WHAT IS THE BEST SCUBA DIVING CERTIFICATION?

Find out the best scuba diving certifications

Recently we talked about “what is scuba diving” and gave you the best tips and places to practice it. Today we are going to talk about the best certificates for this great sport! 

Importance of scuba certification

The main purpose of scuba diving certifications is to maximize safety while scuba diving – seems obvious, doesn’t it? 

In this way, certifications establish the maximum depth conditions to which a diver can dive, as well as the equipment he or she is qualified to use. Also, the certifications certify the diver’s level of ability to react appropriately in different circumstances and environments.

Diving without certification is not only risky. In fact, it’s illegal! Let’s see the best scuba diving certifications! 😉

The Best Scuba Diving Certification of 2022

PADI

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) was founded by John Cronin and Ralph Erickson to improve existing instructional methods and make the sport more accessible.

Over the years, the US-based training organization has become the largest and most recognized dive agency in the world! Their motto, “The way the world learns to dive” is no exaggeration, with over 28 million certifications issued to date by approximately 6,600 PADI dive centers and resorts and 128,000 PADI Professionals worldwide. This means that wherever you live or plan to go on holiday, you’re likely to have access to PADI dive courses. 

The entry-level course is the PADI Open Water Diver course, which promotes performance-based learning through online or classroom-based theory sessions and hands-on training in confined and open water. 

In addition to teaching students diver physiology and underwater safety, PADI courses promote marine conservation through a partnership with the non-profit PADI AWARE Foundation. 

After earning your initial certification level, you can choose from an impressive range of advanced and specialty dive courses. You can even learn how to take underwater photos or learn cavern diving, deep diving, high altitude diving, or shark conservation. PADI also offers a full range of technical and professional courses up to the Course Director level (the ability to train instructors).

SSI

Scuba Schools International (SSI) was founded in 1970 and is currently based in Colorado. It’s the second-largest dive training agency, with more than 2,800 dive centers representing the brand in over 110 countries. SSI courses are available in more than 30 languages!

The academic portion of the course is completed online, which makes certification more flexible! The practical aspects of the course are completed through a series of confined and open water sessions under the supervision of an SSI instructor. 

Once you’ve earned your entry-level certification card, you can continue your training with a series of advanced courses, if you dare…😉 

Extended range diving includes wreck diving, deeper dives, cave diving, and rebreather diving. Other skills courses teach you technical skills such as the mathematics behind gas mixtures in air tanks, dry suit diving, and decompression diving. SSI rounds out its aquatic offerings with swimming instructors, mermaid training courses, and freediving and snorkeling options. 

NAUI

The National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), founded in 1959, is the oldest civilian diver training agency. Unlike for-profit companies such as PADI and SSI, NAUI is registered as a non-profit educational association. Their motto is “Diving Safety through Education”.

Training programs are regularly updated to reflect the latest developments in safety, training, and diving equipment, while instructors are frequently evaluated to ensure that they meet NAUI teaching standards. 

Specialty courses are relatively limited, with only five offered compared to the more than 30 offered by PADI. 

BSAC

The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) was founded in 1953 and it launched its first instructor training course in 1960 and is now the national governing body for diving and snorkeling in the UK. 

Many British divers choose BSAC because it’s less commercial than others as PADI. It has a very good reputation because they provide high-quality training. BSAC divers are taught to cope with cold water and limited visibility from their first open water dive, so BSAC certifications are often highly respected!

The entry-level certification is called Ocean Diver and includes theory sessions, pool training, and a minimum of four open water dives. It’s usually longer than the PADI equivalent and qualifies divers for an extra 6.5 feet of depth. The BSAC operates primarily in the UK but has affiliated centers offering various levels of training in locations ranging from Europe to the USA, Mexico, and Australia. 

With locations throughout the UK, these community centers encourage divers to make new friends and get the most out of their sport with social events, dive trips, and overseas expeditions. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

SDI

If the idea of extreme underwater exploration appeals to you, you may be thinking about becoming a tec diver…! Tec divers use specialized equipment, gasses, and advanced training to push the limits of recreational diving, often intending to reach extraordinary depths.

Scuba Diving International (SDI) is one of the best options for future technical divers because it’s part of International Training, a group of diving organizations that includes Technical Diving International (TDI), the world’s largest technical training agency. 

The entry-level Open Water Scuba Diver course involves a combination of online classroom learning, pool sessions, and open water dives. SDI has a reputation for innovation because it was the first to introduce online specialties such as Wreck, Computer Nitrox, Deep Diving, and Navigation. It was also the first to offer dive programs for children and the first to allow divers to learn to dive using a dive computer instead of traditional dive tables.

Most importantly, for those who like to push the limits, SDI offers the first and only insured Solo Diver certification, which qualifies you to dive without relying on the traditional buddy system!

SDI has training centers in over 100 countries. Other sister agencies are Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI) and Performance Freediving International (PFI), which offer you more possibilities to explore in terms of specialized diving and careers.

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