Equivalent Diving Qualifications from Different Agencies
19 March 2015
There are many different bodies around the world which award diving qualifications. This table gives a rough guide to equivalent qualifications. It is only a guide though: the qualifications are not exactly equivalent. Please contact your chosen diving agency for their definitive crossover requirements.
Equivalent Diving Qualifications from different SCUBA Agencies
|Dive Agency||Diving Qualifications|
|1st Class Diver|
|PADI||Open Water Diver|
18 m (12 m if under 12)
|Advanced Open Water Diver|
|Advanced Scuba Diver||Scuba Rescue Diver / Master Scuba Diver||Divemaster1|
|SAA||Open Water Diver|
|Open Water Diver|
|Dive Leader||Dive Supervisor 1 - Dive Master|
|SSI||Open Water Diver|
|Advanced Adventurer Diver||Advanced Open Water Diver with "Stress and Rescue" Speciality or Master Diver||Dive Control Specialist|
|NASDS||Open Water Diver||Advanced Open Water Diver||Rescue Diver||Dive Supervisor|
|SDI||Open Water Diver|
|Advanced Diver||Rescue Diver||Divemaster|
|SSAC (ScotSAC)||Sports Diver|
|Second Class Diver / Master Diver 1|
|Royal Navy||Ships Diver|
|ITDA||2** Star Diver||Advanced Nitrox Diver||ITDA Rescue Diver||Extended Range Nitrox Diver (Ntech)|
|ANDI||Open Water Diver||Rescue Diver||Divemaster|
|GUE||All GUE qualifications|
|IANTD||Open Water Diver|
|Essentials Diver||Advanced Open Water Diver|
|DMT NASE UK||Open Water Diver|
|Advanced Open Water Diver|
|Rescue Diver||Advanced Rescue Diver||Divemaster|
|PSAI||Open Water Sport Diver|
|Advanced Open Water Diver|
27 m with 5 specialities2
|R.A.P.I.D. (Rescue, Accident Prevention & Intervention Diver) Master Diver|
|Advanced Deep Air Level 1||Divemaster|
|TDI||Advanced Nitrox||Extended Range|
|LA Co UW||Basic Certification||Intermediate Certification||Advanced Certification|
|PDIC||Open Water||Advanced Open Water Diver|
|IADS||1 Star Open Water Diver|
|2 Star Advanced Diver|
|Intermediate Certification||Advanced Certification|
|IDD||Open Water Diver|
|Advanced Open Water Diver|
|Dive Agency||Instructor Qualifications|
|CMAS||1 Star Instructor||2 Star Instructor||3 Star Instructor||4 Star||4 Star|
|BSAC||Club Instructor||Open Water Instructor||Advanced Instructor||1st Class Diver||National Instructor|
|PADI||Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI)||Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT)||Instructor Development Course (IDC) Staff Instructor|
|SAA||Club Instructor||Regional Instructor|
|SSI||Open Water Instructor|
|SSAC (ScotSAC)||Branch Instructor||Regional Instructor||Club Examiner|
|LA Co UW||UICC (underwater instructors certification course)|
|ITDA||Resort Instructor||2** STAR Instructor||2** STAR Instructor|
|IADS||UICC (underwater instructors certification course)|
The above tables are by no means exhaustive: there are other training agencies and qualifications. If you plan to cross-over training, you may be asked to start a level down from your equivalent qualification. Ask your new agency for advice.
- American Nitrox Divers International. specialise in training programs for technical diving and closed circuit rebreather systems.
- British Sub-Aqua Club. The BSAC is the governing body for the sport of scuba diving in the UK. It is a club-based organisation that offers training for members through a branch, or intensive courses through a BSAC school. BSAC was established in 1953 by Oscar Gugen.
- Confédération Mondiale des Activites Subaquatiques (World Underwater Federation of Underwater Activities). Established 1959.
- DMT NASE UK LTD.
