CPR / First Aid

Acceptable CPR & First Aid Certifying Entities

DIDD accepts CPR and First Aid Certifying Entities based on the following requirements:

  1. The training program must conform to national standards and be based on the same scientific guidelines and recommendations used by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Red Cross (ARC) for course development.
  2. The emergency care component is required to have hands-on performance of basic first aid and CPR skills evaluated by an authorized instructor.

Below is the list of CPR and First Aid Certifying Entities currently accepted by DIDD:

  • American Health and Safety Council 
  • American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) 
  • American Heart Association (AHA) 
  • AHA Heartsaver for K-12 Schools 
  • Child CPR AED 
  • American Heart Saver 
  • American Red Cross (ARC) 
  • Emergency Care & Safety Institute (ECSI) Specific Locations Only 
  • EMS Safety Services First Responder First Response Safety  
  • Training Health and Safety Institute (HSI) 
  • Life Aid Medical and Heart Rhythm CPR Training 
  • Medic First 
  • MTN Provider Certificates/Cards 
  • Millitary Training Network
  • Cardiac & Trama Life Support 
  • Nashville First Aid and CPR 
  • National Safety Council (NSC) 
  • NCS & Walden Security  
  • Tennessee Department of Children's Services and HARMONY FAMILY CENTER
  • Waterdogs Scuba & Safety
  • ProCPR by ProTrainings

All classes must be completed in a classroom setting with hands-on skills training.  Curriculum and training materials must follow current AHA guidelines.  Web-based courses or on-line trainings are NOT accepted.

For information on COVID-19 as it relates to DIDD CPR & First Aid Training, please refer to the DIDD COVID-19 page. (Open Line announcements can be found on this page under Further Guidance).

If you have a training entity not listed above that you would like for DIDD to accept, please contact:

Karen Chambers
Training Coordinator 1
DIDD Staff and Provider Development

Additional Information

DIDD Requirements:

  • DIDD requires Community Level CPR and First Aid training. DIDD also accepts advanced levels as well, such as BLS.
  • AED certification is optional; however, most training entities include this as part of their CPR curriculum automatically.
  • DIDD will only accept what is noted on the official certification card(s) as proof of completion.

The DIDD Provider Manual located on the DIDD web site https://www.tn.gov/didd/providers/provider-manual0.html has additional information on all training. Some Sections specific to CPR and First Aid are as follows:

  • Section 6.5. A full view copy of the unexpired card issued for CPR and First Aid also must be maintained in the provider agency’s training file. Former or current employees of a state-operated developmental center in Tennessee who have not completed the appropriate training must do so.
  • 6.4.d.1. CPR with Abdominal Thrust. Certification and re-certification are required on a schedule determined by the certifying entity and a full view copy of the current certification issued shall be acceptable documentation. All Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) courses must include training in the use of the abdominal thrust maneuver (sometimes called the Heimlich Maneuver). If certification is for automated external defibrillator (AED), training must include hands-on CPR training with demonstrated competency as a class requirement.
  • 6.4.d.2. First Aid. Certification and re-certification are required on a schedule determined by the certifying entity and a full view copy of the current certification issued shall be acceptable documentation. DIDD will not accept web-based CPR and First Aid training nor will it accept training without the hands-on skills test showing competency and a written test, both administered by a certified trainer. For staff employed as DSPs, respite providers or PAs, First Aid training provided in the CNA, CNT, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), RN or LPN certification process is sufficient to meet DIDD First Aid training requirements. A current CNA, CNT, EMT, RN or LPN license and certification issued maintained in the employee’s personnel file will be accepted as documentation.

American Red Cross (ARC) and Cards:


American Heart Association (AHA) Courses and Cards:

  • Instructors have a variety of cards to choose from depending on the course(s) they are training. It is the trainer’s responsibility to provide the learner with the appropriate card(s) that includes all courses the learner is certified in.
  • The AHA web site has information on their cards available on line at https://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/FindACourse/CourseCardInformation/UCM_473165_Course-Card-Information.jsp click on “Course Card Reference Guide”.  The PDF document there includes information on all courses/cards
    • Page 3 explains printed cards. Under the front of the card it states “Heartsaver course completion cards also feature an area on the front of the card listing optional modules for the course. AHA instructors are to strike through the optional modules not completed”. 
    • Pages 6 and 7 show the 2 individual cards for the Heartsaver CPR course and the Heartsaver First Aid course (used when courses are taught separately)
    • Page 9 shows the Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED card (this is the card for when BOTH courses are completed together).
    • Page 15 shows what is included in the BLS course – I don’t see where First Aid is included in this course. This course is designed for Healthcare Providers. This is normally folks who are health care professionals (EMTs, Nurses, Doctors, etc.) who have medical backgrounds and do not need First Aid. Thus, with the BLS Card, the learner would need an additional First Aid card if it was taught.
  • Learners can always go to the AHA site or contact AHA and/or the instructor for proper certification cards per what they completed.

NOTE: Cards are not free, Trainers must purchase them from AHA, thus sometimes they don’t provide the proper official card that the learner is entitled to. DIDD has no control over this and can only accept the card per what is written on it.  All AHA courses are to include the proper card, per the AHA rules.