Online vs. Classroom CPR Training: Which Is Best for You?

When it comes to learning CPR, you have the option to choose between online CPR training and traditional classroom CPR training. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. This guide will help you understand the differences and decide based on your needs and preferences.


Whether you want to take an online CPR class or in-person skills class will still depend on various factors. Here are the differences between Online CPR Training and Classroom CPR Training:

  • Learning Environment: In Online CPR Training, learners study in a virtual, self-paced environment, while Classroom CPR Training takes place in a physical, instructor-led classroom setting.
  • Course Material Access: Online CPR Training offers digital access to course materials, which may include videos, interactive simulations, and downloadable resources. Classroom CPR Training provides physical course materials, textbooks, and printed resources.
  • Cost: Online CPR Training is typically more cost-effective, with lower registration fees and reduced travel expenses. Classroom CPR Training often comes with higher registration fees and additional costs, including travel and accommodation if necessary.
  • Duration: Online CPR Training allows learners to complete the training at their own pace, which can vary from a few hours to a few days, depending on the course and the learner's schedule. Classroom CPR Training follows a fixed schedule, typically spanning a single day or several hours over multiple days.
  • Validity: Both CPR Training certifications validity is usually 2 years for CPR courses. May offer recertification options for individuals with prior CPR certification.
  • Exams: Online CPR Training often includes online quizzes or assessments throughout the course, while classroom CPR Training includes in-person assessments and practical skills evaluations, typically administered by the instructor.
  • Scheduling: Online CPR Training offers flexible scheduling, allowing learners to choose when to access the course materials and complete the training, while Classroom CPR Training has fixed schedules with specific training dates and times.
  • Certification Acceptance: Some organizations and employers may accept online CPR certification, while others may prefer classroom-based certifications

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Learning Environment

In Online CPR Training, learners are immersed in a virtual, self-paced learning environment. This means they can access the course materials and resources online, often from the comfort of their own homes or any location with an internet connection. It allows students to progress through the training at their own pace, without the constraints of a fixed schedule.

In contrast, Classroom CPR Training unfolds in a physical, instructor-led classroom setting. Here, learners gather at a designated location, typically under the guidance of an experienced instructor. The classroom provides a structured and interactive environment where students can engage with their peers and receive immediate feedback from the instructor.


Course Material Access

Online CPR Training offers a rich array of digital course materials, which may encompass instructional videos, interactive simulations, downloadable resources, and more. These digital resources enhance the learning experience by providing dynamic and engaging content. In contrast, Classroom CPR Training primarily relies on physical course materials, including textbooks, printed handouts, and other tangible resources. These materials are distributed to learners during the in-person sessions and serve as reference materials throughout the training.


Cost of CPR Training

Online CPR Training is renowned for its cost-effectiveness. Learners often benefit from lower registration fees compared to Classroom CPR Training. Additionally, online learners can avoid expenses associated with traditional training, such as travel costs and accommodations. This cost-saving aspect makes online training an attractive option for those seeking to obtain CPR certification without breaking the bank.

Conversely, Classroom CPR Training typically comes with higher registration fees. Learners attending physical classes may also incur supplementary expenses, including travel costs to reach the training venue, parking fees, and potentially overnight accommodations if the training location is distant from their residence.



Online CPR Training offers a unique advantage regarding flexibility regarding training duration. Learners can adapt the pace of their training to suit their individual schedules and learning preferences. This flexibility allows some individuals to complete the training in a matter of hours, while others may opt for a more leisurely approach spanning several days or even weeks.

In contrast, Classroom CPR Training adheres to a predetermined schedule, typically conducted over one or more consecutive days. Learners are required to allocate a specific block of time for the training, which can be challenging for those with busy or unpredictable commitments.



The validity of CPR Training certifications, whether obtained online or in a classroom, is usually set at 2 years. This means that individuals who successfully complete the training are certified to perform CPR and respond to emergencies for a period of two years. To maintain certification beyond this initial period, individuals may opt to either retake the full CPR course or enroll in recertification courses. These recertification options, commonly available for both online and classroom learners, ensure that individuals remain up-to-date with the latest CPR guidelines and techniques.


Certification Exams

In Online CPR Training, assessments are often integrated into the course structure through online quizzes or knowledge assessments. These assessments are administered throughout the training to gauge learners' understanding of the material. In some cases, online CPR courses may also require learners to complete a practical skills evaluation in person, typically involving demonstrating CPR techniques on a mannequin.

In contrast, Classroom CPR Training includes in-person assessments and practical skills evaluations as integral components of the training. These assessments are typically conducted by the instructor, who observes and guides learners as they perform CPR techniques on mannequins. This in-person evaluation allows for real-time feedback and correction, ensuring that learners can confidently apply their CPR skills in actual emergency situations.



Online CPR Training offers learners the freedom to set their own schedules. They can access course materials and complete training modules at their convenience, making it particularly suitable for individuals with varied or unpredictable schedules. This flexibility allows learners to adapt their training to their unique circumstances. 

Classroom CPR Training adheres to fixed schedules with specific training dates and times. Learners are required to attend sessions as per the predetermined schedule set by the training provider or instructor. This fixed scheduling may be less accommodating for individuals with rigid commitments or those seeking a more self-paced learning experience.


Certification Acceptance

The acceptance of CPR certification may vary among organizations and employers. Some institutions and employers readily accept online CPR certification as a valid qualification, recognizing its quality and rigor. However, others may prefer or require certification obtained through Classroom CPR Training due to perceived advantages associated with in-person instruction. The choice of certification acceptance often depends on the specific requirements and policies of the organization or employer in question.

