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What Makes PADI and SSI Diving Courses Different?


PADI and SSI are not just ordinary organizations, they are pillars in the scuba diving world. They both have many dive centers and have certified millions of divers. They offer safe courses in Bali, but the way they teach is different. PADI uses a step-by-step system where you learn new skills one after the other. SSI, on the other hand, makes the course fit your own pace and what you need to learn.

If you’re new to the world of scuba diving and you’re in Bali, you’ve got a big choice to make: PADI or SSI? Both are globally accepted, but they have different approaches to training and certification. Here’s a detailed comparison to help you make the right choice.

Who are PADI and SSI?

PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors)

PADI is one of the most popular diving organizations in the world. It’s known for its modular training system that allows you to move from beginner to advanced levels. They also focus on ocean conservation.

SSI (Scuba Schools International)

SSI is another big name in the diving industry. They offer a flexible training system where you can tailor your learning according to your needs. The focus is generally on the diving experience itself.

What’s Different?

When it comes to learning how to scuba dive, PADI and SSI are both good options, but they teach in different ways. Understanding these differences can help you choose the course that’s best for you.

How You Learn

  • PADI: uses a fixed course plan. You have to finish one part before moving to the next. PADI follows a structured, step-by-step approach. You’ll start with basic courses and move up. Each course has specific objectives that you must complete before advancing to the next level.
  • SSI: offers more flexibility. You can move more freely between course sections. If you excel in one area, you can move ahead faster. This is great for those who want a more personalized learning experience.

Certification Levels and Course Names

Both PADI and SSI offer a variety of courses with distinct names and levels. Knowing these differences will guide you in choosing the course that best matches your needs and goals.

  • PADI: has specific names for their courses, such as “Open Water Diver” and “Advanced Open Water Diver.” Each level builds on the previous one, adding new skills and challenges.
  • SSI: also has levels, but their names may differ. However, the skills you learn are very similar, ensuring that you become a capable diver.

Focus Areas

  • PADI: places a strong emphasis on ocean conservation. You’ll learn not just about diving but also about the importance of preserving marine life.
  • SSI: leans more towards the experience of diving. While they also teach conservation, the primary focus is on diving skills and underwater enjoyment.


Both PADI and SSI offer high-quality training, but their prices can differ. SSI courses are often a bit less expensive. However, prices can vary, so it’s a good idea to check current rates.

What Do I Need to Start?

Ready to dive into the underwater world? Before you get started, there are a few things you’ll need to know. Both PADI and SSI have specific requirements to enroll in their courses. Let’s explore what you’ll need to begin your scuba diving journey with each of these leading agencies.

For both PADI and SSI in Bali, you should:

  • Be at least 10 years old. Some courses even have a junior version for younger divers.
  • Know basic swimming. You should be able to swim and be comfortable in the water. This is important for your safety and to help you enjoy the diving experience.
  • Be healthy and fit. Make sure you are in good health before diving. Some courses may ask for a medical check-up to ensure you’re fit to dive.

How Long Will It Take?

Both PADI and SSI offer beginner diving courses in Bali that usually take about 2 to 3 days to complete. The courses are designed to give you a strong foundation in scuba diving in a short amount of time. Here’s how it goes:

  • Study Time. You’ll use an app to learn theory at your own pace. This part covers diving science, safety rules, and equipment basics.
  • Pool Time. You’ll spend half a day in a pool, learning essential skills like mask clearing, buoyancy control, and emergency procedures.
  • Ocean Time. You’ll do at least 4 dives in the sea, applying what you’ve learned in real conditions.

Which Is Better?

Neither PADI nor SSI is bad or better; it’s all about what fits your needs and goals. Both are good choices and offer exceptional training, especially in a diving paradise like Bali. With skilled instructors and amazing underwater sights, you’re in for an unforgettable diving journey, no matter which you choose.

  • Read Also: Can You Dive Without a Diving License in Bali?

Whether you pick PADI or SSI, Bali is a fantastic place to start your diving adventure. Both schools have excellent teachers to make sure you dive safely and have fun.

So, are you ready to explore Bali’s amazing underwater world?

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