PADI: Professional Association of Diving Instructors
PADI is the world’s leading scuba diving training organization.
With more than forty years experience, over 136,000 PADI Professionals and more than 6200 dive shops and resorts worldwide, PADI training materials and services let you experience scuba diving from nearly anywhere.
Scuba diving with PADI Instructors, Dive Centers and Resorts can help transform your life through education, experience, equipment and environmental conservation.
Click the course of your choice for further details.
The PADI Story
Two Friends, a Bottle of Scotch and an Idea
It’s hard to believe that the world’s largest scuba diving training organization was dreamt up by two friends in Illinois over a bottle of Johnny Walker in 1966.
John Cronin, a scuba equipment salesman for U.S. Divers, and Ralph Erickson, an educator and swimming instructor, were concerned about the scuba diving industry. They felt that the current scuba certification agencies were unprofessional, didn’t use state of the art instruction and made it unnecessarily difficult for people to enter the sport. John and Ralph knew there had to be a safer, easy way for people to learn to breathe underwater.
In 1966, John brought a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label and thirty dollars to Ralph’s Illinois apartment in Morton Grove. They decided it was time to start a scuba training organization. John insisted that the word “professional” be in the name of the company. Ralph wanted an “association of diving instructors.” After a few scotches, the acronym PADI was born: Professional Association of Diving Instructors.
In the late 1970’s and early 80’s PADI began creating its own integrated, multi-media student and instructor educational materials for each course. This development spawned an incredible growth period for PADI and made it unique from other agencies.
By the late 1980s PADI was the leading scuba diving training organization in the world. With so many new people introduced to the activity, PADI felt a responsibility to teach divers about their interactions with the underwater environment. PADI had worked very hard over the years to keep the scuba diving industry as free from legislation as possible. Cronin knew the organization had a responsibility to protect the marine environment or risk the government doing so.
PADI strives to be the world’s most respected and successful organization in recreational scuba diving and snorkeling. PADI is committed to product and service excellence, the professional growth and security of PADI Members and employees, healthy competition and partnership within the dive industry and to providing training and opportunity for all who seek to enjoy and safely explore and protect our planet’s oceans, lakes and waterways