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Becoming an Instructor

American Red Cross Training Services instructors are an elite group of professionals who teach valuable lifesaving skills to an average of more than 9 million people each year in businesses, schools, and communities. 

To become an instructor, candidates must:
  • Meet all prerequisite requirements to participate in an instructor course for the program area (see the course fact sheets below for requirements).

  • Successfully complete the instructor course to earn certification.

  • Instructor courses are offered in a blended learning format, including an online introduction to the program area and an in-person course. Instructor candidates must complete the online introduction course prior to attending the in-person portion of the course.

  • Once certified, an instructor must become affiliated with or become a Licensed Training Provider with a signed agreement to teach, to report Red Cross courses taught, and to issues certificates. (Note: instructors can also be employees or volunteers with the Red Cross. For more information on becoming an employee or volunteering, go to

  • Certified instructors, who are not affiliated, are not permitted to teach Red Cross courses. 


Instructor certifications are valid for 2 years. Instructors may also be required to maintain basic level (provider) certification as required in the program area. 


Instructor certification renewal is simple. Most instructors are required to complete an online recertification course. In addition, instructors must also teach a minimum number of courses dependent on program area.  Lifeguarding instructors, however are required to complete s an in-person renewal course.

Instructor Courses



Instructor Bridge Courses are available for qualified candidates certified with equivalent training organizations who wish to become Red Cross Instructors in the programs listed below



Become an Instructor Trainer


Instructor Trainers are individuals certified to teach Red Cross instructor courses and to certify new Red Cross instructors. Instructor Trainer Academies are training courses where instructor trainer candidates achieve certification by participating in an intensive multiday program led by a Red Cross Instructor Trainer Educator. Instructor Trainer Academies are available for the First Aid/CPR/AED, Lifeguarding and Water Safety programs. 


Online options are available for current Red Cross instructor trainers who wish to teach Emergency Medical Response, Basic Life Support, and select Healthcare program courses. Online options are also available for Instructor Trainers from other organizations who are crossing over to teach Red Cross programs.


To train as an instructor trainer, potential candidates must meet the specific qualifications and complete an online application.  Contact your local sales representative or the Training Support Center by clicking on the Questions navigation tab and selecting Create a Support Case.


Instructor Trainer Bridge Courses are available for qualified candidates certified with equivalent training organizations who wish to become Red Cross Instructor Trainers in the programs below. 


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