Scuba Training Standards and Procedures

Recreational Scuba

Dive Guide (ISO 24801-3)


The SSI Dive Guide program provides candidates with the knowledge and training necessary to supervise and guide certified divers on recreational scuba dives.

Note | Upon completion of the Dive Guide program, candidates may receive a professional or non-professional certification.

Minimum Instructor Rating

An active status Dive Guide Instructor may conduct the Dive Guide program.

Candidate Prerequisites

  • Minimum age: 15 years old (Must be 18 years old to be certified as an active status Professional Dive Guide).
  • Have logged at least 40 open water dives totaling 25 hours or more.
Have the following SSI certifications or equivalent from a recognized training agency:
  • Diver Stress & Rescue
Have the following SSI certifications, an equivalent from a recognized training agency, or provide proof of experience by showing at least five (5) logged experience dives in each of the following areas:
  • Deep Diving | Deeper than 30 meters
  • Navigation
  • Night & Limited Visibility

Note | The candidate is not required to be certified in the applicable specialty if they provide proof of the experience dives and the instructor can verify the candidate’s ability to exhibit mastery of the skills required by the specialty.

Recommendation | SSI recommends all SSI Dive Professional candidates become certified in Enriched Air Nitrox 40.


  • Recommended hours for completion: 35-45.

Depth Limitations

  • Minimum open water depth limit: 5 meters.
  • Maximum open water depth limit: 40 meters.

Minimum Supervision

  • An active status SSI Dive Guide Instructor must directly supervise all academic, pool/confined water, and open water activities.

Requirements For Completion

  • Log at least 50 open water dives totaling 32 hours or more.
  • Pass all requirements and evaluations listed in the instructor manual for Dive Guide.
  • Complete the Candidate Water Fitness Evaluation as outlined in the SSI General Training Standards.
  • Complete the program’s final exam.
  • Complete at least two (2) open water training dives as outlined in the instructor manual for Dive Guide.


  • Upon completion of this program, candidates receive the Dive Guide rating.
  • Upon completion of training, upload the candidate’s training record with all required documentation into the MySSI System or send it to the responsible SSI Service Center.
  • Dive Guides can dive autonomously with a group of certified divers in a non-commercial capacity, in environments and to a depth equivalent with their training.

Active Status Qualifications

Dive Guides may guide certified divers on recreational scuba dives.
Active status Professional Dive Guides may also:
  • Teach, supervise and issue recognition cards for the SSI Snorkel Diver program.
  • Qualify for the SSI Divemaster rating after completing the SSI Science of Diving specialty program.
Dive Guides must not:
  • Conduct, teach or assist in any SSI training programs for non-certified divers.
  • Create Personal Note
  • Report Translation Mistake
  • Report Technical Error