Buyer Beware! Don’t Be Fooled by Online-Only CPR or First Aid Certification Scams.

A Public Service announcement from the Health & Safety Institute and the National Safety Council

They’re everywhere on the Internet: seemingly legitimate organizations offering “instant” CPR or first aid certification for busy people who are required to hold current certification. And it often says right on those websites that online-only CPR or first aid certification is “nationally accepted“. It is not. No major nationally recognized training program in the United States endorses certification without practice and evaluation of hands-on skills. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration  (OSHA) online training alone does not meet OSHA first aid and CPR training requirements


TooGoodtobeTrueWhat to Avoid When Shopping Online for Training
Common buzzwords and phrases to look for:



  • Online CPR cards, download instantly

  • Download your certification card right after finishing your course

  • No hands-on skills required

  • 100% online

  • Immediate certificate or wallet card

  • Have your card/be certified today

  • Nationally validated, nationally recognized = there is no nationally accrediting or governing body for emergency care training

  • Full refund if not accepted



Some Reputable Producers & Providers of Blended Online CPR Training & First Aid Training

American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI)

National Safety Council (NSC)

MEDIC First Aid

American Heart Association (AHA)

American Red Cross




blendedlearningBlended Learning Is Not Online-Only Learning


Blended learning is a training delivery model that combines online course content with in-person, hands-on skills evaluation. Online-only training features no hands-on component.



Digital Certification Cards Are Not the Same as Instant Cards


A digital certification card is a PDF or other electronic version of the card you earned in your training class. In a legitimate training course (whether classroom or blended), you will be issued your certification card (whether print or digital) only after demonstrating your understanding of course content and successful, hands-on performance of the techniques covered in the course.




Take Action!


File a Complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)


When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet,  radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence. The Federal Trade Commission enforces these truth-in-advertising laws, and it applies the same standards no matter where an ad appears. Complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice and put an end to unfair and misleading business practices.


If you have a complaint, file it online at or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.