If you have Diving Certification from any organisation other than PADI, then here are a few general guidelines that should help to explain acceptability of your existing credentials:
- As long as you have (proof of) certification as an entry level scuba diver or higher, you will be able to participate on normal guided dives.
- If you want to do a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course and hold an existing qualification from another organisation such as NAUI, BSAC, CMAS, SSAC, SAA, SSI etc. Then your existing qualification must be equal to that of the PADI Open Water Course, which is defined as proof of entry-level scuba certification with a minimum of 4 scuba-training dives. A PADI instructor will however ensure that you can perform the skills required of an Open Water Diver.
- If you want to do a PADI Rescue Diver course, then you must have an equivalent rating to the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, which is defined as proof beyond certification level, and a minimum of 20 logged dives documenting experience in Deep dives and Navigation dives.
- If you want to do a Divemaster course, you must have an equivalent rating to the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (as described above) and have an equivalent rating to the PADI Rescue Diver, which is defined as proof of certification in Diving Rescue from a training organisation other than PADI and submit proof of CPR and First Aid training within the past 24 months, and a minimum of 60 logged dives.
- It is also worthwhile noting that Dive Centres at some locations (e.g. Dahab/Egypt) do not allow divers to rent equipment and go diving by themselves without a Divemaster (or higher rating) from the Dive Centre.
- Regards Dahab: This is a new rule that has been set by the Egyptian Federation, in order to make diving safer.
- You should also be aware that a PADI Dive Centre would expect anyone having alternative certification to ensure that it is fully up to date as per their organisations regulations. For example: BSAC divers require a medical examination and chest X-ray before beginning diving, and you will be required to have an up-to-date certificate in your log-book.
NB the above statements are intended as a guide only. For current information regarding equivalent ratings from CMAS, BSAC, NAUI, SSAC, SAA or SSI please contact: