Open Water Diver

The Open Water Diver course is the first complete certification for scuba diving. It allows divers to become autonomous in the planning and execution of dives. Most scuba divers will opt for the services of a professional local guide to explore and visit new dive sites. But this course covers all the basics required for taking part in unsupervised dives.

Maybe you overheard a discussion about diving before and words like the first level, certified or open water diver. Well, this is what the Open Water Diver course means. It is the first level of diver certification. A course which is the starting point and the core of all other courses.

This certification is recognized worldwide and entitled the diver to dive autonomously with a buddy to a depth up to 18 meters / 40 feet.

The course is structured in three distinct parts, the theory, the confined open water sessions in the pool and the dives in open water environment.

Theory relative to scuba diving

The academic part covers subjects that are the foundations of scuba diving such as basic physics, basic physiology, a preview of the different environments, diving techniques as well as the equipment.

You can start the theory right now for free with our partners. All you have to do is open an account on the page or using their MySSI mobile app available on Google Play or Apps Store. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. It will show you the available courses and enroll for a diving course.

Learning and practicing skills with the instructor

Sessions in confined water optimize to learn basic scuba diving skills. Empty a mask underwater, recover and purge a regulator. It is also the moment that students learn buoyancy control and trim. Essentials concepts of proper scuba diving.

Exploration dives in open water.

Diving in a natural environment gives the chance to put into action skills and techniques already mastered in confined water. It is the time where you will demonstrate to the instructor that you can respond to problems that might arise and that you are in control. He will then be able to offer recommendations base on observation and give you the chance to practice more. It is also a good time to ask more in-depth questions about scuba diving organization, planning, and execution.

The typical flow of the SSI – Open Water Diver course

Courses are scheduled according to students needs and are flexible in the days for greater customer satisfaction. On the first two days, times can change but on the days a trip and open water dives are planned, students must be present at the dive center the latest at 7:30 AM if they choose not to use our free shuttle service.

For basic courses with four dives, they are completed for most in 4 days. An additional day of development and practice can be added before the dives in the ocean. It is also possible to take the option of doing 2 more dives with guidance and under the supervision of an instructor. In this case, the course requires an extra day. Some combinations of the course with specialties are also possible.

A sample schedule of the Open Water Diver course with the recommended option of 6 open water dives spread over 5 days.

Morning AM (8:00 – 11:30) Afternoon PM (12:30 – 6:00)
  • Paperwork
  • Forms and payments
  • Academic support presentation
  • Self-study
  • Review of the theory if completed online before
  • Pool sessions and workshops
  • Study time alone or with the guidance of the instructor
  • Pool sessions and workshops
  • Study time alone or with the guidance of the instructor
  • Pool sessions and workshops
  • Study time alone or with the guidance of the instructor
  • Breakfast at the dive center
  • Planning and briefing of the first dive
  • First exploration dive
  • Debriefing
  • Lunch on the boat
  • Predive planning of 2nd dive
  • Second dive with skills
  • Debriefing
  • Logbook entries on the way back or at the dive center
  • Breakfast at the dive center
  • Planning and briefing of the third dive
  • Third practice dive with skills
  • Debriefing
  • Lunch on the boat
  • Predive planning of the 4th dive
  • fourth dive with remediation skills
  • Debriefing
  • Logbook entries on the way back or at the dive center
  • Breakfast at the dive center
  • Independent planning and briefing of the fifth dive
  • Assisted dive with remediation skills
  • Debriefing
  • Lunch on the boat
  • Independent planning and briefing of the last and sixth dive
  • Independent dive without skills
  • Debriefing
  • Logbook entries on the way back or at the dive center
  • Final paperwork and training record
  • Certification

Prerequisites of the Open Water Diver course

Requirements for the Open Water Diver course are not so complicated. Participants must be 10 years or older. For the less than 18 years old, parental approbation must be obtained and additional forms are required. Parents must also become aware of the risks related to scuba diving activities. To have a normal fitness level and no incompatible medical condition. And at last, to be a good swimmer is not mandatory but a minimum of watermanship skills is a must for all divers.

For more information about medical status, physiology, and diving, you can visit our Medical and Diving page.

For those who are already certified as Scuba Diver or any equivalent certification already completed a part of the course. This section can be reviewed by the instructor prior to training to make sure the rest of the course is well understood. There will also be less theory, pool sessions, workshops and less open water dives. If this applies to you we recommend to contact directly and see what can be organized to fit your needs.

An overview of the requirements:

  • 10 year old

What is included in the Open Water Diver course

Plongeur-Certifie-SSI-Open-Water-Diver-CardTo make it easy our prices include all that is required for the course or the selected options. Sunscreen and towel must be the only thing you will need to bring.

  • The learning material in electronic format for the duration of the course
  • The instructor
  • The certification card in electronic format (available in a plastic format on special request)
  • Rental of the equipment including; mask, fins, snorkel, short wetsuit, regulator set, buoyancy compensator and weight system. Compass, dive computer, tank, and fills are included as needed
  • A minimum of 4 open water dives depending on the selected options of course
  • Meals and snacks when taking part in trips which include breakfast and lunch, as well as fruits, refreshments, tea, coffee, soft drinks, electrolyte drink and of course drinking water.

Packages and options of the course

Packages are composed of a price list starting with the basic Open Water Diver course including 4 open water dives in 4 days. The modular approach of the course with many options available gives a very customized and personalized approach. It is one of the ways our courses are different from what is commonly saw elsewhere.

Open Water Diver basic course (4 days course with 4 open water dives) 12,500
Combined with the Enriched Air Nitrox course +3,000
The option of 6 open water dives in the course +2,250
An additional day of supervised and tutored training with the instructor +2,250
Combined with a specialty that does not require time in the water. +2,000
Prices are subject to changes without prior notice. We recommend to contact us directly to obtain up to date prices and a more personalized service.

What is important to know about the Open Water Diver course

For professionalism and safety, the inscription to and payment of a course does not guarantee that a certification will be issued. It comes down to the abilities, comfort level as well as skills and knowledge of each participant. Certification is issued based on the judgment of the instructor as well as the dive manager of the center of the abilities demonstrated by the students through the course. If you would like to learn more about this matter you can visit the page Certification requirements and conditions.

If the course is not completed by the participant but the sections and requirement are met for the Scuba Diver certification. This card can be issued and training can be completed at another time with any other SSI dive center without restrictions.

The watermanship skills such as the no stop swim and the water threading are required to obtain any diving certification. We will cover this matter at the beginning of the course to prevent delay and problems as students progress through.

Dive sites where the course takes place cannot be picked by the student. If some special trips are organized students can choose to take part if the time and our schedule allow.

Courses will take place no matter the meteorological conditions or visibility as long as it does not raise any risk or safety concerns.

What comes next after the Open Water Diver course

It is possible to combine the Open Water Diver course with some of the specialties offered at the dive center. You can also see what courses come next after.

  • The SSI – Advanced Adventurer course
  • One of the extensive list of SSI diving specialties
  • The SSI – Diver Stress & Rescue course