Open Water Certificate
Part 1 - The theory of scuba diving also called knowledge development
During this part of your PADI open water certification, you will learn the basic theoretical knowledge you will need to become a skilled diver. You will learn everything from what gear you will need, to how diving will affect your body, how to clear and equalise your ears, and more techniques and skills you will need to use in the water.
You will learn about this new three-dimensional environment that you will be moving through during your practical training.
The theory of scuba diving is, of course, an integral part of becoming a scuba diver and should not be taken too lightly. Although it should be said, that most open water diving courses have been developed to be within the intellectual grasp of 10-year-olds, so please do not be too worried about this part of the course.
There are two options on how to do the theoretical part of your scuba certification:
- Classroom Sessions
- Online via E-learning
Classroom Sessions: You will be provided with a scuba diving manual as well as other support materials such as a video. If you are doing the theory with us during your holiday, you will probably have a couple of classroom sessions during which your scuba instructor will explain some of the most complex parts of the theory, such as the dive tables and how to plan your dives.
E-learning: you can choose to do the theoretical part of your scuba certification online via e-learning.
Doing this part of you scuba certification online has two significant advantages: first, you can do everything at your own pace and take as much time as you like.
Secondly, if you are planning to do your scuba course abroad, it saves you some precious time during your holiday, since you do not have to spend time in the classroom, or at least considerably less! Once you’re done with the theory, get ready for some action! Your next step is the practical training.
Part 2 - Practical Scuba Diving Training
Your initial hands-on training will take place in the pool. This second step of your journey to becoming a certified scuba diver gets you into the water, where you will develop the skills you need to know as an Open Water Diver. You will start off in a swimming pool, where your instructor will demonstrate and practice with you all the necessary skills.
(scuba lessons in the pool)
Expect to have three to four pool sessions. As you progress you will learn more techniques and skills required.
The practical part of the skill development goes from the easier to the more complicated skills. You will learn how to recover your regulator, deal with water in your mask (simply get rid of it by blowing it out!) and what to do in an out of air situation, to name but a few.
Part 3 - Open Water Dives
Finally, you are getting into the REAL thing. The third step of the course are the Open Water Dives. You will be doing four of these.
These dives are the last section of the course toward certification, and this is when you get to dive for the first time. You will be in the ocean, exploring and you will demonstrate the skills you have learned during your Confined Water Dives.
With an instructor there to help you, you will learn to gain confidence and dive with ease. Usually, the instructor will take you out over several dives until you are ready to plan and carry out dives on your own with your buddy or in the guided group.
Getting PADI certified
Once you have completed and passed all 3 sections of the open water diver certification course and the final exam, which is in most cases a multiple-choice test, you are now officially PADI certified and you earned your diving certification.
The last administrative step in the diving certification process - PADI uses an actual or online PIC envelope that includes all relevant details and is sent to the PADI headquarters, who will then send you your certification card.
Now you have your dive license you can explore the underwater world !!
This certification does not need to be renewed, and it will last your entire life.
Certification cards are now also available digitally and can be saved on the App of the individual training agencies, so you always have access to them on your phone, tablet, etc.
By the way: do not think you are done after your open water certification! This is, where the fun starts since you are now eligible to take more advanced courses. And there are many, and most of them are incredibly fun!
Who can take the PADI open water certification course?
Anyone 15 years of age and older can qualify for The PADI open water certification. There is even a Junior Open Water Certificate that is suitable for children as young as 10 or 12 years of age, depending on the country offering the course.
Kids certified as junior open water divers are upgraded to the standard Open Water Diver level when they reach the age of 15 and complete the other parts of the course required.