Frequently asked questions about Basic Life Support (BLS)
For general questions about certifications, payments, etc. See our comprehensive FAQ page.
What is Basic Life Support?
Basic Life Support (BLS) is the foundation for saving lives after cardiac arrest.
It is designed for healthcare providers and trained first responders who provide care to patients in a wide variety of settings, and teaches both single-rescuer and team basic life support skills for application in pre-hospital and in-facility settings.
Is Red Cross Basic Life Support (BLS) a nationally recognized program?
Yes, the BLS certification is recognized across Canada.
Who is the BLS course designed for?
This course is designed for healthcare providers and trained first responders who provide care to patients in a wide variety of in-facility and prehospital settings or by those that require BLS certification and CPR training to enter into a healthcare-related training program.
Who is the Basic Life Support (BLS) Recertification course for?
The Basic Life Support (BLS) Renewal course is a fast-paced course that allows the experienced BLS provider (those who are confident in their BLS skills through regular use in their work in the ED, CCU, ICU on code team, or paramedics and first responders) the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge through written and skills assessment in a concentrated program. Successful completion of this two hour 15 minute course (approximate time) allows students to renew their BLS course completion card.
I have a current CPR level HCP (Health Care Provider) certificate. Am I eligible to take a BLS recertification class?
If you have a current (unexpired) CPR level HCP certificate, you can take a BLS recertification class. Your updated BLS certification will be good for one year.
Is the BLS course equivalent to BLS for Healthcare Providers?
Yes. The BLS course is equivalent to the BLS for Healthcare Providers (BLS for HCP) it replaces.
Is BLS just a different name for CPR HCP, or are HCP and BLS completely different?
BLS is a new course that is quite different from CPR level HCP, from the target audience to the curriculum and content. BLS is focused on high performance resuscitation and professional skills and does not provide prevention education and address other first aid components as was the case in the Red Cross CPR HCP curriculum.
Why is BLS only a one-year certification?
One year is the industry standard for BLS due to the high skill competency required. Resuscitation skills deteriorate over time and professional responders working in a team environment must know all positions and the skills within those positions. In a cardiac arrest event, any team member may be assigned to any role and must be competent to fulfill their duties.
What do students learn on a BLS course?
The primary goal of BLS is to give professional responders the fundamental skills needed to sustain life with CPR/Rescue Breathing and restore an effective rhythm with use of an AED. Click "View Course Details" above to see a BLS course outline or download the BLS .pdf fact sheet.
Is there a BLS Recertification Course? If so, how long is it?
Yes, there is a BLS Recertification Course and it is two hours of instructional time.
Is Basic Life Support and CPR the same thing?
BLS is a generic term for any form of CPR. ... The American Red Cross equivalent certification is called CPR for the Professional Rescuer and Healthcare Providers. Years ago, the American Heart Association term was BCLS (BasicCardiac Life Support), or BLS level C.