Independent Diver Certification

The buddy system is a longstanding, reliable and successful approach in scuba diving that ensures enhanced safety while exploring the depths of the sea. Photographing or shooting videos for multiple teams or even solo can be daunting, as you may lose the support of your buddy. In addition, diving with divers without emergency training can be a potential safety risk. Nonetheless, it is still possible to take amazing underwater shots with careful planning and preparation. This is the reason behind the Independent Diver specialty course.

What is the Independent Diver Certification?

The SSI Independent Diver specialty takes you one step further and helps to develop your skills through specialized techniques and the use of specialized scuba diving equipment. This allows you to trust your instincts more, become self-reliant, and dive independently.

For professional divers like Dive masters, Assistant Instructors and Instructors, this unique specialty is an attractive option for them. When teaching diving, these instructors can prepare student divers for any kind of emergency that they may come across while diving.

For the recreational diver, particularly those diving in the USA, this allows you to escape getting paired with the infamous “unknown dive buddy” because you are certified to dive alone – no dive buddy needed! 

In the course you will:

  • Learn to efficiently use pony tanks or additional air sources
  • Deploy effectively a Delayed Surface Marker Buoy from depth
  • Calculate Surface Air Consumption aka your SAC rate
  • Plan dives and turn around pressure

All divers entering this program must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Minimum age: 18 years old.
  • Have logged at least 75 open water dives totaling 50 hours or more.
  • Deep Diving *
  • Navigation *
  • Night & Limited Visibility *
  • Diver Stress & Rescue **

* Have the following SSI certifications, an equivalent from a recognized training agency, or provide proof of experience by showing at least five (5) logged experience dives in each of the following areas:

** Have the following SSI certifications, an equivalent from a recognized training agency.

Course Structure and Expected Schedule

During your pre dive briefing, you will go through all the key aspects related to solo diving – from gas management and how to tackle equipment breakdowns, to navigation and what to do in an emergency. Additionally, any specific tools needed for deep sea diving will be discussed too.

Day 1:

  • Confined Water – Simulated equipment failure training e.g. back up mask deployment, LPI failure, free flow regulator and most importantly deployment of a backup air source.
  • Dive 1 – Practive of new skills in open water environment.

Day Two:

  • Dive 2 – Navigation exercises and a simulated solo dive, including dive planning and SMB deployment
  • Dive 3 – Continued practice of skills and putting it all together


All Students are expected to have these additional safety devices:

  • Surface Marker Buoy
  • 45m/150 feet Spool