The AHA does not require a BLS Provider card for entry into an AHA ACLS or PALS Course; however, it is expected that students taking an ACLS course are proficient in the BLS skills. For that reason, most institutions make the requirement of the provider having a current BLS card prior to going into class. This saves valuable classroom time for AHA Instructors since it should eliminate having to remediate students to the required level of proficiency. Furthermore, many regulatory agencies require a BLS Provider card.
Additionally, in a BLS Provider Course, students are taught how to do the skills of CPR and the AED incrementally. In an ACLS course, students are expected to be able to perform the skills already, with only a minimal amount of time allotted for practice prior to testing.