About us



History of
ACUC International


How we began.....


Recreational scuba diving first appeared in Canada in the late 1940's. As scuba diving developed into a popular recreational activity during the 1950's and 60's a number of scuba clubs came into being across Canada. Many of these clubs decided to join forces and form regional diving councils or federations. The purpose of these regional groups was to serve the interests of the local clubs as democratic regional forums controlled by club members.


In 1969 numerous regional diving councils met together to create the Association of Canadian Underwater Councils (known as A.C.U.C.) which would provide a national forum for their interests and concerns.


Our first steps.......


Although this was A.C.U.C.'s original function, it soon became clear that the Association's major impact would be in the area of diver training. In the 1960's some of the other training agencies' standards were extensively used by Canadian Instructors. These standards had been developed in warm, good visibility waters. It was not long before pressure was exerted on A.C.U.C. to develop a scuba training program suitable for diving in lower temperature, limited visibility waters where tides, and sometimes altitudes, were taken into account. With the advent of the first Canadian designed Scuba Certification Program in 1969, A.C.U.C. emerged as Canada's indigenous scuba certification body, thereby providing a high quality Canadian alternative to the warm water certification training that had spread into Canada.


By the end of the 1970's, it was obvious that the concept of a national forum of provincial or regional councils was out of touch with the times. Erosion of the dive club influence, conflicts between various regional diver interest groups and cutbacks in government funding, all combined to undermine the Association's efforts to mediate in this area. A.C.U.C.'s role as a national forum had become increasingly difficult and expensive to perform. Finally, in 1983, the decision was made to restructure the organization. The new direction taken by A.C.U.C. was that of a professional scuba training organization controlled by an active instructor membership.


A Company was born.......


The decision to operate as a professional training organization allowed A.C.U.C. to channel all of its resources into program development and instructor servicing. By reaping the benefits of a well integrated system of training programs developed in the early 1980's, A.C.U.C. was able to quickly put its affairs in order and to assert itself as an international training organization comprised of Instructor members teaching throughout Canada and abroad.


The problems that arose with this arrangement was having yearly elections for a Board of Directors for the Association. Continuity of procedures was lacking along with fewer and fewer volunteers stepping forward to fill vacant positions left on the Board of Directors. In 1986, at a conference of Training Director representatives the decision was made to turn the affairs of A.C.U.C. over to a new private company called American Canadian Underwater Certifications, Inc.


.....and we've succeeded!


The American Canadian Underwater Certifications, Inc., now popularly known as ACUC International, has grown to become an international leader in high quality sport diver training. Our Head Office is located in Ontario, Canada, which is responsible for the overall running of the Company as well as our North American operations. ACUC Europe, located in Madrid, Spain, is responsible for our operations in Europe, Asia, Africa, Central & South America, and Australia. Besides Canada and Spain, up to now, we also celebrate the opening of delegation offices in Argentina, Cuba, Greece; India and Italy.


Recognized for our commitment to safety, education and the environment, ACUC is the civilian certification of choice for many military, police and rescue services in Canada and abroad, and we currently have over 2,000 professionals teaching our programs in over 43 countries around the world.


We teach all levels of recreational scuba diving, from basic Scuba Diver to Instructor Evaluator. We also, through an agreement with LifeGuard Systems, offer training in the Public Safety sector. ACUC certified Divers, Divemasters and Instructors are known world wide for their excellent knowledge and diving skills....and that makes us very proud!


ACUC is a founding member of the Canadian and European RSTC and therefore we recognize and are recognized by, all WRSTC council member's agencies (see www.wrstc.com). ACUC also holds mutual recognition agreements with CMAS for our diver levels.


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Information about ACUC - History