ACLS Current Guidelines

ACLS Recertification


Our online ACLS Certification and ACLS Recertification courses are based on the most recent ACLS guidelines update. We are committed to providing low-cost online ACLS courses without sacrificing quality or convenience. Sign up now and get your up-to-date ACLS training completed by the end of the day!


The Efficient, Affordable Way to Certify

The eMedCert Online ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) Recertification course is built specifically for the demanding lifestyle required of 21st-century medical students and healthcare professionals. Our 100% online course gives you control of your ACLS Certification – take it when you want, where you want, and at your own pace. Complete your course with efficiency from your desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

Credible and Affordable ACLS Certification

Our Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) training is accredited through our partnership with the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM) and also by the California Board of Registered Nursing (CA BRN). We provide AMA, ANCC, ACPE, and ADA continuing education credits, redeemable upon completion of the ACLS Recertification course.

eMedCert and our ACLS material undergo routine audits by regulatory organizations and 3rd-party clinical teams. Our internal medical team continuously works to ensure compliance, accuracy, and integrity.


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Complete your registration and begin reviewing your material in less than two minutes. Certification has never been this easy!

Online ACLS Recertification Details

Our ACLS Recertification course is designed to deliver the best online certification experience that can accompany your busy schedule.

  • Start When Ready -- No Time Limit -- Available 24/7
  • Finish in a Single Sitting or Save Your Progress and Return Later
  • Achieve a Passing Score –– 80% or Higher (32 Correct / 40 Total Questions)
  • Instant Exam Results & Unlimited Exam Retakes
  • No On-Site Skills Check Required
  • Digital ACLS Provider Card Available Immediately for Download
  • 4.0 AMA, ANCC, ACPE or ADA CME Credits Available

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ACLS Current Guidelines

Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) is a training and certification building on the foundation of basic life support skills with an emphasis on continuous, high-quality CPR. The ACLS current guidelines are set by the American Heart Association (AHA) and are typically updated every five years. The most recent ACLS guidelines were updated in 2020, and new ACLS guidelines will be released when necessary.

With ACLS certification, healthcare professionals often use an electrocardiogram to interpret a patient’s heart rhythm. The healthcare professional’s interpretation of the heart rhythm establishes the base for treatment options. Healthcare professionals with ACLS training must have the skills and knowledge to insert an IV or IO line for fluids and medications and be able to place advanced airways when needed. In addition, they must have a thorough understanding of the ACLS algorithms and ACLS medications available that may be used to treat various rhythms and conditions they may encounter when treating a patient. The latest ACLS guidelines will have the most up-to-date information, including any changes in how to treat different algorithms. When new ACLS guidelines are set, it is imperative that healthcare providers with ACLS certification review all changes made in the advanced life support guidelines.

ACLS certification typically lasts for two years before requiring an ACLS renewal. ACLS online certification courses are an excellent way to stay current with new ACLS guidelines and maintain certification. Online providers such as eMedCert offer simple, affordable, and transparent certification and recertification courses based on the most recent ACLS guidelines. ACLS recertification is a requirement for many healthcare professionals to ensure they have all the current information on the latest CPR and ACLS guidelines. Resuscitation science and best practices evolve, and these continual changes make it critical for those administering this life-saving treatment to remain up-to-date with changes outlined in the most recent ACLS guidelines.

ACLS Changes

In 2020 the American Heart Association met to review ACLS guidelines and provide an ACLS update. The ACLS 2020 update establishes several differences when comparing the AHA’s ACLS 2015 vs 2020 Guidelines, and healthcare providers can even keep an eye out for an ACLS updates 2022 version. The guidelines were first published by the American Heart Association in 1974. Since that time, ACLS updates were published in the following years: 1980, 1986, 1992, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2020.

The American Heart Association bases ACLS changes on new scientific findings and ongoing research in resuscitation science. Following some significant changes in 2010 - 2015 ACLS guidelines about how to deliver resuscitation, the 2015 ACLS update focused more on the critical aspect of fast action, teamwork, and proper training. It introduced an official guideline about using social media and mobile technology to improve chances of survival. Quick action is the most critical life-saving factor when helping someone experiencing cardiac arrest. Including guidelines for using technology to expedite emergency responders' ability to arrive on the scene is now an official part of ACLS guidelines. Several other important ACLS updates involving technology include untrained bystanders and dispatchers. Untrained bystanders often quickly call 911. Dispatchers should direct bystanders to place the call on the speaker so they can listen and help. Dispatchers must know how to help bystanders check for breathing and to listen and recognize cardiac arrest. Therefore, dispatchers must be knowledgeable of these updated ACLS best practices.

As mentioned earlier, individuals required to be ACLS certified are also required to renew ACLS certifications every 2 years. eMedCert offers fully up-to-date online ACLS, PALS, and BLS courses that adhere to the most recent guidelines. Many professions may require certification and recertification in ACLS, such as nurses, firefighters, police officers, dentists, doctors, teachers, lifeguards, and more. An online ACLS certification program is an excellent option for busy professionals who want to work at their own pace while in the comfort of their homes.

