Training Agencies  Diving Courses  Diving Travel  Great Destinations  Divers Stories

Diving Business  Training News  Pro Career  Tek Diving  Consult  Web Design  Contact Us   Home

International Diver Training

     This page is designed to help divers to find their way to better and safer diving instruction and courses. We believe that the best scuba diving training is when no compromise will be made on skills, knowledge, and safety and rescue techniques.
We are living today in a world of shortcuts, where everything has to be easier, faster, cheaper, but still somehow better than before. As we have learnt from years of training experience, there is no shortcut to quality training in whatever activity you might choose. Don't choose the cheapest or fastest course! Choose the best course, taught by experienced professionals who care about you and your future diving safety and enjoyment.
     As mentioned in our Training Agencies Review page, there is a lot of good training out there, but there is also a lot of unprofessional and unsafe training going on as well. Agencies design their standards of practice and course curriculum according to their philosophy regarding the development of recreational scuba training. Some want volume and are more business oriented, some prefer to stay more modest and design their courses with more requirements, making courses longer and more demanding. Agencies pass on their training philosophy to their leaders and instructors, who in turn, are in charge of getting the message through their students.

Your instructor is far more important than your certification card!

     We would like to emphasize the fact that as a future diver or future dive leader, dive master, assistant instructor or instructor, you should be more aware of the experience and the background of your trainer than of all the advantages or freebies you will have by taking any specific course. Any "instructor" can teach a scuba course badly. Only an educator will take the time and make the effort to train you thoroughly and to a safe level of knowledge. We emphasize this because we have seen so many bad courses and unsafe divers and diving practices. Please take your time in choosing your agency and your instructor.
     Remember that if price is your only concern, you will get what you pay for. Please also keep in mind that experienced professionals in any field will ask you to pay the appropriate price for their expertise. If you go to a "cheap Charlie" you will get cheap training - large classes, distracted instructors, a "diver factory" of badly trained divers being turned out. This is the worst way to begin diving. 
     There are two ways to get trained nowadays:
1) The "fast food, easy going, short cutting" style, where agencies have cut their traditional programs from four to three days and even less, have dropped the lowest age at which you can begin diving, and rely far more upon videos and texts than the knowledge of the instructor.
2) We recommend the "do it right, safety first" style, where the training agency has not cut off any training days or dives from their courses, and where divers are trained by knowledgeable, caring instructors who don't have to rely 100% on videos to cover their own lack of expertise.

     The major training agencies have divided their training into two curriculums:
The recreational diver path and the dive professional path. Both can easily interact with each other. At the beginning of the progression, the diver will find the skin diver certification or the resort/introductory scuba program, which is not a certification course, but a professionally guided discovery of diving.
     At the certification level comes the novice/beginner course followed by advanced level courses with more diving tasks. Then comes rescue diver training and specialty diver courses, to help divers develop more in depth knowledge and skills in very specific areas such as: deep diving, night diving, wreck diving, underwater photography and video, etc.
     The professional path is divided usually into three to four different levels of progression on the way to achieving the rating of dive instructor of a given training agency. A professional path is mostly developed as a career development program and will conduct training up to instructor levels. Every level entitles the recipient to work and earn money with the functions he/she will occupy upon completion of the course.
In all agencies, only certified instructors in good standing with their association can certify divers.
     All agencies require instructor candidates to be a dive leader of a recognized agency prior entering the instructor course. The amount of experience required to enter the instructor training program varies by agency.
     According to our experience, here is a classification of the three training agencies, which in our opinion are producing, through their instructors, the most highly trained, confident, and safe divers worldwide.
     One more time, there are a lot of excellent diving instructors out there, and your duty to get the best diving course is to check the experience and achievements of your trainer.
     If you are living in an area of the world where scuba diving seems to be a real effort more than fun (cold water, possibly rough conditions) please consider the following: you will get more realistic and difficult training in non-dream like conditions. Training in more challenging conditions makes you a more experienced diver than one who trains in easy tropical conditions. Moreover, you will be fully certified as a diver when comes the time for you to enjoy the thrill of tropical water diving. Why should you spend 4 or 5 days of your hard earned holidays training, when you could do it at your own pace at home and have more fun diving on your dream diving vacation?
     We believe it is better to use the tropical water destinations to further the diver's education and learn more about environment, underwater photography, video or other advanced courses. We encourage you to take your beginner course with an instructor or a facility close to your home, and achieve your certification prior to spending your quality vacation time in relaxing with good, clear diving conditions on your coming vacations. Keep in mind that your local instructor or store will be a source of social events, meeting with divers, finding new buddies and certainly enhancing safety in harder condition training.

Good luck with your choice and safe diving to all!