PADI Equivalent Qualifications

PADI equivalent qualifications

Divers from other training agencies will want to know their PADI equivalent qualifications if they want to become a PADI diver.

Often they want to cross over because their goal is to progress through the PADI training system to become a PADI instructor. 

These tables give you an idea about what qualifications you’ll need to switch over to the next PADI equivalent qualification.

However, bear in mind that certification levels aren’t always direct equivalents, so it’s always a good idea to check with the training agencies before you book a course. 

The world of diving is a complex one, with many different bodies overseeing the sport.  

Crossing over to PADI

PADI advises that if you have a basic (first level) diving qualification, it is best to cross-over by taking the next level course, usually the  Advanced Open Water course, or a speciality.

This will refresh and review skills learned in the previous levels and prepare you for further learning.

PADI certification levels

This ethos applies to all levels of diving.
Dive operators usually recognise most certification cards.  

It’s not necessary to just substitute a certification card for a PADI one. 

It’s only necessary when you want to take further training. 
PADI will recognise your certification level as a pre-requisite for your next PADI Certification level. 

BSAC vs PADI qualifications

This guide can be used to help place a BSAC diver into the appropriate level of training within the PADI system.

It is important to note that this is only a guide, and that the PADI instructor will have the final say in what level the diver will begin training at.

However, this guide should give you a good starting point in making your decision. 

It’s so important that each diver gets the individual attention they need to succeed.

BSAC PADI
Ocean diver or Club Diver
can join an
Advanced Open Water Course
Sport Diver
can join an
Advanced Open Water Course
Sport Diver (with at least 20 logged dives, + experience in Deep and Navigation)
can join a
Rescue Diver Course
Dive Leader
can join a
Divemaster Course
Advanced Diver
can join an
Assistant Instructor Course OR PADI IDC
Club Instructor
can join a
PADI IDC
Open Water Instructor
can join a
PADI IDC
Advanced Instructor or National Instructor
can join an
Open Water Scuba Instructor Course

Please be aware that all other course prerequisites must also be met

For example, some courses have a prerequisite of First Aid and CPR training. 

SSI vs PADI qualifications

SSI and PADI qualification levels are fairly similar to each other. 
Here is a guide. 

As always please check with the agency before you book onto a course. 

SSI PADI
SSI Open Water
Equivalent to
Open Water Diver
SSI Advanced Open Water
Equivalent to
Advanced Open Water Diver
SSI Stress and Rescue Techniques
Equivalent to
Rescue Diver
SSI Master Diver
Equivalent to
Rescue Diver
SSI Dive Con
Equivalent to
Divemaster
SSI O/W/Dive Con Instructor
Equivalent to
PADI IDC Candidate

NAUI vs PADI qualifications

PADI Equivalent Qualifications for the NAUI organisation.

NAUI PADI
NAUI Scuba Diver
Equivalent to
Open Water Diver
NAUI Advanced Scuba Diver
Equivalent to
Advanced Open Water Diver
NAUI Master Scuba Diver
Equivalent to
Rescue Diver
NAUI DIvemaster
Equivalent to
Divemaster
NAUI Scuba Instructor
Equivalent to
PADI IDC Candidate

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CMAS vs PADI qualifications

PADI Equivalent Qualifications for CMAS

CMAS PADI
CMAS 1 Star Diver
Equivalent to
Open Water Diver
CMAS 2 Star Diver (with experience of Night and Navigation dive)
Equivalent to
Rescue Diver
CMAS 3 Star Diver
Equivalent to
Divemaster or IDC Candidate
CMAS 1 Star Instructor
Equivalent to
IDC Candidate
CMAS 2 Star Instructor
Equivalent to
PADI IDC Candidate

Complete PADI IDC Preparation Course

If you are planning on crossing over from another agency to become a PADI Instructor, the

Full PADI IDC Preparation Course. 

Will catch you up with all things PADI!
It’s packed with great tips to bring you up to speed with the PADI way of doing things. 

PADI qualifications

FULLY UPDATED FOR 2022 

24 Videos

30 Quizzes

Dive Theory, using PADI terminology

Teaching Skills

How to teach PADI skills in confined water

5 Mock PADI IE dive Theory Exams

5 PADI Standards Exams (using the 2022 instructor manual).

This online course is perfect for you.

  • Explained in simple terms
  • Jargon Busting sections!
  • Lots of practice exams
  • Videos (not taught in the “PADI” way!)
  • Quizzes to help you understand the PADI System
  • The most “up to date” PADI questions
  • Standards questions based on 2022 PADI Instructor Exam
  • All Standards exam questions found in 2022 version of PADI Instructor Manual

If you have found traditional teaching difficult to understand, then this course is for you.

It’s packed with simple videos and quizzes to help you with any subjects that you find difficult.

I explain things in very simple terms. I try to break through the “jargon” and also give tips on how you can pass this information over to others. 

“Hoorah! For the first time in my life physics is easy!! I would recommend this course to anyone, regardless of current level of qualification".

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Last modified: 1st August 2022
Author: Steve Prior