The Great Recert. Debate

A big debate in the health and safety training realm is whether CPR certifications should last for two years or just one. Some of our competitors offer CPR certifications that last for two years, which makes perfect economical sense as a client has to pay to take a class half as often. Everyone likes convenience.

Convenience is a huge priority at OTC Health and Safety. We offer an incredibly flexible program with a variety of modules and delivery methods as evidence of that. We constantly strive to make the information-gathering, scheduling and training processes as easy as we can for every client we have. Yet at OTC, our CPR certifications expire every year.


This is one of the few instances in my time here with OTC that I see something take a higher priority than convenience. That higher priority is quality.

I recently read a document citing various studies suggesting that students’ retention of skills begins to deteriorate as quickly as two weeks after the training session, and declines progressively thereafter.

In fact, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is currently encouraging employers to have those trained in the use of CPR go through refresher courses every 6 months. I would love to see more of that, because it would mean more people correctly using their skills; however, it would be impractical for the Red Cross or any other organization to offer certifications that last only 6 months.

In light of these findings, though, OTC would be hard pressed to offer 2-year CPR certifications in good confidence. Requiring annual certification is, perhaps, a perfect middle ground.

I’m glad to be working for an organization willing to sacrifice convenience to insist on excellence.

Here’s to quality!