Dive Theory.jpg

Dive Theory


eLearning covers self-study material. Your dive shop will charge training fees.



PADI Dive Theory eLearning contains comprehensive explanations and examples to help you learn about dive physics, physiology, skills, equipment, environmental considerations, decompression theory and the Recreational Dive Planner (RDP). Each of the program’s six section contain short topics that detail concepts supported by images and graphics. You learn why and how, then test your understanding via knowledge check questions. End-of-section assessments verify your mastery of the entire topic and are automatically scored.



PADI Divemaster, Instructor Development Course (IDC), IDC Staff Instructor and Course Director candidates will find this program useful to prepare for dive theory exams. You may be able to get credit toward the dive theory portion of the PADI Divemaster, IDC, IDC Staff Instructor or Course Director Training Course (CDTC) exams if you’ve successfully completed Dive Theory eLearning within 12 months. Divers of all levels can use the program for personal enrichment.


Sections and topics include:


  • Dive Physics – heat, light and sound in water, water pressure, buoyancy and gases underwater

  • Physiology – circulatory and respiratory systems, responses to nitrogen, thermal change, and pressure changes on body air spaces

  • Equipment – scuba systems, cylinders, valves, regulators, gauges and dive computers

  • Dive Skills – buoyancy control, problem management and emergency first aid, navigation, search and recovery, communications, night and altitude diving skills

  • Environment – physical oceanography, current, waves, tides, aquatic life and responsible diving practices

  • Recreational Dive Planner (RDP) – decompression models, dive tables, dive computer use and special rules, recommendations and considerations

Prerequisites & Requirements

Age Requirement
10 years or older

Course Prerequisites

Time Commitment
Approximately 12-16 hours

Available Languages


English, Japanese.

For information on other available languages please contact your PADI Dive Center.



Along with the section of dive equipment contained in Dive Theory eLearning, you can gain additional knowledge about equipment by studying with Equipment Specialist eLearning. Your PADI Dive Center/Resort staff or your PADI Instructor can provide additional information about dive gear that will be useful throughout your diving career.


For the RDP section, you’ll need to have both the RDP Table and eRDPML. If you don’t already have these, check with your local dive center to get advice about everything you’ll need.

Getting Started


Sign up for Dive Theory eLearning to start now. You can work through the six knowledge development sections using a web-based system that lets you learn at your own pace.


By successfully completing Dive Theory eLearning, you can get credit for the dive theory portion of the PADI Divemaster, IDC, IDC Staff Instructor or CDTC exams. Your local dive center can explain how this works when you meet to discuss continuing your education.