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Last updated: October 14, 2021
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History of SSI

Scuba Schools International has a long and rich history.

Since 1970, Scuba Schools International and its innovative Dealers and Instructors have made numerous contributions to the art and science of dive education.

The cumulative result is a very personal and highly effective method of teaching that produces comfortable, confident divers.

Over the years, we’ve developed precisely-written course materials that define our personalized way of learning.

International Scope

In 1983, with the opening of SSI Southeast Asia, Scuba Schools International began to take shape as a worldwide network of Regional Centers that today covers the globe.

Scuba Schools International’s 21 Regional Centers serve the needs of divers, instructors and dealers, and are structured so that they can give special attention to diving industry issues in their respective region.

Through this international network, hundreds of thousands of people have become comfortable, confident divers and contributed significantly to the development of an organized, global scuba industry.

Merger of SSI and NASDS

In the Spring of 1999, SSI merged with the National Association of Scuba Diving Schools (NASDS) and created a new synergy in the dive industry.

The sales and marketing expertise of NASDS, when joined with the renowned educational products of SSI, created a stronger company that is in a better position to serve Dealers, Instructors, and ultimately, Divers.

Together, SSI and NASDS are responsible for a remarkable list of innovations and consequently have been recognized with the highest honors in the diving industry.

Some of our most noteworthy accomplishments include:

  • First to require open water classes for certification.
  • First integrated teaching systems.
  • First to require six open water dives for certification.
  • First to create a sales and marketing program to benefit retailers.
  • First to require visual inspections of cylinders.
  • First to introduce a buoyancy compensator device.
  • First to introduce a safe second stage (octopus).
  • First full-motion video training system.
  • First equipment inspection program.
  • First risk awareness video.
  • First to develop a total dive log and recognition system.

Bob Clark, founder of SSI, and John Gaffney, founder of NASDS, are both given the “Reaching Out Award” and inducted into the scuba industry’s hall of fame in 1999.

Also in 1999, Bob Clark is honored with the prestigious NOGI award for his contributions to dive education; an award also previously given to John Gaffney.

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