A Master Instructor in scuba diving is one of the highest levels of professional training in those North American–based diver training organizations that use such a title. It is usually only one step below Course Director for the Instructor Development Course (IDC).
The requirements for the Master Instructor rating vary according to organization.
The requirements for an individual to become a PADI Master Instructor are:
- Has renewed, teaching status as an IDC Staff Instructor.
- Has been a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor for at least two years.
- Is an Emergency First Response Instructor.
- Has certified at least 150 PADI divers, of which:
- At least 50 of the certifications must be for PADI Adventure Diver or higher.
- At least 15 of the certifications for PADI Specialty Diver.
- At least 5 of the certifications for PADI Rescue Diver.
- At least 5 for PADI Divemaster.
- At least 5 for PADI Assistant Instructor.
- No more than 75 of the 150 certifications may be from credits earned for conducting Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) experiences.
- No more than 50 of the 150 certifications may be from credits earned for staffing IDCs.
- No more than 25 of the 150 certifications may be from non-diving specialty certifications. (i.e. Equipment Specialist, Project AWARE Specialist, etc.).
- No more than 10 of the 150 certifications may be from PADI Seal Team or Master Seal Team registrations.
- At least 10 students through the Emergency First Response program.
- Possesses a complete understanding of the PADI System of diver education.
- Has participated in at least three PADI Instructor Development Seminars.
- Uses the complete PADI System of diver education including all appropriate PADI training materials when conducting PADI programs.
- Issues PADI as the primary certification, and conduct all PADI certification courses and experience programs using methods consistent with PADI Standards and philosophy as outlined in the PADI Instructor Manual.
- Has no verified Quality Assurance violations within the previous six months and no open quality assurance inquiries in progress. (A member in review status may not qualify for Master Instructor until the Review status is lifted.)
- Demonstrates support of the PADI organization in its efforts to establish programs in aquatic education and conservation.
The requirements for an individual to become a SSI Master Instructor are:
- Be currently certified as a Dive Control Specialist Instructor in good standing
- Have at least 2 years of SSI Teaching experience
- Have certified at least 150 SSI divers at various levels
- Have logged at least 250 dives
No other North American organizations have such a rating, nor do European diver training organizations. The nearest equivalent within the BSAC system would be a BSAC Advanced Instructor.