NAUI, the National Association of Underwater Instructors, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) worldwide educational association incorporated under the laws of the State of California, United States of America.

NAUI’s purpose is to enable people to enjoy underwater activities as safely as possible by providing the highest quality practical education, and to actively promote the preservation and protection of the world’s underwater environments.

To accomplish this, NAUI trains, qualifies, and certifies leaders and instructors, establishes minimum standards for various levels of diver training, and provides various programs, products, and support materials to assist NAUI leaders and instructors with their diving supervising and teaching. NAUI’s primary purpose is also reflected in the association’s motto, “Dive Safety Through Education.”

The quality of training provided by NAUI Instructors is of great importance to the Association, so NAUI employs various methods of evaluation to ensure that NAUI standards are met when NAUI instruction is conducted.

As a pioneer in diving education, NAUI has developed many of the programs and concepts accepted throughout the diving industry. NAUI constantly strives to increase the safety of diving by upgrading the Association’s standards and programs.


NAUI Code of Ethics

Members of the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) recognize the importance of underwater activity for recreation, public service, education, research, and business purposes and the necessity of preparing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in recreational underwater activity while minimizing risk. NAUI leaders recognize the right of mature persons with requisite skills and physical capacity to receive instruction without discrimination as to race, sex, or beliefs, and pledge to practice the profession according to the highest ethical standards.

NAUI members acknowledge the nature of the responsibilities of instructing students in skin and scuba diving and exposing them to a potentially hazardous environment and are committed to improving safe diving instruction.


  • The minimum age for each level of training is to be reached by the water phase of the course, unless otherwise specified. Some courses allow a conditional Junior certification.
  • If the course involves the use of compressed breathing gas, Junior certification can be issued to persons age 10-14 years. If the course involves only skin diving the Junior certification can be issued to persons age 8-11 years.

Junior certification carries the following conditional restrictions:

  • The parent or guardian and Junior diver agree that the Junior diver will dive with a certified adult (18 years of age) diver of the parent’s or guardian’s selection.
  • The parent or guardian and Junior diver agree that the Junior diver will limit diving depth to 60 feet (18 m) or less.
  • By enrolling the student in a Junior certification course, the parent or guardian agrees to be responsible for the selection of the certified adult buddy and the limitation of diving depth upon certification.
  • To remove the Junior card’s conditional requirements, a new card must be requested by an active status NAUI Instructor, parent, or legal guardian once the Junior attains the age required for full certification.
  • “Junior” divers may directly request from NAUI a full certification in the event that they have reached the age of majority.