CPR / First Aid

The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 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 in person by an authorized instructor. 

Below is the list of CPR and First Aid Certifying Entities currently accepted by DIDD: 
(note: official training sites who train under Certifying Entity MUST use the Certifying Entity's Official Cards/Certificates. Homemade certificates will not be accepted)

  • American Health and Safety Council 
  • American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) 
  • American Heart Association (AHA) - including AHA Heartsaver for K-12 Schools 
  • American Heart Saver 
  • American Red Cross (ARC) 
  • CPR Test Center
  • Ellis Associates Inc (EA)
  • Emergency Care & Safety Institute (ECSI) 
  • EMS Safety Services 
  • Every Second Counts, CPR (AHA provider)
  • First Responder 
  • First Response Safety Training
  • Training Health and Safety Institute (HSI) 
  • Life Aid Medical and Heart Rhythm CPR Training 
  • Medic First 
  • MTN Provider Certificates/Cards 
  • Military Training Network
  • Cardiac & Trauma Life Support 
  • Nashville First Aid and CPR 
  • National Safety Council (NSC) 
  • NCS & Walden Security  
  • Tennessee Department of Children's Services and Harmony Family Center 
  • ProCPR by ProTrainings
  • Waterdogs Scuba & Safety 

All classes must be completed with hands-on skills training.  Curriculum and training materials must follow current AHA guidelines.  Web-based courses or on-line trainings are NOT accepted unless it includes in person hands on skills test showing competency administered by a certified trainer. 

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

Karen Chambers
Training Coordinator II
DIDD Staff and Provider Development

Additional Information

DIDD Requirements:

  • DIDD will only accept what is noted on the official certification card(s) as proof of completion.
  • 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. If the staff have access to an AED, then this certification should be completed. 
  • Certification. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 accept classroom and Blended training, that includes in person hands on Skills testing showing competency administered by a certified trainer. 
    • DIDD will not accept web-based CPR and First Aid training without the in person hands-on skills test showing competency 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, 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.