Basic Scuba Diver History
There were two entry-level PADI certifications prior to 1987 — Basic Scuba Diver and Open Water Diver. A Basic Scuba Diver met the course knowledge development and confined water performance requirements of Open Water Diver training, but the course required only two open Water scuba training dives. Some skills, such as the controlled emergency swimming ascent and buddy breathing ascent, may not have been demonstrated in open Water as part of the course.
Because the Basic Scuba Diver course was discontinued more than 20 years ago, some dive centers and resorts are not familiar with the certification. In fact, some confuse the Basic Scuba Diver certification with the current PADI Scuba Diver certification.
Scuba Diver and Basic Scuba Diver
Scuba Diver is a pre-entry level certification that allows divers to dive with a PADI Professional to a depth no greater than 12 metres/40 feet. This restriction is printed on the certification.
Basic Scuba Diver certification cards are either paper or laminated in plastic . Divers who replace their Basic Scuba Diver cards receive modern plastic cards with Basic Scuba Diver clearly printed on the front.
Basic Scuba Diver Upgrade to Open Water Diver
Most Basic Scuba Divers have upgraded to Open Water Diver, it’s necessary for these divers to continue their education. However, if you get a request to upgrade a Basic Scuba Diver to Open Water Diver the process is quite easy.
#1 Conduct a PADI Scuba Review program, re-mediating knowledge and skills as necessary.
#2 Conduct dives 3 and 4 from the Open Water Diver course, including the controlled emergency swimming ascent skill (CESA).
#3 Submit a PIC envelope for an Open Water Diver certification card using a paper or online PIC.