Scuba Certification Questions You Need To Ask Before Getting Certified
PADI is the Professional Association of Scuba Diving Instructors, the largest scuba
certification organization in the world. PADI develops scuba programs and diver
training products, monitors scuba training conducted by more than 100,000 PADI
Professionals worldwide, maintains diver certification records and issues your
diver certification credentials. In addition, PADI maintains various support
services for PADI Dive Centers and Resorts. Since its inception in 1966 PADI
has grown to have members in more than 175 countries and territories and
international service offices in nine countries. Approximately seven out of ten
North American divers are certified by PADI, and approximately 55 percent of
all divers worldwide are certified by PADI.
Always make sure your diving instructor is PADI certified.
1. How Long Does The Certification Course Last?
Scuba certification is performance based, meaning there is no set amount of
hours required for completion. You move from one level to the next during the
course at your own pace. You will find that most PADI certification courses
advertised are based around an estimated 3 day time frame for completion. For
the average person, however, this may not be enough time. 4 days for
certification is a much more realistic goal.
2. How Much Does The Certification Course Cost?
Lowball prices are designed for 2 reasons.... to attract your attention, and to
get you in the door. The hidden charges for the course, such as books and
equipment rental, are conveniently never advertised. Look for an all inclusive
certification course experience. Remember, in the end, you always get what you
3. Are References Available From The Most Recent Students?
Always ask for phone or E-mail references from the most recent certification
students who have just completed the course. Don't settle for written quotes
that are years old and taken from some database of generic customer comments.
If a lame excuse or noncommittal answer is given, take your business elsewhere.
A quality dive operation that has nothing to hide will be happy to provide such
4. Who Is The Instructor?
5. How Long Have They Been An Instructor?
6. How Many People Have They Certified?
7. How Many Certification Courses Have They Taught?
Good instructors, who have an extensive resume of experience teaching scuba
certification courses, are extremely hard to find. Dive shops have a
notoriously high turnover ratio of scuba instructors to staff. Many of the ones
who are there are recent hires, and have very little real world experience.
They also work long hours for very little money, generally getting paid by the
activity, not by the hour. Insist on someone who has certified at least 25
people, and has been teaching a minimum of one year.
8. Is The Instructor First Aid/CPR Certified?
In order to become a PADI instructor, one must complete the Rescue Diver
certification. PADI requires current CPR/First Aid training for one to receive
Rescue Diver certification. Most instructors are also First Aid/CPR
9. Will The Course Be Taught Using Rotating Instructors?
This is a common practice some dive operations use where one instructor
"Team Teaches" the course with another, exposing you to differing
personalities and teaching methods that will only confuse you. Unless you are
doing a referral certification, where you are starting and finishing your
course in different locations, steer clear.
10. Will Both Instructor And Student Use Similar Equipment Setups During
When both instructor and student are using the same brand of scuba gear, and
have similarly designed equipment configurations, it allows students to learn
faster and easier, both in and out of the water, during the certification
11. Will The Course Incorporate A Giant RDP Table Into The Academic
Learning how to use the dive tables is perhaps the toughest academic challenge
a student faces during the certification course. A quality dive operation will
have available a giant version of the standard dive table, allowing students to
more easily master this important academic information.
12. Can I Get A Student Discount After Getting Certified?
Any reputable dive operation should give you a generous student discount
towards future diving activities and/or equipment purchases you make from them,
in appreciation for taking their certification course.