Professional Association of Diving Instructors, or PADI
What is Padi?, thousands of people around the world wonder every day. No, it is not the name of an English scientist. It’s Diving diving!!
It is the name of the largest divers’ association in the world. It was founded in Illinois in 1966 by John Cronin and Ralph Ericson, both of them aquatic sport lovers and keenly aware of the lack of professionalism in the diving world when it came to quality education.
Determined to change this, they decided to build an organization from the ground up, in way that would be true to the American dream: starting out in the basement of their house, working part time as they created the great diving organization we know today.
They have offices in Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the UK, and their headquarters in California.
A few up-to-date facts on PADI:
The leading diving entertainment organization in the world.
It has issued more than 23 million diving licenses since it was founded.
It has a presence in more than 200 countries.
It offers courses in more than 25 different languages.
Its students’ average age is about 28.
Padi’s teaching style encompasses both classroom and practical objectives, with more than 35 courses to choose from, depending on the diver’s skill level.
They start from the most basic level, where you have your first diving experience. If you continue, you can earn certifications to dive to a certain number of meters in depth, explore ancient shipwrecks, dive at night in the light of a full moon with lanterns, learn to identify millions of living things while you travel throughout the world, learn to save lives both in and out of the water. You can become a technical diver capable of diving deeper and deeper, explore caves, mix gases, find out what’s hidden below the frozen poles, or even become a professional working in a giant organization like PADI anywhere in the world this amazing substance called “water” can be found.
Here is a diagram of your possible career as a recreational and professional diver:
If you need any further information or if you have any questions about this chart, feel free to contact us.
What is the PADI learning system?
The PADI system consists of modules with standard learning objectives in classroom learning and practical skills both in and out of the water.
The theoretical side mainly involves the study of books, CDs, or online learning, or e-learning, which is in high demand, with several reviews of core knowledge. A series of long videos helps students visualize what they have learned.
You will receive confirmation of attaining a course’s objectives is given by a certified instructor who is registered in the system.
Practical skills begin with training in shallow waters such as swimming pools, at beginner levels, or safe waters near the beach, which are called confined waters. Then, mastery of the same skills is tested in deeper waters also called open waters, at more than five meters in depth and, of course, out in the ocean, up to the legal depth of 40 meters for the most demanding courses.
If the student passes the written exam (if required) at the end of the course, an official, internationally recognized certification is issued to the student if the course offers it (some beginner courses have no certification).
PADI courses are programs based on attainment of diving skills through the repetition of exercises, with the goal of achieving proficiency in execution that will ensure safe enjoyment of this fascinating and demanding sport.
The minimum age for PADI is eight. The beginner levels here are in a swimming pool, although regulations in a given country or region may vary.
The beginner’s level emphasizes safety, practical skills and motor skills. The basics of physics in diving, physiology and chemistry are necessary in beginner level programs. The more complex details of these concepts are introduced at intermediate and advanced levels, starting at the age of 15, when a diver has acquired practical knowledge and experience beyond the beginner’s level.
This learning system follows the modern philosophy of learning and regular refreshers through reviews. If you don’t dive for more than six months, a refresher course is recommended (link to refresher course).
Lastly, this is how you can sign up for PADI courses. There are two ways of doing it:
Here you can select the right instructor for you, and the course will usually include materials, diving equipment, sports insurance and anything else you might need.
With no school directly, you will have to arrange rental of gear, purchase of compulsory learning materials and the reset.
Why are we explaining all this? We want to you to know all those things they never told us about, to give you the best tips on taking up diving. That’s what PADI is. That’s what diving is about!
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