Implementing the Updated PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course

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There’s a lot to like about the revised and updated PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course: the obvious and necessary content updates, the new Thinking Like a Diver section, the cool new PADI Advanced Open Water Diver materials and, from an immediate implementation perspective, the fact that the new course is at once new and exciting yet still essentially familiar. Perhaps the neatest benefit and the greatest opportunity is the streamlined relationship between the Adventure Dives and PADI Specialties.

Now’s the perfect time to review the specialties you (and your staff) teach and seriously consider expanding what you offer. Evaluate the specialty dive opportunities in your area, and those you are particularly passionate about, which you couldn’t link to the previous Advanced Open Water Diver course. This is the perfect opportunity to create your own special course that reflects your unique area and benefits, and which excites divers.

Now, the first dives of all standardized PADI or AWARE Specialty Diver courses may be offered as Adventure Dives. You can offer these “new” Adventure Dives – for example, an Ice Dive or a Dive Against Debris™ Adventure Dive – if you’re certified as an instructor in the specialty, and the student diver meets the specialty prerequisites. (Also, while the PADI Rebreather Diver course is not a PADI Specialty Diver course, the first, task-intensive, confined water dive counts as an Adventure Dive.) There’s a complete list of the revised Adventure Dives and the standardized PADI Specialty Diver courses, and a lot more information, in the 3Q2016 The Undersea Journal.

AOWDebris_Catalina_0416_033A few obsolete Adventure Dives are gone, but you can offer more than ever before. A great example is the Digital Underwater Imaging Adventure Dive, which replaces both the Underwater Photography and Underwater Videography Adventure Dives. This new dive focuses on modern cameras that shoot both stills and video, and develops basic skills and knowledge in both – though you and your student divers may favor one or the other. The dive still credits as the first dive in the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer course, even though it differs from the specialty (which will be revised in the future).

The opportunities are nearly endless: Depending upon your location and market, you can get divers started in sidemount, ice, cavern, full face mask, delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB), diver propulsion vehicle (DPV), enriched air or any other standardized specialty using existing specialty materials.

Tie in the new Adventure Dives by having the PADI Specialty Instructor ratings for the new opportunities, and grab this unique moment to make your new Advanced Open Water Diver course truly special.

Project AWARE: #Divers4SharksNRays

Project AWARE® is committed to engaging the dive community in science-based, respectful and well-informed policy actions. Join us in delivering our message to CITES* Member Parties: Vote YES for sharks and rays.

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How can you get involved in #Divers4SharksNRays?

  • Download our #Divers4SharksNRays sign
  • Take a photo underwater, on the boat, or in your dive shop with the sign and your dive buddy or group of divers
  • Share your photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Use our campaign hashtag #Divers4SharksNRays and the following social media post:

#Divers4SharksNRays in {insert location} urge @CITES countries to vote YES for sharks and rays #CoP17 @projectaware + photo

or

We’re supporting @projectaware’s #Divers4SharksNRays @CITES #CoP17 Campaign from {insert location} + photo

*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

PADI Elite Instructor Interview: Thomas Baum, PADI Course Director

thomas-baumThomas Baum, PADI Course Director and owner of PADI 5 Star IDC Center Fuldas Tauchertreff, achieved the status of PADI Elite Instructor 2015 earlier this year – an award which recognises the efforts and accomplishments of PADI’s top performing instructors around the world. 

We spoke to Thomas to find out what being a PADI Elite Instructor means to him, as well as learning about his achievements and future aspirations as a PADI Professional.


What inspired you to become a PADI Pro?

I always wanted to give something special to others in form of training and courses – and to have my ‘office’ out in the natural world.

How do you think you’ve changed personally and professionally as you’ve moved up the ranks to become an Elite Instructor?

The PADI system is the best in the market. If you use it correctly, you do not work for a system like most people – the system works for you. Therefore you have a more successful and enjoyable ‘working’ life.

Which PADI courses do you enjoy teaching the most and why?

I still love conducting the IDC the most. This program has the most detail and facts, and I enjoy introducing others to the PADI system. To see that they all of a sudden can teach theory and skills that was, for most, not possible before. This development is always fascinating.

