Instructor/IT Courses

An AHA Instructor Course is designed to teach the methods needed to effectively instruct others in resuscitation courses. The AHA recommends that Instructors be at least 16 years of age. The AHA Instructor Trainer Course trains individuals how to teach BLS Instructors.

Instructor/IT Candidate Selection

The ideal candidate will be:

  • Motivated to teach.
  • Motivated to facilitate learning.
  • Motivated to ensure that students acquire the skills necessary for successful course completion.
  • Views student assessment as a way to improve individual knowledge and skills.

Instructor/IT Course Prerequisites

  • ACLS/PALS: Current Provider status in the discipline the candidate wishes to teach.
  • BLS: Current Healthcare Provider status.
  • IT: BLS Instructor status and two years of experience teaching AHA courses or has taught eight Provider Courses.
  • A minimum score of 90% on the written examination during Provider training without remediation.
  • A completed Instructor or IT Candidate Application (see Appendix B) must be provided to the Course Director of the Instructor/IT Course.
  • A letter of recommendation from a current BLS RF or TC Faculty member stating reasons for supporting the candidate’s desire to become an IT.

Instructor/IT Course Faculty

  • All AHA Instructor/IT Courses must be directed by Instructor Trainers or TC Faculty. BLS ITs teach BLS Instructor Courses. TC Faculty teach ACLS and PALS Instructor Courses and BLS Instructor Trainer Courses. The Course Director or Lead Instructor must be present throughout the entire Instructor Course.
  • A physician Instructor must be present during ACLS and PALS Instructor Courses. If that is impossible due to extraordinary circumstances, the Course Director should be immediately available by phone, fax, or other means of communication to answer questions.
  • Assisting Instructors must be current AHA Instructors in the discipline being taught.

Instructor/IT Course Content/Materials

  • The Instructor manuals contain core course content. To be considered an AHA course, the core curriculum must be followed in accordance with the current course Instructor’s manual.
  • All course Instructor candidates must own the most current edition of the required AHA Provider textbooks and Instructor’s manuals for the courses they intend to teach and must have access to the appropriate tool kits.

Instructor/IT Course Completion

  • Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory performance of lectures, scenarios, skills presentations, proper use of video-based learning, and skills in student testing, assessment, and remediation.
  • Candidates must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of course organization, course content, and Instructor responsibilities as well as AHA guidelines for the specific discipline.
  • BLS Instructor candidates must achieve a score of 84% or higher on the BLS Instructor Course written examination. BLS IT candidates must achieve a score of 90% on the written examination.

Instructor/IT Card Issuance Requirements

  • The Instructor/IT candidate must successfully complete the Instructor/IT Course as outlined in the course Instructor’s manual. If the candidate completes a course sponsored by a TC other than his or her primary TC, the primary TC must be notified. (See the Instructor/IT Course Completion Notice to Primary TC in Appendix B.)
  • Within 90 days of successfully completing the Instructor/IT Course, the Instructor/IT candidate must successfully demonstrate his or her teaching skills while being monitored during a Provider or Provider Renewal Course. (See the Instructor and IT Monitor Forms in Appendix B.) If monitoring is not accomplished within 90 days, the Instructor Courses, the Course Director can determine whether to grant an extension for this requirement. Experienced AHA Instructors are encouraged to mentor new Instructors during both the Instructor Course and monitoring.
  • Monitoring must be done by a current AHA BLS TC Faculty member or Instructor/IT for BLS candidates only, or Lead Instructor, Course Director, TC Faculty, or RF for ACLS/PALS and IT candidates. The person who monitored the candidate must complete the Instructor Monitor Form (see Appendix B). If a deficiency is note during monitoring, the reviewer may conduct remediation by using any one or a combination of the following:
    • For a deficiency in skills performance, the candidate may be remediated privately and then successfully demonstrate and teach the skill during the same course or a future course.
    • For a deficiency in content knowledge, the candidate may be remediated privately or asked to review the current Provider’s manual and then successfully teach the content during the same course or a future course.
    • For a deficiency in teaching ability or quality, the candidate may be mentored by teaching with the Lead Instructor, Course Director, Instructor/IT, or TC Faculty member and the monitored again in a future course. The candidate may also be required to repeat the Instructor Course before being monitored again.
    • For a deficiency in content knowledge and/or skills performance, the Lead Instructor, Course Director, Instructor/IT, or TC Faculty member may require the candidate to take an entire Provider or Provider Renewal Course before being monitored again.
  • Within 30 days of receiving the completed monitor form, the primary TC must issue an Instructor/IT card. The issue of the card is the month and four-digit year in which the Instructor Course was completed.
  • The card expires two years from the issue date.

Instructor/IT Renewal Criteria

Instructors may renew their status in one of the following three ways:

1. Meet all of the following criteria:

a. Maintain current Provider status as evidenced by current Provider card OR demonstration of acceptable Provider skills and completion of the Provider written examination with a score of 90% or higher. If the second option is chosen, successful completion must be documented on the Instructor or IT Renewal Checklist (see Appendix B). A new Provider card may be issued at the discretion of the TC or upon request of the renewing Instructor but is not required by the AHA.

b. Teach (be present for) a minimum of four courses in two years. This requirement can only be waived by the Regional ECC Committee or Area Task Force in rural areas in which a limited number of courses are offered. BLS ITs must also teach one Instructor or Instructor Renewal Course every two years.

c. Attend updates as required within the previous two years. Updates may address new course content or methodology and/or review TC/local ECC/national ECC information.

d. Present documentation of successful teaching ability as monitored in the preceding two years. Monitoring after the initial Instructor Course does not satisfy this requirement.

2. Successfully complete an Instructor Renewal Course with the following components:

a. Demonstration of Provider skills, including a score of 90% or higher on the written Provider Course examination.

b. Completion of BLS Instructor examination with a score of 84% or higher (BLS Instructors only).

c. Review of TC/local ECC/national ECC information.

d. Teaching demonstration to satisfy monitoring requirements (see the Instructor and IT Renewal Checklists in Appendix B).

3. Successfully complete an entire Instructor Course, including monitoring of teaching performance.

If deficiencies in content knowledge, skills performance, or teaching ability are noted, the Instructor may be remediated.

If renewal criteria are not satisfied within the card expiration period, the Instructor/IT must repeat the initial Instructor recognition process.

Revocation of Instructor/IT Status

The TC is authorized to revoke an Instructor’s teaching privileges at that TC.