All your Chicago BLS, ACLS, and PALS questions answered

  • 1) What's the difference between a skills session and a full class? Which one do I want?
  • 2) How can I reschedule or cancel my registration?
  • 3) How many hours is my class?
  • 4) Can I combine ACLS and BLS? Can I combine PALS and BLS?
  • 5) Can I combine ACLS, PALS, and BLS? Or can I combine ACLS and PALS?
  • 6) Can I do multiple skills sessions at the same time?
  • 7) Do I need a book for my class?
  • 8) Can I purchase a class for someone else?
  • 9) Is your BLS class for healthcare providers?
  • 10) Will I receive my card right after class, or will it be mailed to me?
  • 11) I reserved a spot for a class several months from now. When will the payment link be up?
  • 12) I did the online HeartCode class. Do I also need to pay for the skills session?
  • 13) Are you an official AHA training site? Will I receive an official AHA card? Or do you simply follow AHA guidelines?
  • 14) I need a CPR and first aid certification. Do I want the BLS class?
  • 15) Can I pay on class day? Can I pay in cash? Can I pay over the phone?
  • 16) Will you be putting up more PALS classes?
  • 17) Will you send me anything to help me prepare for my ACLS or PALS course?
  • 18) I'm just trying to renew my certification? Do you have a renewal class?
  • 19) I want to become an AHA Instructor! Can you help me become an Instructor?
  • 20) I'm an Instructor and want to align with you, or buy cards, or affiliate with you???
  • 21) Will you come to my organization and do an on-site class?
  • 22) What if I'm late?
  • 23) What if I'm sick?
  • 24) Who are you people?

The full, in-person class is simply that - the traditional class. It begins with videos and is followed by skills practice and testing, finishing with a written exam. Since we are efficient and disciplined with our teaching style and do not provide a meal break, our full courses often take less time than other training sites.

Skills sessions are for students who have already completed the online AHA HeartCode class. If you have not already completed the online HeartCode and would like to do this online blended-learning option instead of a full class, you may purchase our AHA HeartCode Gold, which includes the online course and the one-hour skills practice and testing session ("skills session").

We recommend the full, in-person class to everyone. Here's why:

Students spend up to 4 hours on the online HeartCode BLS class and up to 12 hours on the online HeartCode ACLS or PALS class (average is 6-8). Our full courses always takes less time than HeartCode BLS+Skills Session options. Purchasing a HeartCode+Skills Session combo anywhere also costs more than our full classes. Doing combination HeartCode ACLS (or PALS) + HeartCode BLS + 2 skills sessions is significantly more time consuming and expensive than our in-person ACLS+BLS or PALS+BLS combos, which cost only $175 and take only 7 hours (versus 13 hours for HeartCode+Skills Session). If you have already paid for one of our skills sessions and would like to switch to a full class, visit our switch to AHA full class page.

You are only eligible to reschedule or cancel your registration if it is at least 24 hours prior to your course start time. By rescheduling or cancelling last minute, you prevent another student from taking the class in addition to wasting training site resources. Students will not be allowed to reschedule or cancel with a refund unless it is at least one day prior to class start time. If it is less than 24 hours from your class time, you may begin the enrollment process from the beginning and purchase another class on our website.

If you would like to reschedule your course and your course start time is more than 24 hours away, please email help(at) with your name (as written on registration) and what day you would like to reschedule to, and you will be emailed the link to pay the 30% rescheduling fee that was stated at checkout, in your AHA registration email, and in your email receipt.

If you would like to cancel your course and your course start time is more than 24 hours away, please email help(at) with your name (as written on registration) and you will be refunded your course fees less the 30% rescheduling fee that was stated at checkout, in your AHA registration email, and in your email receipt.

Class times vary based on a number of factors, including amount of students enrolled, knowledge level of the students, and how long you take on your written exam. A BLS class may take 2-4 hours, and an ACLS or PALS class may take 5-8 hours. If you add BLS to an ACLS or PALS class, that will add 30 minutes to your total class time.

To add BLS to an ACLS or PALS class, just click the "Add BLS to ACLS/PALS Full class" button at the top of either the ACLS or PALS page. This will extend your ACLS or PALS course by 30 minutes. You will still begin class at the same start time, as the added BLS portion will be added to the end of class, not the beginning.

ACLS and PALS are both long classes, so they cannot be combined on the same day.

Absolutely! The best way to do multiple HeartCode classes is to purchase our AHA HeartCode Gold combo courses, which save you time and money, and also allow for free unlimited rescheduling of your skills session. If you have already done the online HeartCode and just need the skills session, just add all the skills sessions to your cart and pay, and we will perform your skills sessions at the same time (you will notice the different skills sessions we offer are posted for the same time dates and time frames).

Please note that PALS skills sessions are currently only offered at our 1406 W Taylor St location. If you intend to do PALS skills at the same time as your other skills sessions, you will need to purchase all the skills sessions for the 1406 W Taylor St location.

