When you go to get yourself certified for scuba diving, there is this obvious question of whether to go for PADI certification or the NAUI certification to choose as your entry-level certification. You can go for both though it is not required or recommended by anybody. All the resorts and diving facilities accept both certifications. The first time you come to know about these is from the branding or logo on diving equipments. So it is obvious for the question to come in mind. However, there is a certain dominance of a particular brand you may have noticed which is further confusing. Though there is not much of a difference between getting certified from either, the process and guidelines followed are a slightly different.
The dominance of one brand is quite obvious as you can see at most diving locations and shops which make you think twice about getting certified from the other one. That is all marketing because the other one is a non-profit organization that does not care much about letting the word out. Also the fact that their certification requirement is a bit higher than the other one makes there presence even scarce. Since they are there for almost the same time and the skills learnt are similar, certification from both of them is accepted worldwide.
PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors while NAUI is the acronym of National Association of Underwater Instructors. PADI is quite widespread to say the least while NAUI presence is not much seen. The reason behind PADI being seen more in action is that they are here to make profit so their marketing approach is far more aggressive than NAUI. NAUI on the other hand defend their pride by assuring the higher standards of their certification through stricter guidelines. NAUI instructors hold the authority to postpone certification until they are satisfied with the performance of the trainee.
PADI guidelines are less strict towards certification. The PADI trainees go through a softer environment during training. Even the instructors are bound to certify them as soon as they show the skills unlike NAUI instructors. PADI puts less emphasis on the training course and materials. The theoretical exam is not that hard and some people can even go through the study materials and take the exam in four to five days. Once they are done with that exam, the 4 dives are the only thing they need to pull off to get certified.
NAUI instructors must follow a stricter guideline before certifying the trainees. Their classes are longer than PADI ones. There is more to learn in NAUI training than in a PADI one. NAUI instructors must assure that the trainees are ready. The trainees must be ready for both theoretical and diving exams. They also need to show excellent skills which the trainer must approve. Therefore, training for a NAUI course takes longer to complete and is harder to pass. That is what NAUI certified divers boast about, the thoroughness of their training. However, nowadays, the trainer is all that matters. Individual trainers are becoming more popular as their experience enables them to train better divers.