What is the difference between PADI vs SSI?

In this article we look in more detail at some differences between PADI and SSI : We help you determine differences between these two largest Scuba Diving Training Organizations so that you can take a wise and honest decision. Both are certified for diving. We’ll get deeper into the specific certification requirements for the different organizations. The major differences between the two programs are that each offers different types of diving training agencies.


PADI was founded over the bottle Jonny Walker in 1966 by two friends worried about the scuba diving industry and slipping standards. It was obtained in 2017 for $700 million by Wealthy Family Endowments. It is currently the world’s largest scuba training agency with strict education standards. There he hadn’t changed anything since the transaction. We are pleased to report PADi has performed more divers recreationally than most. They bought it from the wealthy family in 2017 and it hasn’t changed since then either. This scuba diving certification agency stems  from the original scuba diving certification program started by PADI and it checks all divers against their standards to make sure they are safe.

They are so strict about keeping high standards that once a contractor failed to pass an instructor’s test in 1986 because he didn’t know how to tie a bowline, even though it was not required by the course. He thought it would be used as an example for students during his training class. Their goal is to do everything possible to ensure each student will enjoy diving.  

They offer two ways of diver education: you can complete one of its recreational lessons or get certified as a professional diver (rescue divers). No matter what type of training you decide on, there is no limit to dive


SSI is the largest store-oriented training provider. Scuba Schools International abbreviation represents Scuba Schools International. SSI professionals have to have affiliated with dive centers. Thus the instructor of the SSI cannot be an independent teacher. This company has a great system of online learning & an interesting training method diving instructors can integrate their experience into their teaching methodology. It has a presence all around the globe.

Which is better PADI or SSI?

Asking about padi vs ssi is rather like asking “what’s the difference between a Cadillac and a Lexus, or like business class and first class?”

The short answer is nothing. They both have their points but are fundamentally the same thing with different levels of facilities.

The long answer is padi vs ssi have different scuba diving lessons, padi has a greater focus on exploration but it does not necessarily mean that padi is better than SSI. Both PADI and SSI are two of the most popular courses in the world for me. I like them both equally well. The rest is up to you!

What this means:

It’s really hard to say what the difference between PADI and SSI is because they are fundamentally the same thing with different levels of facilities. PADI focuses more on your personal development than industry-related activities, while SSI (Scuba Schools International) emphasizes training to become part of an international diving community.

Do PADI and SSI Scuba certifications expire?

PADI and SSI or other scuba diving organizations also offer different certifications. The training is offered with a variety of options depending on the level officials for five regulate to their resources. The open water diver certification will last forever without expiring. However, it is wise to take a refresher course every couple of years, and then you have to do some skill-related courses few times.

Pro (Divemaster or Diving instructor) certification however will expire, and you have to follow the dive course completely again. It will expire in one year, right after you received that certification.

Should you get a PADI or SSI certification?

This is quite a personal preference and many other factors. A person gets one of these certifications if they have a preference for that organization over the other. You might consider PADI or SSI depending on training facilities, specialties, and reputation in your area. In addition to these two organizations, you will find several different training agencies at SSI vs PADI.

In this connection PADI vs SSI, PADI offers more courses like deep diving (Blue hole course), shark awareness program. SSI doesn’t offer as many programs as PADI does. PADI is usually preferred by beginners while advanced scuba divers prefer SSI training for specific areas of expertise where PADI can come with PADI vs SSI. One important aspect that must not be overlooked is how well trained the PADI instructor is. PADI training supports more people. PADI offers to fit the needs of local communities in the PADI specialty programs PADI courses that are not offered by SSI.

What are the costs of the certifications and training materials?

Both PADI and SSI offer online training (only the theoretical part) so that the time you will have to spend in a classroom during your precious holiday will be minimized. There is, however, a difference in price between these two. When you are comparing prices for the open water diver course (or any course) with different dive operators, please do make sure you calculate the total price which includes all dive course materials and certification fees. A “cheap” course at first glance can work out more expensive once all has been added up! If the dive course materials are not yet included in the published price you may expect to pay $200 to $250 extra for the course materials and certification fees. So it makes a lot of sense to contact the dive center that you intend to do the underwater training with beforehand and ask them about their prices.

The cost of a course with PADI or SSI will vary from location to location. The PADI and SSI both have online courses available for people who don’t have the time to sit in a classroom all day while on holiday. One difference between PADI and SSI is the cost of a course. It is important to include all the costs when comparing prices as they can be different from dive operator to dive operator. If the dive course materials are not included in the published price it’s good to ask padi/ssi about their prices before committing to a course with a scuba diving certification agency. The PADI open water diver course fees vary from $600-800 and the SSI courses are ranging from $500 to $800 (depending on the location).

How do I enroll for an SSI or PADI dive course?  

To enroll in any PADI or SSI course you will need to contact one of their affiliated dive centers directly (contact details can be found by googling PADI or SSI in combination with your holiday destination) and ask them if they are taking students. Some padi or ssi certified dive shops might have openings for new students even if they don’t advertise it online, so it is worth checking with local dive centers before you travel.  

Both agencies offer basic training (open water diver course) and advanced training. These trainings includes Rescue diver, Divemaster, instructor development program, assistant instructor & specialist certification. All these certifications are offered by PADI and all the PADI courses can be completed by SSI students.

The Bottom Line

When deciding between PADI vs SSI, one thing to keep in mind is the price range of entry-level certification. Packages are also available that offer rebates when coupled with accommodations. You can find packages at slower times during the year where people have less time for leisure activities or if they do not want to leave their house or job behind for a few days. If you’re lucky enough, there may be an option without needing to leave your home!

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