One of the requirements to get a basic life support certificate is to complete a BLS certification class, which can be obtained by attending a few hours of classroom-based course in the American Heart Association or in the American Red Cross. AHA-accredited universities and colleges also offer the certification class.
The BLS certification class offered by the AHA and American Red Cross is designed for professional health care providers, students and individuals who work with a group of people with special needs, such as children and elderly people. Lifeguards, teachers, coaches and individuals who work in an environment that involve life-threatening accidents can also sign-up and complete a BLS certificate. There is no age limit or minimum age requirement for learning BLS. The AHA and American Red Cross also provides online course programs that can be purchased on their respective websites.
In order to get a BLS certificate, the participant must be able to demonstrate proper life-saving skills, such as CPR, and be able to use an automatic external defibrillator and clear the patient's airway in a timely and safe manner. Upon completion of the certification course and passing the cognitive and skills tests, the student receives a course completion card from the AHA. The validity of the card depends on the training center that issues the card. The card issued by the American Red Cross is valid for two years.