There are many agencies around the world; however, in the United States the two you should concern yourself with are the NAUI and PADI. These two agencies have different philosophies and methods of training.

  • NAUI is a not-for-profit agency, founded in 1960 and based on educating qualified divers. PADI is a for-profit agency, founded in 1966. PADI takes a marketing approach to diving which has been quite successful and has made them the largest and most recognized certification agency in the world.
  • PADI offers shorter courses than NAUI with more levels, which may lead divers to falsely believe they are at a higher level of proficiency than they really are.
  • PADI and NAUI utilize different dive tables. NAUI's dive tables tend to be more conservative in terms of Surface Interval Time allotted.
  • Ultimately, what is most important for your training as a good diver is your instructor rather than the certification agencies s/he is affiliated with. But with all else being equal, we recommend that you go with NAUI.

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