New AHA Training Requirements for CPR Certification on the Horizon

CPR Instructors: Are you prepared for the change?

In August of 2017 the AHA announced new equipment requirements in order to teach CPR certification courses starting January 31, 2019. In a nutshell, in order to be compliant, an instructor needs to use an instrumented directive feedback device. The AHA defines these devices this way:

An instrumented directive feedback device measures compression rate, depth, hand position, recoil, and chest compression fraction and provides real-time audio or visual feedback (or both) on these critical CPR skills. A feedback device can be integrated into a manikin or serve as an accessory to a manikin.”

In another article, it was more clearly stated the devices “must, at a minimum, measure and provide real-time audio and/or visual feedback on compression rate and depth, allowing students to self-correct or validate their skill performance immediately during training.”

What does this mean to CPR Instructors?

So far the AHA has not given clear direction on the number of manikins required per instructor. Questions remain about whether or not an instructor can have one feedback device to use strictly for the skills test portion of training, or whether all practice performed in the class must be done on a feedback device. It has been touched upon in an FAQ to AHA Instructors:

Q: What is the recommended ratio of feedback devices or manikins a Training Center must have in adult CPR training courses?

A: The recommended ratio of feedback devices is one per manikin (unless the device used is a manikin itself). Please note that any change to the ratio of manikins per students or Instructors in a course agenda could increase or decrease the length of the course. Use of feedback devices may actually reduce practice time as students will be able to self-correct as feedback is provided in real time.”

As of the publication of this article, the new requirement only affects Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), ACLS for Experienced Providers and Heartsaver® adult CPR training courses in the US and internationally. The new requirements do not include child and infant CPR certification at this time; however, it is anticipated those requirements will also be included over time.  

What kind of devices are required?

Since certification classes require rescue breath training, instructors will still need to have a manikin which allows rescue breath training. There are many manikins on the market right now which have feedback devices already and would satisfy the requirement, from full-sized full trauma manikins to torso-only manikins and everything in between. Several manufacturers also offer feedback infant and child manikins as well.

External devices which either sit on top of the manikin’s sternum or can be placed under the “skin” of the manikin are also acceptable.

The AHA does not endorse any particular brand or type of device.

Reason for the Change

Back in 2015, when the new AHA guidelines for quality CPR were announced, the findings from the research which went into the changes also included information on the more accessible feedback devices being used in some training classes and the impact it had on skills retention. They found students trained with these devices were able to self-correct during training, which gave them longer periods of training at the correct rate and depth. This translated into better CPR performed in an emergency situation.

What is available now?

AED Superstore currently carries a full line of products which satisfy the new requirements by the AHA in our Training Manikins and Supplies section.

17 Responses to “New AHA Training Requirements for CPR Certification on the Horizon”

March 13, 2018 at 1:22 pm, jim albanese said:

my little anne maniquins have a device inside that clicks when the proper depth is reached in chest compressions. is acceptable for the AHA standards?


March 15, 2018 at 7:45 am, AED Superstore said:

Hi Jim,
At this time it is uncertain whether a simple clicker will be acceptable for the new AHA certification compliance. We are checking all our offerings at this time to see whether they are compliant and will be identifying those which comply with a note on the product page. If we carry the manikin you currently have, check back to see if yours is marked accordingly.


April 17, 2018 at 9:21 am, Lisa Sheeran said:

It is fine for now, but come 1/31/19…No, you will need to also be able to see or hear the compression rate, not just the depth.


March 13, 2018 at 4:24 pm, Michael Hall said:

Great Information
Thanks for the update


March 13, 2018 at 5:04 pm, Alan Loken said:

In my opinion, the very best feedback “device” is an observant, well-trained instructor. Has any consideration been given in terms of increasing requirements and the quality and length of training to become an instructor, and requiring that Training Centers actually provide a role quality assurance?


March 15, 2018 at 7:48 am, AED Superstore said:

Hi Alan,
We agree, excellent instructors are the key to well-trained students. At this time we are unaware of any changes to the American Heart Association’s instructor training.


March 14, 2018 at 10:15 am, Debra Bork said:

With the new changes going into effect, the prices of the manikins go up and make it hard for those of us who do this out of our own pockets to service outside business and industry. Would there be some type of trade in incentive or funds to help curb some of these costs for self sponsored individuals?


March 15, 2018 at 7:51 am, AED Superstore said:

Hi Debra,
At this time we have not been made aware of any price increases on manikins or manikin supplies by manufacturers as a result of these new requirements. We are looking at carrying a few external monitoring devices which would satisfy the 2019 requirement and would not require the purchase of new manikins, only the stand-alone devices themselves (considerably less expensive and can be moved from manikin to manikin). We will keep you updated.


March 14, 2018 at 5:00 pm, Amy said:

If I get a Trainer scheduled for Staff in 2018 will they meet the 2019 guidelines or will the 2018 training be moot in 2019? Are Trainers able to meet the 2019 guidelines now? Should the training wait if Staff expirations have time?


March 15, 2018 at 7:54 am, AED Superstore said:

Hi Amy,
Certification received in 2018 will be good for the standard 2 years, regardless of whether the trainer is using devices which meet the 2019 requirements. Some trainers do have manikins/devices which give feedback on rate, depth, and recoil now, but they are not required to have them yet.


March 20, 2018 at 2:54 pm, Pamela Champion said:

I use Prestan manikins with the monitors when I teach CPR classes. Will these manikins meet the new AHA requirements? I don’t want to purchase additional manikins (of this type) if they don’t meet the requirements.


March 20, 2018 at 2:59 pm, AED Superstore said:

Hello Pamela,

We have been told by Prestan your monitored manikins do, indeed, meet the new AHA requirements.


April 17, 2018 at 9:24 am, Lisa Sheeran said:

Not all Prestan manikins will qualify as the older ones need to be updated. Please check with your distributor so you can be sure.


May 16, 2018 at 7:11 am, Sigrid V said:

AHA BLS/ACLS/PALS instructor for seven years: We have mostly used Laerdal manikins and I purchase one of the new Little Anne QCPR manikins in preparation for next January. It gives feedback on depth, recoil, rate and if respirations are effective. Students and I like the immediate feedback through iphone or ipad per Bluetooth or via a purchased wired external monitor called Skill guide. There is also the CPRmeter and similar devices which can be used for training and in real life CPR but it is very expensive. Our EMS is looking into some Prestan manikins because they are cheaper. But they only give feedback on rate (and an experienced instructor can do that with a stopwatch.) We are trying to get some grant money to purchase more equipment before January.


July 17, 2018 at 8:23 am, Sam Connor said:

Sigrid stated the Prestan manikins only give feedback on rate, but the Prestans give audible and visual indicators on compression depth.


October 03, 2018 at 4:02 pm, Patty S said:

How do these January 2019 requirements impact training agencies other than AHA? It appears this requirement is for AHA courses. Is that correct or are ALL CPR training agencies required to comply with this “regulations”?


October 10, 2018 at 7:22 am, AED Superstore said:

Hello Patty,
At this time it is only the AHA implementing these changes in order to receive their two-year certificate of completion.


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