Many people have questions when they are considering becoming a Canadian Red Cross First Aid and CPR / AED instructor.
We have attempted to answer some of these questions below:
- How much experience do I need to become a first aid instructor?
- What can I do to prepare for my upcoming Canadian Red Cross First Aid and CPR / AED instructor course?
- Who will teach my instructor school?
- What are the four presentations I’ll have to do during the instructor school?
- I have completed my instructor course, and my IT said I need to do a co-teach. Does this mean I did poorly in the instructor course?
- What can I do to prepare for my co-teach
- When I have completed the Canadian Red Cross First Aid instructor development process what courses will I be able to teach?
- I used to be a Canadian Red Cross first aid instructor, but my certification has lapsed. Which instructor course should I take to get my certification back
- I have an aquatics background as an NLS lifeguard and a Canadian Red Cross Water Safety Instructor (WSI). I would like to teach Canadian Red Cross first aid and CPR courses. Which instructor course should I take
- Where do you conduct your Canadian Red Cross First Aid and CPR instructor schools, Red Cross First Aid and CPR instructor transfer courses, and Red Cross First Aid and CPR instructor recert courses?
- How do I register for a Canadian Red Cross First Aid and CPR instructor course, Red Cross First Aid and CPR instructor transfer course, or Red Cross First Aid and CPR recert course?
- I’m interested in furthering my first aid training, to become a stronger instructor. What course would be best to take?
The pre-requisites to become a new first aid instructor are:
- be at least 18 years old
- hold a valid Standard First Aid with CPR-HCP certificate
The Canadian Red Cross First Aid and CPR / AED instructor course will then give you the skills to confidently teach. Having said that, there are many ways you can gain experience both medically and instructionally.
Medically you can take advanced first aid courses to strengthen your knowledge of first aid. The Canadian Red Cross offers Wilderness First Aid courses, First Responder courses, and even full Emergency Medical Responder courses. The more first aid training you can get the stronger your background will be.
Instructionally, you can gain experience by furthering your adult education training and by auditing or co-teaching with experienced first aid instructors. The Vancouver Community College School of Instruction has excellent adult education courses, many of which can be taken online. Their website is:
The very first thing you can do is to pick up your instructor course materials as soon as possible! Then….
KNOW YOUR SKILLS! The Canadian Red Cross First Aid and CPR / AED instructor course begins with a skills testing session, to ensure that your basic life support and first aid skills are at the level they should be as an instructor. In your course materials you will have two student manuals (the CPR/AED manual and the First Aid manual), plus you will have video demonstrations of each skill on the DVD. Practice, practice, and practice until your skills are as close to perfect as possible.
Also familiarize yourself with all of the content. Your course materials include the two manuals and the DVD mentioned above, plus your instructor guide. The more familiar you can get with these materials the better off you will be. These also means take the time to be clear on RED CROSS standards. Many people come into Red Cross instructor courses with a background in WorkSafe BC Occupational First Aid, St. John Ambulance first aid, etc and it is important to know the little differences, so when you are teaching a Red Cross course you are teaching Red Cross content.
Finally, if you are given your teaching presentation topics ahead of time start working on them. You will learn adult education principles during your instructor course and will end up modifying your presentations to incorporate new concepts you are learning, but again, the more prepared you can be the better!
Your instructor school will be taught by a Canadian Red Cross First Aid Instructor Trainer, (IT) or a Canadian Red Cross First Aid Master Instructor Trainer (MIT).
Instructor trainers are veteran Red Cross first aid instructors who have taken additional training to teach instructor schools. Master instructor trainers are very experienced ITs who act in a leadership role within the Canadian Red Cross first aid program.
The first presentation is a short 3 minute “mini topic”. An example of this type of presentation might be “how to use an epi-pen”. Consider this presentation to be a short warm up to teaching in front of a group.
The second presentation is a knowledge presentation, approximately 10 minutes in length. An example of this type of presentation is a lecture on Angina and Heart Attack. This presentation is designed to provide you with an opportunity to teach a cognitive topic to a class of students.
The third presentation is a skill presentation. An example of this type of presentation of presentation would be teaching one rescuer adult CPR with the AED. During this presentation the instructor candidate will use the 4D teaching methodology to teach a pyschomotor skill to a class of students.
The final presentation is a team teach designed to provide the instructor candidate with an opportunity to teach with another instructor.
You will be assigned your presentation topics with sufficient time to adequately prepare your lessons, and your presentations will be discussed during the instructor school.
Not at all!
The co-teach is a valuable part of the instructor development process. It allows you to teach in a classroom environment under the supervision of an experienced Canadian Red Cross first aid instructor. This practicum environment allows you to “find your feet” as an instructor, while having someone there with you to assist you as required. It is a learning opportunity, and not punitive.
The first thing is to arrange a co-teach with a Canadian Red Cross first aid instructor who meets the approval of your IT or MIT. The co-teach is usually done on a Standard First Aid course, however your IT or MIT may allow for other courses to be used.
Next, liaison with your supervising instructor to discuss your upcoming course, what sections you will be teaching, what sections you will be observing, etc.
Develop lesson plans for each section you will be teaching, and share these with your supervising instructor. Incorporate any feedback they may have. Practice your skills and presentations.
Finally, arrive early the day the course is starting and fully assist with the pre course activities.
That depends on how long ago your instructor certification expired.
The 2011 Canadian Red Cross First Aid & CPR National Program Standards states:
- If your certification has expired within the last 2 years you can attend a Canadian Red Cross First Aid Instructor Recertification (recert) course. The IT or MIT may require you to complete a co-teach also.
- If your certification expired more than 2 years ago, but less than 5 years ago, you can attend a Canadian Red Cross First Aid Instructor Transfer course. The IT or MIT may require you to complete a co-teach also.
- If your certification expired more than 5 years ago you must complete a full Canadian Red Cross First Aid Instructor course again. The IT or MIT may require you to complete a co-teach also.
I have an aquatics background as an NLS lifeguard and a Canadian Red Cross Water Safety Instructor (WSI). I would like to teach Canadian Red Cross first aid and CPR courses. Which instructor course should I take?
Your Water Safety Instructor (WSI) certification would qualify you for the Canadian Red Cross First Aid and CPR / AED instructor transfer course. You would also need to be at least 18 years of age, and possess a current Standard First Aid with CPR-HCP certificate.
Priority Care First Aid conducts our Red Cross First Aid and CPR instructor courses, instructor transfer courses, and instructor recert courses throughout the Greater Vancouver area (Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Langley, Cloverdale, Surrey, White Rock, Delta, Richmond, North Vancouver, West Vancouver) and the Fraser Valley (Mission, Aldergrove, Abbotsford, Chilliwack).
If you know the course you would like to register for you may register through our main website: www.prioritycare.ca
I’m interested in furthering my first aid training, to become a stronger instructor. What course would be best to take?
We highly recommend that people take the Canadian Red Cross First Responder course.
This course is also known in British Columbia as the First Responder level 3 course (with spinal and AED endorsements).
The Red Cross First Responder course offers an excellent knowledge base to draw from when teaching the Red Cross first aid program.
More information on our Red Cross First Responder level 3 courses in the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley area can be found here:
If you have already taken this course, or want an even higher level of education, we recommend the Emergency Medical Responder course: