Special Circumstances For 10 & 11 Year Olds



The RSTC standards revision eliminated the minimum age requirement for entry-level certification. These standards specify that those under age 15 may qualify for a special certification that allows them to dive under the supervision of an adult who has, as a minimum, an open water scuba certification.

As a result, the minimum age for enrolling in a PADI Junior Scuba Diver or Junior Open Water Diver course is now 10 years old. Student divers must be age 10 at the start of the course. Additional stipulations include that 10- and 11-year-old certified Junior Divers must dive with a parent, guardian or PADI professional (not just any adult) until age 12. Also, certification dives for student divers aged 10 & 11 must not exceed 12 meters/40 feet.

Instructors must use sound judgment in evaluating young people for course eligibility. Not all 10-year-olds are candidates for certification. It will be up to the instructor to determine eligibility.


Before enrolling in the course the candidate and parent or guardian must complete the Youth Diving: Responsibility and Risks Flipchart. This brief presentation will help explain the real risk involved with diving to the candidate as will as to the parent or guardian. After the presentation they must both sign a Youth Diving: Responsibility and Risks acknowledgement form.


We recommend candidates ages 10 and 11 enroll in a private weeknight classroom and weeknight pool sessions and a parent or guardian must accompany them. The parent or guardian can simply watch the student and not participate in the course. However it is recommended they take the course at the same time as the younger student. If the parent or guardian is already certified, they can take a Scuba Refresher course with the younger student.


The classroom and pool training fee is $259.00 and includes instruction in the classroom and pool. The fee for the parent or guardian is based on the participation of the parent or guardian. If they are only watching the student, no fee applies. If they are doing a refresher class the fee is $150.00. If they are taking the course the fee is $259.00.