CPR Mandate: What You Need to Know

Confused by the new CPR requirements? Thanks to Nick Slotterback of PDE for setting the record straight!

According to Act 7 students in 9-12th grade must be taught hands-only CPR as well as the use of the Automated External Defibrillator.  PDE will be working on a resource guide of suggested curriculums and programs schools can choose to implement.  According to the PA Academic Standards, CPR standards are required for the 9th and 12th-grade benchmarks.  It is up to the school entity to decide when they would want to present this curriculum to their students.  Best practice would be in 9th grade and 11th grade since if students are choosing to certified for this training, it generally holds for two years.  However, it is up to the schools to make this decision.  Here is a breakdown of Act 7:

 Act 7 requires:

  1. CPR and AED education provided to students in grades 9-12
  2. Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education require knowledge about CPR in benchmark year 9 and 12
  3. Local schools decide when the course is taught

The curriculum should include:

  1. Compilation of recommended guidelines and educational materials from organizations with expertise in CPR and emergency care
  2. Incorporate psychomotor skills training, including hands-only CPR technique
  3. Include information on the purpose of an automated external defibrillator.

 School entities may:

  1. Utilize the model curriculum developed under subsections OR develop the school entity's own curriculum in accordance with academic standards and consistent with guidelines
  2. Utilize appropriate publicly or privately available materials, personnel and other resources in developing and implementing this instruction


A teacher, instructor or community volunteer, with the participation of a professional educator with a Pennsylvania certification, including a professional educator certified in physical education or health education or a school nurse, may provide, facilitate or oversee the instruction offered by a school entity under this section and need not be a certified CPR trainer.

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