Here at Poseidon you have a choice of agencies when you do your training. You may be asking yourself which one should I go for or which one is best. We have put together a comparison for you below.
DISCOVER SCUBA DIVING
Have you ever wondered what it's like to breathe under water?
Our Discover Scuba Diving program is a great way to find out what scuba diving is really like before you consider taking a full PADI Scuba Certification Course.
Your Instructor will spend a little time with you to explain the basic principles of scuba diving and give an overview of the diving equipment you will be using.
You will then be taken to the shallow waters of one of our local bays where you will learn a few basic skills. Once you are comfortable, you start the dive together with your instructor and explore the local area.
Minimum age: 10 years old
Duration: approx 2.5 hour
Prices from: €50*
This program is designed for 8 and 9 year olds that want to try scuba diving. It is very similar to the Discover Scuba Diving program, but with a maximum depth of 2 meters.
After a brief outline of what will be involved we are off to Green Bay to get in to the water. A practice of signals and breathing and down we go!
After a swim around to see the fish and whatever else we can find, it's time to see how you get on in the shallows without assistance (we will be right next to each other though).
Minimum age: 8 years old
Duration: approx 2 hours
Prices from: €65
SSI & PADI
This course is a sub course of the Open Water Diver course. With this limited certification that takes 2 days to complete you will be able to dive to a maximum of 12m with a respective SSI/PADI professional escorting you. This course consists of some self study, 3 confined water dives and 2 open water dives. If, after completing the Scuba Diver course, you decide to continue to Open Water Diver, this course will be credited towards the Open Water course in terms of number of dives and cost (this depends upon the agency you choose and the time at which you decide to change to the Open Water course).
Duration: Approx 2 days
Prices from: €190*
OPEN WATER DIVER
SSI & PADI
It takes 3 to 4 days to complete this course and you will be qualified to dive independently with another certified diver to a maximum depth of 18m. This course consist of some self study, 5 confined water dives and 4 open water dives. With eLearning you will have online access to the course material for one year (lifetime with SSI). Once you have completed the online work, you can come out to us and, after a short knowledge refresh, we jump straight into the water and on with the practical part of your course. This means maximum water time on your valuable holiday
Duration: Approx 3-4 days
Prices from: €370*
ADVANCED ADVENTURER / ADVANCED OPEN WATER DIVER
SSI & PADI
With the Advanced Adventurer Diver certification from SSI you can chose 5 topics to gain experience in. If you include Deep in those 5 you will be certified to dive to 30m after this course.
With 5 adventure dives, including deep and navigation dives, you can become an Advanced Open Water diver with a maximum depth of 30m.
SSI & PADI
The Advanced Adventurer/Advanced Open Water Course takes 2 days to complete and we usually choose from the following adventure dives: Deep, Navigation, Night, Digital Underwater Imaging, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Search and Recovery and more. Boat or Wreck adventure dives are possible with a dive on our local Nemesis wreck.
Prerequisite: Open Water Diver
Duration: Approx 2 days
Prices from: €230*
REACT RIGHT / EMERGENCY FIRST RESPONSE
SSI & PADI
Are you ready for an emergency? Take this one day first aid course and learn how to perform CPR and much more. This course is also a prerequisite for a Rescue course.
Duration: approx 1 day
Prices from: €110
STRESS & RESCUE / RESCUE DIVER
SSI & PADI
With this course you will become a very confident diver. During the course you will learn how to deal with potential diving emergencies. You will do some studying and a series of rescue exercises and scenarios. Can be challenging - but also great fun!
SSI: Open Water Diver, React Right within 24 months (or equivalent), 12yrs
PADI: Adventure diver or Advanced Open Water diver plus Emergency First Response within 24 months (or equivalent),
Duration: approx 2 days
Prices from: €280
MASTER DIVER / MASTER SCUBA DIVER
SSI & PADI
To become a Master Diver you must complete 4 specialty courses, Diver Stress and Rescue, and have completed 50 logged dives. This is a recognition level and once you have met the prerequisites, you automatically achieve this rating.
The Master Scuba Diver is a rating, not a course. To achieve this rating you need to be an Advanced open water diver, Rescue diver, have 50 logged dives and 5 Specialty ratings. Please talk to us about your specific requirements.
Gain more experience in an area that interests you.
Here is a list of our specialty courses:
Have you ever thought of becoming a freediver? Well, we can offer the PADI Freediver course to new freedivers. This course is the first level course and is perfect for those that have never freedived before or even those that have, but wish to improve and learn the correct methods to freedive safely.
