SSI or Padi – Whats the difference?

 SSI or Padi

“I want to do my Padi” we hear that a lot.  What they really mean is “I want to get my scuba diving license”.

Padi is certifying agency just like SSI or CMAS or BSAC, there are many different agencies that can get you a diving license.

What’s the difference?  And does it make a difference after, when I go diving if I choose SSI or Padi?”.  No, any dive shop will accept certification from an accredited agency.

If you want to do the next level course that can be either SSI or Padi or any other accredited agency and the same with the next course.

The most common diving course is the open water which allows you to dive to 18m, the next course is advanced which allows you to go to 30m.  All agencies can teach to these levels and beyond.

SSI or Padi
SSI open water certification

What Are The Main Differences Between Padi & SSI?

Padi courses are instructor lead and can be taught just by themselves with Padi having a central survey-based Q&A system to ensure quality.

SSI courses are dive shop lead and instructors can only teach through a dive shop that ensures the quality through a monitor and surveys.

Both ways of teaching are very similar in the theory, skills, and diving are all taught to the same standards worldwide governed by the WRSTC (World Recreational Scuba Training Council).

Koh Taos famous diving wreck
SSI Wreck Diving specialty card

The equipment and sea are the same whether it is Padi or SSI right?  With Padi you have to buy the student manual which normally makes it more expensive.

SSI lets you rent for free for a few weeks as part of the course.  Or you can also choose to buy the manual if you want at an additional cost, just ask your dive center.

All the manuals for the specialty courses you get to keep forever, should you wish to read them again.

With SSI you can start to read the Open Water manual before the course once you have downloaded and signed up for the MySSI app.

The SSI certification is digital and is completed after the course by your instructor and sent via email.

You can choose to have a plastic card at an extra cost printed locally. But we are reducing our environmental footprint and doing as much as practical digitally so we discourage this as much as possible.

From the manuals to the certification so we ask customers if they really need a plastic card. Most people are now quite happy with a digital certification.

Now nearly all the paperwork, manuals, and most of the exams are all done online.  Your logbook and certification are all in the MySSI app.

Two diver on the open water course Koh Tao
Divers practicing buoyancy skills

SSI or Padi? The quality of the instructor and dive school does matter

What matters is the quality of the instructor and dive school not which certifying agency you do the course with.

And of course how much fun you will have; the same worldwide standards are used to teach all courses.

Check out our reviews on Trip Advisor, Facebook or Google and you can see what our customers think of us.

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Questions about the difference between SSI or Padi course?

Do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you with any questions about scuba diving on Koh Tao.

What Next?

If you are interested in Koh Tao diving you can find out more that Mojo Divers has to offer by clicking on the links below:

Try Scuba Diving
Open Water Course
Advanced Course
Fun Dives

Want to know more?

What else can I do on Koh Tao?

About Koh Tao

Find out more about the SSI diver training agency here: Dive SSI

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