What is PADI?
PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors
PADI is a US based privately owned corporation with a worldwide reach. You will find PADI dive centres all over the world. PADI materials are translated into 26 languages.
PADI is just one of several scuba certification agencies, others are BSAC in the UK, CMAS in Germany, SSI and many more. PADI has the largest share of the market (something like 60-70% of worldwide certifications) but SSI seems to be gaining ground in recent years with it’s user friendly online learning options and cheaper prices.
Whichever of these agencies you choose the standard of training is very similar. Courses are all interchangeable (you could do PADI Open water followed by SSI Advanced) and recognized worldwide. Standards are set by the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC).
The PADI System of diver education is based on progressive training that introduces skills, safety-related information and local environmental knowledge to student divers in stages. PADI courses are student-centered and provide maximum practice and realistic application.
PADI Professionals make underwater exploration and scuba diving adventures possible while maintaining the highest standards for diver training, safety and customer service. PADI’s “Four E’s Philosophy” is that the dive lifestyle requires four elements:
Education: Beyond simply learning to scuba dive, you expand your capabilities as a diver through continued education. PADI’s full range of diver courses introduces you to new underwater activities and can even help you make a career move to become a PADI Professional.
Experience: PADI dive shops offer a variety of experiences from local dive tours to exotic dive travel. Diving is a social activity and, by affiliating with a PADI Dive Center you can explore dive sites nearby or visit vacation destinations around the world with others who share your interests.
Equipment: Scuba gear makes diving possible. The best place to learn about all the fun gadgets and new scuba equipment available to you is at your local PADI Dive Center or Resort.
Environmental Conservation: A healthy underwater environment is essential to good diving and divers are great advocates for protecting our water resources. Throughout PADI courses, divers learn the importance of protecting fragile aquatic ecosystems and are encouraged to become involved in local and global conservation efforts. For more than two decades, PADI has partnered with Project AWARE® – a global nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting our ocean planet – one dive at a time.
More info: https://www.padi.com/about-padi/why-padi