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PADI® Qualification Comparison Chart

Did you ever ask yourself... Why should I choose PADI for my scuba diving credentials? And, what is the difference between the top five scuba training agencies anyway?

This guide explains how the equivalent qualifications for divers trained by different certifying agencies (e.g. CMAS, BSAC, NAUI) compare with PADI scuba certifications.

How is PADI Different to the Other Agencies

Anyone who is serious about their diving will acknowledge that PADI is the world's foremost organisation.

Worldwide, 186 countries and territories respect and honour the scuba diving credentials held by PADI Divers.

Simply put, dive centers and resorts will accept your PADI certification card at all the best diving destinations around the world.

So, you can be comforted in knowing that many divers made the same choice – to be trained by PADI, the world's largest scuba diving training organisation.

Pro Tip: Some divers who've been trained by another certifying agency would like to switch their certification and crossover to PADI. The list of PADI equivalent qualifications below explains how to continue your journey and enter the PADI system of diver education.

Dive Agency Crossovers

The comprehensive checklist represents all the popular scuba training agencies around the world and their PADI® equivalent level of certification, including:

Scuba Certification Comparison Tables

BSAC PADI Equivalent Qualifications
Ocean Diver or Club Diver Open Water Diver
Sport Diver Open Water Diver
Sport Diver with at least 20 logged dives Advanced Open Water Diver
Dive Leader Rescue Diver
Advanced Diver Divemaster or IDC Candidate
Club Instructor IDC Candidate
Open Water Instructor IDC Candidate
Advanced Instructor IDC Candidate
CMAS PADI Equivalent Qualifications
CMAS 1 Star Diver Open Water Diver
CMAS 2 Star Diver (with Night and Navigation) Rescue Diver
CMAS 3 Star Diver Divemaster or IDC Candidate
CMAS 1 Star Instructor IDC Candidate
CMAS 2 Star Instructor IDC Candidate
HSE PADI Equivalent Qualifications
Level 2 Open Water Diver
Level 3 Advanced Open Water Diver
Level 4 (depends on specialties) Rescue Diver or Divemaster
IDSA (Commercial) PADI Equivalent Qualifications
Level 1 Open Water Diver
Level 2 (with PPB and table specialties) Advanced Open Water Diver
ISO Title (and Reference) PADI Equivalent Qualifications
Introductory training programs to scuba diving (ISO 11121) Discover Scuba Diving
Diver Level 1 - Supervised Diver (ISO 24801-1) Scuba Diver
Environmental awareness for recreational divers (ISO 21417) Project AWARE Specialty
Diver Level 2 - Autonomous Diver (ISO 24801-2) Open Water Diver
Diver Level 3 - Diver Leader (ISO 24801-3) Divemaster
Training programs on enriched air nitrox diving (ISO 11107) Enriched Air Diver
Instructor Level 1 (ISO 24802-1) Assistant Instructor
Instructor Level 2 (ISO 24802-2) Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI)
Recreational scuba diving service providers (ISO 24803) Dive Center or Resort
NAUI PADI Equivalent Qualifications
NAUI Scuba Diver Open Water Diver
Advanced Scuba Diver Advanced Open Water Diver
NAUI Master Scuba Diver Rescue Diver
NAUI Divemaster Divemaster
Scuba Instructor IDC Candidate
SAA PADI Equivalent Qualifications
Club Diver Open Water Diver
Club Diver (20 dives + Deep and Navigation) Advanced Open Water Diver
Dive Leader (with 20 logged dives) Advanced Open Water Diver
Dive Leader (with Diver Rescue) Rescue Diver
Dive Supervisor (with Diver Rescue) Divemaster
Assistant and Club Instructor (+ Diver Rescue) IDC Candidate
SAA Regional Instructor IDC Candidate
SSI PADI Equivalent Qualifications
SSI Open Water Open Water Diver
SSI Advanced Adventurer Advanced Open Water
SSI Stress and Rescue Techniques Rescue Diver
SSI Master Diver Rescue Diver
SSI Dive Con Divemaster
SSI Master Diver Rescue Diver
SSI Open Water / Dive Con Instructor IDC Candidate if instructor certified for 6 months

Pro Tip: Click through to see a full list of all scuba diving certification levels, including freediving courses and specialties.

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