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There are many Scuba Diving training systems and certification agencies including PADI, NAUI, BSAC, SSI, etc.
These agencies create and comply with strict professional standards, and their certifications are recognized worldwide. Each agency establishes its own agenda for diver training and issues certification for each level of scuba diving competency and experience, from beginner to instructor. Courses vary in teaching methods for the beginner's level, but they all cover the same essential knowledge and practical skills development.
All of the Dive Shops in Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras offer PADI scuba diving certification courses and their instructors have been certified by PADI to teach these courses.
The following is a quick introduction to the major Scuba Diving Certification Agencies;
The Association of Underwater Scuba Instructors (AUSI), an Australian based company formed in 1994, arose as a response to the lack of Australian ideas in the scuba diving training market place. Its goals were to create a training system where dive schools could be free to address specific challenges that many different training areas have to offer.
There are no scuba diving operators in Utila who offer AUSI scuba diving certifications.
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), is the world's largest diving organization. It has succeeded largely as its programs make diving accessible to the average person, plus its gets students into the water quickly and easily. PADI has played a major role in making diving a popular recreational activity. Most PADI courses consist of approximately 32 hours of classes, both in the classroom and in the water.
All the scuba diving shops in Utila offer PADI scuba diving certifications.
In addition to certifying scuba divers and instructors, PADI also certifies Scuba Diving Operators.
The entry level certification for a Scuba Diving Operator is either a PADI Dive Center and/or a PADI International Resort Member.
A PADI Dive Center is the entry level certification for a Scuba Diving Operator with retail sales operations.
PADI Dive Centers must meet high standards for quality, service, and training excellence and must meet 30 criteria set by PADI for their scuba diving operations. Everything you need relating to diving can be found here including education, equipment and experience (travel).
In Utila, Underwater Vision is certified as a PADI Dive Centers
PADI 5 Star Dive Centers have to have been in operation as a PADI Dive Centre for over 12 months and must meet an additional 12 quality criteria set by PADI for their scuba diving operations. PADI 5 Star Dive Centers are qualified to offer PADI Instructor training courses.
PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centers offer advanced level training for PADI Instructors. Instructor Development Centers must have been a PADI 5 Star Dive Centre for at least 6 months, plus meet an additional 6 criteria set by PADI for their scuba diving operations.
Currently the highest standard of certification set by PADI for Scuba Diving Operators, PADI 5 Star Career Development Centers (CDC) must have been operating as a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center for at least 2 years and meet an additional 11 quality criteria set by PADI and offer complete training curriculums designed to prepare divers for careers in the dive industry.
Diving Science and Technology (DSAT) Corp is an affiliate of PADI and designed the Technical Diving programs and courses to progress beyond the PADI Recreational Scuba Diving certifications by learning techniques and procedures necessary for diving beyond the PADI recreational dive limits with extended depths and extended bottom times. DSAT is now incorporated into the PADI TecRec Program.
In Utila, Deep Blue Divers and Utila Dive Centre offer DSAT technical diving courses.
The American based National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) is a non-profit association of professional diving educators. NAUI also has a strong regional presence and its popularity lies in the flexibilities of its courses. The heart of NAUI's teaching style entails individual attention to specific needs and spending extra time to reinforce skills instead of rushing students through their courses. NAUI courses usually take longer than others, but the minimum number of hours recommended for their scuba divers course is comparable to other agencies.
In Utila, Alton's Dive Shop
offers NAUI certifications
The The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) is considered to have the most thorough training, and since it was developed in the cold and murky waters of the British Isles, safety is strongly emphasized. Most agree that its rigorous training produces some of the safest newly qualified divers. Along with diving skills, their basic dive training includes underwater navigation, rescue and artificial resuscitation, which are normally covered in other agencies advance courses. BSAC main drawback is that most instructors are volunteers, so they only teach on weekends. Instruction is free, but charges are made to cover cost like a pool or classroom.
In Utila, some individual scuba diving instructors may personally offer BSAC scuba diving certifications.
Scuba Schools International (SSI) places strong emphasis on supporting retail dive shops and this leads to instructions. All SSI instructors are affiliated to an authorized dealer and unlike other agencies; instructors are not allowed to operate independently. SSI basic beginner's course, open water diver, is similar to those offered by the main agencies, and it consist of six academic classes, five pool sessions, five logged open water dives and one skin dive.
In Utila, Laguna Beach Resort, and Utila Watersports offer SSI scuba diving certifications. Utila Watersports also offers SSI Instructor Crossovers.
Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) Scuba is one of the oldest USA national scuba diving instruction institutions. Starting in 1959, the YMCA has been offering scuba diving courses for sports divers. The YMCA offers highest level of community-oriented education for divers and instructors based on the YMCA mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.
In Utila, no scuba diving operators offer YMCA scuba diving certifications.