The PADI certification is the most widely recognized diver certification. This simply means that if you are a PADI certified diver, your certification is accepted instantly at dive centres anywhere in the world.
Since its inception in 1966 in the USA, PADI has grown with members in more than 175 countries and territories and international service offices in nine countries. Approximately 55 percent of all divers worldwide are certified by PADI. There are other certifying organizations like NAUI, SSI, BSAC, CMAS, etc. and they all provide diver training to consumers, each with its own system of diver education. However, with PADI being internationally recognized and respected, more people learn to dive with PADI than all others combined.
Who Is PADI?
PADI is the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the largest scuba certifying organization in the world. PADI develops scuba programs and diver training products, monitors scuba training conducted by more than 100,000 PADI Professionals worldwide, maintains diver certification records and issues your diver certification credentials.
The Educational Difference
PADI Courses are designed to make learning enjoyable and worthwhile. You get in and under the water quickly, scuba diving. Under the guidance of your professional PADI Instructor, you gain confidence while mastering important safety concepts and skills. You pick up key information as well as helpful tips by interacting with PADI educational materials – manual, videos, workbooks, multimedia discs, etc. Credentialed instructional designers use state-of-the-art technology and learning theories to create PADI materials with you, the student diver, in mind.
Your PADI Instructor makes sure that you are ready for certification using the concept of performance-based learning. This means that you progress as you demonstrate that you have mastered specific performance requirements essential to becoming a diver. Your instructor is there to help you meet these requirements, regardless of how quickly or slowly you master them. You must earn a PADI certification, but you do so in an encouraging and well-supported learning environment.
The unsurpassed quality of PADI materials and the educational validity of PADI courses has been independently acknowledged by international educational and vocational training authorities. The American Council on Education (ACE) and Canadian Learning Bank have both evaluated and recommended PADI courses for college credit equivalency. PADI Instructor Development Courses provided through PADI affiliated centres have received vocational training recognition by the Vocational Education Training and Accreditation Board (VETAB) in Australia, by the New Zealand Qualification Authority and in the United Kingdom on the National Qualification Framework. To view the college credit page please go to: Padi College Credits for Scuba Diving Courses.
The PADI System of diver education assures that PADI professionals worldwide deliver PADI courses in a consistent and standardized manner, yet adapted to your unique needs and the requirements of your local diving environment. A PADI course you sign up for in Indonesia is virtually the same as a course a friend may take in Poland, yet both will be adapted to local cultures, customs, protocols and language. With more than 130,000 PADI Professionals and around 5300 PADI Dive Centres and Resorts operating in 180 countries and territories, you will likely find a PADI Professional who can speak your language and offer you a comfortable learning experience. To serve the needs of divers worldwide, translations of PADI materials are available in at least 26 languages.Because PADI Dive Centers, Resorts and Instructors exist almost everywhere, no matter where your travels take you, you’ll find PADI programs and PADI dive buddies.
PADI Dive Centre Ratings
What’s the difference between a PADI Dive Center, PADI 5 Star Dive Center and a PADI 5 Star IDC?
Dive operators that offer PADI products and services are members of the PADI International Resort and Retailer Associations. The association comprises approximately 4700 authorized PADI Dive Centers, resorts, dive boats, dive operators and hotels that offer PADI instruction and other related services. These facilities are your source for dive equipment, education, travel and other dive opportunities. To be an association member, PADI Dive Centers and Resorts must adhere to specific standards that assure you’ll get the best training and service.
PADI has designed classifications for members that signify varying levels of commitment to offering PADI diver education, dive equipment sales, services and dive experiences. The primary classifications are:
PADI Dive Center:
A PADI Dive Center is a professional business that engages in the retail sale of recreational scuba diving equipment, dive instruction and dive services.
PADI Dive Centers have demonstrated a commitment to PADI education by offering PADI certification courses and experience programs.
PADI 5 Star Dive Center:
The PADI 5 Star Dive Center membership level is awarded to progressive PADI Dive Centers that excel in providing dive consumers with a full range of diver education programs, equipment selection, and experience opportunities and actively promote aquatic environmental awareness.
A PADI 5 Star Dive Center is active in its community presenting a professional image consistent with, or better than, the norm of the marketplace. These dive centers embrace the PADI System of diver education and are committed to providing customers with quality products, services and experiences.
PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center (5 Star IDC)
The 5 Star IDC rating is one of the highest ratings in the PADI system. A PADI 5 Star IDC not only meets all 5 Star Dive Center standards, but also offers PADI Instructor-level training.
PADI 5 Star IDCs display a strong commitment to developing dive professionals by providing educational programs from entry-level through instructor training.
PADI TecRec Centres
Divers can find their local PADI TecRec Centre by looking for this special icon on padi.com’s Dive Center Locator. Also there on padi.com they will find additional information on diving beyond recreational scuba diving limits including information on PADI’s Tec 40, 45 and 50, Tec Trimix 65 and Tec Instructor programs – fully supported by the quality educational products for which PADI is globally renowned.
If out and about, divers can download the PADI Dive Centre Locator onto their smart phone Apps free by visiting Padi website and using the special icon above, look for their local PADI TecRec Centre.
Non-affiliated dive centres:
Dive operators that are not members of PADI but offer diver education may not follow standards set by PADI. Being a member of PADI requires the affiliated dive operator to maintain specific quality standards in scuba education, equipment, dive services, insurances and regular inspection on all equipment including the air.
Going to a non-affiliated PADI operator may mean that you may need to take more care of yourself in terms of learning and getting the appropriate training in skills and knowledge. The most important reason for choosing a dive operator based on their affiliation is, if you want to complete or continue your diver training. So by going with a PADI member, you can be sure that the dive center meets all the requirements set by PADI on diver training, equipment retail or rental and services. We can all find cheap products but cheap is not always the best. You expect a service, a quality, a high standard and so you should too, this is your safety we are talking about. Some dive operators may be found on the street, in a bar or on a boat trip but this is not how you booked your holiday or your flight tickets, so why book scuba diving?
Remember! think first and book with a accredited Dive operation like Easy Divers Cyprus a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center (Padi 5 Star IDC). Why Padi? You are also assured that this facility is committed to the diving industry and you.