For sure, there are lots of training agencies, and most of them are good. From the point of view as a student, it does not matter at all which agency appears on your certification, all you need is a good instructor. And you can mix certifications from an much agencies as you want, just train whatever you want to learn with any good instructor.
As a Dive Pro, or a Dive Center, the decision is a bit more complicated.
First of all, you need to check which training philosophy matches with your ideas about good diver training. Can I do the course the way I want? Does the advanced training match with my possibilities? Do I get proper training materials?
And then, you will need to see which job opportunities you have. Some really small agencies might be beautiful, but you just have no chance to find jobs in the whole world. Therefore, most Pros decide to get the instructor ration of at least one of the bis agencies, and probably have the small one as an extra.
As a Center, the first question is: Do I get all the training material I need at the place where I am, in the languages I need? How good is the support if I need any help with my sales strategy, any legal support, have a question about any standard? And, last but not least: How expensive is it?
10 reasons to affiliate with SSI
Become a part of the SSI family
Sounds good? For lots of divecenters, becoming an SSI Center has proven to be a good way to improve your business. As SSI recognizes training and experience from other agencies, it is easy to do a Crossover in two days, and start using all the advantages of SSI inmediately.
If you are interested, just let me know - you can visit La Palma and include a short holiday, or invite me to do the Crossover with you in your center. You will see: In less than a year, the costs for the Crossover are back in your pockets :-)