• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

AOW with other Cert. Agency

Discussion in 'SSI: Scuba Schools International' started by mallbritton, May 7, 2013.

  1. mallbritton

    mallbritton Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    100
    20
    18
    Hello, everyone. I am currently serving in the Peace Corps in Eastern Europe (with no opportunities to dive, alas), but after my tour is up I'm going to go spend 2 or 3 weeks diving in Belize. That's the plan, at least. The organization I'm going with offers a full range of PADI courses, including AOW. Since I am SSI certified how would that work? Can I take the PADI AOW courses and still have SSI recognize them? I've currently got 18 dives; I figure 2 weeks of at least 2 dives a day will allow me to easily meet the dive # requirements. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,
    Michael
     
  2. Pin83

    Pin83 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ipswich, QLD, Australia
    64
    15
    8
    PADI AOW is equivalent to SSI Advanced Adventurer. Each organisation's OW is universally recognised, and more-or-less recognise each other's courses. If you want the 30m depth limit and night-diving, they're the same... and either should be fine as you go on to do specialties.
     
  3. mallbritton

    mallbritton Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    100
    20
    18
    I really just want to be "certified" for a deeper depth.
     
  4. eponym

    eponym Master Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Oregon, USA
    1,602
    245
    63
    Hey, kudos for your Peace Corps service!

    Your certs don't all have to be from the same agency. If you take the full "Deep Diving" specialty course from any major agency, you'll receive a card for that specialty. Boat and resort operators who require a deep cert for certain dives might ask to see it. If you take the PADI AOW course, which introduces deep diving, an operator is also likely to accept that AOW card as sufficient proof of competency for diving deep with them.

    As to whether or not "SSI will recognize" the PADI AOW, can you be more specfic? I'm thinking you want to know whether it would count toward the SSI Specialty Diver or Advanced Diver ratings. In that case your practical dives count but you have to do the SSI academics as well. This is covered in SSI under "Experience Credit" for specialty training.

    Hope this helps,
    Bryan
     
  5. mallbritton

    mallbritton Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    100
    20
    18
    Thanks for that clarification, Bryan. It seems that I can mix-n-match the certs once I get the basic OW cert (which I have from SSI). Am I understanding that correctly? I don't necessarily have to have the AOW cert from SSI/PADI as, as I mentioned above, I really just want to be able to safely go deeper if the opportunity presents itself. At any rate I'm still a little over a year away from being able to get wet again so I've got time to figure all this out.
     
  6. eponym

    eponym Master Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Oregon, USA
    1,602
    245
    63
    Correct. Many divers (myself included) hold certs from several agencies.

    If you just want to go deeper, I recommend the stand-alone Deep Diving specialty, whether from PADI or from SSI or from another agency (NAUI, SDI, etc.). If you have a choice of shops, ask them to give you a summary of what their course will cover. Some instructors will add useful information and exercises beyond the minimums.

    At my shop we don't even teach the introductory advanced course (PADI AOW, SSI Advanced Adventurer). Instead, we only teach stand-alone specialty courses.
     
  7. mallbritton

    mallbritton Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    100
    20
    18
    I'll be sure and ask the organization I'm going to be diving with specifically what their AOW course includes. Thanks, again.
     
  8. Oldbear

    Oldbear Teaching Neutral Diving

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Marshall Islands and Westminster, Co
    2,685
    1,016
    113
    Mallbriton,

    I think the quality of the instruction should meet your needs over agency's programs. Like Eponym said, you will most likely get more out of the full Deep Diver specialty course than say from a "sampler platter" like the PADI AOW to meet your desire to go deep safely.

    In addition to taking a full Deep Diver specialty course, I recommend you look into the cost of diving associated with an AOW course. Sometimes a 3-day AOW course could be the same or even slightly less than just diving with a guide. And if you are staying 2-3 weeks this could add up.

    When I was working abroad and had short R&Rs to do my dive training, taking courses worked well for me. At the Utila Dive Center, when you took courses, you could go on dive boats (space availible) at no extra charge...this too could save you a lot of money.

    Congrats on volunteering for the Peace Corp and have fun with your break-diving.

    ~Oldbear~
     
  9. Pin83

    Pin83 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ipswich, QLD, Australia
    64
    15
    8
    From a holistic "make a better diver" point of view, the deep specialty will teach you far more than PADI AOW/SSI AA... for example, pony bottle use and surface marker deployment, plus a bit of physics and physiology.
    The AOW/AA is more like an overview. Whether it will actually make you an "advanced diver" is debateable...
     
  10. mallbritton

    mallbritton Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    100
    20
    18
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I've still got some time to get all my questions lined up, but now at least I have a better idea of what questions to ask.
     

Share This Page