How does Online CPR Certification work?

Online CPR Certification works by learning CPR online on your schedule through online CPR training. Online classes only take a few short hours to complete but can help you save a life when every second counts. These online courses are easy to access and complete. All you need is a willingness to learn, access to the internet, and a PC, laptop, tablet, or any mobile device.

Online CPR training follows the guidelines of the American Heart Association and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. The course is divided into several modules, which you can take in virtually any order. With unlimited access to the coursework, you can take your time getting through class, complete all of the modules at once, and then revisit the modules to refresh your knowledge. After successful completion, you will obtain your digital certificate and two-year certification card.


How Does Classroom CPR Certification Work?

Classroom CPR training is more personalized and can involve many teaching methods. An in-person instructor can teach the same topic in many ways to make sure every student fully understands the concept. Most CPR classes are in a single, full-day format, so it won’t be for busy professionals who cannot take a day off.

The instructor will typically start with some lecture topics. The instructor may incorporate hands-on portions throughout the day to keep the lecture engaging. You will likely have to act out assessing cardiac emergencies to ensure you are comfortable with the types of questions you need to ask and your role in the emergency situation. In addition, you may be asked to dress a mock wound or perform abdominal thrusts on a choking victim during the class. Your course will utilize dummies for the practice of CPR and AED use.


When Should You Go for Online CPR Classes?

Online CPR classes can be a convenient option for many people, but there are certain situations and circumstances where they may be particularly beneficial. Here are some scenarios when you might consider opting for online CPR classes:

  1. Limited Availability of In-Person Classes: If you have difficulty finding in-person CPR classes in your area or have a busy schedule that makes it challenging to attend scheduled classes, online CPR courses provide flexibility and accessibility.
  2. Time Constraints: Online CPR classes allow you to learn at your own pace. This can be advantageous if you have a tight schedule or prefer to study and practice CPR skills at your convenience.
  3. Certification Renewal: If you need to renew your CPR certification and are already familiar with the techniques, online recertification courses can be a time-saving option. These courses often have shorter durations than initial certification classes.
  4. Health Concerns: During situations like a pandemic or if you have health concerns that make attending in-person classes risky, online CPR classes provide a safer alternative.
  5. Remote or Rural Location: If you live in a remote or rural area with limited access to local training centers, online CPR classes can help you obtain the necessary skills and certification.
  6. Self-Paced Learning: Some individuals prefer self-paced learning, where they can review and practice CPR techniques as often as needed to feel confident in their skills.
  7. Employer or Organization Requirements: If your employer or a specific organization you're affiliated with accepts online CPR certification, it can be a convenient way to fulfill their requirements.

Why Do Employers Prefer CPR Certified Professionals?

Employers prefer CPR-certified professionals because it demonstrate a commitment to workplace safety and employee well-being. It ensures that employees can respond effectively to medical emergencies, potentially saving lives within the workplace.

Having CPR certified staff can help a business meet regulatory requirements and liability concerns, as it shows proactive efforts to mitigate risks. Additionally, CPR training often includes instruction on using automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which can be crucial in cardiac emergencies. 

Both classroom-based and online CPR training courses give the same level of certification. Nevertheless, some employers check if one meets the requirements to qualify for the job before hiring. So, before joining any CPR course, you must ensure that a certified instructor conducts the training.


Getting CPR Certified online

You can get CPR  certified online through accredited organizations and training programs. Many organizations offer online CPR certification courses that provide comprehensive training in CPR techniques, including adult, child, and infant CPR, and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) usage. These online courses typically include instructional videos, written materials, and interactive simulations to help you learn and practice CPR skills.


Advantages of Online CPR Training Classes

If you are wondering how to get Online CPR Certification, you should learn the advantages and disadvantages first before you can decide.

  • You can learn at your own pace, start the training classes and the testing when you wish to take the training and retake a test if you want to.
  • In online learning classes, they use DVDs and recorded instructional videos to learn. You may pause or replay the video if something is not clear.
  • Online CPR certification is convenient if you prefer to take the training classes at night, in the daytime, or in the morning. The online courses are convenient for people wishing to take the CPR training suitable for them.
  • You can repeat the video demonstration several times in the online class for further understanding.
  • After taking the online CPR certification, you can access your certification card, valid for two years, and training materials from the training center’s website. You can log in to your account and access the certification cards, and if you want it in a hard copy format, you can print it out.
  • There is no skill evaluation in online training in CPR certification since the skills are taught virtually through videos.
  • Online CPR certification is fast and easily accessible from a remote place.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Classroom CPR training

First Aid training and CPR training in a classroom setting may be the most effective method but has its disadvantages and advantages; these disadvantages may include:

  • You have to attend the training classes as scheduled by the training center and the specified location where the training for CPR is being offered. Unlike in online training, you can attend their training session at your own suitable time and at any place provided they have an electronic gadget that can access the training website and strong internet access.
  • In classroom training, more time is taken during these physical classes. You find that in physical classes, they engage themselves in many activities, such as asking questions. You also find that the instructor teaches without eliminating anything they don’t consider if one is good at the subject. Unlike in an online class, if you are good at a subject and you think you don’t need to study it, you can skip the subject. This reduces the time taken to learn CPR and makes online training less time-consuming.


Advantages of Classroom CPR training

In classroom training, you can ask a question to the instructor directly; if something or information is unclear, one can seek clarification, unlike in an online class. In addition, you can demonstrate the skills you have learned from the on-campus training in in front of the whole class. If you incorrectly do the practical, you can be corrected by the instructor. This ensures that one gets the correct training.