What is the difference between the two? Not much except for the name. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a form of basic life support. Basic life support is what cardiopulmonary resuscitation is. Both courses require the same amount of time and cover almost identical content.
What about the Certification
No Canadian provincial body approves stand-alone CPR or basic life support courses. Only three courses, which include CPR, are approved by the provincial body’s in Canada. Those courses are advanced, emergency and standard first aid (names may vary slightly but it’s basically the 8 hour course, 16 hour course and 80 hour course). All of them include CPR and AED training.
It’s All in the Name
What it really boils down to is the name. They are the same, non-accredited course that teach participants the same ILCOR standards of CPR and AED usage. Your employer might ask you to take on course or the other but not expect the courses to vary much.
Where Did this All Come From
When the Heart and Stroke Foundation came to Canada, primarily from the US, the program focused on basic life support. That has taken a hold to all other providers that now offer basic life support instead of calling the program CPR. Go figure. Same course different name.