Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
July 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 48, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

What’s the Significance of “Advanced” in PADI AOW Certification?

from the July, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Dear Undercurrent,

Back when I had just completed my Open Water I certification, our instructor told us that with just five more open water dives, we could obtain the Advanced Open Water certification. To me, that was absurd.

Here I was a rank beginner, and yet by doing only five more dives, I would be considered advanced? The only other certification I have ever obtained is for Nitrox. I now have 645 dives worldwide, and no one has ever refused to let me dive because I don't have the AOW certification.

At the same time, I have read several dive fatality reports in which the deceased diver had an AOW certification but a very small number of dives. In such cases, I wonder if over-confidence due to the "advanced" designation was a contributing factor.

To me, the fault lies with the certifying organizations. As I recall, at one time, there was an Open Water II certification. Something like that might be more appropriate for the second level of certification where the diver is not a beginner but still is not highly experienced. The designation "advanced" should apply only to divers with a significant level of experience (minimum of 100 dives, variety of conditions such as strong current, low viz, etc.?). Of course, the certifying organizations would not go for that because it would cut their profits, as few divers would go for the AOW if it had such stringent requirements.

I'm 74 but keep myself in good physical condition with rigorous exercise. It's depressing for me to see the poor physical condition of many younger divers today. In my opinion, there should also be a physical fitness requirement for diving, but of course, that would never fly. Again, no one has ever challenged me regarding a dive due to my age, but I suppose that might be coming one day.

- Greg White (Cobden, IL)

Undercurrent says: In the context of PADI certifications, 'Advanced' means 'advanced a little from the beginning'.

I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2024 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.