How Long Does a CPR Certification Last?

You might not realize it, but sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a major health issue in the U.S., affecting around 356,000 people each year. When someone loses consciousness and they’re not showing any signs of life, using CPR quickly and effectively can help keep them alive. This technique, which combines chest compressions with artificial ventilation, can temporarily support and maintain circulation and breathing in an individual experiencing a cardiac emergency.

Seeing just how important and effective it is, learning CPR and getting a certification is a smart move for any responsible citizen. But how long does a CPR certification last? Generally, these certificates are valid only for two years. After that, they need to be renewed, because knowing CPR and being certified to perform it are two different things. Keep reading to learn certain CPR requirements in Ohio, how long your CPR certificate will last and why you should renew it.

What Does Being CPR Certified Mean

To get CPR certified, you must receive specific training and pass an exam proving you can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) effectively. You need to attend classes, whether online or in-person, that teach you:

    • To recognize the signs of cardiac arrest

    • The right rhythm for chest compressions

    • How deep to push when doing compressions

    • How to ensure airways are clear

    • How to give rescue breaths

    • How to give first aid

    • How to use an AED

Types of CPR certifications

You can choose among various levels of CPR certifications suited for different professions. The most common type is for the general public, focusing on adult, child, and infant CPR. This course is excellent for parents, teachers, or anyone willing to help during a medical emergency.

There is also a healthcare provider level, which is more detailed and designed for nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals. This certification covers advanced techniques and the use of equipment like defibrillators.

How Long Are CPR Certificates Valid

The two most prominent organizations in the CPR world, the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association, each have their own guidelines on the courses and the validity of your certification. If you have a CPR certificate issued by the American Red Cross, you’re looking at a validity period of 2 years. This means every couple of years, you’ll need to renew your certification to ensure your skills are up to date.

If your CPR certificate comes from the American Heart Association, you’re also on a 2-year cycle. So after two years, you’ll have to attend a refresher course and get a new CPR certificate. If you’re thinking of getting CPR training from a third-party provider, ensure their classes are aligned with the AHA or American Red Cross. Otherwise, they may not be valid.

Why Should You Renew Your CPR Certification

You might be wondering about the validity of your CPR certification and why it doesn’t last forever. Typically, a CPR certification is valid for two years, after which it’s time to renew it. That might seem like a hassle, but there are several good reasons for this requirement.

    • Keeping your skills up-to-date: Medical research is always advancing, and as we learn more about the human body and how it responds, CPR procedures are updated to reflect these findings. If you want to give the best possible care during an emergency you must be trained in the most current CPR techniques.

    • Ensuring readiness: Even if you’ve had extensive CPR training, the details can fade from memory over time. Some studies by the American Red Cross even suggest that CPR skills start to degrade after the first year. Regular refresher courses help reinforce the knowledge and muscle memory you need to perform CPR effectively.

    • Workplace requirements: Healthcare workers, educators, lifeguards, and many other professionals must have up-to-date CPR certification as part of their employment conditions. That way, the people in these critical roles are always prepared to respond to emergencies.

Who Needs To Keep Up With CPR Certification

In many states across the U.S., keeping your CPR certification current is a necessity for a specific line of work. Ohio is no exception, having a number of professions where CPR certification is required.

In these occupations, you’re not just ticking a box to meet a requirement; you’re preparing to save a life when every second counts. Professionals in these roles often find themselves in situations where they could be the first or only responder in a crisis. Let’s talk about who these professionals are and why their roles demand this level of preparedness.


Sudden cardiac arrest doesn’t discriminate, and in the U.S. almost 7,000 children are affected, most of which are involved in sports. School coaches are responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of their students during physical exercise and training. In the event of a cardiac emergency, the first few minutes are critical, and having a coach who can perform CPR can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why, in Ohio, one of the requirements for becoming a coach is having valid CPR certification.

Staff at Licensed Child Care Centers

Toddlers and young kids are curious, and their adventures can sometimes lead to accidents or choking hazards. That’s why in Ohio, the staff at these centers must have a CPR certificate. Knowing CPR and first aid means they’re prepared to act swiftly and effectively to prevent a tragedy.

911 Operators

Emergency services operators are often the first point of contact during an emergency. They provide critical instructions over the phone to callers who may be trying to save a person in medical distress. In Cincinnati, CPR training and holding a CPR certificate is a requirement to get the job in the first place. This allows every operator to guide someone through the steps of performing CPR until emergency responders arrive.

Renewing Your CPR Certification

Renewing your CPR certification is a necessary step to ensure your skills are current and effective. Check when your certification expires because timing is key, and you don’t want to find yourself uncertified when you least expect it. Then, decide whether you’re going for an online renewal course or an in-person class.

Both types of classes have their merits; just make sure the program is accredited by the AHA or the Red Cross. Sign up and complete your chosen course, which will likely include a mix of theoretical knowledge and practical skills assessment. CPR guidelines and recommendations can change, so you’ll learn something new and refresh your CPR skills. After passing the exam, you’ll receive your new certification, typically valid for another two years.

CPR Certification Renewal in Cincinnati

The question of “How long does a CPR certification last?” isn’t just about ticking a box for a requirement. It’s about ensuring you’re always prepared to save lives. Typically, your certification will need renewal every two years. But this timeline isn’t arbitrary—it’s designed to make sure your skills and knowledge are fresh, so you’re ready when seconds count.
Staying CPR-certified is a commitment to being a reliable responder in emergencies, keeping you sharp and confident in your ability to act swiftly and effectively. So, keep your CPR certification current, and enroll in a CPR renewal class in Cincinnati. Your role in this chain of survival is vital, and you shouldn’t underestimate the impact you can make.