Have you ever found yourself wondering if an SDI course is equal (or equivalent) to courses offered by other dive training organizations?

Maybe you were asked to show verification of an “advanced diver” rating but you are unsure if your certification matches what the dive center is looking for.

If these situations sound familiar, this blog post is for you!

While each dive training organization strives to produce great divers, sometimes we use different terminology to say the same thing.  Understanding equivalent ratings will allow you to see where your certification lines up with other organizations.  In addition, it will allow you to know if you meet the prerequisites for a course if you hold a certification with one dive training organization then take a subsequent course with another.

Recently, we have received an influx of calls and e-mails requesting confirmation on equivalent ratings offered by multiple organizations.  As a result, we put together an equivalency table of ratings offered by three agencies listed within the WRSTC: SDI (Scuba Diving International), SSI (Scuba Schools International), and XXXX (Xrofessional Xssociation of Xiving Xnstructors).

At the top of the chart you will find each dive training organization, and the certifications for that organization below it.  You can quickly cross-reference a rating between dive training organizations; in the event a certification listed is not equivalent to the other organizations, the field will simply list “not applicable.”


padi sdi ssi
Snorkeler Snorkeler Snorkel Diver
Discover Scuba Diving Scuba Discovery TRY SCUBA DIVING
Bubble SCUBA Diver Maker Future Buddies Scuba Rangers
Scuba Dining Refresher Inactive Diver / Refresher Scuba Skills Update
Not Applicable Shallow Water Diver Not Applicable
Not Applicable Supervised Diver Not Applicable
Scuba Diver Not Applicable Scuba Diver
Open Water Diver Open Water Scuba Diver Open Water Diver
Not Applicable Advanced Diver Advanced Open Water Diver
Rescue Diver Rescue Diver Diver Stress & Rescue
Master Diver Master Diver Master Diver
Not Applicable Scubility Diver Classified Diver
Advanced Open Water Diver Advanced Adventure Diver Advanced Adventurer
Peak Performance Buoyancy Advanced Buoyancy Control Perfect Buoyancy
Altitude Diver Altitude Diver Altitude Diving
Aware – Fish Identification Marine Ecosystems Awareness Diver Not Applicable
Aware – Coral Reef Conservation Diver Marine Ecosystems Awareness Diver Not Applicable
Boat Diver Boat Diver Boat Diving
Cavern Diver TDI Cavern Diver Extended Range (XR) Cavern Diving
Multilevel Diver Computer Diver Not Applicable
Enriched Air Diver Computer Nitrox Diver Enriched Air Nitrox Diver
Deep Diver Deep Diver Deep Diving
Diver Propulsion Vehicle Diver Diver Propulsion Vehicle Not Applicable
Discover Rebreather TDI Rebreather Discovery Not Applicable
Drift Diver Drift Diver Not Applicable
Dry Suit Diver Dry Suit Diver Dry Suit Diving
Equipment Specialist Equipment Specialist Equipment Techniques
Not Applicable Full Face Mask Diver FFM
Ice Diver Ice Diver Ice Diver
Project AWARE® Specialist Marine Ecosystems Awareness Diver Ecology
Night Diver Night/Limited Visibility Diver Night & Limited Visibility
Not Applicable Research Diver Not Applicable
Search and Recovery Diver Search and Recovery Diver Search & Recovery
Not Applicable Shore/Beach Diver Waves, Tides, & Current
Sidemount Diver Sidemount Diver Recreational Sidemount Diving
Self Reliant Diver Solo Diver Independent Diver
Rebreather Diver Not Applicable Rebreather Diver
Not Applicable UW Hunter and Collector Not Applicable
Underwater Nagivator UW Navigation Diver Navigation
Digital Underwater Photography UW Photographer Underwater Photography
Underwater Videographer UW Videographer Not Applicable
Not Applicable Visual Inspection Procedures Not Applicable
Wreck Diver Wreck Diver Wreck Diver
Distinctive Specialties Unique Specialties Additional Specialties
Aware – Shark Conservation Diver Shark Diver Shark Diver
Invasive Lionfish Tracker Lionfish Eradification Diver Not Applicable
Sea Turtle Awareness Turtle Awareness Diver Not Applicable
Whale Shark Awareness Not Applicable Not Applicable
Free Diver Not Applicable Basic Free Diver
Not Applicable Goliath Grouper Awareness Diver Not Applicable
Not Applicable SDI Fill Station Operator Not Applicable
Not Applicable Heritage Awareness Diver Not Applicable
Not Applicable Kayak Diver Not Applicable
Not Applicable Manatee Awareness Diver Not Applicable
Not Applicable River Diver River Diver

All information is current at the time of publication.  Over time, as organizations update their standards and create new courses, the information in this table may become outdated and is subject to change without any given notice.

Regardless of the dive training organization you choose, we hope you have a wonderful dive experience and continue advancing your dive education in the future.