When it comes to choosing an online medical certification provider, knowing exactly 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 well.
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, with a little bit of investigative work, most of these scams can be detected and avoided.
Knowing what red flags and warning signs to watch for will make you a much savvier student, saving you time, money and aggravation in the process. 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.
Avoid providers with websites that are not secure.
In order to sign up for an online medical certification course, you will need to supply certain personal details about yourself, including your contact and financial information. In a world where hackers are becoming savvier by the day, it’s imperative that you 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 a number of 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.
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 aforementioned screenshot that ProMed Certifications uses a secure connection type.
A third way to assess a website’s security is by checking its Safe Browsing Status using Google’s Transparency Report. Simply type in the URL of the site in question, click enter and the tool will return its report. (As an example, you can see our status in the screenshot below.)
Avoid providers that don’t offer a contact method.
You may never actually need to speak to a real 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 in the event that 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, chances are you’ve found yourself a scammer. These companies have little interest in actually helping students obtain their required medical certifications. They are just looking for a quick, easy way to make some 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 easily end up losing your money with nothing to show for it at the end of the day. No contact info = no go.
Avoid providers that claim to offer AHA-accredited courses that are 100% online.
The fact is, there’s no such thing as an online medical certification that is both AHA-accredited AND available entirely online. The reason for this is that the American Heart Association simply does not accredit online providers. That being said, legitimate online courses are still completely 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 that is 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.
Avoid providers that don’t have adequate reviews.
Every online medical provider on the market is going to say they’re the best. That’s what marketing is all about. The real 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 find are either negative 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 the majority of them are five stars, but some of them 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 that are collected from third party review collecting companies like Shopper Approved or Trust Pilot. This ensures the company is not highlighting their positive reviews and hiding their negative ones.
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 out there, 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 a lot of choices available when it comes to choosing an online medical certification provider. We offer exceptional-quality coursework, developed by real 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!