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#7615 - 03/30/09 06:13 PM So How About SSI?
agentjoey Offline
avid diver

Registered: 07/06/07
Posts: 15
I have read so many different things about the different agencies and schools. The Dive Shop in Memphis, Tn is the closest dive shop to my home and I really like the staff there. They use SSI. Will I be happy with my SSI training? Should I go with PADI instead? Why so many different ones on the market anyway?
Gimme some help, Im about to venture into this sport
thanks

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#7616 - 03/31/09 08:41 AM Re: So How About SSI? [Re: agentjoey]
rquasar Offline
avid diver

Registered: 12/24/08
Posts: 16
Loc: AZ
From what I read on-line about SSI. Their not recognized around the world, not sure if that is correct or not. But why take the risk. NAUI & PADI are.

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#7617 - 03/31/09 12:13 PM Re: So How About SSI? [Re: rquasar]
kjcreh Offline
just got here

Registered: 03/31/09
Posts: 1
I went through SSI training. Several friends went through PADI training. Comparing notes with them, I found that the SSI training was more comprehensive. I would be surprised if an SSI C-card was turned down.

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#7618 - 03/31/09 05:59 PM Re: So How About SSI? [Re: kjcreh]
BobG Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 424
Loc: Irvine, CA
While not as common as it used to be, with everybody fighting for your dollar, it used to not be uncommon to hear stories about this c-card or that being denied a dive in some remote location or other. I have to admit that in close to 30 years at this, I've NEVER actually witnessed that happen.

All in all, the SSI card has been recognized over the years as one of the more thorough classes that has been offered.

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#7619 - 04/17/09 01:22 PM Re: So How About SSI? [Re: BobG]
scubastace Offline
new diver

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I am a PADI instructor. That said, the place where I went to Instructor Development was down the road from an SSI one. The courses are so close they offer a one day cross over class and then you take their three day test (PADIs test is three days too). There are three minor differences which you as a diver would never appreciate. Its extremely minor.

You get the same training essentially. Any resort will accept your certification to dive, I have never seen one turn it down. What may be problematic is if you want to do additional training. Say you took your open water somewhere and then wanted to do a photography specialty. Crossing over may be the problem for some other organizations.

PADI however has really good policies and its easy to cross over later to PADI from SSI. NAUI too - although I have yet to do one. The cost is the same, but it means more paperwork for your instructor :)

Another thing too - if you do your confined water and classroom for SSI, and decide to go somewhere tropical for your open water dives, PADI lets you cross that over too. Just be sure to have faxes of your training record sent ahead so the instructor on the other end can get it organized to finish the class for you.

I say, if its local - the shop looks good and well run - do it. Any instructor worth their salt just wants you to start diving and enjoy it. Safely of course, and have fun while you're at it. Sounds like the place you found is convenient and a good place to start.

I chose PADI professionally, and it is true its the most recognized worldwide, but SSI and NAUI are as well. You shouldn't have a problem diving under those licenses.

Good luck & have fun!!

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#7756 - 08/23/09 02:11 PM Re: So How About SSI? [Re: agentjoey]
UWS Offline
just got here

Registered: 08/23/09
Posts: 1
As an instructor with both certifying agencies I can tell you that the biggest difference is brand recognition (coke vs pepsi). Both agencies are members of the RSTC. The recreational scuba training council. As such both organizations teach to the same standards and completely recognize all levels of certification up to the instructor level between the 2 agencies. There are more than 15 major certifying agencies in the world and as a rule, all registered dive businesses will take you fun diving as long as you have a certification from any recognized agency. PADI and SSI completely recognize each other to the point where you can complete the SSI open water and then the PADI advanced if an SSI facility is not available at the time of furthering your dive education. Naturally it works the same way with PADI to SSI. To me the greatest benefit of SSI is that it offers the online training for free where as PADI charges up tp $120 for their online system.

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#7924 - 10/12/10 12:19 AM Re: So How About SSI? [Re: UWS]
craigsmith Offline
new diver

Registered: 10/12/10
Posts: 4
in my opinion PADI certification is more good in comparison to SSI.
Many agencies and schools offers SSi but some good schools or training institutes offers Padi certification too.
_________________________
dive vacations

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#7929 - 10/13/10 12:51 PM Re: So How About SSI? [Re: craigsmith]
BobG Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 424
Loc: Irvine, CA
I've been an instructor for several training agencies over the years and have found one thing to be consistant. They ALL teach the diver to safely dive to all the recreational depths. They ALL get you into the water and promote continuing education to further your skills.

