Scuba Diving Certification

scuba diving certification
Unless they live in the middle of the desert, most people who are interested in joining the exciting sport of scuba diving should have no problem finding a local dive center to get their scuba diving certification. Other than making the right decision about which dive center to choose, the soon-to-be-divers will also see that they have a choice between which scuba certification organizations they would like to become certified through.

The three main scuba diving certification organizations that are available for recreational divers to choose from are PADI, NAUI, and SSI. All three organizations are recognized worldwide and believe in providing quality education through extensive training and experience so that each diver has the skills to dive safely and enjoy it as much as possible. Each agency offers scuba certifications for Open Water Divers (the beginning course on your journey to diving), and all of them offer their own versions of the main specialty courses for the different types of diving. They all offer complete training, however they are each unique in the requirements for training and by the way they present the information. Divers may be interested in researching the various requirements and teaching styles of each organization to determine which one best suits their needs.

Whether you choose to become certified through PADI, NAUI, or SSI you can be assured that your training will be thorough and it will give you the knowledge necessary to become a safe and confident diver.

PADI – (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) whose motto is “The Way the World Learns to Dive” was founded in 1966 by John Cronin and Ralph Ericson. Both men were passionate about the sport and over a bottle of scotch one evening, decided to create an organization that would improve upon the training for divers available at that time. PADI began in the basement of John Cronin’s house, and has grown over the years into one of the largest scuba diving certification organizations in the world with over 5700 Dive Centers and Resorts worldwide. PADI not only prides itself on its method of training and education, but also on its efforts to protect the underwater environment. In the late 80’s PADI started Project AWARE, an international non-profit organization devoted to conservation of the underwater environment.

NAUI – (National Association of Underwater Instructors) whose motto is “Dive Safety Through Education” is the oldest diving certification training agency, founded in 1959 by Albert Tillman and Neal Hess. One of the original board members of NAUI was famous diver Jacques-Yves Cousteau. In 1960, NAUI conducted its first certification course, and a year later was accepted as a non-profit educational organization by the State of California, and by the 1970’s NAUI was already getting international membership. In 1992, NAUI proudly became the first certification organization to offer Nitrox certifications. In 1997, NAUI started a division a Technical diving division NAUI follows strict principles to ensure that they offer effective training and support to all of their divers and instructors. Today, NAUI is based in Tampa Bay, FL and continues to strive towards improving their association and the quality of training they offer.

SSI – (Scuba Schools International) was started by Robert Clark in 1970, and in 1999 merged with the National Association of Scuba Diving Schools (NASDS). Together they have created a series of innovative ideas that have since been integrated into scuba diving certification training everywhere. Some of their accomplishments include introducing the Alternate Second Stage and the Buoyancy Control Device. SSI’s regional office opened in Southeast Asia in the early 80’s, and is now based in Fort Collins, CO. SSI has expanded into one of the largest school-based training agencies in the world, and continues to improve on their globally integrated support system.