Diving Organizations

Every diver, every diving instructor, and any person who’s somehow involved in scuba diving must be acknowledged by an official certification agency in his/her specific field. Be it a scuba diver, scuba instructor, or something else, they all go through a certain certification process. There are different organizations meant for different recreational water activities. To become a certified diver or instructor in a specific scuba diving agency, one must first choose a field. There are several certification organizations to choose from if you have already decided which scuba diving discipline you’re going to study.

Technical diving certification organizations

There aren’t many technical diving organizations that issue certificates to scuba divers and instructors due to a simple reason. Technical diving is a type of diving that pushes people to their limits. Technical scuba divers are constantly being exposed to extreme risks, some even resulting in the worst – death. Only 12 technical diving organizations exist today because this discipline requires great knowledge, training, experience, and gear to practice it. Global Underwater Explorers (GUE), American Nitrox Divers International (ANDI), Technical Diving International (TDI) are a part of the body of agencies specialized in technical diving. Others include the Unified Team Diving (UTD) and the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD).

Cave Diving certification organizations

As for cave diving, there are completely different organizations such as the Cave Diving Group (CDG), Global Underwater Explorers (GUE), and Trimix Scuba Association (TSA). Others are included too, such as the National Academy of Scuba Educators (NASE), and the National Association for Cave Diving (NACD). These famous organizations set new rules and are constantly trying to improve the world of cave diving. Reducing field risks, improving skills and experience, and issue certificates based on a proper grading system. All these are priorities of the cave diving associations similar to those mentioned above.

Commercial diving certification organizations

This type of diving is the total opposite of all other types of scuba diving. The difference between commercial and other types of diving is simple – they pay you to dive (work) when commercial diving. On the other hand, you pay to be able to dive for recreational purposes, spending cash on gear, transportation, etc. The risks of various diseases, exposure to dangerous surroundings, and other life-threatening factors are very well known among professional scuba divers. It is why this job is paid much but is extremely dangerous. Nuclear diving, HAZMAT diving, offshore diving, etc. are but a part of the most dangerous types of commercial scuba diving.

Imagine diving in contaminated radioactive water, liquid cement, hazardous materials, oil slicks. None of these sound much recreational or attractive, but it is a job after all, and someone has got to do it. To get this job, one must pass all lessons and become certified. Also, regulatory agencies like the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (U.S.A.) or Health & Safety Executive (U.K.) must give clearance. Associations concerned with the practice of commercial diving aren’t great in numbers, but they strive to help scuba divers in any way possible. The Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI), Association of Commercial Diving Educators (ACDE), and the Multinational Diving Educators Association (MDEA) are most involved with activities concerning commercial diving.

Freediving certification organizations

There is but one organization that deals with all affairs concerning freediving as a discipline. International Association for Development of Apnea (AIDA), is a worldwide recognized governing body, completely focused on freediving. Their main goals are to improve the standards and popularization of freediving as a sport. Other priorities include safety improvements, issuing certificates, and better education about freediving as a type of recreational activity. This association is also the official keeper of world records in freediving, such as longest time spent underwater in a single breath. As most scuba divers know, freediving is a type of diving where no scuba gear is needed. Divers rely completely on their lung capacity and swimming abilities. It is one of the hardest diving activities.

Scientific diving certification organizations

It is often defined as a type of diving practiced only as a necessity while researching designated species or environments, purely for scientific purposes. This type of diving is regulated by the AAUS (American Academy of Underwater Sciences) with many restrictions due to its obvious nature – interfering with Nature’s balance. Also, it is hard to obtain a certification as you must be an expert marine scientist and go through several tests and qualification processes. It is also important for a science diving candidate to be in top physical condition as this job requires much patience and stamina. DIA (Diving International Agency) and especially the General Assembly of CMAS are mostly responsible for what goes on in the world of marine science. The latter one developed UNESCO’s famous ‘Code of Practice for Scientific Diving’, work that was being created for almost a decade. Maritime archeology is closely connected to scientific scuba diving. Currently, there is one official agency concerned with underwater archeology, the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS).

Recreational scuba diving certification organizations

These organizations are largest in numbers compared to other scuba diving disciplines. It is so because recreational diving is the most popular and largely used underwater sport by people from around the world. These administrative bodies issue certificates to divers according to results. They also strive to take recreational scuba diving to a whole new level by popularizing it even more. Improving scuba divers’ education and skills are also among the top priorities, simply because it will increase overall safety. Currently, there are more than 100 national and international organizations in the world, all working together accordingly. Some of these have stopped functioning, such as the YMCA SCUBA or The Aquatic Club.

First Aid & Rescue Certification Agencies

Someone has to look after scuba divers. These people (teams) need to be trained accordingly and act fast in any given life-threatening situation. The Divers Alert Network (DAN) and International Life Saving Federation (ILS) are the two official first aid & rescue agencies that issue certificates to scuba divers.





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