Open Water Diver

by SSI
Type: Training

You will earn the SSI Open Water Diver certification. This globally recognised certification program is the best way to begin your life-long adventure as a certified scuba diver. Personalised training and in-water practice sessions ensure you have the skills and experience required to become truly comfortable underwater. Open Water Certification means you can dive to 18m with a buddy anywhere in the world for the rest of your life. 

Open Water Diver can be taught as a Referral program; this means you complete the classroom and pool sessions here with us in the UK. Then, we connect you with an SSI or PADI diver centre abroad so you can finish the program in warm, tropical waters. 

  • Minimum Age: 10
  • Certification Prerequisites: None
  • Academic Sessions: Online Program
  • Pool/Confined Water Sessions: (10 Hours)
  • Open Water Dives: 4
  • Maximum depth limit: 18 meters.
  • Maximum depth limit for 10 and 11-year-olds: 12 meters.

After signing up, you will be sent an e-mail allowing access to the SSI online academics. From a computer or any digital device login, update your profile and start the learning process. The multimedia academics with videos and multiple-choice questions keep learning fun and ensure you are prepared for your water sessions. 

Your pool sessions will start with a small academic session and then a briefing from one of our experienced instructors; you will learn how the equipment works and is fitted. Next, you and your instructor will select a mask and fins and configure your high-quality total diving system. Learning to breathe with your face in the water and fin on the surface quickly turns into almost 2 hours of fun underwater learning new skills. 

We have a maximum ratio of 4:1 with instructors to ensure you have the best possible experience.

The remainder of your pool sessions starts with a review of all skills from the previous sessions, reinforcing SSI's "Comfort Through Repetition" mantra, followed by new skills and free time to practice swimming and building confidence. 

We conduct the qualifying Open Water Dives over two days at Stoney Cove or another location that allows easy, safe access to the water. You will show you can perform all the skills you mastered in the pool in a natural open water environment. We provide suitable exposure protection, whether a wet or dry suit, appropriate to the time of year to ensure your comfort and safety. 

All sessions include a thorough debriefing and discussion about your performance, helping you learn. On successful completion, you will gain a certificate of completion and a digital recognition card (via the MySSI App). 

We have two (3) standard course offerings:

3 x 4-Hour Tuesday Nights (18.30 - 22.30)


3 x 4-Hour Thursday Nights (18.00 - 22.00)


3 x 4-Hour Saturday Mornings (10.30 - 14.30)

The pool sessions culminate in 2 Open Water days at a local dive site - these are arranged twice monthly - once you have completed the required pool sessions, we can book the Open Water days. 

The final exam and graduation day are on the Saturday after the final open water and give you a chance to solidify your knowledge and celebrate your achievement. 


Our Premium course option allows you to schedule your pool and Open Water sessions to meet your needs. You will define a schedule, be it a single week, alternate weeks, or anything in between, with one of our instructors. This course is designed to suit you. 

As with all Divemaster Scuba Programs:

  • Certification lasts for life
  • All materials, manuals and certifications included 
  • All kit hire included
  • All pool fees included
  • Open water site entry is not included (Budget £50)
  • All air fills are included
  • Instructor time included
  • We are committed to your success; we are there for you if you require more help. 


Pool and academic sessions are conducted at our new purpose-built facility in Nottingham. To learn more about our pool, click here

All Divers must complete a pass a self-declaration medical it can be found here. Please ensure you are fit enough to complete the medical before purchasing. 

Still have some questions? Click here to go to our enquiries page.