- No association with NASE or NASE Europe. The DMT Training Group researched, developed and implemented the programmes in the UK and Canada and were the first Agency Accredited by HSE under the updated DWR 1997 Regulations in 2000 and were accredited by HSE in January 2001. Since that time DMT NASE UK has been accredited annually, with new programmes being submitted on a regular basis.
- Global Underwater Explorers. Non-profit organisation dedicated to the training of divers as well as the study and protection of the aquatic realm.
- Instructor Dive Development. Established in 1992 in Europe with its Head-Office in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. IDD wanted an education which could be used not only in tropical waters or cold European waters, but truly could be used effectively all over the world.
- International Association of Diving Schools.
- International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers. UK organisation offering training courses from Open Water Diver through to Expedition Trimix.
- International Technical Diving Agency.
- LA Co UW
- LA County Scuba Underwater Programs. First American training agency: established 1954.
- Military Divers
- PADI recognises military diver qualifications as a pre-requisite to many of its courses, but doesn't offer a straightforward crossover. So you could, for example, take a rescue divers course without having previously done a PADI advance open water course.
- National Association of Scuba Diving Schools: now merged with SSI.
- National Association of Scuba Educators. American-based. Draws its extensive experience from the fields of commercial, recreational, technical and cave diver training. No association with DMT NASE UK LTD.
- NASE Europe
- National Association of Scuba Educators Europe. No association with DMT NASE UK LTD.
- National Association of Underwater Instructors. Worldwide organisation headquartered in America.
- Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Worldwide organisation headquartered in America.
- Professional Diving Instructors Corporation. Founded in the USA in the 1960s.
- Professional SCUBA Association International. The oldest technical / extended range scuba certification agency.
2Narcosis Management Level I or Deep Diver speciality inclusion extends depth limit of Advanced Open Water Diver to 30m.
3Narcosis Management Level II speciality inclusion extends depth limit of R.A.P.I.D. Master Diver to 40 m.
- Rebreather Association of International Divers. Rebreather and open circuit training. Use an e-learning programme. RAID training standards are compliant with ISO Recreational Diving Standards and is accepted by The UK Health and Safety Executive as an approved provider. They also offer Nationally Accredited training in Australia.
- Sub-Aqua Association. British organisation.
- Scuba Diving International. Created in 1999 and grew out of sister company TDI, which specialises in the more advanced disciplines of technical dive training. Agencies that are accepted to meet the prerequisites for SDI include: IDEA, PADI, PDIC, SSI, YMCA, NAUI, BSAC, Sub Aqua Association, European Standard, CMAS and IANTD
- SSAC or ScotSAC
- Scottish Sub-Aqua Club. Founded in 1953. Like the BSAC it is a club-based organisation offering thorough training for Scottish conditions.
- Scuba Schools International. In the Spring of 1999, SSI merged with the National Association of Scuba Diving Schools.
- Technical Diving International. Agencies that are accepted to meet the prerequisites for TDI include: IANTD, ANDI, DSATI, SSI, NAUI, NACD, NSS-CDS, CMAS, BSAC and CDAA.
Sources: BSAC T.17, HSE, SDI TDI ERDI, CMAS International Diver Training Standards and Procedures Manual, e-mail from PSAI Europe, e-mail from DMT NASE UK Ltd / DMT Training Group.
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Recommended Training Books
- The Complete Diver: The History, Science and Practice of Scuba Diving
by Dr Alex Brylske, 2012
- A comprehensive guide to recreational scuba diving.
- The Diving Manual
- Circle Books, Paperback, 164 pages, (2002).
One from the British Sub-Aqua Club. Aimed at those interested in taking up diving, and written with the forthcoming European Diver Training Standards in mind, besides supporting divers following the BSAC system this generic diving manual will also be useful to divers following other training systems.
Available from UK
- NOAA Diving Manual: Diving for Science and Technology, Fourth Edition
- James T. Joiner, Best Pub Co, Hardback, 660 pages, (2002).
One of the most detailed diving reference books available and is a valuable resource for all who are interested in a complete encyclopedia of diving technology, equipment, techniques and procedures.
Available from UK (but cheaper from USA)