How to become an AHA instructor for BLS ACLS PALS – 2022 best guidance

If you have been to an American heart association training programs and was wondering how to become an AHA instructor for BLS ACLS PALS courses, read this guide.

If you have been to an American heart association provider training programs and was wondering how to become an AHA Instructor for BLS ACLS PALS yourself, read this guide.

This post helps those with the following questions.

  • How to become a BLS instructor?
  • How to become an ACLS instructor?
  • How to become a PALS instructor?

Table of Contents

Step 1: Check eligibility

Before you continue to read “How to become an AHA instructor”, see if you have the eligibility to become one.

Age : 18 yrs plus (As AHA is not allowed to collect information of minors)

Provider first : You must hold a valid (not expired) provider (eCard / certificate) status for the course in which you are trying to become an instructor. Can be from any AHA training center. If you want to become an AHA instructor to teach BLS provider courses, you should be a BLS provider first. That provider certificate must be from an Authorized training center from American heart association

How to become an AHA instructor
AHA authorized training centers carry this logo. All our partners are AHA authorized training facilities.

Step 2: Find an ITC

See which ITC [or TC in short ] (International Training Center) is ready to take you in. If you want to find your nearest ITC, reach out to us. The TC may not necessarily be the same TC which certified you as “provider”. If you have done your provider course from ITC named ABC and now want to become an instructor at an ITC named XYZ, it is definitely possible. Previously, the ITC XYZ used to ask you to get a letter showing instructor potential from ITC ABC (where you did your provider course). Now it’s not the case. Your potential will be measured as part of “Instructor essentials course” you take online on AHA website.

Apply : Complete an Instructor Candidate Application and submit to the ITC.

Step 3: Online part

Successfully complete the “Instructor Essentials” online Course for the discipline (BLS or ACLS or PALS etc) for which you are becoming an Instructor, including both the online portion and the classroom/hands-on session at the ITC. Your ITC will guide you on how to access Instructor essentials course. Some ITCs will purchase the course and distribute it to you while others will ask you to purchase one by yourself and finish the course online. Be sure to talk to them before you purchase it yourself.

Step 4: Offline part

You must attend the offline training part after finishing the online “Instructor essentials” part. Only after you finish the offline portion to get familiarized with local ITC policies, your course is deemed complete. There’s just one more part remaining before you can receive your Instructor eCard / certificate.

Step 5: Monitoring

Upon finishing your course (online+offline), you must get monitored while you instruct a course. Once monitored, the ITC will issue your instructor eCard with which you can start instructing with the current ITC and also with other ITCs near by. Ideally, you shall finish the monitoring within 6 months. But if the ITC could not conduct enough courses within that time to monitor all new instructors or if you could not finish monitoring due to genuine reasons, the ITC may allow you to get monitored even after this period.

During monitoring, they will assess your capacity to teach and correct you if you deviate from AHA policies.

Register on AHA-IN : Register on the Instructor network and be accepted and approved by the primary Training Center.

Step 6: Get certified

Upon finishing your monitoring, the ITC will allocate your instructor certificate. See how to download your AHA certificates

More info

Course Fee

The instructor course requires purchasing materials from the AHA and the ITC needs to compensate for the faculty’s time and location charges etc. Giving an exact amount is not possible as these change from place to place. Meaning, apart from what AHA charges, the ITC will add some charges on it’s own.

Changing ITC

If you move to another city, you may choose to stay aligned with the same ITC and teach at other ITCs as guest instructor. But a guest instructor cannot be the lead instructor for a course. In such cases, if your move is permanent and you want to change your primary ITC to another ITC in your locality, you can simply request the new ITC to accept you and your old ITC must submit your records to the New ITC. Talk to your ITC for more info. You can simultaneously be aligned with multiple ITCs. One will be marked as Primary, while the others as Secondary.

Status maintenance

Once you become an instructor, it’s not a permanent status. You must meet the criteria to be renewed every 2 yrs. If not, the ITC may refuse to renew your instructor status.

  • Teach at least 4 courses in 2 years in accordance with the guidelines of the AHA
  • Strengthen and support the Chain of Survival and the mission of the AHA in my community
  • Conduct myself in accordance with the ECC Leadership Code of Conduct
  • Avoid any perception of conflict of interest in accordance with the AHA Statement of Conflict of Interest

The ITC can still renew if the ITC thinks you are a good instructor even if you fail to teach 4 courses in 2 years.

Teaching a course

As you’ve read above, you must teach 4 courses in 2 years. That doesn’t mean you need to stay throughout the course. You may attend a course and teach the portion allotted to you. Say if you are going to BLS instructor led course, you can teach only Adult BLS and leave if there are enough instructors, and others can teach Infant BLS or Choking.

Divide the course into components and teach. This varies between ITCs and you should ask them if they agree for this.

You must carry the instructor manual to the course you are teaching and make sure your teaching sessions are being updated in ATLAS portal which can serve as a proof of teaching, so that you don’t have to maintain a separate record.

Find a course

If you have become an instructor with one ITC, you can teach courses for another ITC as a guest instructor. This is especially useful if the ITC you aligned to isn’t conducting enough courses. Submit a copy of your current instructor eCard to the guest ITC you are teaching at. There is no limit on the number of courses you teach with your parent ITC or guest ITC.

Find upcoming courses near by and approach them to teach a course to maintain instructor status.

This guide applies to all AHA instructor courses such as BLS ACLS PALS PEARS Heart-saver etc.


Now that you’ve known how to become an AHA BLS ACLS PALS instructor, once you become an instructor, you’ll find these posts useful.

If you have any more questions on how to become an AHA BLS ACLS PALS instructor, please message us. WhatsApp link on bottom of the page.

This post helps those with the below questions.

  • How to become a BLS instructor?
  • How to become an ACLS instructor?
  • How to become a PALS instructor?