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New to Scuba Diving?

If you are unsure if scuba diving is for you, or simply want to try scuba diving, you can do just that with Discover Scuba Diving program.


PADI Scuba Diver is a pre-entry level certification. PADI Scuba Divers  have done part of the Open Water course, roughly 60% of it. It is a limited license: PADI Scuba Diver certification allows you to dive under supervision of a PADI professional. You should aim at getting the Open Water Diver certification by doing the full Open Water scuba course, but if you for some reason don't have the time or can't finish your open water course, PADI Scuba Diver certification is an option. You can upgrade later to PADI Open Water Diver rating.


Referrals allow you to start your scuba course in one place and continue in another with another instructor. For instance, you can do the theory and pool sessions in Hong Kong and finish the course by doing the open water dives on a holiday in an exotic location of your choice.


PADI eLearning and PADI Touch are on-line programs that allow you an option to do the academic portion of the PADI Open Water course online at your leisure.

Scuba diving is a fun and exciting activity enjoyed by millions of divers worldwide. Scuba diving is not difficult, but it requires some basic theoretical knowledge, skills practice and learning standard dive practices and procedures in order to do safely.


On this page you find information for new divers, some course terminology and options to get started. Feel free to jump straight into the PADI Open Water Diver Course any time.


You will also find some questions you should ask when choosing a scuba dive course and you might also want to check questions we are asked a lot.

Link to Scuba Diving Photo Galleries

See Scuba Diving photos from Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia.

You'll learn all scuba diving basics in PADI Open Water Diver Course. After a successful completion of the course, you will be certified as PADI Open Water Diver and will then be able to rent dive equipment, join dive trips and dive independently with a buddy in conditions similar to or better than those you were trained in. The Open Water Diver certification is valid worldwide. After the Open Water course, there are various options to continue your training.

Pro-Diver Development's Open Water course fee includes


  • manual

  • RDP table + instructions of use

  • logbook

  • pool fees

  • boat fees

  • tanks, weights&weightbelts for pool and boat dives

  • full equipment for the course

  • certification fee


That is: all you need. There are no hidden charges. You do need to arrange yourself to the pool and pier or shore dive sites - transportation is not included.


PADI eLearning is optional and charged separately by PADI.


You do not need to buy any equipment.

Questions you should ask

Group sizes

A typical Open Water course group in English by Pro-Diver Development is 2-4 participants.


We have set  the maximum numbers per instructor at


  • pool - maximum 6

  • open water - maximum 4


If there are more enrolled, we'll split the group or add instructors.

When you're looking for a dive course to start with, the options may feel overwhelming. There are several agencies, course titles and options, and course prices seem to vary wildly. Below are some questions you should be asking when selecting a scuba course. All specifics are from PADI system of diver education, but are largely applicable to other agencies as well.



Does the course lead to a certification?

What you sometimes see somewhat misleadingly referred to as "resort courses" are try-out programs - such as Discover Scuba Diving/Intro Scuba, etc. They are experience programs that allow you to try diving, but do not certify you as a scuba diver. You may get a wall certificate showing that you have scuba dived, but you won't be a certified diver after such a program regardless how many times you repeat it.



What is included in the course price?

If you are offered a course considerably cheaper than what others are quoting, you may be missing something. Pay attention to what the course price actually includes.



Are manuals and other course materials included?

PADI standards require that you have your own copy of the PADI Open Water Diver Manual. While not so common practice in Hong Kong, it is very common elsewhere to see course prices quoted without any materials. You are then expected to purchase them separately. The course materials are fairly pricy.



Are you expected to have done PADI eLearning or similar self-study program on your own (and pay extra for) before the course?

There are different ways to complete the academic part of the course. Some shops use exclusively PADI eLearning and may or may not include it in the course price.



How much time is allocated to pool practice?

This is where several dive shops unfortunately cut corners to reduce costs.


You learn the scuba diving skills in a swimming pool (or in clear, calm and shallow water in the sea, but Hong Kong waters rarely offer the clarity). It takes roughly a minimum of six hours to go through the confined water (pool) program for any group larger than two participants, often more than that. Anything less and corners were cut: you didn't go through the whole program and didn't do some skills you should have, and you are now missing something. You definitely did not have enough pool time. If that is the case "you don't know what you don't know", and in scuba diving what you don't know may hurt you.


If you are doing a one-on-one course and you nail all skills immediately, you may be able to complete the pool portion slightly quicker.



Are open water dives included or do you have to pay extra for those?

Again, not so common in Hong Kong with entry level courses, but you see this elsewhere: after paying the course fee, you are hit with dive site entrance fees, boat charges, tank rentals, etc. for your open water dives. So what's out.



Do you need to buy gear before the course?

Many shops require students to purchase personal equipment before the class. These may include mask&snorkel, fins&booties and possibly exposure suit as well. We've even encountered shops that require you to purchase weights. You don't necessarily need to buy any equipment when you do your Open Water course with Pro-Diver Development.



Is equipment rental included?

