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Taking the Plunge – Open Water Diver Course Changes

key consideration while revising the PADI Open Water Diver course was evolution rather than revolution. The course has a long standing, proven track record and didn’t require major renovation. Most of the course components remain reassuringly familiar, but, there are a few new skills that deserve a closer review.

PADI Open Water Diver course revisions come from a strong base of research and experience. Because the course has been tested and works well, the changes are relatively few; but they are important and not that difficult to wrap into your existing course plan. To help confirm that they will apply globally, PADI Members in various parts of the world, teaching in diverse conditions, conducted trials of the revision for more than 100 Open Water Diver students. Once the beta trial members’ suggestions were incorporated into the revision, several additional trial courses were conducted as an extra confidence measure.

Why change?

  • To modernize the course and meet consumer expectations
  • In response to comments from you and your fellow PADI Instructors.
  • To further the PADI family’s shared commitment to diver safety: While diving in general (and PADI training in particular) enjoys an excellent safety record, philosophically the PADI organization constantly seeks to improve. Some changes were made based on an evaluation of diver incident reports in an effort to further reduce incident rates.

Diver Materials

Nw OWD manualLaunch of the English-version diver materials (PADI Open Water Diver Manual, PADI Open Water Diver Video and PADI Diver’s Log and Training Record as well as the new PADI Skill Practice and Dive Planning Slate and crew paks) will begin in the PADI Americas region late 2013, and will release in PADI Asia Pacific and Japan, and PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa regions in both English and other languages mid-2014. Diver materials will be available in the following languages at the time of launch:

Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Spanish and Russian.


Materials supporting the existing course will be available during the transition time, giving PADI Members time to read and review the revised instructor materials while continuing to teach the existing course. Because the existing Open Water Diver course is valid and effective, there is no required implementation date for use of the revised course standards (an update to what was announced in the last Training Bulletin). You may continue to teach the existing course to use up your stock of existing materials; and, you may make the change as soon as materials are available in the PADI EMEA Region which is anticipated will be mid-2014.

For more details on the PADI Open Water Diver Course changes, refer to the 4th Qtr. Training Bulletin located at the PADI Pros site.

Your PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa Team