NAUI is short for National Association of Underwater Instructors.

NAUI is a not-for-profit Worldwide diving certification agency. (as for why they have national in their name, it's because the originated in the United States.) NAUI, CMAS, and PADI are the three most popular and well known diving certification agencies.

Brief History

In 1948 during the birth of SCUBA diving in the United States, Neal Hess began writing a column called The Instructors Corner for a magazine called Skin Diver. This column covered teaching techniques for skin diving and scuba diving. Hess began "certifying" instructors by reviewing their course materials and then running their name in the column. This program became known as the National Diving Patrol.

In 1960, during the meeting of the Underwater Society of America Jim Auxier, Al Tillman and Neal Hess renamed the National Diving Patrol to the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) and set it up as a non-profit educational organisation. This organisations purpose was to certify skin and SCUBA diving instructors.

In the 1970s NAUI expanded further into the International market and today is known world-wide as one of the best diver certification agencies.

What they do

NAUI's motto is Dive Safety Through Education.

NAUI trains, qualifies and certifies instructors and provide various programs, products and support materials to assist NAUI instructors with their diving teaching.

Summary: They teach others how to teach you how to dive :)


NAUI courses are generally longer and more indepth than other courses such as PADI. They have the following progression of training:

  • NAUI Skindiver.
  • NAUI SCUBA Diver.
  • NAUI Advanced SCUBA Diver.
  • NAUI Master SCUBA Diver.
  • NAUI Speciality Diver Courses.
  • NAUI Technical Diver Courses.
  • NAUI Leadership Courses.
  • And the coveted NAUI SCUBA Instructor.


Generally the equivalences between PADI and NAUI are pretty straight forward, however the NAUI courses tend to be more indepth. You can convert a PADI Open Water diving rating to NAUI SCUBA Diver without having to retrain, however I'm not sure about higher ratings.

My two cents

I recommend NAUI since its courses are more indepth than PADI, but then again, I'm biased, so you choose for yourself and make everyone happy =)


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