And what equipment is included. To scuba dive you need at minimum:


  • Mask&snorkel

  • BCD

  • Regulators package (first stage, two second stages)

  • SPG (air gauge)

  • Depth gauge)

  • Fins (and possibly booties)

  • Exposure suit (wet suit or dry suit)

  • Tank(s)

  • Weights (& weightbelt)


Pro-Diver Development's Open Water course includes rental of all standard scuba equipment you need during your course. The only exception is prescriptive masks: those we cannot unfortunately provide for rental.



Is the certification fee included?

PADI charges a processing fee for PADI certifications. Certification fee may also be referred to as PIC which stands for Positive Identification Card in PADI Speak and is a form we send to PADI after you have successfully completed your course. The certification fee is included in our Open Water course fee.


As of January 1, 2015, PADI eLearning/Touch Open Water programs purchased directly from PADI also include the certification fee.



How big are the groups?

This is not where bigger is better. The smaller the group, the more personalized the training is and less time you hover around waiting. Our group sizes are small: a group course can be started with just two participants.


Most courses run with 2-3 participants. Maximum numbers we use are six (6) in the swimming pool (a rare case), and four (4) in open water per instructor.


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Questions you should ask

PADI Referral scuba course starts you towards open water certification in Hong Kong.

PADI Referral allows you to do part of your dive course in Hong Kong and continue your course somewhere else.


Referrals allow you to start your scuba course in one place and continue in another with another instructor.


Theoretically, you can get a referral at any point during your course, but the most common referral course is a combination of academics and pool sessions first in one location and open water dives later in another. After completing your knowledge development and confined water dives, you will receive a Training Record signed by the referring instructor. The Training Record is either in your logbook or on a separate form. You need to present the Training Record to the receiving instructor. Referrals are valid for 12 months from the date of the last segment you completed.


The instructor who conducts the last (fourth) open water dive is the certifying instructor and is responsible for ensuring that you have all the knowledge and skills required for the PADI Open Water Diver certification. (S)he may have you do a Quick Review, a little quiz to confirm that you know your theory, and will remediate with you if needed. (S)he may also have you do a Scuba Review in a swimming pool or a shallow part in open water before taking you into the open water dives to make sure that you can do all the required skills safely and competently.


The dive shop or instructor you go to will charge you for your open water dives separately. Costs for this vary. You will also want to check whether the certification fee (PIC) is included with the open water dives. You can purchase a PIC from us to take with you. PADI eLearning and PADI Touch programs include the certification fee.


If you have already done part of the Open Water course elsewhere and want to finish or continue your course with us in Hong Kong, please contact us. We will see what you have already done, and will work out what you still need to do to get certified.


If you want to start your course with theory and pool sessions in Hong Kong, please see our Referral course for course details and fees.


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PADI eLearning
PADI eLearning Programs

PADI online programs allow you to complete the Open Water course theory at home - or anywhere that best suits you.

PADI eLearning Open Water Diver program guides you through the whole academic part of the PADI Open Water Diver course online at your own pace.

PADI Touch Open Water Diver program is designed for tablets.

PADI eLearning / PADI Touch

PADI has two on-line platforms which allow you to complete the theory part of the PADI Open Water course at home, work or while traveling.


  • PADI eLearning Open Water Diver course is suited for those who prefer learning online at their desktop or laptop. PADI eLearning programs require internet connection when using the program.

  • PADI Touch is a tablet-based app that only requires online connection during the initial download and when submitting the records of the completed course. PADI Touch programs are suited for (large screen) smartphones and tablets.


Both allow you an access to interactive content that guides you through the dive theory using videos, audio, graphics and reading to help you learn. You have an access to a digital version of the PADI Open Water course manual as well as logbook and Recreational Dive Planner in digital format. You'll also complete quizzes and the final exam online.


After you have completed the eLearning program, your instructor will administer a 'Quick Review' prior to any open water dives to make sure you have the required theoretical knowledge.


PADI Open Water eLearning course costs currently (as of January 2018) AUD202 and is payable directly to PADI by credit card upon the online enrollment. During the enrollment you are asked to choose a dive center you wish to be affiliated with. Choose wisely: while you can continue your training with any PADI dive center or instructor regardless of your chosen affiliation, the dive center you choose will receive a portion of the eLearning course fee, and may offer you discount from the full Open Water course price. Other dive centers are less likely to offer any deduction from their course fees for the confined (pool) and open water dives, as those are where the dive shop's costs derive from.


If you chose Pro-Diver Development Ltd. (PADI S-19292) as your affiliated dive center, you'll get HKD600 off from the regular Open Water course price.


There are PADI eLearning and PADI Touch programs available for other PADI courses as well.



How long does it take to complete the Open Water Course eLearning/Touch program?


That depends on you: you proceed at your own pace. Study times between 9-12 hours have been cited by our students, PADI's estimation is 12-15 hours. 

Click a button below to start right away:

More information on PADI website:


PADI Open Water Course


PADI eLearning Programs


PADI Touch


PADI eLearning FAQs

Sign Up:


PADI Online Programs



If you chose Pro-Diver Development Ltd. (S-19292) as your affiliated dive center, we are happy to assist you with diving concepts and answer questions about the study materials. We cannot unfortunately help you with technical issues.

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