Dear Global AHA Training Network,
Beginning in early March, to provide additional flexibility for providers, AHA Instructors, and AHA Training Centers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AHA issued extensions for AHA Instructor and Provider cards beyond their recommended renewal date, initially for 60 days, then to 120 days. Over the last 3 months, to support you during this challenging time, the AHA has also released guidance on additional precautions, options for healthcare and Heartsaver courses, CPR guidelines, just-in-time ventilation modules for healthcare providers, and is temporarily allowing virtual training through guidance to our Training Center Coordinators.
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and Training Centers may be more able to return to training providers and Instructors using options provided by the AHA, we are issuing clarification and updates for card extensions as outlined below.
- Those with AHA Provider and Instructor cards that expired in March and April, and those with cards expiring at the end of May and June can renew their card for up to 120 days from the recommended renewal date on their card. See below for specific recommended renewal and extension dates:Recommended Renewal Date on Card (end of month)New Renewal Due Date with 120-day Extension (end of month)March 2020July 2020April 2020August 2020May 2020September 2020June 2020October 2020
- Beginning in July, we will resume normal timelines for renewing cards. Those with cards expiring at the end of July should plan to renew their cards by the recommended renewal date on their card (July 2020).
- However, for those who may be in affected areas with restrictions still in place into July, Training Centers, at their discretion, may consider extending July cards past their renewal date, for no more than 120 days.
- As always, AHA TCs are responsible for following the instructions from their local government or public health authority as it relates to actions around COVID-19. In accordance with the guidelines released by local government, the leadership of the TC should use discretion to evaluate the risk of disease transmission in their area before organizing any training events and take necessary precautions to avoid transmissions.
The AHA continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluate options for delivering resuscitation education while taking the proper precautions. Our top priority is the safety of both AHA Instructors and learners.
We know that high-quality CPR is the primary component in influencing survival from cardiac arrest. To save more lives, healthcare providers must be competent in delivering high-quality CPR, and patient care teams must be coordinated and competent working together effectively. Although COVID-19 is certainly our most immediate threat, we must remember the ever-lurking dangers of heart disease and stroke – which, year in and year out, are the top two killers worldwide.
As a reminder, the AHA offers many options to help meet your training needs and the needs of your learners. During this time of social distancing, our blended learning or self-directed learning may be good options for your organization. Consider offering blended learning courses such as the AHA’s HeartCode program for BLS, ACLS, and PALS, or Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED blended learning for non-healthcare providers. Students can complete the online portion of the course and then complete their skills session separately when it is convenient. Self-directed learning and skills competence can be obtained with social distancing outside the classroom with the AHA’s HeartCode Complete and RQI (Resuscitation Quality Improvement) programs for healthcare providers.
We remain committed to serving you as trusted resource to allow for the continuance of safe, high-quality CPR training, as feasible. Thank you for everything you are doing during this challenging time.
American Heart Association
Dear Global AHA Training Network,
The American Heart Association acknowledges the unprecedented strain the COVID-19 pandemic is placing on the delivery of healthcare and supporting operations, including training. Our chief concern is the health and safety of our Training Network, and the people you train. We care about you and the lives that are being impacted due to COVID-19.
During this time, we want to do everything we can to make it easier for you to continue your lifesaving work. So, while you may be unable to train because of COVID-19 in your area, we are updating guidance released on March 13, 2020 regarding card extensions. The American Heart Association will now extend AHA Instructor and Provider Course Completion Cards for 120 days beyond their recommended renewal date, beginning with cards that expire in March 2020.Please see the updated guidance here.
Given this extension, we know that high-quality CPR is the primary component in influencing survival from cardiac arrest. To save more lives, healthcare providers must be competent in delivering high-quality CPR, and patient care teams must be coordinated and competent working together effectively. So, where and when it is possible for you to continue training, please make sure to
- Follow the latest guidelines released by your local government and regulatory body, evaluate the risk of disease transmission in your area before organizing any training events, and
- Continue to review the latest guidance and resources for the AHA Training Network, including the March 10, 2020 Training Memo with recommended instructional changes including additions to equipment and decontamination procedures. Find COVID-19 CPR & Resuscitation Resources here.
Thank you for everything you’re doing during this challenging time. We will continue to monitor this evolving situation and provide you with information and resources so you can stay focused on saving lives.
American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is committed to a world where everyone can live a longer, healthier life. As a science-based organization that cares about public health, we are following the most conservative guidelines available among leading global, national, state, and local public health authorities regarding closures and large gatherings related to COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
We want to provide additional information about this public health threat as it relates to any training being implemented throughout your area. Please review the below resources and guidelines:
- In accordance with the guidelines released by your local government, evaluate the risk of disease transmission in your area before organizing any training events and take necessary precautions to avoid transmission.
- Review the Training Memo sent on March 10, 2020 with recommended instructional changes including additions to equipment and decontamination procedures during this time.
- Review the Interim Guidance on Card Extensions document sent out on March 13, 2020 about Instructor and provider card extension considerations. The AHA:
- Recommends employers and regulatory bodies consider extending recognition of an AHA Provider Card beyond its renewal date, for up to 60 days. However, please know that it is ultimately up to the discretion of employers and regulatory bodies who require current AHA Provider Cards to allow extensions during this time.
- Extends the validity of AHA Instructor cards for 60 days for those who are unable to conduct training due to COVID-19.
- If you are a healthcare provider, review the document, Interim Guidance for Healthcare Providers during COVID-19 Outbreak and our new podcast, Insights from King County/Seattle EMS
- Consider offering HeartCode® courses or adopting RQI® (Resuscitation Quality Improvement).
- During this time of increased concern with public gathering, HeartCode courses and RQI may be an option for your organization. Both solutions are self-learning resuscitation programs and will allow your staff to maintain critically important High-Quality CPR competence through individual activities that preserve social distancing. Both programs achieve competence without the need to be away from the bedside in a classroom setting.
- For students taking HeartCode who cannot attend an instructor-led skills session during this time, they can consider completing the online portion of the course, then complete the skills session when training schedules return to normal. Please note, there is no time limit for completing a hands-on skills session following completion of the online portion of the course.
The AHA is closely monitoring and evaluating this situation. We will communicate with you as new developments occur and continue to be a resource. As a reminder, the AHA advises all AHA Training Centers and Instructors to follow the existing recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , as well as the guidance of national, state, and local public health authorities, which will have the most up-to-date facts and will provide information on basic protective measures against COVID-19.
Please continue to check your email and notifications placed on the COVID-19 CPR & Resuscitation Resources webpage and the AHA Instructor Network for the latest guidance and possible updates to AHA training policies.
Thank you for everything that you do to contribute to the AHA mission.
The AHA has issued new interim guidance for the US and international AHA Training Network to address questions regarding extensions for AHA Instructor and Provider Cards during the COVID-19 public health threat. This guidance also includes an amendment to the AHA policy on renewal/update options for students whose card has expired or will expire as a result of COVID-19.
Please review this interim guidance in the Additional Tools>Training Updates section of the AHA Instructor Network (for US Training Network) or on CPRverify (for international Training Network).