National Association of Professional Instructors

11 August 1994

1. What is NAPI?

NAPI, the National Association of Professional Instructors, was formed in 1992 to fill a gap left by other commercial diving training institutions. It was discovered that the majority of social divers do most of their diving while they are doing a diving course or specialty. Other commercial institutions provide a variety of courses and specialties, but these are limited in their number and too wide in their scope, thus denying the diver the right to accumulate certificates and badges. Thus NAPI was formed, with the aim to increase the number of courses and specialties while at the same time reducing the scope of each. This ensures the highest number of collectable certificates and badges.

2. How are NAPI courses organized?

NAPI introduces a new system of dive courses, in that each course consists of core material, and the rest is covered in a number of specialties. The diver will only qualify for a course certificate if all the certificates of the specialties required have been awarded.

Specialties may be done at any time but they will only count towards a course if the diver is registered for that course. Failing that the diver will have to repeat the specialty.

NAPI course range from the entry level Closed Water I, to the very advanced Instructor Instructor Instructor.

3. Registration and payment

Each diver wishing to undertake a NAPI diving course or specialty will have to pay a membership fee, which will entitle the diver to a membership card and a one year's membership of NAPI.

The price of courses depends on the base fee and the cost of the individual specialty. The cost of each specialty depends on the duration and difficulty of the specialty. Fees include certification and badges, but excludes manuals, which may be bought or hired.

4. Basic courses offered

4.1 Closed Water I.

This course teaches the novice diver the necessary skills to dive in shallow pools of up to 1.5 meters depth.

4.2 Closed Water II (or Advanced Closed Water.)

This course is an extension of Closed Water I, and allows the diver to explore municipal pools up to a depth of 6 meters.

4.3 Closed Water III (or Expert Closed Water.)

The highest closed water certification, this course introduces divers to the hazards of fresh water dams and lakes, up to a safe depth of 15 meters.

4.4 Open Water I.

This is the first course involving the sea. The pre-requisite is the Closed Water III certification level or equivalent. Depth is limited to 15 meters.

4.5 Open Water II (or Advanced Open Water.)

This course teaches the diver the first really useful skills regarding diving. Included in the course are boat dives, deep dives (25 meters depth) and alternative dive times (for example, night.)

4.6 Open Water III (or Expert Open Water.)

The highest level a diver can attain within the NAPI system without entering the exciting world of instructing. This course teaches divers underwater navigation, diving physiology and physics, first aid and rescue techniques, in other words, everything you should have known from the start. Diving will be extended to really deep depths, 35 meters.

5. Specialties

5.1 Changeroom Specialty.

This essential course teaches the novice diver how to dress for diving. Questions answered are, amongst many others: what is a wetsuit, how do I put it on, and especially, take it off; booties, how to distinguish the left one from the right one; flippers, which way is up; and snorkel, more than just a tube.

5.2 Pool entry diver.

Pools may seem harmless, but their sharp edges and shallow depths can cause serious injury. This specialty will teach the diver the proper entry and exit methods, including the giant stride, forward roll, and the forward jump and twist with triple loop and half bend.

5.3 Lake entry diver.

This specialty teaches divers how to enter and exit lakes without slipping on sea weed and getting ones equipment all dirty. A sub-specialty, "jetty entry diver" is offered on request.

5.4 Beach entry diver.

This specialty teaches divers how to do the backwards duck shuffle to enter the water. The course also includes a small section on lost equipment recovery in the surfline.

5.5 Rocky shore entry diver.

This essential course teaches the diver the hazards of slippery rocky shore entries, by emphasizing the breaking effect of barnacles. A wetsuit repair sub-specialty is done on request.

5.6 Equipment assembly diver.

A vital course and highly recommended, this course will teach divers how to rig up their SCUBA gear, by explaining over which shoulder which hose goes, and how to best colour co-ordinate your gear.

5.7 First aid diver.


5.8 Rescue diver.


5.9 Fresh water buoyancy diver.

It is simple, in fresh water you simply don't float as well as in salt water. Do this course and find out why.

5.10 Salt water buoyancy diver.

It is simple, in salt water you simply float better than in fresh water. Do this course and find out why.

5.11 Deep sea diver.

Teaches the diver such essentials as "how to buy a dive computer", "how to avoid getting bend" and "what is this bends business anyway." Depth limit to 25 meters.

5.12 Really Deep sea diver.

Teaches divers how to dive to 35 meters. This course is theoretical only, as NAPI discourages divers to go to such depths, unless they really want to. Course includes "how to get nitrogen narcosis" by explaining Martini's law. Martinis supplied at a nominal fee.

5.13 Current diver specialty.

This course will teach you all about diving in currents. Batteries not supplied.

5.14 Torch diver specialty.

Diving with a torch means that one hand is taken up by the torch. This complication ensures that this is an intensive course, with dives and lectures over three days.

5.15 Cyalume or light stick diver.

As a cyalume is not a torch a new approach is necessary. Recommended reading: "1001 fun things to do with cyalume sticks."

5.16 Cyalume and torch diver specialty.

The combination of two light sources is the topic of this course. It is usually done before a dive, taking up at most 10 minutes. It still costs the same though.

5.17 Boat diver.

What is a boat, and why does it float? These and other questions are answered in this course. A simulated boat ride using chairs and tables is performed. Seasickness tablets are not included.

5.18 Wreck diver.

In this course the diver will learn what a wreck is, how to find wrecks underwater, and how not to get entangled in local laws when scavenging a wreck. If a wreck is not available, we will gladly sink a boat for a nominal extra fee.

5.19 Jump entry diver.

Imagine, you are on a harbour wall and the sea is 6 meters below you... This course will teach you how to take the plunge.

5.20 Compass navigator diver.

This course explains where north is, why it is opposite of south, and why the little needle-thingy points to it all the time, unless it gets stuck. For the mathematically minded only.

5.21 Sun and surge navigator.

Is a compass too expensive for you? Learn how to navigate using the nature around you! Course included two night dives to explain the importance of the sun to navigate.

5.22 Adverse weather diver.

Learn how to cope with wind, rain, swell and cold weather by staying at home and watching movies like "The Abyss" and "The Big Blue" instead.

6. The future of NAPI.

NAPI is flexible. If you have ideas for a new course or specialty, please feel free to contact us and we may add it. We will of course retain all rights and deny having known you at all.

We will in the future publish a series entitled the "NAPI Safe Diving Principles." Be sure not to miss these!

Guido Zsilavecz

Founder, NAPI.

This page was last updated on : 06 Sep 2011