PADI – The Professional Association of Diving Instructors
The ocean covers approximately 75% of this great planet of ours, and one of the best ways to explore the ocean is as a diver. The wonders that can open up to you as a diver are breathtaking but, since we humans aren’t made to breathe underwater, equally amazing equipment has been invented to help us explore the ocean’s depths.
In order to use this equipment and ensure your safety (the ocean is beautiful but dangerous) it is best to first learn how to dive, and PADI can teach you just that with their scuba diving lesson course.
PADI is the acronym for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, an organization founded by John Cronin and Ralph Erickson in 1966. While not the first diving association (that award goes to NAUI) PADI was different in that the skills needed to become a diver with their course were broken down into different parts instead of a single, all inclusive course as NAUI had been using.
Using the PADI system a person can learn the basics of diving such as Open Water Diving and Scuba Diving and can also become a Master Scuba Diver. PADI has a sister association, DSAT, that teaches more technical and dangerous types of diving like gas blending and decompression diving. The PADI system along with DSAT is virtually all-encompassing as far as diving with breathing apparatus is concerned.
PADI breaks down their system into modules that encompass various parts of the diving certification requirements. The 2 main modules are skills and theory, and both are broken into sub-modules. Knowledge of all modules is first tested through exams and oral tests, and then through hand-on testing which is conducted first in pools and then in the ocean itself. Each module comes with a certification once the testing objectives have been met and the instructors are satisfied that the student is well versed in all aspects of the particular module.
The PADI program is considered one of the best in the world and is very thorough. At the beginning level practical knowledge, motor skills and above all else safety are highly emphasized. The physics of diving, chemistry and human physiology as well are all featured components of the PADI system and taught at the entry level.
Once the new diver has gained enough practical knowledge and some real-world experience the more advanced diving concepts are introduced. Once certified a diver will also need to receive further training in order to advance and gain higher certification and also peer review will be needed on a regular basis to keep up with changes in technology and equipment.