Professional Association of Diving Instructors.


Two Friends, a Bottle of Scotch and an Idea

The world’s largest scuba diving training organization, PADI was dreamed up in 1966 by two friends in Illinois over a bottle of Johnnie Walker. It’s true.  John Cronin, a scuba equipment salesman for U.S. Divers, and Ralph Erickson, an educator and swimming instructor, were concerned about the scuba diving industry. They felt that the scuba certification agencies that existed at the time were unprofessional, didn’t use state-of-the-art instruction, and made it unnecessarily difficult for people to enter the sport. John and Ralph knew there had to be a safer, easier way for people to learn to breathe underwater.

The Mission;

PADI exists to develop programs that encourage and fulfill the public interest in recreational scuba diving and snorkeling worldwide.

  • Vision – PADI intends to be the world leader in the educational development of scuba diving professionals and enthusiasts.
  • Slogan – PADI – The Way the World Learns to Dive®
  • Mission – We want to teach the world to scuba dive.
  • Tasks, Goals and Purposes – PADI strives to be the world’s most respected and successful organization in recreational scuba diving and snorkeling.
  • PADI is committed to product and service.

The Result;

In 2003, John Cronin passed away. His friend and PADI co-founder, Ralph Erickson, passed away three years later. They proudly carried PADI’s torch for many years before they confidently put it in the hands of today’s generation of PADI Professionals, who continue to introduce the world to scuba diving.

With close to 400 employees in PADI corporate offices around the world, the PADI organization works hard to be the best partner to its members and is committed to:

  • 1.Safe and responsible diver acquisition and retention.
  • 2.Quality member acquisition and retention.
  • 3.Financial prosperity.
  • 4.Worldwide alignment in message, products, systems and procedures.

The PADI Worldwide Executive team, led by Dr. Drew Richardson, President and CEO, ensure these promises are met.