How Long Does BLS Certification Last?

BLS Basic Life Support
BLS Basic Life Support

The Basic Life Saving (BLS) certification is required by employers for many healthcare and medical-oriented professions.

This specifically includes:

  • Physicians

  • Nurses

  • EMT

  • Police officers

  • Firefighters

Other professions also benefit from the detailed approach of a BLS certification, like:

  • Safety managers

  • School administrators

  • Coaches

  • Others whose professions place them in situations where they’re more likely to witness a cardiac episode or medical emergency

What Is BLS Certification?

The BLS certification goes into more detail than standard CPR courses.

BLS certification covers the following specifics:

  • Depth of chest compressions

  • Simulated “real-life” scenarios

  • Reviews of helpful first aid techniques such as splinting, bleeding control and administering oxygen masks

Another bonus is that with so many healthcare professionals in one place, the group format allows for stimulating dialogue as well as reviews of CPR and lifesaving situations participants have experienced during their career.

Many healthcare workers required to get BLS certification pair it with the Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and/or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) for a more comprehensive certification set.

Whichever route you go, the resulting BLS certificate is not a one-and-done, lifelong certification. Like all American Heart Association (AHA) and Red Cross-approved CPR, AED and/or first aid courses, BLS certifications must be renewed on a regular basis.

How Often Do BLS Certifications Need To Be Renewed?

Once you’ve passed both the written and active skills tests for BLS certification, you are issued an official card that is valid for 24-months after the date printed on the card. The date listed is typically the date you passed the written and hands-on tests.

While many employers offer corporate CPR courses, streamlining the process for their employees, it is ultimately up to the cardholder to renew their certification in a timely manner.

We suggest putting a reminder in your digital calendar for 60-days prior to the date of your BLS certification expiration date. This way you have plenty of time to find a renewal course near you so you can renew the course before your card expires.

Not only does this keep the information fresh in your mind, it also ensures you don’t run into any problems with HR and/or with prospective employers.

View Initial BLS for Healthcare Provider Classes taking place in and around the Richmond, VA and Raleigh, NC areas.

What Is The Grace Period On BLS Certification Renewal?

Has your BLS certification recently expired? You may still be in luck. There is a 30-day grace period that begins after the expiration date.

During this period, BLS certification cardholders can still enroll in a recertification course, rather than having to take the first-time BLS certification course again. However, this is only applicable as long as the course is completed (and the test is passed) before the 30-days have elapsed.

If you are past the 30-day grace period, you’ll need to enroll just as you did the first time, in a full-length, initial BLS certification course. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to the rule.

Again, calendar reminders are invaluable for ensuring busy healthcare professionals remember to complete their BLS recertification before it expires.