Scuba Diving Agencies and Organizations


Trials, errors, and ever-evolving technologies have made scuba diving a safe and enjoyable recreational pastime. But it still has its risks. As scuba diving reached a point of widespread popularity, diving organizations were created to provide resources and training to ensure diver safety. Worldwide scuba diving agencies now offer education, support, and practical hands on training to minimize the dangers and keep recreational scuba diving a safe and enjoyable experience. What follows are a few of the most reputable scuba diving agencies and organizations, and their brief descriptions.

ACUC - Since 1969, "American Canadian Underwater Certifications" International has worked to develop world class recreational diver and instructor training programs. Being a founding member of the Canadian and European Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC), the organization is recognized by RSTC agencies around the world.

BSAC - The "British Sub Aqua Club", established in 1953, is the national governing body for scuba diving in the UK, and provides a worldwide dive training program over a network of centers and clubs across the UK and abroad. The 50,000-member comprehensive organization emphasizes rescue training to address the country's unusually cold waters and restricted visibility.

CMAS - The Belgium-founded "Confederation Mondiale des Activites Subaquatiques," now based in Rome, is also known as the "World Underwater Federation". The scuba diving agency, regarded as the world's oldest, includes 130 federations spanning five continents. CMAS is a comprehensive training program to help recreational and professional divers meet the challenges.

IDEA - The "International Diving Educators Association," originally founded in 1952 as the training arm of the Florida Skin Divers Association (FSDA), was regarded as its training committee for scuba diving safety. The Association is now an independent organization based in Florida providing quality training to recreational and professional scuba divers in the US and overseas.

NAUI - In existence since 1959, the "National Association of Underwater Instructors" is a worldwide not-for-profit dive training and certification agency based in Tampa, Florida. NAUI is also one of the largest and most respected certification agencies, with tens of thousands of member instructors and affiliate programs, resorts, and services around the world. The Association has become well known in more recent years for its technical diving division. Its standards, ethics, and policies are governed by the agency's Board of Directors.

PADI - The "Professional Association of Diving Instructors," founded in 1966 and headquartered in Niles, Illinois, is one of the world's largest and comprehensive agencies in dive certification. The organization boasts more than 135,000 certified divers, and over 6,000 dive shops and resorts worldwide. PADI operates Emergency First Response, providing CPR and first aid training to divers and the public.

SSI - Founded in 1970 and headquartered in Ft. Collins, Colorado, the "Scuba Schools International" maintains training and support centers in 90 countries. SSI is an educational and business support company and developer of the Risk Awareness System. The scuba training organization requires its scuba diving professionals to work with professional dive centers and resorts. It provides high quality training and support for all diving levels, and is one of the largest training facilities in the world. SSI has merged with the National Association of Scuba Diving Schools - a pioneer of scuba diving training.

WRSTC - The "World Recreational Scuba Training Council" was established in 1999 to ensure the safety of recreational divers worldwide through the development and implementation of globally-recognized training standards.

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