortunately, nearly 30 years of research has demonstrated that first aid and CPR skills deteriorate quickly – in as little two weeks after initial training. Significant decline is seen within 6-9 months for a wide variety of individuals, including nurses, physicians, EMTs, and laypersons. It is well established that substantial hands-on practice, repetition, and retraining are needed to gain and maintain the motivation, competence, and confidence to put knowledge and skills to use.
Despite this, completely online first aid and CPR certification - Web-based “training” that requires no instructor, no hands-on skill practice and no practical evaluation, but offers “instant certification - is widespread and growing. Instant certification bought online should not be confused with certification earned through a blended learning approach. Blended learning employs an effective mix of face-to-face skill practice and evaluation with online computer-based learning activities. Blended learning opportunities are an efficient and cost-effective way to learn life-saving knowledge and skills and a completely legitimate way to earn certification. Blended learning is offered by most major training organizations, including HSI (for both ASHI and MEDIC First Aid certification).
Recognizing what the public should reasonably expect, regulatory agencies are becoming aware of these instant certification scams and are beginning to write and enforce rules requiring hands-on practice and skill evaluation. Yet every day thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of people who are occupationally required to hold first aid and CPR credentials are buying them online in what may constitute a significant threat to public safety.
Individuals, corporations, and government agencies all have responsibility to act in the interest of public health and safety. So what do you think should be done about instant online CPR and first aid certification? Please use the comment field below.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Ralph Shenefelt, VP Strategic Compliance