Scuba Schools International (SSI) is an organization that teaches the skills involved in scuba diving and freediving, and supports dive businesses and resorts. SSI has over 2,500 authorized dealers, 35 regional centers, and offices all over the world. SSI offers internationally recognized recreational diver training programs – starting with snorkeling and entry level scuba diving courses up to Instructor Certifiers. The most common programs are: SSI Open Water Diver (OWD), Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD). There are more than 30 different specialty courses. Dive leader training programs start with the Dive Control Specialist (who is qualified like Assistant Instructor) followed by Open Water Instructor and above. SSI’s training program for children aged 8–12 years is called Scuba Rangers. The training program for technical divers is called TechXR (Technical Extended Range) and includes decompression diving, trimix and other courses that exceed the limit for recreational divers.
SSI scuba certifications are recognized throughout the world (such as RSTC – Recreational Scuba Training Council, EUF – European Underwater Federation, CUA – China Underwater Association and others).
SSI was founded by Robert Clark in 1970, and was one of the pioneers of professional scuba training. They were the first organization to present a complete training program including full motion video and they pioneered some areas of diving education. SSI headquarters are in Fort Collins, Colorado, and it is owned by Concept Systems International, Inc. In 2008, it was acquired by Doug McNeese (owner of NASDS (USA) until the merger with SSI in 1999) and Robert Stoss (manager of Scubapro and Seemann Sub). On January 1, 2014, SSI was acquired by MARES, a diving equipment brand in turn owned by HEAD NV, for €4.9m.
SSI is a member of the following councils of the World Recreational Scuba Training Council – the United States RSTC, the RSTC Europe and C-Card Council (Japan). It is also a member of the European Underwater Federation. SSI obtained CEN certification from the EUF certification body in 2005. It received ISO certification on June 1, 2010.