My brother and I are planning to get PADI, (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), certified. The e-learning course in July, 2018 is $180, which isn't super cheap. Can I buy one and re-use it for the two of us? Will most dive schools accept that?

  • I don't know enough to write an answer, but the e-learning section at the PADI website appears to result in a certificate in one person's name, which you have to present at Dive Centers. You might both be able to listen/watch online, but can only have one certificate. They do offer a Gift Pass option you can buy for someone else to take a course, so maybe you can get some financial help so you can each take one. Jul 15, 2018 at 19:04
  • Doesn't specifically answer your question, but if you can, look at BSAC (UK mainly) training instead. It's based on a club system, not a business, so it generally much cheaper.
    – Dark Hippo
    Jul 18, 2018 at 14:48
  • As a long-time member of BSAC:no it is not cheaper once you factor in all the costs. It is an expensive hobby no matter how you look at it, and the cost of instruction is only a small part of it.
    – gaius
    Jul 22, 2018 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


I would say here no. Most diving bodies have moved to an online learning course, instead of books etc, however this course will be how you certify. It will certify one of you.

Steps for learning to dive are:

  1. An amount of classroom learning - this is usually on top of learning online as well.
  2. An amount of confined diving - this is where you learn the skills, usually in a swimming pool or shallow / restricted open water.
  3. Open water diving to test what you learnt in confined diving. This is usually 4 dives over a day or two (depending on where you are).

The fee may or may not include your gear rental as well.

I did not certify with PADI (I am SSI) but dive with plenty of PADI divers and my instructor can train people in both. I paid almost $500 for my SSI training with gear rental and costs for entering an inland dive site for my Open Water dives.

Online courses can be linked to your diver log, and also your medical information so this is another reason why you need one each.

To date in 2 years of diving I have spent almost $11,000 in buying my own gear, certifying for different aspects of diving, and trips and holidays to go diving for myself and my husband. It's not a cheap sport.


PADI wouldn't allow you to share the material; almost certainly there's a non-sharing clause in the licence.

However this is moot as the background reading material is only part of the course. There's classroom training using PADI's presentation materials and videos, above-water training by your instructor, plus under water training in confined water and open water. At the end of the course there's a written exam.

Personally I'm not particularly impressed with the e-learning solutions as these aren't particularly flexible and aren't long-lived when compared with a book. For example if you want to review your notes a year later you will probably need to pay for another year's e-learning. You also can't scribble notes on e-learning material and you can share a book.

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