Scuba Schools International celebrates 50 years

SSI, Scuba Schools International, turns 50 years old in 2020. To celebrate this special anniversary, SSI has great things planned that all dive enthusiasts can benefit from and enjoy. Read on to find out more.

MyDiveGuide powered by SSI – free dive travel guide.

Scuba Schools International has launched the world's largest dive site database,  MyDiveGuide. This database is a smart online dive travel guide created by divers for divers, where we connect dive sites, and their potential wildlife encounters, with SSI Training Centers worldwide. With this invaluable travel website, SSI aims to make it easy for any diver to explore the most exciting dive sites around the world.

50th Anniversary Program – free digital course.

To continue its 50th-anniversary celebration, Scuba Schools International has launched a  free digital course full of entertaining stories and exciting information about diving over the last 50 years of SSI. All divers with a MySSI account have access to this program. LEARN ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ON ANY DEVICE - GET THE FREE MYSSI APP.

Celebrating 50 years of high-quality dive training.

Very little was happening with scuba diving training before 1967, when a small group of store owners, led by John Gaffney, formed NASDS, the National Association of Scuba Diving Schools. SSI was founded in the United States in 1970 with a clear vision from its founders: to offer a more comprehensive dive training solution to retailers in the industry. Today there are more than 3300 SSI Training Centers worldwide and more than 60 different SSI training programs in over 40 languages. These training programs span multiple categories, including:

The Scuba Schools International Journey.

Discover how SSI became the largest professional dive business-based training agency in the world:

1. SSI in the Seventies.

SSI’s growth in the 1970s set the foundation for the philosophy of instruction and the instructional system SSI still uses today. In 1973, the Jeppesen-Sanderson company of Denver, Colorado, realized that there was a need for a scuba diving textbook. After many financial challenges, and with the support of Citizen Printing Company in Fort Collins and others involved, SSI produced its first Instructor Manual. Building a 3000 square foot office building in 1977 kicked off a season of significant growth and commitment for SSI! With a new permanent home, the development of new products and strategies was possible, leading more people in the dive industry to recognize the quality of SSI’s services. In this new era, SSI filled many needs the industry had and introduced multiple products that were crucial for the operation of dive businesses. However, the best was yet to come. READ MORE: CALLING ALL DIVE PROFESSIONALS – WHY CHOOSE SSI.

2. SSI in the Eighties.

In the 1980s, Scuba Schools International continued to develop more programs and started refining the ones they already had. 1981 presented the opportunity to expand to Singapore. After two years of hard work, the first international SSI Regional Center was born. SSI’s most significant period of growth began in 1984 when Ed Christini joined the team. His experience as an SSI field rep and extensive retail background was invaluable; he understood the system well. In the mid-eighties, SSI had the idea of developing videos to support the written materials, becoming the first training agency to tackle full-motion video to support our programs. We knew video content was the future.

3. SSI in the Nineties.

In the 1990s, SSI developed one of its most outstanding products, the Open Water Diver program. Along with the Instructor Manual, this program became the foundation of the SSI teaching system. This was a defining moment for SSI, as it transformed our educational system. Due to innovative product development, SSI now had the most advanced teaching system on the market. We were the only agency with a complete training system, including full-motion video, text, workbook, and instructor manual. SSI became the leader in the industry and one of the most important certification agencies around the world. More ambitious projects and innovations happened in the years that followed, such as the Open Water Diver revision, which included a change to the textbook style, merging of the NASDS and SSI programs, and production of the industry's first training DVD. One of SSI’s most significant accomplishments includes earning the American Council on Education (ACE) approval of four courses, validating the quality of SSI’s instructional design methodology and educational materials. START THE ADVENTURE - BECOME A CERTIFIED DIVER WITH SSI.

4. SSI in the Millennial Years.

SSI partnered with a primary equipment manufacturer, HEAD, in 2014. With this acquisition, SSI has become one of the most innovative and fastest-growing training agencies in the world with equipment, training, and travel as its most prominent pillars. SSI was the first to become a digital-based training agency, in 2006, with state-of-the-art education programs. SSI went fully digital in 2015. Our goal is to continue to meet customers' needs through our online-based system.

5. SSI Today.

Since 1970, Scuba Schools International (SSI) has become the world's largest professional dive business-based training agency, with over 50,000+ SSI Professionals in 130+ countries. For 50 years, SSI has provided high-quality training in Recreational Scuba, Extended Range, Rebreather Diving, Freediving, Swim, and Lifeguard programs, from beginner to Instructor Trainer, with a Global ISO certification. Thank you for being part of SSI! Enjoy our  FREE Anniversary eBook! READ MORE: 10 DIVE LOCATIONS WITH A DIFFERENCE. Source: image MyDiveGuide©iStock-RomoloTavani