ACLS certification remains active for 2 years before it expires. Normally, professionals should recertify before their certification expires to avoid any issues with employment. Renewals every two years are necessary to keep your training up to date, and recertification takes less time and expense to complete compared to the initial certification process. AHA guidelines for ACLS change from year to year, and renewals ensure that your working knowledge of ACLS protocol is current.
How to renew your certification
First, you should decide if you’d like to recertify through a traditional classroom course or an online program. If you would prefer an online course, search for an accredited organization online that has course material based on the latest AHA guidelines. For classroom settings, discuss renewal options with your employer or local training facility.
Next, you should review basic ACLS material and the latest AHA guidelines for ECC and CPR. Some material that should be reviewed includes:
It would be particularly beneficial to focus on any updates or changes that have been made to the course material since your last renewal or initial certification.
Time should also be taken into consideration. If you are in a rush to renew, then you’ll need to find an express renewal course. One advantage of taking an online course is that you can complete the course at your own pace and quickly receive recertification within hours of registering.
The final exams given by classroom courses must be completed within 90 days of registration. The exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions, and has a time limit of 150 minutes. You must receive a score of 84% or above on the test and complete a clinical skills check to recertify. Online courses, including the one offered by the ACLS Certification Institute, usually do not require a clinical skills check, and you have as much time as you need to take the exam because there is no time limit.
You should take the time to weigh your options and determine whether to take a recertification course in an online or local classroom setting. The final decision depends on your schedule and time constraints. Regardless of the option you choose, it is very important to take the time to review the ACLS content and latest guidelines to improve your performance during your recertification process.