How Often Do You Have to Renew a CPR Certification?

A CPR certification's validity and renewal period depends on the organization that issued it. The American Heart Association and the American Red Cross CPR and First Aid card are valid for two years, though the American Red Cross requires lifeguards to renew their certifications every year. Other certification programs can have different lengths of validity, depending on the requirements set by the organization or by the state.

Those who have American Red Cross CPR certificates are required to present a current American Red Cross card or its equivalent to qualify for the renewal process and can choose to undergo a Review or a Challenge course. The Review course takes place in an abbreviated class session and consists of a review of the program's material. The Challenge course is designed for current Red Cross CPR cardholders who cannot participate in a review course. Participants of the Challenge course can prepare on their own and appear for a demonstration of skills in front of a professional Red Cross instructor. Review courses are only for current CPR certification cardholders, while new participants can be certified by taking the Challenge course. The American Red Cross does not recognized certifications issued outside the United States.