Many people ask us where to start with Scuba Diving: the first thing is you need training & certification. We have written A Guide to PADI Scuba Diving Courses to explain the training process.
PADI stands for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors and it’s the most famous of the various diving education systems.
You might have heard of some of the others, like SSI, BSAC or RAID, but PADI is the most recognised around the world, so if you have a PADI certification, it’ll be recognised wherever you go.
Any reputable Dive Centre will happily let you dive with any proper certification, and it’s very easy to transfer from one Education System to another.
PADI Qualifications – Where to Start?
Scuba Diving Training & Certification
There are 12 different levels within the PADI System. They start off at the basic level and can take you all the way to instructor.
PADI Scuba Diver or Junior PADI Scuba Diver
This is the basic level and for those short on time when they get to a holiday resort. The PADI Scuba Diver will teach you the basic skills and on completion will allow you to dive to 12m/40ft. With this qualification you will always need to be accompanied by a PADI professional. This level of certification is perfect for those people who want to Dive occasionally when they are on holiday without the need of completing training each time.
PADI Open Water Diver (OWD) or Junior Open Water
This is the first level of qualification where you become an independent diver.
This course focuses on the objective of teaching you to manage yourself and your scuba kit underwater making you a certified diver.
This course is a 3-4 day course where you will learn the core important Scuba Skills required. When completed, your certification will allow you to dive with your dive partner freely and go diving by yourselves. Your dive partner must also be a certified diver.
There are still depth limitations for an Open Water Diver – 18m/59ft or 12m/40ft for juniors.
Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD)
This qualification allows you to broaden your knowledge and improves your experience as a diver. This course is a two day course where you will cover the core models as well as being able to select additional modules that interest you.
The biggest advantage of becoming an Advanced open water diver is your new depth limits. You will now be able to dive to 30m or 100ft.
This two day course focuses on your rescue skills and making you a safer diver. The course will make you aware of how to prevent problems as well as deal with emergency situations should they arrive.
Master Scuba Diver
PADI has speciality courses for you to continue your education. These courses included Deep Diver, Night Diver, Wreck Diver as well as topics such as underwater photography and Dry Suit Diver.
Once you have completed your Rescue Diver and 5 specialties you will be able to certify as a ‘Master Scuba Diver’.
PADI Professional Training
The other advanced levels now all start to look at your Professional training within the PADI scheme.
- Dive Master
- Assistant Instructor
- Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI)
- Master Scuba Diver Trainer
- IDC Staff Instructor
- Master Scuba Instructor
- Course Director
For more information on PADI professional courses please check out their website.
If you want to learn to Scuba Dive then our Learn to Scuba Dive Trip to Gozo (Malta) is a perfect starting point. You will gain your PADI Open Water Course whilst on this course. You can even opt to complete or advanced on the same trip.
If you have already completed your Open Water qualification. You have the option of doing an Advanced or Rescue Diver qualification. Just want to go Diving? Not a problem you can head out on accompanied dives with one of our team.
For more information on our Gozo Trip CLICK HERE