Important Scuba Information

Scuba Diving Information Troop Meetings Main Event

The Boy Scouts of America scuba policy recognizes scuba industry standards and implements them by using outside agencies for training and certification. All scuba instruction must be conducted by recreational diving instructors in good standing with a scuba agency recognized by the BSA and approved by the BSA local council.

Scuba diving prerequisites, knowledge, and skills are neither itemized nor adequately covered in this publication. Earning the Open Water Diver Certification means the Scout must meet training requirements set by outside agencies and must supplement the material here with an entry-level scuba diver manual.

All phases of scuba instruction—classroom, pool, and open water training—must comply with the minimum training standards for entry-level scuba certification adopted by the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI) or the U.S. Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC). The RSTC is recognized as the ANSI Accredited Standards Developer for recreational diving instructional standards.
The BSA acknowledges those standards by limiting scuba instruction only to instructors trained and sanctioned by recognized scuba agencies.

Agencies recognized by the BSA for scuba training are PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors), SSI (Scuba Schools
International), IDEA (International Diving Educators Association), PDIC (Professional Diving Instructors Corporation), and SDI (Scuba Diving International). In addition to the agencies listed by name, any
current member of the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC) also is recognized.

Each approved instructor must follow the training protocols established by his or her authorizing agency, including limitations and special provisions based on medical conditions and age. For Scout divers under age 15, this will include restrictions for maximum depth, buddies, and supervision ratios.

Scuba industry standards for open water diver certification require the student to be at least 15 years of age. Students under the minimum age who meet open water scuba performance requirements may qualify for a special certification that allows them to dive with an adult buddy who has, as a minimum, an Open Water Diver Certification. Several of the scuba organizations recognized by the BSA offer “junior” open water certifications for those as young as 10; others have a minimum age of 12. Such junior open water diver certifications satisfy scuba diving certification for the Scuba Diving merit badge.

Scuba Diving Information Troop Meetings Main Event

For Adult and Youth Boy Scout Leaders