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What do you consider your greatest achievement in your diving career?

I believe my greatest achievement within diving was to become a PADI Course Director. Also, to be part of the development of some PADI courses (i.e. Digital Underwater Photographer, business programmes, the new Freediver course) as well as building up a nationwide network of PADI Instructors and Dive Centers.

What does diving give you that nothing else does?

The freedom, the peace, and the weightlessness underwater.

Do you ever feel like you have reached the limit of your diving career?

No, I always evaluate the market very thoroughly, looking for new potential and using it. There are many unused opportunities, so there is always enough to do!

Do you believe you change others’ lives through diving?

Of course – once someone learns to dive and enjoys it, their whole life turns positive. You become an ‘astronaut’ when you are weightless underwater, and you can enjoy the beauty of the underwater world without any stress. While diving – versus other sports – you don’t have to compete; you don’t have to “beat” someone to achieve results. People have enough pressure in their daily life, other sports and even in their private life. Diving is different and you don’t have any stress. That’s why so many people do this wonderful sport.

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Describe in a few sentences how you would convince a non-diver to learn to dive?

Most people want to enjoy nature in their leisure time, have no pressure and do sports with a lot of fun – diving supplies all of this. With the Discover Scuba Diving program we have a fantastic opportunity to get people into diving.

As a PADI Elite Instructor how does it feel being recognized as one of PADI’s top performing Instructors in 2015?

It is a good and nice feeling, and it reinforces you to do even more every day, and that you are sure you are doing the right thing.

What does “my PADI” mean to you?

“My PADI” is for me, to ‘stand behind’ the system and the association, and to support the most innovative and most successful system in the Industry.

What would you say to other PADI Instructors hoping to become Elite Instructors?

“Carpe Diem“ – use every day to plan how you can get people into diving. Without written down goals you only get a part of the results that you could do. You should know your strengths and promote the courses you like best. Then everything will move forward!

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Find out more about the 2016 PADI Elite Instructor Award.

PADI Elite Instructor Interview: Giuliana Prosdocimo, PADI OWSI

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Meet Giuliana Prosdocimo, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (354973). Giuliana works for PADI 5 Star IDC Center Bluetribe Moofushi Maldives. Not only is Giuliana one of our 2015 PADI Elite instructors, but she’s well on her way to smashing her amazing 2015 certification record in 2016.

Watch the video below to hear what it means to her to be a PADI Diver, Professional and Elite Instructor.


Find out more about the 2016 PADI Elite Instructor Award.

My PADI. My Ocean. My Hope.

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Each year, you help bring one million people closer to the underwater world by issuing PADI certifications that present countless opportunities for fun and adventure.

But a certification card is much more than an all-access pass to Earth’s final frontier. To many, it’s also a badge of courage that has helped transform their lives in deep, meaningful ways. These authentic, inspirational stories of transformation shared at “My PADITM, My Ocean, My Hope” can inspire millions more around the world to start, keep or teach diving.

My PADI is how Leo Morales found salvation through diving when he lost his leg to cancer. My Ocean is how Andre Miller connected and inspired his community to protect their greatest natural resource through dive education. My Hope is Emily Krak’s dream that others will learn to respect and protect the ocean for future generations.

My PADI collects stories of the human experience where diving is the foundation for connection. It’s a conversation starter about a deeper purpose and shows that diving enables us to realize our best selves. When this happens, we are the happiest. When we are happiest, we are most able to find purpose and to help others find theirs.

Do your divers, friends and community members have stories such as these? Encourage them to share what My PADI, My Ocean, My Hope means to them and how diving transformed their lives. Watch the stories. Be inspired. Spark conversation.

PADI eLearning Performance Improvements

This June, PADI partnered with Akamai, a global leader in content and media distribution, to turbo charge the PADI eLearning® experience with cutting-edge server technology. People the world over have become increasingly accustomed to fast, high-quality, online experiences, and it’s vital that the dive industry continues to stand out in this ultra-competitive landscape.

