If you want to become certified to dive in open waters, you need to take a course and become certified. As you begin the search process for a class, you will start to run across two different certifications, the PADI and the SSI. Here is a quick breakdown of the similarities and differences between these two certification programs.
What PADI & SSI Stand For
PADI is short for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors and SSI is short for the Scuba Schools International. PADI and SSI are two different schools or organizations that provide open diving certification courses.
The Standards They Adhere To
Both PADI and SSI courses are based upon the standards that the World Recreational Scuba Training Council or WRSTC has set forth for open diving courses. The courses offered by both PADI and SSI organizations should essentially teach you the same information because they adhere to the same standards; the methods they use to teach that information may vary a little bit, but at the end of the day either course will provide you with the information and training you need to be a successful open water diver.
Both SSI and PADI training and certification should be accepted anywhere you go in the world if you want to open dive.
PADI courses start with classroom style learning that can be completed in-person or through online courses. You will be required to purchase the manuals that accompany each course that you take, regardless of if you choose to in-person or online courses for the classroom portion of the certification process. From there, you have to take in-person diving classes from an instructor. PADI instructors are generally required to follow a very strict program, so PADI classes around the country do not vary that much from one another.
SSI courses also offer the option of either in-person or e-learning for the classroom style portion of the certification. In general, SSI in-person diving classes allow their instructors a little bit more flexibility in how they set-up and structure their classes. This allows for SSI classes to be more personalized and tailor fit for different groups and their specific needs.
The biggest difference between PADI and SSI courses is that the classes have different names, which can make it a little challenging to cross-compare what each organization is offering.
If you want to obtain your certification so that you can perform open water dives, you need to get your Advanced Open Water certification if you go with a PADI organization, or your Advanced Adventurer certification if you go with an SSI training organization.
Both PADI and SSI will allow you to become a certified diver. The organization you choose to get certified through, such as Colorado Scuba Center, has to do more with what is offered in your area and which class schedule fits best with your schedule.
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