Earn College Credit for PADI Courses

How It Works

Validating the quality of the PADI System of diver education, many institutions and national educational councils around the world recommend PADI scuba courses for college credit, occupational certificates or educational funding. Find out how it works in your area.

United States

The American Council on Education (ACE) through its College Credit Recommendation Service has evaluated and recommended college credit for 24 PADI courses and the Emergency First Response Instructor course. ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions.

Want to learn more? Download an information sheet and Student Transcript Request form (pdf) or contact PADI Americas at [email protected].


PADI Divers may receive credit for several PADI courses after completing a Nationally Recognized Training course through PADI’s Registered Training Organization (RTO).

School students in Year 10, 11 and 12 completing their PADI course in Queensland (QLD), Tasmania (TAS) and Western Australia (W.A.) may receive credit towards their Certificate of Education.

Want to learn more? Read PADI course credits for Nationally Recognized Training and Certificates of Education in Australia or contact PADI Asia Pacific at [email protected].


The British Columbia Ministry of Education (External Credentials Program for Industrial and Occupational Courses) has approved these courses for school credit: PADI Open Water Diver course (2 credits), PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course (4 credits) and PADI Rescue Diver (4 credits). Grade 10, 11 and 12 students simply present their PADI certification cards to the school administration to apply for credit.

Scuba divers in Canada may also receive credit for PADI courses through the USA-based American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service as explained above.

Europe, Middle East and Africa

Visit the Learning Aim Database and do a quick search for “PADI” to see the details of PADI and Emergency First Response courses currently listed as learning aims and qualifications recognized by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), an agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Scuba divers may be awarded credit for PADI courses from an educational institution, or through the military, in Europe based on the institution’s specific recognition of prior learning. Check with your school or military group about requirements for credit accumulation and transfer.

For more information, contact [email protected].


Those who want to teach diving in Japanese school systems (colleges, universities, vocational schools, etc.) undergo general and specialized course work and testing to become authorized by the Japan Sports Association (JASA), under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

However, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors are exempt from this specialized course and test, and can attain JASA authorization by taking a general course and certification test. Visit JASA website for more information.

New Zealand

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) manages the accreditation and approval of nationally recognized courses. The PADI Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, and Rescue Diver courses all qualify for the National Certificate of Diving: Foundational Skills. PADI Professional level training also credits toward a national certificate or diploma.

Want to learn more? Read about Educational and Vocational Recognition in New Zealand or contact PADI Asia Pacific at [email protected].

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