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Akamai works with companies (including Apple, Verizon, Sony, Disney and Yahoo) who distribute massive amounts of content globally. Their vast network comprises 216,000 servers housed in data centers spread throughout 120 countries around the world. Somewhere in the region of eighty-five percent of the world’s Internet users are within a single network hop of an Akamai server.

They will host PADI eLearning courses in a local data center, which means that divers in London, Sydney or Hong Kong won’t have to wait for a US-based server, they’ll pull content locally. This dramatically speeds up eLearning course performance. Some users could potentially see a several hundred percent improvement in speed. The most notable improvement will be video load time.

This technology is deployed in the background and is now fully propagated around the world; you will experience the improvement immediately on login to any eLearning course.

More improvements are in store later this year when PADI will upgrade the Learning Management System (LMS) that powers eLearning. This will enable features such as mobile-first responsive design, which fully supports mobile devices, phones and tablets, including iOS devices which are currently only supported by the Touch product line. This upgrade supports larger video resolutions so that divers using eLearning products on a desktop or laptop computer can size video all the way up to full screen in most cases.  In addition, reduced file sizes will make PADI digital products load faster on mobile networks, and later in 2017, courses will run even when devices are not connected to the internet.

PADI eLearning courses will migrate to the new platform from late 2016 throughout 2017. Keep an eye out for details closer to the launch and make sure to let your divers (and potential divers) know about the state of the art learning experiences that await them.

Is Freediver Right for You?

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By now you’ve likely heard about the PADI Freediver™ program; there’s a bunch of information out there (especially in the first quarter 2016 The Undersea Journal® and, of course, on PADI.com). Some PADI Pros have taken to it like ducks to water, while others may be a bit hesitant about leaping in and still have questions.

For those in the latter camp, here are a couple of big reasons to consider, if not leaping, then at least sticking a toe into freediving waters.

First, it’s fun. You almost certainly already enjoy casual freediving and the freedom of diving without scuba. While you probably have above-average freediving skills, you may not be interested in intense competition or breaking records. Perfect. Taking the PADI Freediver course is an obvious first step and a great way to fine tune your skills while taking a good look at the program and its support materials from a professional’s perspective.

You can do just that, and a whole lot more, on 19 November at DEMA Show 2016. There’ll be a half-day special event covering the PADI Basic Freediver course with role-model knowledge development and confined water sessions. The course also includes PADI Freediver Touch™ and certification as a PADI Basic Freediver; you can complete the two open water sessions later to become a PADI Freediver. PADI staff will also answer any remaining questions you may have at the event. Sign up by 3 November so you have time to read through and study the learning materials. No special freediving equipment required – just regular fins, mask and snorkel.

Not able to make it to DEMA? You can do something similar at a PADI Freediver Center near you.

After the course you’ll be equipped to decide whether or not to upgrade your skills to the PADI Advanced Freediver or Master Freediver levels, and later become a PADI Freediver Instructor.

Which brings up the second big reason to get serious about freediving: It’s one of the fastest-growing dive-industry segments and PADI Freediver courses provide you with new business opportunities and a pipeline to younger customers. If you have any doubts about this, take a moment to read some of the articles in this year’s issues of The Undersea Journal, in which PADI Members already in the freediving business share some of their unique insights.

There’s probably no need by now to mention any of the myriad other freediving benefits – such as personal fitness, the ease of just grabbing your gear and going or the fact that you can sneak right up on the shiest of aquatic animals. (But we went ahead and mentioned them anyway!) It’s time to hold your breath.

Introducing the New PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Program

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The revised PADI Advanced Open Water Diver program launches this September, and while the changes are significant, the essence of the course remains untouched. Think of it as a shiny new car, but one that’s the same model as your old familiar vehicle. Three goals drove the revision.

First, PADI updated the content. Dive equipment and techniques have changed since the release of the last version of the course and content is updated to reflect this. Now, for example, there are references to electronic compasses in navigation and no references to film in digital underwater imaging. Also, the first dive
 of all standardized PADI Specialty Diver courses, Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris™, and Shark Conservation Specialty courses and the PADI Rebreather Diver course credit as Adventure Dives. This means more dive opportunities no matter what or where you’re teaching.

