Scuba Monkey
Dive Center

Blue Lagoon
Aquatic Center


Scuba Monkey Dive Center is proud to be a PADI 5 Star Dive Center but why PADI?













How is PADI Different?

Education - The PADI System of diver education is the most instructionally solid system in diving. PADI courses are designed to make learning enjoyable and worthwhile. Under the guidance of your professional PADI Instructor, you gain confidence while mastering important safety concepts and skills. PADI Instructors are trained and held to diving’s highest standards, backed up by a solid, proactive quality management system.

Performance-Based Learning – You progress at your own pace as you demonstrate mastery of specific performance requirements essential to becoming a scuba diver. You must earn your PADI certification, but you do so in an encouraging and well-supported learning environment.

Educational Materials – Credentialed instructional designers use state-of-the-art technology and learning theories to create PADI materials with you, the student diver, in mind. Independent study materials, available in a variety of media – online programs, tablet-based apps, manuals, workbooks, multimedia discs, etc. – allow you to learn in a way that works for you. Instructional support materials allow your PADI Instructor to further explain important concepts and verify understanding.

Educational Standards – All PADI programs, from entry-level through scuba instructor training, fall under strict educational standards monitored for worldwide consistency and quality. PADI takes a proactive approach to quality management and randomly surveys PADI Divers to confirm their courses meet PADI’s high standards as well as the divers’ expectations. No other diver training organization works to maintain this level of professional reliability and integrity.

Continuing Diver Education – The fun and enjoyment of being a confident scuba diver is fueled by continuing to improve your scuba skills. Each PADI course builds on the previous one, teaching you skills and techniques when you’re ready to learn them. PADI specialty courses let you explore specific dive interests. Professional-level courses let you live the scuba diving lifestyle by becoming a divemaster or scuba instructor.

College Credit and Vocational Training – The unsurpassed quality of PADI materials, and the educational validity of PADI courses, have been independently acknowledged by international educational and vocational training authorities. You may be able to earn college credit for certain PADI courses, or receive vocational training recognition toward national certificates.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standards Compliant – PADI courses are certified as compliant with ISO standards for Recreational Diving Services by an independent auditor, the European Underwater Federation and the Austrian Standards Institute. The ISO standards (see chart below) relate to five levels of diver, two levels of instructor and a service provider or dive center. Each of these standards equate to a PADI certification or member level, which means that, in effect, divers or members holding one of these qualifications can also be said to have met the requirements of the relevant ISO standard – as though they had gained two credentials at once.

ISO Title ISO Reference PADI Equivalent

  • Introductory training programs to scuba diving ISO 11121 Discover Scuba Diving
  • Diver Level 1 - Supervised DiverISO 24801-1PADI Scuba Diver
  • Diver Level 2 - Autonomous DiverISO 24801-2Open Water Diver
  • Diver Level 3 - Diver Leader ISO 24801-3 Divemaster
  • Training programs on enriched air nitrox divingISO 11107Enriched Air Diver
  • Instructor Level 1ISO 24802-1Assistant Instructor
  • Instructor Level 2ISO 24802-2Open Water Scuba Instructor

Recreational scuba diving service providersISO 24803Dive Center or ResortProfessional Quality and SupportJust as scuba divers must earn PADI certifications, PADI Instructors must complete a development program that sets the industry standard for scuba instructor training. Each new PADI Instructor demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the PADI System and the ability to conduct PADI programs by meeting specific criteria. Before earning the PADI Instructor rating, all candidates are evaluated by a select group of PADI-employed Instructor Examiners. This ensures that the evaluation process is objective, fair and consistent worldwide. This is another way that PADI training stands above others in the dive industry.

To help PADI Members grow both personally and professionally, PADI Offices conduct annual seminars that cover various educational, marketing and risk management topics. PADI Members can also attend business development programs and seminars that look at current trends in diving. Retailers and resort operators have access to a variety of business services through the PADI Retail and Resort Associations.

​Diving Community

As a PADI Diver, you become part of the larger PADI community.

  • ScubaEarth®– By joining PADI’s online community – ScubaEarth – you’re given an interactive, dynamic platform to share everything scuba diving-related with other divers, dive operations and instructors from around the world. You can research and plan dive experiences, search more than 60,000 dive sites, find PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, connect with dive buddies, log dives, upload dive photos or videos, identify aquatic creatures and much more.
  • PADI Blog and TecRec Blog – Get the latest PADI dive news and scuba-related discussions by tapping into PADI’s blogs. The TecRec blog focuses specifically on technical diving news and equipment, while the PADI Blog covers recreational diving topics and provides words of wisdom from the Dive GuruTM.
  • PADI on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube (PADI TV) – You can interact with other PADI Divers who share stories, photos, videos and discuss their passion – scuba diving – through social media sites.

