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Switching Certification Agencies

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by OmarM, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. OmarM

    OmarM Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Pennsylvania
    Hey Folks, Thanks in advance for your responses.

    My girlfriend and I are going on a trip to curaçao in a month.

    I am padi ow certified. I try to emulate DIR, albeit with aluminum tanks and thin wetsuits and lift bag + hand held reel for redundant buoyancy.

    my girlfriend is looking to get her first open water scuba certification.

    The dive op we selected based on reputation/reviews and price only offers Naui certifications.

    I haven’t been able to find any good reasons not to complete naui courses for this trip. In fact different agencies may complement each other’s instruction. Am I missing anything?

    p.s. the primary reason I shared the details of how I dive is to demonstrate that the learning I’ve done about scuba has been more than just during my open water course. I feel that all reliable sources of information are helpful in becoming the safest divers we can be.
    Blueringocto_73, markmud and lowviz like this.
  2. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Between Mikes and Weekapaug
    Don't worry about it. Get her certified, go dive and have fun!

    The agencies might want you to think they are different... and the forum jockeys here will as well... but its just instruction. You're going to get your real knowledge from experience and looking out for other good divers and interacting and learning from them.
    NigelAuckland, Doc, Sh0rtBus and 3 others like this.
  3. OmarM

    OmarM Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Pennsylvania
    Thanks for your reply! I’m feeling reassured.

    I forgot to mention in my original post that I am also looking to do get an advanced cert. It should be ok to take the naui advanced course when my current cert is padi, correct?
  4. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    Her taking OW with NAUI would be fine. (I'm a DM candidate in NAUI, so...)

    Yeah, you taking advanced from NAUI would also be fine, and useful.
    Though the usefulness depends on the instructor giving you pointers past the basics if you've already got the (advanced) basics. Getting another instructors perspective on your diving is likely worthwhile.

    You sitting in on her OW class is likely not very useful (and might not give her the space she needs there...). Not that it looked like you were asking that.

    If she finishes OW and takes AOW with you that is likely useful (for her) as well. Not as useful as doing it after a little experience, but still useful. And she should be past the early nervous stages if she has them. Standard caveats of class with partners applies: Make sure you both are capable divers in your own rights, not one always relying or helping the other. Best to not be partnered in class, or only sometimes, so you each develop.

    Some agencies emphasize GUI/DIR level approaches to Buoyancy/Trim/Propulsion, others are fine with doing that but leave it up to the instructor. NAUI does not necessarily emphasize it by standard but allows their instructors to require more for graduation if the instructor tells the students ahead of time. So individual instructors might teach a very GUE Fundies level class if they wanted at the OW/AOW level.

    You might ask the shop who teaches with the greatest emphasis on Buoyancy/Trim and Frog propulsion. Not everyone has that emphasis.

    On mixing agencies: Yes, it does not matter if you switch back and forth between agencies Classes have pre-requisite, but they are broadly accepted across agencies. Which agencies teaches is just which has the class you can now learn from best. (Below professional grades, DM/Instructor, where it changes a bit.)
    Blueringocto_73 and OmarM like this.
  5. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Between Mikes and Weekapaug
    You bet. Go rock it.

    Again, this is about you. Not the agencies or the "certs". If you want to be a good diver... you will be. Come back after 100 dives with an open and positive attitude and you'll know what I mean. :)
  6. OmarM

    OmarM Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Pennsylvania
    Thanks so much everyone! You’ve cleared things up a lot for me. I’m even more excited for this trip now!
    Blueringocto_73 likes this.
  7. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    No, you aren't.

    I'll throw this out there for discussion as we are solidly in 'basics' on this thread. I've met many new divers who labeled themselves as NAUI, PADI, SDI etc. Nope. Those agencies just back your instructor and dictate his/her required minimum standards for instruction. No problem with this either. You remain 'just you' as an evolving diver.

    To clarify, I have taken several courses from World leader in Rescue Diving Courses. Their instructors are qualified to teach under several agencies. So I got my 2-year cert from them and 'just for fun' they offered a NAUI or PADI "Blackwater I" lifetime card as their training was greatly in excess of requirements for that specialty card. I still have the card. It is my favorite totally useless card.

    Well, it does get me air fills when I just want to bust balls.

    You and your GF are the divers. Stay within your comfort zone, use instructors to extend your comfort zone if it begins to cramp you.
    Blueringocto_73 and Marie13 like this.
  8. Bigbella

    Bigbella Barracuda

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Francisco
    Keep in mind that all of these certification agencies, whether they be NAUI, PADI, SSI, ad nauseum, are little more than clubs for hobbyists; and that their collective influence hold as much "official" sway, as does the volume of water, in a styrofoam cup at 1000 meters . . .
    Wathdoc likes this.
  9. Gareth J

    Gareth J Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: UK
    Entry diving qualifications, irrespective of agency are basically the same. With one primary difference, the agency dive tables being used.

    All agency's teach
    1. Kit assembly
    2. Buddy Check
    3. Basic dive planning (you could argue that this isn't even taught).
    4. Breathing from a regulator, clearing a regulator.
    5. Use of an Octopus (AAS).
    6. Mask clearing
    7. Buoyancy Control
    8. Ascent
    9. Descent
    10. Basic Dive theory.

    Beyond that, some teach limited diver rescue.
    As an example
    1. BSAC teaches AAS rescue and ascent (which in fairness most agencies do)
    2. CBL, Controlled buoyant lift, lifting an unconscious or incapacitated diver to the surface.

    So which agency you generally learn with is mainly academic. The vast majority of commercial diver training instructors / facilities / shops etc. Won't really care which initial agency you learnt with, as long as they can separate you from your cash for the next coarse.

    I Hold qualifications with PADI, TDI, IANTD, BSAC.
    It's subsequent dive tuition where things start to develop.
    Some initial qualifications are quite limited, this is again based on commercial considerations and the nature of the training environment.
    I was lucky in that I switched from PADI to BSAC after my initial qualification, by luck rather than judgement. This meant all my subsequent diver training included a lot of diver rescue within the qualification. That said, the PADI Diver Rescue course is excellent, just a bit late in the day, and a lot of divers never progress to the RD course, even though they are diving regularly.

    Wathdoc and Blueringocto_73 like this.
  10. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    Hi Omar,

    Don't worry about the agency, worry about the instructor.

    Get a good one,

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