Choosing SSI or PADI when learning to dive.
When it comes to learning to dive there are a multitude of course options out there. The main choice that people seem to research the most is "do i choose PADI or SSI" when learning to dive.
The differences are subtle, but at the end of the day, they both offer quality and safe courses, producing capable divers.
Both dive training agencies follow international standards outlined by the World Recreational Training Council (WRSTC).This provides international dive training to have a safe and consistent training around the world. The WRSTC tell dive training agencies who then passes it to their diving professional's, what the minimum requirements for each course. This means that training standards are universal. Both SSI and PADI are just two of these dive training agencies globally.
Flexibility in training.
The main difference in their training philosophy comes down to the flexibility given to the dive professionals when conducting courses. SSI instructors are able to add a personal touch and even add additional skills or material to their courses. Padi regards this as over teaching and prohibits their instructors from doing so.
PADI - A more ridged teaching structure
PADI follow a strict plan. Course requirements are structured in a way that the student must complete skills in the order. If the student is having trouble with a given skill they are unable to move on to the following skills. Skills are completed on the bottom all the way through the course, this makes the instructors job a lot easier when it comes to group control.
SSI - Flexible approach to teaching
SSI allows the instructor to grow the students confidence when teaching skills. The skill requirements for each course are outlined, but how the instructor gets the students through each skill is at the discretion of the instructor. For example f a student is having trouble with clearing their mask the instructor is able to move past this skill and give the student more confident with other skills, then come back to the uncompleted skill.
SSI believe that all skills should be learned in the diving position, as this is more real world application, " If you need to clear your mask, you should be able to do it then and there, instead of having to damage the environment because you have to rest on the bottom to clear it".
There are valid arguments to both philosophies and both may appeal to different individuals.
At the end of each of the initial Open Water Courses with PADI or SSI Students will be safe and competent divers. It comes down to the individual instructors.