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Different Diving Agencies

Today around the world there are different diving agencies (ACUC, BSAC, CMAS, IDEA, NAUI, PADI, SSI, etc.) and when you decide to do your diving courses, the dive shop will help you choose between the different organizations or agencies that they are afiliated with. If you don't know about all the agencies this process can be a little confusing.

Some of the differents diving agencies are members of The World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC) or European Underwater Federation (EUF) that are dedicated to the safety of the recreational diving public by regulating the development of worldwide minimum training standards.

These Scuba Diving organizations have to meet the standards in order to buy liability insurance and defend themselves from lawsuits.

When choosing an open water course it's important to remember that many dive schools and instructors hold certifications from several organizations. All courses are quite similar, they teach you safe diving and an entry level certification card from any main organization will be recognized by dive operators anywhere in the world.

Important for your training

What is most important for your training as a good diver is the experience and attitude of your dive instructor. Many students will pick up all the bacis very quickly, you can call those naturals, but there are some that will need to get used to it and that is when the experience and the attitude of the instructor can change everything. No matter which organization you should choose to certify with.

The importance of what you choose will be when you decide on qualifications or level upgrades. This will increase your knowledge and confidence in diving and will propel you to a pro level. You must know that most popular dive organizations recognize each other's certifications at the recreational level, it may get a little difficult when it comes to the professional level.

If what you want is to have a profession in diving, most divers stick to one agencie and when they reach the professional level they do a cross over.

Some Recognized or Best Diving Agencies

ACUC
"American Canadian Underwater Certifications now popularly known as ACUC International. Since 1969 ACUC has continually developed world class recreational Diver and Instructor training programs. ACUC is a founding member of the Canadian and European RSTC (Recreational Scuba Training Council), and therefore are recognized by all World Recreational Scuba Training Council member's agencies.

ACUC Logo.

BSAC
"British Sub-Aqua Club" UK's leading dive club and the sport's National Governing Body, providing an internationally-recognised diver training and development programme via a network of clubs and centres across the United Kingdom and overseas. The club was founded in 1953 and has over 50,000 members. Given that UK waters are relatively cold and have restricted visibility, BSAC training is regarded by its members as more comprehensive than some. Specifically it places emphasis on rescue training very early in the programme.

BSAC Logo.

CMAS
"Confederation Mondiale des Activites Subaquatiques" is the world's oldest scuba certification agency. Originally founded in Brussels, Belgium, CMAS is now headquartered in Rome, Italy. CMAS has quite a different rating system than other agencies that is based on star levels. CMAS can be found in many countries around the world but is primarily active in Europe.

CMAS Logo.

IDEA
The "International Diving Educators Association" provides quality training to both recreational and professional scuba divers throughout the United States and in more than 30 foreign counties. Originally established in 1952 as the training arm of the Florida Skin Divers Association, IDEA quickly grew into an independent organization and a respected leader in the industry.

IDEA Logo.

NAUI
The "National Association of Underwater Instructors" Founded in 1959 is one of the biggest global certification agencies. NAUI's diver education system is quite similar to SSI and PADI. NAUI has also had a technical diving division since 1997. NAUI dive centers can be found primarily in North America.NAUI Worldwide remains the oldest international not-for-profit membership training agency organized solely to support and promote dive safety through education.

NAUI Logo.

PADI
"Professional Association of Diving Instructors" is by far most recognized dive certification agency in the world. It's usually possible to find a PADI instructor in any diving destination and more beginning divers are certified by PADI than by all of the other agencies combined. PADI also operates Emergency First Response, an organization providing CPR and First Aid training not only to divers, but the public in general.

PADI Logo.

SSI
"Scuba Schools International's" 2000 authorized dealers and 225 Regional Centers can be found in 90 countries around the world. SSI's diver education system is very similar to PADI's system. Headquartered in Colorado, USA, SSI training facilities are in particular abundance in North America and South East Asia.

SSI Logo.

IDEA, PADI and SSI are members of WRSTC. For a list of all defferent diving agencies, please click HERE.


Cross Over To The Different Diving Agencies

Professional recreational divers in search for work in the diving industry, will try to get certified with more than one of the most worldwide recognized organizations. Many of them will do a cross over to fulfill their goals. For those diving agencies that really emphasise on their courses, their professional members will see an advantage when crossing over, see example.

Many agencies will accept your training credentials from a competing agency. Having professional level with multiple agencies is fairly common and not difficult to do. The hard part is to maintain your annual professional memberships which you must pay a fee for to each training agency. And also, the stock of diffent training packages and student records for each agency.

Also when crossing over professionals still have to take courses; they pay for them and have to pass exams to have other agencies credentials. For non professional levels many diving agencies believe that they are much better than the competition and they don’t compare them self or the level of training they provide with other agencies.

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