I think what the OP is trying to ask is what is the difference between a HP and a SP in terms of the info the creditor can see.
In other words, does a SP provide the lender the same information a HP would?
I did mention this already, but when you pull a credit report from a CMS like USAA or Eliminate ID Theft, this is a soft pull of your credit report. What you see there is what the creditor has pulled.
I think manual hard pulls are looked at by the person and they decide what to do. Hard pulls and soft pulls by computers might be the same thing but hard pulls are done because it shows that you are looking for credit which is the whole part of the game.
I never really understood the difference either. The one that boggles my mind the most is "I"m sorry Mr, we cannot approve you for a CLI with a SP but we can try with a HP" If all the information they receive is the same then this should never happen. I think OCs get more information from a HP someway somehow.
This can easily just be policy enforced by computer. The rep is unable to give you a CLI with a SP (based on your profile) but may be able to give you one with a HP even though the info is the same.
Also, remember there are different types of SP (and presumably the CRA charges differently) So for "pre-approvals" there are basic searches returning name and address of those that meet the input criteria.