Accredited diving associations
Think scuba diving, think PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). Not unreasonable considering they dominate an estimated 70 percent of the diving market. There are however a good many more excellent accredited diving associations out there, namely CMAS (Confederation Mondiale des Activites Subaquatiques), BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club), and SSI (Scuba Schools International), so don’t be alarmed if the diving course you’re being offered isn’t PADI; they all serve divers to the same aim, but with slight differences to their styles and duration, so research what you find before you sign up.
Lynne Gillis, from our supplier, Dive Urge, shares her opinion on diving with PADI: “20-30 years ago diving was considered for tough men, not for wimps or wussies, or even women, and definitely not for kids, but what PADI did was take diving and make it accessible and get everyone involved. Other companies exist, but may have a ‘typical diver’ profile and their courses can be pretty hardcore – all about holding your breath and getting you equipment on under pressure. PADI broke diving up into manageable sections and cornered the market by making it accessible and safe for everyone.”