When choosing an online medical certification provider, knowing precisely what you should be looking for can help you make a more informed decision. It’s equally important, however, to have a good idea of what not to look for.
As with any digital service, the online medical certification industry has its fair share of dishonest, untrustworthy and downright fraudulent providers, many of whom have become incredibly adept at hiding their true intent from unsuspecting customers.
The good news is that most of these scams can be detected and avoided with some investigative work. Knowing what red flags and warning signs to watch for will make you a much savvier student, saving time, money and aggravation.
5 Things About Online Medical Certification
Before moving forward and signing up for any online medical certification course, use the following guidelines to help determine which options are legitimate and which ones to steer clear of altogether.
#1. Avoid providers with websites that are not secure
To sign up for an online medical certification course, you must provide specific personal details, including your contact and financial information.
In a world where hackers are becoming savvier by the day, you must do your due diligence to ensure that the website of the provider you choose is secure enough to keep your confidential information safe.
There are several ways to verify whether a website is secure. First, you can check the security status at the top, near the site’s URL.
Most Internet browsers signify the security level of a website by using the color green, whether it’s the color of the text, a green dot or a green padlock icon.
The image below was captured using Firefox.
Related: Why Good Residency Programs Are Critical
You can also verify web security by checking the site’s connection type. Websites with URLs that start with “HTTPS” tend to be more secure than those that feature only “HTTP.” You can see in the screenshot above that ProMed Certifications uses a particular connection type.
A third way to assess a website’s security is by checking its Safe Browsing Status using Google’s Transparency Report. Type in the URL of the site in question, click enter, and the tool will return its report. (For example, see our status in the screenshot below.)
#2. Avoid providers that don’t offer a contact method
You may never actually need to speak to a natural person when studying and testing for your online medical certification, but what if you do? What if you hit a snag, have a pressing question or need technical support?
Before you choose a provider, make sure they offer a way to get in touch with them if you need to do so in the future. Contact information should be present and easy to find on the website.
If there isn’t anything readily available, you’ve found yourself a scammer. These companies have little interest in helping students obtain their required medical certifications.
They are just looking for a quick, easy way to make money. Once you’ve paid up, you’ll have no way to reach out and get assistance if you run into any issues, and you could quickly end up losing your money with nothing to show for it at the end of the day. No contact info = no go.
#3. Avoid providers that claim to offer AHA-accredited courses that are 100% online
There’s no such thing as an online medical certification that is both AHA-accredited AND available entirely online. This is because the American Heart Association does not accredit online providers.
That being said, legitimate online courses are still entirely acceptable ways to obtain your required medical certification and recertifications – provided that they operate in line with AHA standards.
If you come upon a provider touting AHA accreditation, you’ve undoubtedly stumbled upon a fraud. And if they’re lying about something as significant as that, what else are they being untruthful about?
If you want to get your ACLS, BLS, PALS or CPR certification online, be sure to do your homework and look for providers (like ProMed Certifications) that offer courses that follow AHA guidelines and are honest and upfront about their credentials.
#4. Avoid providers that don’t have adequate reviews
Every online medical provider on the market will say they’re the best. That’s what marketing is all about. The actual proof, however, lies in the reviews left by other customers who have already used the service.
If you can’t find any reviews, or the ones you can see are either hostile or questionable in terms of their legitimacy, you’re probably better off crossing that one off the list.
To get the most out of your online medical certification experience, look for a provider that is well-established and isn’t afraid to share honest reviews from real former students. How can you tell if the reviews are legitimate?
If most of them are five stars, but some aren’t, it’s probably the real deal. After all, you can’t please everyone. Take the time to read through the comments from others to see if the provider you’re considering is worth pursuing.
Also, look for reviews collected from third-party studies containing companies like Shopper Approved or Trust Pilot. This ensures the company is not highlighting its positive reviews and hiding their negative ones.
#5. Go with your gut
Last but most certainly not least, trust your instincts. If you’re visiting a provider’s website and you’re just not getting a good feeling about it, chances are there’s a good reason for that – even if it’s not on this list.
Maybe the site looks unprofessional or poorly constructed. Perhaps you notice a lot of spelling or grammatical errors in the copy. If it seems like a red flag, it probably is. With so many legitimate options, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Why roll the dice and take a risk when you don’t have to?
At ProMed Certifications, we respect the fact that there are many choices available when choosing an online medical certification provider.
We offer exceptional-quality coursework developed by actual medical professionals at an affordable price. Best of all, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee. What do you have to lose? Join the hundreds of other satisfied customers and sign up today!