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What is the Difference between PADI and SSI Certifications?

About PADI

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is the world’s largest recreational diving membership and diver training organization founded in 1966 by John Cronin and Ralph Erickson. Cronin was originally a NAUI instructor who decided to form his own organization with Erickson, and to break diver training down into different courses instead of the single universal course then prevalent.

The PADI system is composed of modules with standardized learning objectives divided into theory and practical skills development. Theory is mainly conveyed by way of self-study using books, computer based training using CD-ROM or online learning. All study options are supplemented with video to help the student diver visualize what they have read. Confirmation of the student diver’s level of mastery in standardized knowledge review sessions is carried out by a scuba instructor. Practical skills mastery is obtained through confined water training (pools or relatively shallow water) and performance evaluations in open water. Upon completion of each course, a certification is issued to the student.

PADI courses are performance based dive programs, and at the introductory level emphasize practical knowledge, safety and motor skills. The foundations of diving physics, physiology and chemistry are built during entry level programs. The more esoteric details of these concepts are left for later courses when the diver has gained practical knowledge and experience beyond the entry level. These practices fall within current modern learning philosophies and receive regular updates via peer review.



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 About SSI

Scuba Schools International (SSI) is an organization that teaches the skills involved in scuba diving and free-diving, and supports dive businesses and resorts. SSI has well over 2,500 authorized dealers, 35 regional centers, and offices all over the world.

SSI offers internationally recognized Scuba training programs for all levels – starting with Snorkeling and entry level diving courses up to Instructor Certifiers. The most common programs are: SSI Open Water Diver (OWD), Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD), more than 30 different specialty courses (like EAN Nitrox, Deep diving, Underwater navigation, Night diving and Limited Visibility, and many more). Dive leader training programs start with the Dive Control Specialist (who is qualified like Assistant Instructor) followed by Open Water Instructor and above.

SSI Scuba Training programs are certified/recognized throughout the world (such as RSTC – Recreational Scuba Training Council, EUF – European Underwater Federation, CUA – China Underwater Association and others).

Founded in 1970, SSI was one of the pioneers of professional Scuba training. They were the first organization to present a complete training program including full motion video and they pioneered some areas of diving education.

A major difference between SSI and other diver education organizations like PADI, NAUI, CMAS and others is that SSI is a Retail based organization, intended to ensure the quality of training worldwide.



Cairns SSI Registered Dive Operators

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