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NAUI VS PADI CERTIFICATION What is the difference between NAUI and PADI Certifications ?

NAUI vs. PADI Scuba Certification

So, you have decided to become a scuba diver or continue your scuba knowledge, but first, you need to get certified!  Different organizations provide certifications such as NAUI and PADI. Both organizations offer equivalent knowledge and have a few differences, but what are the differences between NAUI vs. PADI SCUBA Certification?

Both training agencies follow the standards and requirements outlined by the The World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC) 

National Association of Underwater Instructors

NAUI is the oldest not-for-profit SCUBA certification organization, established in 1960. NAUI is US-based organization and offers courses all over the world.

Professional Association of Diving Instructors

PADI is a French and Canadian equity firmy and offers many performance-based diving courses similar to NAUI. PADI established in 1966, and their centers are spread all over the world.

(Side Note)

There are many similarities and differences between the two organizations. Keep in mind that both of them are good. No matter which one you select to achieve your certifications; at the end of your course and practice regularly, you will become an excellent diver.

NAUI Certification

NAUI is the oldest not-for-profit dive training organization. Generation after generation NAUI has trained divers on how to dive safely. Their courses are very detailed ensuring knowledge and safety. It’s no wonder they have become one of the top organizations to offer scubacertifications.

NAUI offers multiple certifications depending on how much knowledge and skill you want gain at each level.

Here are their courses at a glance

  1. Scuba Diving Training
  2. Advanced Scuba Diving
  3. Master Scuba Diving
  4. Technical Diving
  5. Specialty Diving Courses
  6. Professional Diving Courses

PADI Certification

PADI offers certification to the scuba diving and water enthusiasts. If you are fascinated by what the underwater world has to offer PADI will give you a license to do so. Of course, after passing the certification process.

PADI offers an open water course certification, which is the most popular certification at PADI. It is the first pre-requisite for the rest of the diving courses that will lead you to be a certified scuba diver.

Open water certification at a glance:

  1. Phase 1: Knowledge Development ONLINE
  2. Phase 2: Practical Suba Diving Confined Water Dives
  3. Phase 3: Open Water Dives


Both NAUI and PADI are two of the most prestigious diving certification agencies worldwide that offer diving courses. Both are always enhancing knowledge and skills while ensuring that it is done safely.

NAUI will teach divers how to save an unconscious diver during the early courses, and PADI does not offer that.

NAUI is a not-for-profit agency, and its main focus is to make sure that all divers are well educated about safety during diving. Their motto is “Dive safety through education.” US Navy uses NAUI certification.

PADI, on the other hand, is a for-profit organization that profits mainly from marketing and selling their products. It has also trained divers all over the world.


No matter where you acquire your certification card either from NAUI or PADI, you will be able to scuba dive all over the world. Both agency requirements will train you and give you the knowledge and skills needed to be a diver.

When trying to choose between the two, it will be more of what the dive facility and instructor offers more than the certification agency.

So, whether you select a NAUI or PADI scuba certification, make sure you have the best training facility and instructor staff.  SA Scuba Shack teaches both NAUI & PADI certifications. We are very passionate about what we do, which is reflected in our Google and Yelp customer reviews and would love to work with you.