SSI & PADI
Teaching scuba diving allows you to share your love of the aquatic world with others while doing what you enjoy. Turn your dream into reality today.
The first step to becoming a Pro is Divemaster. As a Divemaster you can assist the instructor in teaching Open Water students as well as leading dives for certified divers. If you add the PADI DSD (Discover Scuba Diving) leader certification you can also conduct the DSD session designed for people who have never dived before.
Next is Assistant instructor. At this level you can start to teach some programs and assist more with entry level courses.
Progression to the next level is OWI/OWSI (Open Water Instructor/Open Water Scuba Instructor). At this level you can teach non divers to become Open Water Divers as well all certain specialties and other courses.
As a Divemaster you will be a sought after asset to any dive centre around the world.
Are you ready to join the ranks of the dedicated professionals who teach the world’s most progressive and popular scuba diver education programs? Then Go PRO with Poseidon Dive Centre.
Read more about becoming a dive professional
* If quantity discounts are applied.
THE BOTTOM LINE...
... is, they are both very similar. Both SSI and PADI are online learning and the only real difference is PADI is a bit more rigid with course delivery and SSI materials are slightly cheaper.
Continue reading for a more detailed explanation.
Both agencies have set standards based on years of research and industry best practice, both follow guidelines set forth by the WRSTC (or World Recreational Scuba Training Council) and both have certain courses (Open water for example) that meet or exceed ISO standards. As a student, you would hardly notice any difference between the two but as an instructor, there are a few differences. Standards govern things, such as class sizes and depth limits based on age and experience. They also determine what skills are taught and the sequence of those skills. Many instructors prefer the SSI approach, which gives instructors much more flexibility in the sequence of skills that the student learns, while PADI maintains that skills cannot be moved from one in-water session to another, although the order of skills can be altered within a session.
The PADI philosophy is for students to complete the Open Water course, go on and do the Advanced Open Water course, supplement their diving education with Specialty courses, and ideally, take the Rescue Diver course. A recreational diver can reach the level of Master Scuba Diver by completing the Rescue Diver course and 5 Specialty courses, as well as being able to show evidence of having done 50 dives.
The SSI path is slightly different. The focus after the Open Water course is more on Specialty courses to enhance and broaden the divers skills. SSI do offer an Advanced Adventurer course, which is very similar to the PADI Advanced Open Water course (5 dives, each dive is the first dive of a Specialty course) and if you chose deep as one of the dives it also allows you to dive to 30m, the same as the PADI Advanced Open Water course. But to be recognised as an Advanced Open Water diver with SSI, you need to complete 4 Specialty courses and have 24 logged dives. SSI will automatically award this rating on meeting these requirements, with no additional charge. SSI has other awards that recognise training and experience, that are automatically given at no extra charge. These include: Master Diver (4 Specialties + Diver Stress and Rescue + 50 dives), Century Diver (100 logged dives), Silver 300 Diver (300 logged dives), Gold 500 Diver (500 logged dives).
PADI still offers some course materials only in printed form, but many of the common courses are offered as eLearning. We recommend the eLearning route so that you can complete your study at home before your holiday in Cyprus. This leaves you free to relax in the evenings instead of worrying about homework. Of course, it is always possible to purchase your printed manual in your home country and study before you travel. SSI offers all course theory online only. The advantages of this approach are many: the material is always up to date, there is no heavy manual to carry around, and the environmental impact is lower.
Some courses are extremely similar, but some, for example the Wreck Specialty course, are quite different between the agencies. The PADI course consists of 4 dives, which involve noting hazards and points of interest, navigating on a wreck, laying and following a penetration line on the outside of a wreck, and either conducting a wreck penetration under close supervision or organising and executing a non-penetration dive. On the other hand the SSI course is only 2 dives, covering hazards and points of interest, navigating a wreck and using a tether line reel. Penetration diving requires the Extended Range Wreck Diving course which is another two dives so all in all it ends up being the same in the end but with only two dives you achieve the wreck specialty with the option of upgrading at any time in the future.
The good news is that both SSI and PADI are globally recognised training agencies, so no matter where you dive your training and qualifications will be recognised. This means you are free to pick and choose the course and training method you prefer every step of the way. For example, you could do the PADI Open Water course, the SSI Nitrox course, the PADI Wreck course and the SSI Deep course. This would enable you to dive using nitrox, dive up to 40 metres deep or penetrate wrecks to the limits laid out in your training.