ACLS Treatment Guidelines

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is a set of procedures and techniques used to treat life-threatening conditions such as cardiac arrest, stroke, shock, or trauma. ACLS treatment guidelines are arranged into algorithms used as a set of instructions to improve treatment speed, effectiveness, and outcomes with the goal of stabilization for the patient. ACLS saves lives but generally does not reverse or cure underlying conditions and is not successful in every situation. ACLS teaches healthcare professionals and other professionals that require certification in the advanced interventional protocols and algorithms for treating cardiac arrest emergencies. ACLS protocols 2021 and additional ACLS guideline updates are established through collaborative clinical research that is reviewed and published by the AHA.

A crucial aspect of ACLS training and treatment guidelines is understanding the major algorithms for various patient and provider scenarios.

Some of these ACLS algorithms include:

  • Adult BLS Algorithm
  • Adult Cardiac arrest algorithm
  • Immediate Post-cardiac Arrest Care Algorithm
  • Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) Algorithm
  • Adult Bradycardia Algorithm
  • Adult Tachycardia Algorithm
  • Opioid-Associated Life-Threatening Emergency Algorithm
  • Adult Suspected Stroke Algorithm
  • Cardiac Arrest in Pregnancy Algorithm
  • EMS Acute Stroke Routing Algorithm

In addition to the algorithms, one should also be familiar with the ACLS rhythms. A common heart rhythm in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is ventricular fibrillation. V-fib treatment ACLS is one of the most important aspects of adult resuscitation. It includes early and effective CPR and the application of oxygen and defibrillator placement. Another one commonly encountered, especially in adults over 65 and people who regularly exercise, is bradycardia. It is a heart rhythm where the heart beats slowly (under 60 beats per minute in adults). Bradycardia treatment ACLS starts with identification. The condition presents itself in several ways, including sinus bradycardia and various degrees of AV heart blocks. In a case involving bradycardia, ACLS providers must observe and assess the patient carefully to determine if the condition is life-threatening and how to proceed with treatment. Official guidelines provided by the AHA and included in ACLS Certification help healthcare providers know how to react quickly when presented with life-threatening cardiovascular emergencies.

ACLS Certification

ACLS certification is mandatory for many healthcare professions and critical for communities. Healthcare professionals often must participate in or direct the treatment of cardiac arrest or various other cardiovascular emergencies. It is also a required certification for emergency response personnel. To obtain an ACLS certification, it is not necessary to have a current BLS certification. However, anyone seeking ACLS certification is expected to be knowledgeable and proficient in BLS skills.

Although BLS is not required, there are several prerequisites for ACLS training. Some requirements include basic CPR knowledge, AED usage, and recognizing various heart rhythms. In addition, it is essential to find a certification program that is recognized by your employer. Many people seeking ACLS certification are already busy professionals and may prefer an online advanced life support course that offers a level of flexibility and convenience that in-person courses cannot match. Thankfully, online platforms for obtaining ACLS certification and ACLS recertification are growing in popularity, and more places of employment are accepting an online ACLS certificate. That having been said, it is essential to check whether or not your employer accepts an online ACLS course or not before signing up.

ACLS certification is vital for healthcare professionals and anyone likely to be near people at risk of cardiovascular emergencies. ACLS certification courses cover BLS skills such as effective chest compressions, AED use, and bag-mask devices. In addition, courses cover the recognition and management of cardiac and respiratory arrest and conditions such as symptomatic bradycardia, tachycardia, and more. ACLS algorithms and protocols are a major part of ACLS certification testing.

ACLS online courses are essentially an extension of BLS, offering a more advanced and sophisticated course that builds upon the basic life-saving fundamentals. There are many benefits to obtaining ACLS certification and recertification online. Online courses are more compatible with busy schedules and also allow you to work at your own pace, focusing more on material that is more challenging for you. Overall, ACLS certification online courses, such as those offered by eMedCert, have more benefits for busy professionals than traditional in-person classes. Check out eMedCert today for more information about courses.

Find ACLS Course

There are many online ACLS courses available today. Finding the right one can save you time, money, and unnecessary headaches. Many busy professionals prefer the option of online courses due to their convenience. The demand for certification options has increased due to the influx of medical care workers. Technological advancements mixed with the high demand for workers with proper certification have helped make online courses more widely available and accepted by employers. It is easy to find an ACLS course online; however, determining if an online ACLS course is legitimate may take time and effort.

Factors to consider when choosing an online ACLS certification course include:

  • Price
  • Acceptance: in the US and abroad
  • Compliance with (not accredited by) AHA guidelines
  • Customer support
  • Continuing education credits
  • ACLS Review material
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 access
  • No time restrictions
  • Reviews/Testimonials

It is important to understand that there are no 100% online courses that are accredited by the AHA. However, online courses are still a viable option for many healthcare professionals. Just make sure that your provider’s ACLS course is evidence-based, up-to-date with all the latest AHA guidelines, and compliant with current Joint Commission JCAHO standards - like all eMedCert’s courses are.

Some employers require AHA ACLS Certification that includes an in-person, hands-on practical skills assessment; however, many employers do accept online ACLS certification without an in-person assessment. Therefore, when choosing an ACLS online course, it is essential to ensure the course is accepted by your particular employer. As you proceed with an online course, another vital consideration includes a money-back or satisfaction guarantee offering reimbursement if your employer does not accept the course.