I've lived, worked in and taught scuba all over the world and can say that while I've heard the stories I've never once seen a diver refused a dive based on their certifying agency.

I've found that the differences in training agencies pertains MUCH more to the instructor in terms of allowing him/her the freedom to be a teacher and not a babysitter and/or the type of administrative support offered than anything else. For the student, the level of training they got and the enjoyment we experienced in the classes I've taught over the years in no way has ever been altered by the name of agency on the C-card.

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#37387 - 05/23/12 12:49 PM Re: So How About SSI? [Re: BobG]
Jayge Offline
new diver

Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 4
Loc: Danville, PA
I'm new to diving, and living in a smalll town, my local scuba shop, who offered SSI, was the closest cert agency I had available to me.

As I've researched travel options, I've found that most operators don't even ask what training agency you're certified with before booking you for a dive outing. They check your c-card when you show up in person, but think about this: if they were to turn down an SSI diver, that's income they're throwing out the window. I'm comfortable with my SSI certification, because it's a large enough organization that it's known worldwide. If one operator doesn't recognize it, it's his loss, not mine, because I'll still find someone who will take me out.

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#40125 - 06/20/12 05:48 PM Re: So How About SSI? [Re: agentjoey]
m0nster4h1re Offline
just got here

Registered: 06/20/12
Posts: 1
Loc: Columbus, GA
Hi there. Just wanted to share our recent experiences with two dive agencies.

We were open water certified with PADI. And have switched to SSI for our Advanced Open Water training. Had we been aware of the differences in the beginning, we would have liked to have skipped PADI all-together and began with SSI.

Problems we experienced with PADI (in a nutshell)...

1) After Open Water Certification, we signed up for a deep water class (not knowing it was with SSI), wishing for it to count for our PADI Advanced Open Water. After we realized it was different agencies, both our local PADI dive shop owner (Chattahoochee Scuba in Columbus, GA), and the PADI National Phone Number said that the Deep Class would not count for our certification. Their reasoning being, that it wasn't taken with their instructor. Even though, our SSI dive shop said that because of the standards of certification, transference between agencies should never be a problem.

2) We purchased gear on our own and over the internet a few times. Each time we did so, we were met with attitude from the PADI dive shop employees because we didn't purchase equipment through them. The PADI dive shop was very small, didn't have any variety, and charged more than other options we found. Regardless of those things, they wanted their cut of our purchase and were snotty about us not buying through them.

3) When we looked at the requirements for PADI Advanced Open Water instruction, they seem padded. The impression that we got was that PADI requires all these extra adventure dives, and doesn't count NITROX class towards Advanced O.W. simply to milk their students for more and more money.

4) After having taken classes with both now, we've found SSI's instruction program geared more towards actual understanding than checking blocks that students have completed something.

That's been our experience, I hope it helps. :)

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#64365 - 08/27/12 05:01 AM Re: So How About SSI? [Re: m0nster4h1re]
Historydigger Offline
just got here

Registered: 08/27/12
Posts: 1
In truth, it really depends on which shop and your instructor who is best. I most of the PADI places poor (except the one on S.Cobb) and the SSI dive center to be good. However, in Miss. Gulf Coast, I will only work with the PADI shop. Basically, if you like the people and the instructors, then that is where you need to be.

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#64372 - 09/13/12 06:46 PM Re: So How About SSI? [Re: Historydigger]
GoBlues Offline
new diver

Registered: 09/13/12
Posts: 2
Having done both PADI and SSI I have found the biggest differance is the actual Instructor.

The Instructor can be certified by all the organizations, but if they suck as an Instructor it doesnt matter.

For me I prefer SSI, but thats becuase it works out better for my schedules, I like the dive shop, the people, the Instructors, and the dive location they are at.

By the way, if youe ever in IL, I would highly suggest diving at Mermet Springs (Thats my shameless plug for them!)

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#64373 - 09/14/12 11:57 AM Re: So How About SSI? [Re: GoBlues]
BobG Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 424
Loc: Irvine, CA
I couldn't have said it better myself!

And NP on the plug for Mermet! Been a fan of Glen and the Springs for a long time!

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