Diving certifications are designed to help the beginning diver and recreational diver learn the correct use of scuba equipment and dive to specific depths safely.
Many organizations issue diving certifications, the most known are the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, (PADI), the International Diving School, (SSI), and the National Association of Underwater Instructors, (NAUI).
Also, certificates are issued by the World Confederation of Underwater Activities (CMAS), Scuba Schools International (SDI), Professional Diving Instructors Corporation (PDIC), and many more.
Certifications range from basic open water certification to nitrox certification for longer dives.
There are some activities and technical diving maneuvers that require specific certifications, so it can be useful to know each type.
All dive certifiers are efficient and trained for any type of student, a CMAS star, or an Open Water from PADI, SSI, FEDAS, etc. They prepare you with the basic equipment to dive anywhere in the world.
Certification means you know how to properly use hand signals, read your pressure and depth gauge, how each piece of equipment works, and what to do when faced with a dangerous situation.
Once you’ve earned your basic scuba dive certification, you can take advantage of it by gaining more experience or earning an additional certification to teach people how to dive or work with tools underwater.
Naturally, there are diving centers or instructors or diving clubs that will tell you that the diving certification they issue is the best and that the other certifiers are not so good.
Several organizations offer scuba dive certifications, but the best known and most recognized organization is the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, PADI.
The PADI Certification offers a wide variety of advantages such as online teaching, anywhere in the world, and the possibility of issuing and finding your certification online at any certified diving school; among other advantages.
The other organizations, the World Confederation of Underwater Activities, Scuba Schools International, the Corporation of Professional Diving Instructors, and the National Association of Underwater Instructors, offer certifications similar to those of PADI.
However, if there is a specialized type of diving to learn and specialize in, it is advisable to research the courses offered by each of the diving organizations to determine if they issue the certification you are looking for.
What you have to take into account first is to know what you want and how far you want to go, if you only want to learn and be a good diver or if you want to make your learning your profession.
The recommendation of the experts is not to be in a hurry to select a diving course or school and if you have the patience to get all and as much information as you can from all the divers you know.
When you find your center and your instructor asks for their certification to verify that he is an instructor, who will explain to you what certification they will give you at the end of the course.
If the dive center is serious, if the instructor is a good professional and meets the standards of the course and if he cares about your learning, then he will have good training, regardless of the standards and certification of each school.
The scuba certification is divided into classroom and pool activities to train you and assess your knowledge of the skills required to dive.
Most certifications require you to complete a certain amount of training and class hours before taking a test. These are the most common types of diving certifications:
This program allows you to dive to a depth of 40 feet or 12 meters as long as you are accompanied by a professional diver. It does not allow you to dive alone.
This is a good entry-level certification for those who may be interested in diving at a OWD level. You can try discover scuba diving in Costa Rica.
The open water diver certification, also sometimes called “diving license” or “diving certification”, is a credential that allows you to fill air tanks, rent professional diving equipment. Dives from a boat, diving to a depth of 60 feet or 18 meters.
You can also take underwater photography and videography classes when you have an open water certification.
This certification is issued to the applicant who passes the advanced open water diving course and precedes the basic open water diving certification. The purpose of the certification is to show that you have advanced in your diving skills.
Advanced diving certification increases your confidence in underwater navigation, improves your diving skills, allows you to explore underwater wrecks, practice night diving, and underwater photography.
The Rescue Scuba dive certification will allow you to learn how to help others during a dive; to obtain this certification you must have previously received a training course in CPR and first aid in the last 24 months before obtaining this certificate.
This certification will allow you to recognize and manage dive buddy stress; manage emergencies and dive equipment, rescue divers in distress, and rescue divers who do not respond.
The master of scuba dive certification is one of the most advanced diving certifications offered by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, (PADI), divers can obtain this certificate after obtaining the rescue diving certifications.
You also need to obtain at least five PADI specialty certifications and have at least 50 logged dives.
With this certificate you can to explore and navigate around a shipwreck while respecting the vessel and its surroundings. It also teaches you how to inspect and map a wreck for various purposes.
The certification for wreck diving allows us to carry out a topographic survey and mapping with underwater tools, taking into account the safety involved in the exploration and navigation of shipwrecks of all kinds.
It will also allow you to apply penetration lines and reels to help with exploration, as well as use swimming techniques to avoid excessive alteration of the wreck.
Nitrox is a popular certification for divers who want to stay longer under water and avoid the effects of decompression after surfacing.
Using enriched air prevents decompression sickness, a condition known as “bends,” and reduces the amount of downtime between dives.
A nitrox tank requires closer monitoring than a traditional air tank. Obtaining this certification means that you can manage oxygen exposure, analyze air content in the dive tank, and correctly configure the dive computer for the air mixture in the tank.
Diving is a great way of recreation, but practicing scuba diving requires proper courses. Any attempt without prior training or supervision by an instructor may result in death. Never try to dive without proper equipment and training. At our dive center in Costa Rica, we train divers of all levels, following the rigorous PADI program.