Scuba Certification Part 1
(Pool & Classroom)

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Once you book your course, our team will register you for class materials. You will receive an email with a link to your materials from the agency (SSI or SDI/TDI). Our training team can be reached at if you have any questions about the course.

This globally-recognized certification program is the best way to begin your life-long adventure as a certified Open Water Scuba Diver (ISO 24801-2). Personalized training is combined with pool-based in-water practice sessions to ensure you have the skills and experience required to become truly comfortable exploring the underwater world.

East Coast Divers’ scuba certification course is a three-part program: classroom, pool, and open water dives. All of which are required to obtain certification. This course covers the first two, as students commonly complete pool and class training with East Coast Divers and finish the certification dives on one of our group trips or at another dive facility in warmer water.

What Scuba Certification Part 1 covers

Part one of the scuba certification process is the academic and pool work. You’ll learn information in the 3 zoom classroom sessions about how to dive safely, how to plan dives, how dive computers work, the physics of diving and many other important and interesting topics. During your equipment session at the store you’ll learn to set up and check over scuba gear so you know everything is working properly before using it underwater. In the 4 pool sessions you’ll learn how to be a confident and competent diver who can move underwater with ease and solve any problems that may come up during a dive safely. This will qualify you as a “referral diver” which makes you eligible to do your certification dives here with us at ECD or on a trip with another dive shop. The cost for part 1 of scuba certification is $749.

Why learn with ECD?

Most of our divers come to us after reading all of the 5-star reviews on Yelp!, Facebook, or Google.

Unlike most shops, ECD teaches the whole pool program with students maintaining neutral buoyancy, hovering in the diver position. Our divers come out more comfortable and efficient in the water and are better prepared to apply the skills they learned during their real-world dives!

Our program is high-touch, we maintain small student to instructor ratios (maximum 5:1). We offer students an opportunity to repeat the program without incurring extra costs if they are not successful in their first attempt to master the required skills.

Alex and Nick have dedicated their lives to developing the highest quality Open Water Diver program in the industry. The program undergoes annual evidence-based review and the instruction team is updated with the latest techniques in training methods and skill development.

Important Notes:

Please check over the “Diver Medical Statement Participant Questionnaire” Medical Form ahead of time and get a doctors’ sign-off as necessary. If you answer “YES” to any of the questions on the second page of the form, a physician’s sign off is required.

Once your Pool & Class training is complete you are eligible for the Open Water Certification Dives, Part 2 of the Open Water Diver Program. The cost of the certification dives is not included in the price of this program.

Before Class

Before attending your class you will need to complete some paperwork. The links to the documents are under the required forms section of this page. These forms must be completed prior to your session and contain important information.

Pay close attention to the medical form as you may also require a physician’s approval before we can let you into the water.

This class also has a helpful online training component hosted by SSI. Please complete your online training prior to your classroom session. If you have not already registered with SSI, look for an email from You can access online training materials, certification cards, and more at or the MySSI app on your iPhone or Android.

Click here to register:SSI - Scuba Schools International - - Register Now

If you have any questions give us a call at the store on 617-277-2216 or shoot us an email

  • 10 years or older.
  • Clear medical history or physician (MD) sign-off if necessary.
  • Basic in-water comfort is required for success in the program and requires the following skill demonstrations for completion
    • a 300-yard swim (with a mask, fins, and snorkel).
    • a 10-min surface float.

Private Instruction

Private courses offer 1:1 student to instructor ratios and the ultimate scheduling convenience. You can schedule your pool training with a private instructor during, or outside of, our normal pool hours*. Let our training team know your desired schedule and they can work with you to hammer out the perfect training program to meet your needs.

*Additional fees (such as pool rental fees) may apply when booking off-hours

Private Scheduling is done through Training Director Kim via email The training team will be in contact within 24-hours of any inquiries. If you need to contact us sooner please call us at 617-277-2217. Please contact us for pricing and sign-up information.

Students are required to own their own mask, fins, snorkel, and booties (if needed for the fins). These basic pieces of equipment should be personally fit for you and your body type. This will create the most enjoyable and productive training experience. If you already own your own and are unsure about fit or are borrowing from a friend we’d be happy to check the fit. We also personally fit many of our students to their gear and keep many different sizes, styles, and prices in stock at the shop.

Student Special

Open Water Pool & Class students receive $50 off their first purchase of $150 or more!

You can take advantage of the discount by booking a free private appointment with a product specialist today or during your scheduled Equipment Workshop session.

The course fees include the following:

  • All online training, registration, and certification fees.
    • Lifetime access to SSI’s Digital learning system, logbook, and digital certification card archive
    • Your SSI certification fees are covered wherever you chose to complete your open water dives
  • 3 web-based classroom sessions
  • 2 practical sessions @ ECD
    • Free gear review sessions with East Coast Divers PRODUCT SPECIALIST
    • Access to student discounts on gear purchases
    • Access to the popular Rent to Own program
  • 4 Sunday Pool Sessions - 11:30am to 3pm
    • ECD provides all required gear for in the pool (except Mask, Fins, Snorkel, Booties, Bathing suit, and Towel).
    • Contacts or a corrective mask are recommended for those needing vision correction.
  • Internationally trained/certified instructor.

Standard Schedule:

Classes start every other week with a Tuesday evening Zoom session.


Class #1: New Diver Orientation Tuesday evening remote webinar

  • Topics Covered: Instincts and Habits, Equipment, Buoyancy, Breathing Control
  • Confirm access to SSI Online Training and review paperwork.

Equipment Workshop Saturday in person at the East Coast Divers Shop

  • Topics Covered: Equipment fitting, Gear configuration
  • The exam is administered (Covering material from SSI Online Training)
  • Equipment is issued for the course
  • Divers can buy discounted mask, fins, and snorkel at this time

Pool #1: Water Comfort and Control Techniques in the shallow pool

Class #2: Physics and Physiology Tuesday evening remote webinar

Class #3: Dive planning and Environment Thursday evening remote webinar

Pool #2: Personal Skill Fundamentals in the shallow pool

Pool #3: Personal Skill Refinement in the deep pool

Pool #4: Emergency Management Techniques in the deep pool

Exit Interview Workshop by appointment at the East Coast Divers Shop

  • Equipment is returned to the Shop
  • Options for completing Open Water Diver certification dives are discussed
  • Take this time to provide any feedback on your experience in the program

Nitrox Add-On

As a certified diver, you will learn that nitrogen is responsible for limiting the amount of time underwater for each dive. Typically the first course divers take after certification is a Nitrox program, BUT as an ECD student you have the opportunity to complete this dive extending cert before you complete your open water dives.


As an open water student of ours, you’re eligible for a $50 discount off of our nitrox program, saving you both money AND extending your bottom time!

We will get you registered for the materials and a class date. As soon as you complete your Nitrox session and your open water dives you’ll officially be both an Open Water and a Nitrox diver, how cool is that!

This $50 discount is just for currently enrolled ECD Open Water students, so don’t miss out on the chance to save some cash and take advantage of Nitrox diving.

Class Forms

Below you will find links to REQUIRED class forms. These forms must be reviewed in their entirety before participating in any ECDivers in-water program. Arrival to class with incomplete documents may result in a forfeiture of that class date. If you have any questions or need assistance in completing the class forms please email our training department at