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Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (C.M.A.S)


The Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) is an international federation of SCUBA diving, freediving, snorkelling and Underwater Hockey. CMAS is the international umbrella organisation for the recreational diver training organisations represented in the CMAS Technical Committee and underwater sports governed by the CMAS Sport Committee. It also operates a third (Scientific) committee that promotes recreational diver awareness of and involvement in underwater science pursuits and marine conservation.


It was founded in Monaco in January 1959. As such, it is one of the world's oldest scuba diving organisations. The international office is currently in Rome.

CMAS offers an international framework for diver and instructor qualifications in scuba diving and snorkelling. Members of the CMAS Council are representatives of recognised national diving organisations that guarantee the CMAS standards are upheld within the constraints of local diving conditions. These national organisations award CMAS qualification cards which have the appropriate CMAS grade on one side and details of the relevant national organisation and the person they have qualified on the other.

Since CMAS effectively started as a volunteer organization for hobbyists, its courses tend to reflect the full range of European and world diving standards. Compared to other diving organizations which may be more geared towards holiday and tropical water diving, the training philosophy of CMAS members' clubs originates from professional or military diving backgrounds. While organizations like PADI or SSI tend to bring divers into the water immediately, CMAS entry-level training is more extensive, featuring more "classroom" delivered theory and strives to produce more experienced, knowledgeable and skilled divers.


An international congress of federations representing all underwater disciplines met in Brussels on 28 September 1958. Delegates were drawn from following countries: Belgium, Brazil, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Italy, Monaco, Portugal, Switzerland, the United States of America and Yugoslavia. Following a decision at that congress, a meeting was held in Monaco on 9–11 January 1959, which established the "World Confederation of Underwater Activities", known by the acronym of its French title as "CMAS". One of the founding members was the French underwater pioneer Jacques-Yves Cousteau.




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