My friend recently got certified by PADI and I heard his relative telling him that he should have gone for NAUI. I was left wondering, is NAUI really better than PADI or is just a notion that his relative had? I didn’t want to interrupt their conversation so I just kept it to myself but decided I must do some research about these two.

In my research I found that there are actually more than 50 agencies that can certify you as scuba diver.

I bet you did not know that or did you? Most of us just know about PADI and NAUI and probably some of you knows about SSI. The reason why PADI and NAUI are so popular is because they are simply the best. That’s why in this article are going to compare the two so that you can get to know which to choose.

What Beginner Diver Should Know About Naui vs Padi

Professional association of diving instructors (PADI)

It is without a doubt that PADI is by far the biggest and well known certification organization, not just in the US where it originates but in the whole world. It was established in around 1966 and since then they have been offering scuba diving courses and certifications to those who qualify. With time they have been able to make their impact in different places in the world and their centers can be found with ease.

I noticed that over a half of the scuba divers in the world has been trained and certified by PADI so you can imagine how popular it is. But is it really the best? Just keep reading this article and by the time you are done, you will make the conclusion yourself.

National association of underwater instructors (NAUI).

I was amazed to find that NAUI has actually been around for a longer time compared to PADI even though PADI is more popular. It was started back in 1960 as a non- profit scuba diving certification organization. Just like PADI it is also a US based organization.

It is known for offering safe diving courses and it is also considered one of the best scuba diving certification organization in the world. The courses offered by NAUI are very similar to those offered by PADI and according to me, NAUI is the second largest scuba diving organization. Now that you have an idea of what this two agencies are, allow me to look at one more thing before we compare these two organizations.

Scuba diving certification card.

A C- card as commonly known, is a certification given to a scuba diver after getting the necessary training from a recognized organization. For example my friend got a PADI certification after completing all the necessary training. I also have a certification from PADI.

The certification card acts as a proof that one has undergone all the necessary training and he or she has mastered the skills and he has the knowledge required to be a scuba diver. A C- card should be issued by a well-known organization like PADI or NAUI.

But that does not mean you cannot become a scuba diver if you are not trained by either of the two organizations. There many organizations where you can receive the certification but receiving from a reputable organization has some added advantages as we are going to establish later in the article.

As a scuba diver you are supposed to carry you card anywhere that you go. It is mandatory you prove your qualifications as a diver before you are allowed to rent or hire diving gears from any diving center. The huge benefit of NAUI and PADI certificates is that they don’t expire.

Sometimes you will be asked to provide evidence that you had a dive in like the past 3 months before they allow you to dive in their diving centers. That means even if you have certification, you need to go for a refresher course before starting diving again.


This is where you will find the answer you have been looking for, the differences between NAUI and PADI. You should keep it in mind that both of this organizations are very good and whichever you choose, you can be sure they will make you a good scuba diver.

The main difference between this two organizations is that PADI is the largest scuba diving organization in the world and they have dive shops in almost every corner of the world. PADI are in for money making business so their main aim is to make profits by marketing and selling their services as well as their products.

On the other hand, NAUI is a non- profit organization and their main aim is not making profits. Their main aim is actually educating people interested in scuba diving about safe diving and teaches them relevant courses in order to ensure they become successful divers.

It is no wonder their motto is “dive safety through education.” Although not as famous as PADI, NAUI has managed to produce excellent divers and it is definitely the second largest scuba diving organization in the world.

The two organizations actually teaches skills that are similar in both theory and practical. The only thing that they differ when it comes to teaching these skills is their philosophy.

The basic certification that one is offered by PADI is known as open water diver while that basic certificate that one is offered by NAUI is called scuba diver. The two certificates are considered to be equivalent so there is none that is superior to the other.

With any of the certificates, you can be sure of diving at any diving center in the world. If you train with NAUI to get a C- card, you will be taught skills of saving an unconscious diver while you will not be taught anything like that if you train with PADI.

According to me any of this organization will equip you with everything necessary and you can be sure of becoming an excellent scuba diver if you train with any of them. There is really no organization that is better than the other.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.