​Environmental Responsibility

As a PADI Diver, you join millions of others to form a growing force that can and does make a difference in the effort to preserve the underwater world. PADI courses encompass environmental awareness and protection philosophies that emphasize the importance of protecting fragile aquatic ecosystems. The worldwide PADI organization is committed to preserving the aquatic environment for future generations. Diving won’t survive without beautiful places to visit, and PADI Divers are encouraged to take action with Project AWARE® and make every dive count for a clean, healthy ocean planet.

​The PADI Story – Two Friends, a Bottle of Scotch and an Idea

The world’s largest scuba diving training organization, PADI was dreamed up in 1966 by two friends in Illinois over a bottle of Johnnie Walker. It’s true.

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 scuba certification agencies that existed at the time 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, easier way for people to learn to breathe underwater.

In 1966, John brought a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label and $30 US 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 rounds of Scotch, the acronym PADI was born: Professional Association of Diving Instructors.

Their goal – give more people a chance to enjoy the underwater world by offering relevant, instructionally valid scuba diving training to create confident scuba divers who dive regularly.

​The Underground Office

The initial start-up meetings took place at several restaurants in Morton Grove and Niles, Illinois. In a few months, Cronin finished a portion of the basement in his home on Main Street in Niles to become the headquarters for PADI. He eventually hired his next-door neighbor to be a part time secretary. His son, Brian, stuffed and sealed envelopes.

​A Torched Logo

When they were struggling for a logo design, John mentioned he wanted something classy like the National Geographic look. Years later, in an interview, Ralph said that idea changed the way he was looking at this small two-man operation. At that moment, he could see a big vision for PADI. Ralph was responsible for putting together the first PADI logo – a diver with a torch in a globe. This logo was later refined into the well-known PADI logo of today.

​PADI Grows

In the early years, PADI grew slowly. In 1967, it introduced recreational diving’s first diver certification requirements, first advanced diver course and first specialty diver programs. By the late 1960s, PADI had 400 members, but it was still a struggling entity.

Cronin went to a huge National Sporting Goods Association show in New York City. While he was there he met with Paul Tzimoulis, who later became the editor of Skin Diver magazine. Paul suggested that PADI put the diver’s picture on the certification card. In 1968, PADI produced the first positive identification certification card with the diver’s photograph. It was a strategic move that helped PADI’s eventual global recognition.

John Cronin had been promoted to Sales Manager at U.S. Divers and had moved the family to Huntington Beach, California. In 1970, the PADI Office moved to California, USA.

Erickson developed a modular training program and it started to catch on. In 1972, the PADI Open Water Diver certification was launched as the preferred entry-level rating, with twice as many required open water dives as previous courses.

In the late 1970s and early ‘80s, PADI began creating its own integrated, multimedia 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, everyone at PADI felt a responsibility to teach divers about their interactions with the underwater world. Cronin knew PADI had a responsibility to protect the marine environment. John Cronin said:

“We want to feel that our children, their children and generations to come will be able to enjoy the underwater world that has given us so much. There are so many significant problems facing mankind, but as divers this is truly our cause. If scuba divers do not take an active role in preserving the aquatic realm, who will?”

Out of a true concern for the environment, the Project AWARE Foundation was formed.

​PADI Today

In 2003, John Cronin passed away. His friend and PADI co-founder, Ralph Erickson, passed away three years later. They proudly carried PADI’s torch for many years before they confidently put it in the hands of today’s generation of PADI Professionals, who continue to introduce the world to scuba diving.

With close to 400 employees in PADI corporate offices around the world, the PADI organization works hard to be the best partner to its members and is committed to:

  1. Safe and responsible diver acquisition and retention.
  2. Quality member acquisition and retention.
  3. Financial prosperity.
  4. Worldwide alignment in message, products, systems and procedures.

The PADI Worldwide Executive team, led by Dr. Drew Richardson, President and CEO, ensure these promises are met.

​PADI’s Mission

  • Purpose – PADI exists to develop programs that encourage and fulfill the public interest in recreational scuba diving and snorkeling worldwide.
  • Vision – PADI intends to be the world leader in the educational development of scuba diving professionals and enthusiasts.
  • Slogan – PADI – The Way the World Learns to Dive®
  • Mission – We want to teach the world to scuba dive.
  • Tasks, Goals and Purposes – 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.