Join the Elite


A-PADI Elite-Blog_header_1200x600Summary for PADI Professionals

If you’re a PADI Instructor who is actively training and certifying divers, you can distinguish yourself by earning the PADI Elite Instructor Award. This program recognizes PADI Instructors like you for reaching specific milestones based on the number of certifications you issue annually – providing you with the opportunity to tout your “Elite Instructor” status to student divers, potential customers, prospective employers and your fellow PADI Professionals!


To be recognized as a PADI Elite Instructor, you must be a renewed PADI Professional with a minimum rating of Open Water Scuba Instructor, with no verified Quality Management violations within 12 months of the date the award will be presented, and issue 50, 100, 150, 200 or 300 qualifying certifications in a calendar year. This is an annual program and the award will be given only once per year, during the first quarter of the following year.

2016 Elite Instructor Award

The 2016 Elite Instructor Award Year runs from 1 January 2016 through 31 December 2016, but you’ll have until 15 January 2017 to get all of your certifications processed. You do not need to apply for the award; you will be automatically considered for the award if you issue any qualifying certifications during 2016. (Please see the “Qualifying Certifications” section below.)


If you issue 50, 100, 150, 200 or 300 qualifying certifications, your accomplishment will be recognized during the first quarter of the following year, as follows:

  • You’ll get an “Elite Instructor” decal to affix to your PADI Instructor card.
  • You’ll also receive an “Elite Instructor” e-badge to use in your electronic communications. If you work for or are associated with a PADI Dive Center or Resort, you have the option to authorize that business to display your e-badge on its website or other electronic communications. This is optional and solely at your discretion.
  • If you have (or if you purchase) a PADI eCard for yourself, your Elite Instructor e-badge will be automatically added to your eCard.
  • Your Elite Instructor Award information will be included in Pro Chek™.
  • All Elite Instructor Award Recipients will also get a certificate recognizing them for their qualifying certifications:  50, 100, 150, 200 or 300.

Qualifying Certifications

Qualifying certifications are certifications issued by you that will be included in your tally. Qualifying student diver certifications include Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, Master Scuba Diver and all student diver specialties including distinctive specialties. Junior diver certifications will be weighted on a one-to-one basis as well as Basic Freediver, Freediver, Advanced Freediver and Master Freediver.

Weighted Programs: Emergency First Response Participant programs, ReActivate, Discover Scuba Diving experiences, Bubblemaker, Seal Team, Master Seal Team and Skin Diver will be weighed on a five-to-one basis. For example, five Discover Scuba Diving experiences will be weighted the same as one Open Water Diver certification.

Qualifying PADI Professional ratings include Divemaster, Assistant Instructor, Open Water Scuba Instructor, Master Scuba Diver Trainer, IDC Staff Instructor, Emergency First Response Instructor and all Instructor Specialty and Distinctive Instructor Specialty ratings. Freediver Instructor, Advanced Freediver Instructor, Master Freediver Instructor and Freediver Instructor Trainer will also be included and weighted on a one-to-one basis.

Referrals will be counted on a two-to-one basis. If you have referred students to another instructor or business but didn’t get the paperwork back from the other party, please submit your completed documents to the certifications department and they will make every effort to see that you get credit for your referrals.

Will you get an Elite Instructor Award for 2016?
Visit the “My Account” tab (above) to see how many certifications you have so far this year. If you find you are close to qualifying for an award, celebrate! Then, certify a few more divers. Or, or go for an even higher “Elite” status!  Not even close? There’s still plenty of time step up your efforts to earn an Elite Instructor Award this year!

For More Information

To see how you are doing this year, you can check your certification counts by clicking on the “My Account” tab above. If you looked at your certifications on the “My Account” tab and now you still have questions about your certifications counts, please contact your PADI Regional Headquarters for assistance.

For more information about the Elite Instructor Award program, please contact Customer Relations on +44 (0) 117 300 7234 or email

PADI_logo_elite“Congratulations to the PADI Pros who achieved Elite status during 2015. This is an outstanding achievement and a testament to your hard work and commitment to PADI. As an Elite Instructor, you are able to promote your success by showing your Elite Instructor e-badge on your Social Media pages. This is also an excellent opportunity for PADI Dive Stores to take advantage of the increased marketing potential that Elite Instructors bring to them.”  

Mark Spiers Vice President,
Training, Sales and Field Services
PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa

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