AHA emphasizes the importance of students owning Provider Manuals for their courses. If you do not arrive with a paper Provider Manual to class, we assume you have purchased the correct eBook from the AHA eBooks page (we do not force students to open their device and show us an eBook). If you have purchased your course in advance and you would like a paper provider manual, you can purchase one online through WorldPoint, Laerdal, or Channing Bete.

When a student purchases an advanced course (ACLS or PALS), we email them the Chicago Heart Training algorithms for that course, which they can use to study for the course. We also send a link to the required pre-course assessment, which is an additional tool to help you prepare for class.

Absolutely! Simply add the course(s) to your cart, check out, and then send the name and email address of any additional student to us at help(at) They will then receive an email from AHA with a confirmation of the course type, course date, and course time, and will also receive reminders two and six days before class.

The term "BLS for Healthcare Providers" was discontinued by AHA in 2015, and the name of the class and certification was changed to simply "BLS" (Basic Life Support). If your school or workplace told you to get a "BLS for Healthcare Providers" certification, please encourage them to update their terminology to "BLS." We are also happy to contact them for you and make that suggestion.

There is no such thing as a "BLS for Non-healthcare Providers" class. Instead, the AHA course that is designed for laypersons is called "HeartSaver CPR." That being said, anyone can take a BLS course. Even though it includes more information than the HeartSaver class, there are no pre-requisites for BLS enrollment.

You will receive your certification immediately after class. Not providing a certification immediately after class is a questionable practice, and we discourage students from attending courses at any training site that engages in such practices.

While students who wait until the last minute to pay may lose their spot in a class, you do not need to worry about losing your spot for a class several months from now. Classes typically fill up in the week before class (but sometimes fill up 9-12 days before class day).

We typically post two months of classes at a time, so please check back soon if you do not see a payment link for your class at the moment.

The money you paid for the online HeartCode BLS went to AHA corporate in Dallas. We did not receive a penny of it. The actual human beings who will be performing your skills check must also collect some money, in order for us to eat and provide shelter for ourselves. To pay for your skills session, click "sign up" above, and then scroll to the bottom of the ACLS, BLS, or PALS page to find the skills sessions.

We understand the world of AHA training can be confusing for people who are new to it, especially when your school or employer has terrified you by claiming it's possible you may wind up in a fake CPR class and receive a fake certification. We are an official AHA Training Site, and yes all our cards are official AHA certifications. We wrote an entire blog post about fraudulent AHA classes, which you can read to find out more about how to avoid such classes:

AHA BLS fulfills every CPR requirement in the country. It is a robust course that includes CPR for adults, children, and infants, AED use, airway and breathing information, and first aid info like how to clear choking. It fulfills the CPR requirement for nurses, child care providers, physical therapists, teachers, EMS personnel, and everyone else.

No, no, and no. You must pay on our website at least one day prior to class day. Click sign up at the top of the page to find a class and pay.

Due to the low demand for PALS in the Chicago area, we do not offer PALS as often as we do ACLS and BLS. Nonetheless, we are working hard to improve our Chicago PALS offerings, and currently offer it at least twice a month, with different days/times to provide flexibilty to students.

Once you pay for your course, yes, we will email you resources to prepare.

We're not big on gimmicks, and the idea of a "renewal class" is a gimmick employed by many training sites. In actuality, the AHA requires that every student watch all the course videos and undergo testing (including skills-based testing) every two years - which can be done via an online hybrid course (HeartCode) with skills session, or a full, in-person class. Since we perform extremely time-efficient classes and do not start class late or give a lunch break, our classes take less time regardless of whether you are renewing or taking the class for the first time.

You may visit our BLS Instructor course page or ACLS Instructor course page to see if you qualify to become an Instructor. We update requirements from time to time.

While we do have Senior Training Center Faculty and all TC privileges, we are currently not facilitating transfers, card sales, or alignments/affiliations. Please check back next year.

Generally, no. In special cases we may perform on-site classes for certain nonprofits or schools located on Chicago's west or south sides. If you think you may qualify, you can email us at help(at)

AHA does not permit students who arrive late to class to obtain certification. You will not receive a refund if you arrive late to class and will have to start the registration process over from the beginning.

Many AHA students are clinical workers who must maintain good health to protect the patients they serve. Thus, CHT has a zero-tolerance policy for students who arrive to class with flu-like or upper respiratory symptoms. Please reschedule your class at least 24 hours prior to its start time if you are not feeling well. Students who arrive sick to class will be asked to leave, and they will not be refunded.

Being sick does not allow you to cancel or reschedule your class within 24 hours of class time and receive a refund. Please do not wait until the last minute to make registration changes.

Chicago Heart Training is a nonprofit that was designed to earn revenue for medical development projects in the Caribbean and Africa. You can view a video of our 2017 outreach work in the Caribbean. We are currently transitioning most of our outreach work to Africa.

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