Online First Aid and CPR Certifications; Unacceptable?

Respected All,

As the number of fraudulent “instant online-only” certification scams continues to grow, this misunderstanding is nearly certain to recur. As a result, we have to write on this issue; please take a few moments to read them through and then distribute as you wish. REMEMBER, there is a clear difference between blended and online certifications. Blended trainings does not represent completely online training or training without hands-on skill practice and assessment by a qualified instructor, some part of the training in computer based online but dies require online exam and then hands-on skill practice and assessment in front of qualified instructor to attain legitimate certification.

First Aid to Save a Life Pakistan recommends such practices for informal learning, to create awareness, to engage students in practicing more and more; to encourage them while online practices on low risks involved if you do hands-only CPR etc. But First Aid to Save a Life Pakistan is not in favor of online First Aid and CPR class and then certifies and issue certificates to participants as it is not recommended by American Heart Association. We at First Aid to Save a Life Pakistan have clear understanding of the matter and have given our words and commitment in our “Practical Skills and CPR Training” policy. Below are some of the extracts from our policy document on this issue.

“It is the policy of First Aid to Save a Life Pakistan that CPR learning curriculum’s which ignore the importance of associated physical skills practice are not adequate to meet the reasonable performance measure and should be avoided. ………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………..

Henceforth, First Aid to Save a Life Pakistan will not issue a certificate to those participants who have completed only theory part of any training course and have not participated in practical skills necessary to achieve reasonable outcome.”

First Aid to Save a Life Pakistan also offers blended training courses but there is mandatory requirement that every student have to appear for practical (physical) skill assessment before authorized instructor and will get completion certificate only if he demonstrates correct use of life saving skills. Instructor will also allow them time and chances to clear their misunderstandings and re-appear there required to do so.

With this we would like to quote here the extracts from American Heart Association’s latest guidelines released in October, 2010.

“Methods to improve bystanders willingness to perform CPR include formal training in CPR techniques, including compression-only (Hands-Only) CPR for those who may be unwilling or unable to perform conventional CPR; educating providers on the low risk of acquiring an infection by performing CPR; and specific training directed at helping providers overcome fear or panic when faced with a actual cardiac arrest victim.”

American Heart Association further states in the below paragraph about the role of EMS in an emergency situation and transfer of instruction to untrained bystanders which unfortunately some of the training providers misunderstood and claiming that there is no harm in online CPR training classes which we and most of other training providers did not see in below paragraph.

EMS should provide dispatcher instruction over the telephone to help bystanders recognize victims of cardiac arrest, including victims who may still be gasping, and to encourage bystander to provide CPR if arrest is likely. Dispatchers may also instruct untrained bystanders in the performance of compression-only (Hands-Only) CPR.”

With above AHA also stated in their same document, “BLS skills can be learned equally well with practice while watching (video-based) training as through longer, traditional instructor-led courses”.

Along with above AHA also recommends, “BLS courses should include periodic assessment of rescuer knowledge and skills with reinforcement provided as needed”.

Now how one can pass on reinforcement feedback when two (trainee and instructor) of them are not present at one scene? How one can go for periodic assessment sessions? Etc.

First Aid to Save a Life Pakistan wanted to clear misunderstanding in Pakistan on this issue and have posted this to answer all the misconceptions with references from latest guidelines released by AHA in October 2010.

We will look forward to you for your words on online CPR class vs traditional CPR class and appreciate if you positively take part in our upcoming survey on this subject.


To Your Safety,
Faisal Javed Mir & First Aid to Save a Life Pakistan

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About Faisal Javed Mir

Faisal Javed Mir is Occupational Health and Safety Professional, having 15+ years of profound experience in training and consultancy. He has knowledge, skills, experience, tools, proven history and confidence to deliver what is required by the valued clients. He is teaching First Aid since 2006 and certified by MEDIC First Aid International of United States for many first aid certification programs. He is the only Instructor-Trainer by MEDIC First Aid and American Health and Safety Institute (ASHI) in Pakistan.
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