American Heart Association Instructor Essentials Courses Now Available!

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

AHA Instructor Essentials courses are new online courses that have replaced the AHA Core Instructor Course, which has been discontinued. The Instructor Essentials courses are a required step to become an AHA Instructor, to add a discipline, and for all AHA Faculty.

When accessed through the HealthStream Learning Center, administrators have the ability to assign, manage and track course completions. Robust reporting capabilities allow you to ensure all of your AHA Instructors have current completion cards for their various disciplines and that new Instructors have completed the required Instructor Essentials eLearning activities. 

We are also working on tools for instructor management, which we hope to offer in 2014! 

FAQS (Excerpt)

Q: What are the AHA Instructor Essentials courses?

A: The AHA’s Instructor Essentials courses are online, self-directed, discipline-specific courses that teach information needed to instruct classroom courses and conduct skills practice and skills testing sessions for eLearning courses associated with each discipline. Completion of the AHA Instructor Essentials Course is a required step to become an AHA Instructor. It is also a requirement for current Instructors adding a discipline and all AHA Faculty (National, Regional and Training Center Faculty).

Q: Why did the AHA create updated Instructor courses?

A: The AHA developed new Instructor Course materials to aid in providing quality and consistency in all Instructor training. Changes in science and class structure implemented since the release of the previous Instructor Course materials drove the need to develop new materials. The goal in developing new tools was to recognize and respect the time constraints of Instructor candidates and Faculty while not compromising on the need for quality Instructor development. The new courses make great strides in meeting this goal.

Q: Who is the target audience for the AHA Instructor Essentials courses?  

A: Candidates who wish to become AHA Instructors must complete an AHA disciple-specific Instructor Essentials Course for the discipline that they want to teach (ACLS, BLS, Heartsaver, PALS or PEARS). Also, all AHA Faculty (National, Regional and Training Center Faculty) must complete the Instructor Essentials Course for the discipline(s) for which they are Faculty.

Q: What is covered in each of the AHA Instructor Essentials courses?

A: These courses cover planning and preparation for courses, teaching courses, conducting written exams (if applicable), skills practice and skills testing and keeping your Instructor status current. Each course includes a general module and a discipline-specific module.

Each course also includes a “Resources” tab containing the electronic AHA Program Administration Manual (PAM) and

the discipline-specific AHA Instructor Candidate Workbook. Please note that the candidate workbook is only accessible when the Instructor candidate is in the discipline specific module of the course.

Q: What are the prerequisites for taking an AHA Instructor Essentials Course?

A: Before taking this course, candidates must have a current course completion card for the provider course that they wish to teach. They must also have aligned with an AHA Training Center that is accepting new Instructors for that discipline.

Q: What is the full process for becoming an AHA Instructor?

A: As listed in the May 7, 2013, “Training Memo, AHA Instructor Requirements,” the steps for becoming an AHA Instructor are:

1. Be accepted by an AHA Training Center prior to enrolling in an Instructor Course and have a completed Instructor Candidate Application to file with that Training Center

2. Have current AHA provider status in the discipline for that Instructor Course and be proficient in all the skills of that discipline

3. Successfully complete the discipline-specific Instructor Essentials Online course and print the certificate of completion

4. Successfully complete the discipline-specific classroom Instructor Course

5. Successfully complete being monitored teaching the first course within six months of completing the discipline-specific classroom Instructor Course (Training Center Coordinators can require additional monitoring if needed)

Also, as of January 1, 2012, all Instructors must be registered and confirmed (aligned) on the AHA Instructor Network. Aligning on the AHA Instructor Network will allow the Instructor to obtain and use the Instructor ID# that is required on all course completion cards, as well as critical tools and information needed to conduct courses.

Q: Does successful completion of an Instructor Essentials Course result in an AHA course completion card?

A: No. Upon completion of an Instructor Essentials Course, a certificate of completion is available to print and must be presented at the classroom Instructor Course of the corresponding discipline.

Q: Approximately how long do the AHA Instructor Essentials courses take to complete?

A: Approximate course completion times are listed below:

  • BLS Instructor Essentials – 2 hours
  • Heartsaver Instructor Essentials – 2 hours
  • ACLS Instructor Essentials – 3 hours
  • PALS Instructor Essentials – 3.5 hours
  • PEARS Instructor Essentials – 2.5 hours