Second, PADI modernized the instructional products. The instructional tools are now as state-of-the-art as the devices student divers access them from. While a paper manual will still be available, the revised program introduces a new, mobile-friendly PADI Advanced Open Water Diver digital product. All new images and video make these instructional products pop.

AOWDebris_Catalina_0416_033Third, PADI accelerated development of the thinking skills divers acquire through experience to build confident and conservative divers. There’s a new Thinking Like a Diver section that focuses on principles such as gas management, situational awareness and buddy communication. This encourages divers to think about what they’re doing before, during and after every Adventure Dive in the same way more experienced divers do. Consequently, they better understand how to improve their dives and manage risks.

There’s a lot that didn’t change, too. Philosophically, the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course still gives new (and experienced) PADI Open Water Divers the world over continued training and skill development under professional guidance. It’s still focused on introducing specialty diving. The Deep and Underwater Navigation Adventure Dives, plus three other Adventure Dives, are still required for Advanced Open Water Diver certification, and any three Adventure Dives qualify a diver for Adventure Diver.

The revised PADI Advanced Open Water Diver improves on an already great program, is easy and familiar to teach, and offers even more of the exploration, excitement and experiences that divers look for. Take a look at the third quarter 2016 The Undersea Journal, which has several relevant and detailed articles, and make a point of implementing the new program as soon as the materials are available.

PADI EMEA Vacancy: Regional Training Consultant (German Speaking)

emea-staff-may2016We have an opening for a Regional Training Consultant to join PADI EMEA Ltd.

The role will involve educating PADI Members about features and benefits of PADI Products and programs and working closely with the Regional Manager to generate sales of PADI products and services and meet sales targets. Successful applicants will also serve as a direct contact to the public and our membership for training and product support, including assisting members interpretation and understanding of PADI standards, PADI training programmes, philosophy and associated products.

The Regional Training consultant would also play a key part in representing PADI and the impression members will have of the organisation. The role will involve some travel each year to represent PADI in dive shows within the territory and assisting with in-field work as required.

We are looking for a PADI IDC Staff Instructor or higher (Course Director preferred), who can speak fluent German and English as essential and Dutch would also be highly desirable. The right candidate will also need to have good sales experience and be a highly motivated and organised individual with excellent communications skills, phone manner, presentation skills and customer service skills.

If you would like to apply please send an up to date CV and letter to Rachel Landregan or Rene Bos: [email protected]  [email protected]

PADI 50th Anniversary Contest with Prizes from Aqua Lung, GoPro, Suunto and Vivid-Pix

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2016 marks PADI’s 50th Anniversary, and to help us celebrate this landmark event we’re calling on PADI Professionals and divers to share their favourite diving moments from the last 50 years.

Enter a photo, video or story today and you could win one of these incredible prizes: an Aqua Lung CORE Regulator, a GoPro HERO4 package, a Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer, Vivid-Pix photo editing software or a PADI eLearning Gift Pass/Gift Bag.

The contest is open now and will close for entries on 10th July 2016 (23:59 UTC). Winners will be announced on 25th July 2016. Please visit the contest page for full terms and conditions.

Why not share…

  • An incredible marine life encounter
  • A memorable experience with your scuba students
  • How and why you became a PADI Pro

Make sure you get your customers and student divers involved, too! They can share their top underwater memories or simply tell us what being a PADI diver means to them.

Top tip: Why not offer some themed events (like local marine life spotting or photography days) to help your students experience and capture some incredible moments under the surface. Make it easy for everyone to enter the contest by setting up a computer and connection for them to make use of e the post-dive briefings.

Click here to enter via the Contest Page
or
Tag your entries on Twitter or Instagram using #PADI50Years

3 Categories to Enter:

gopro#1 – Share a Photo

A photo says a thousand words. Submit a photo which showcases your favourite diving moment to win a GoPro HERO4 package, PADI eLearning or Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

core-reg#2 – Share a Video

Manage to get your favourite diving moment on film? Let us watch it too! Submit your video to win an Aqua Lung CORE Regulator, PADI eLearning or Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

#3 – Write About it

Didn’t have a camera with you? That’s OK. Write about your favourite diving moment in 150 words or less and win a Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer, PADI eLearning or Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

 

Enter Now!

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