Agencies Equivalences, ISO standards, CMAS and the WRSTC

For scuba diving, there are many agencies issuing diving certifications and there are some internationally recognized standards and councils. You can learn more about them on the Training Agencies page.

Quick links to the equivalences tables

Agency equivalences and similar courses

Choosing an agency, a center or an instructor can be a concern for beginners. Equivalence for certified divers wanting to achieve another milestone is something to keep in mind when seeking diving education. What if I started with one agency and I would like to continue with another one.

The need for agencies to be able to recognize certifications of other is great and profit all of them. Some agency also concludes agreements with conditions to give credits for courses when moving from one to the other.

This is why you should not worry and start or keep on diving as most will be able to fill the gap easily.

ISO standards and the WRSTC

ISO which stands for the International Organization for Standardization is recognized worldwide for setting safety standards for many different applications and in a multitude of domains.

The WRSTC or World Recreational Scuba Training Council is composed of members from the biggest agencies. They set examples and agree on standards for certifications together.

Not all agencies are part of the WRSTC or are on par with the ISO standards but it does not mean that they have unsafe practices or should be frowned upon.

CMAS and its affiliated Federations

CMAS or the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques is also called the World Underwater Federation. It has more than one hundred affiliated Federations in many countries around the world. They all use the certification system, standards, and courses requirements. In the tables below they can be compared to the CMAS certifications. There is also a table of CMAS affiliated Federations along with their contact information, websites and other information.

Equivalences with other domains of diving

Divers with a military, commercial, public safety or law enforcement can obtain some recognition as well. Again it is down to each agency to decide. Some agencies have programs in place to asses and certify these divers under their standards.

The tables of comparisons or equivalences

This list has no value other than to be informative. Even if this table is quite accurate each agency can decide what they recognize as being equal, acceptable, similar or not to their courses and standards.

Table of agencies courses equivalence, ISO standards, and the WRSTC

The equivalences in courses of the different agencies or governing and certifying bodies. Common names have been put at the top for reference. You can also click on those name to sort the table.

Professional certifications equivalence table with ISO and WRSTC

This table could be inaccurate as it comes down to the agency. It is to their sole discretion. However, it is in their best interest to be open to other agencies and accommodate divers in general. There are also all compared to general standards.

CMAS list of affiliated Federations

The list of CMAS affiliated federations. It was last updated 12-16-2018 from CMAS website on the Federation page. It is best to contact CMAS directly if you have an important matter concerning this list.