The PADI system

The PADI System of diver education is the most solid teaching system in scuba diving. PADI courses are designed to make learning enjoyable and worthwhile and at the same time ensure a safe learning environment. Under the guidance of your professional PADI Instructor, you will gain confidence in your diving abilities while mastering important safety concepts and skills. PADI course flows ensure that you will progress at your own pace and that each part of your training is complete before you move on the next section.


Every PADI course is divided into both academic and practical sections; most PADI courses have three broad sections, academics, confined water training and open water training. All PADI courses begin with a small amount of paperwork including a medical evaluation questionnaire. This form is to ensure that you are in good physical health for scuba diving. Student divers will receive their learning materials and begin with the academics portion independently, reading and answering review questions on the learning material. Students will than attend an instructional seminar where the topics and theories will be covered in more detail through a combination of videos and power-point presentations. After the academics have been completed the students than move on the confined water section of the diving course.

Confined Water

With the exception of the PADI Advanced Diver course all PADI courses have a confined water session, in the case of beginner divers this is where their first breath underwater takes place. PADI courses are designed to move progressively to deeper depths and more advanced skills as the course progresses. The first sessions begin in water shallow enough for the student to stand, ensuring their safety by allowing them to simply stand up if they have a problem. As they become more confident and practiced with the simpler skills they move to a deeper area and learn more advanced techniques. At the end of the confined water sessions student divers will be practiced in swimming underwater, maintaining buoyancy and a number of skills relating to scuba diving.

Open Water

After student divers demonstrate skill mastery in confined water, they will repeat the skills in an open water situation and be evaluated by the instructor. This is to ensure that the students can transfer these skills from a calm, shallow water environment to a more unpredictable environment where currents, waves and varying visibility may be present. The idea here is to allow the divers independence and for the Instructor to no longer teach the skills but evaluate the student divers abilities.

Once the student divers complete all the course requirements, i.e. all confined water sessions, open water dives and exams they will be awarded the certification. A PADI certification is good for life and accepted worldwide.

Beginner PADI courses available

Discover Scuba Diving - A one day course with no certification involved. For those who only have one day or just want to try diving before committing to a course.

PADI Scuba Diver - A two day course with one day of boat diving. Certifies you to dive to 12m/40ft under the supervision of a diving professional.

PADI Open Water - A four day course with two days of boat diving. Certifies you to dive to 18m/60ft independently.


More in this category: PADI Advanced Diver »