PADI Pro Member Benefit #2: Consultant Services

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As a renewed PADI Professional, you have a full team of industry experts at your local PADI office who are ready to support you in your diving, teaching and career development activities.

You have access to consultants specialising in:

  • Training
  • Quality Management
  • Legal Issues
  • Risk Management
  • Sales
  • Product Integration
  • Business Development
  • Marketing
  • …and more

Our team will be happy to help you with any enquiries you may have. Click here to view contact information and take advantage of the wide expertise that is available to help you maximise your opportunities as a renewed PADI Professional.

Remember: renew your 2016 PADI Professional Membership before 31st December 2015 and you’ll be able take advantage of our special renewal offers. Find out more here.

Ready to renew? Click here to renew your membership online, or contact Customer Services by email ([email protected]) or telephone (+44 (0)117 3007234)

Training Insights… Adventures in Diving Part 3: Who are your potential Adventure Divers?

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Any qualified diver can choose to explore the underwater world in new and different ways. PADI Adventure Dives linked to Specialty Diver courses teach existing divers new techniques and give them the tools and knowledge they need to enhance their diving exploration.

There are over 25 Specialty courses available, covering a vast range of topic from photography to dive equipment and from marine life to wreck diving. There really is something to suit every diver!

PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers who are at least 10 years old can enrol in an Adventure Diver course. Young divers may only participate in certain Adventures Dives – check the PADI Instructor Manual for more information on pre-requisites.

Top tips to attract new Adventure Divers

  • Use your existing customer database to send email newsletters and offers to promote upcoming adventure dives or special offers.
  • Make sure you include plenty of information during your PADI Open Water Diver courses so that your new, keen students will know what their next step will be and how easy it is for them to carry on their training. Many divers will get the bug after their first course and this is a great time to encourage them to book the next one.
  • Offer special packages to help cross-sell your courses and equipment, for example:
      • Digital Underwater Photographer adventure dive bundled with a new camera and accessory sales offer
      • 2.7.12.1-scuba-accessoriesDeep Diver and Wreck Diver adventure dives bundled with a discounted dive trip to a local deep wreck site
      • Drysuit Diver and Ice Diver adventure dives plus a discount on new drysuits
      • Underwater Navigator adventure dive plus a compass and slate accessory set
  • Make sure you have plenty of promotional materials inside and outside your store to advertise your adventure dives. You never know when you’ll spark the interest of divers who are passing by. Don’t forget to make use of the various marketing tools available to help promote Adventure Dives to new and existing customers.

For information on the training requirements for teaching Adventure Dives contact [email protected].

Training Insights… Adventures in Diving Part 2: How easy is it to teach the theory?

How easy is it to teach the theory for these adventure dives?

Very! The easiest way to get started is to have your students register for Advanced Open Water Diver Online (PADI’s eLearning option) to get started immediately.

The web-based system will allow them to learn about seven of the most popular Adventure Dives via an easy to use, interactive online program. The program inclddes videos, audio, pictures and text, plus short quizzes to allow them to gauge their progress and review and correct anything they might happen to miss. This lets them move through the program efficiently and at their own pace.

The adventure dives included in the PADI Open Water Diver Online modules are:

  • Deep
  • Underwater Navigation
  • Night Diver
  • Peak Performance Buoyancy
  • Wreck Diver
  • Underwater Naturalist

They will also have access to an online version of the Adventures in Diving manual and can complete sections for other Adventure Dives as directed by you, the PADI Instructor.

The eLearning course will be available for one year from the time of course registration (though they will have permanent access to their online Adventures in Diving manual).

Once completed, you will be notified that the student has finished and they will be given an eRecord which they can print and bring with them to the dive center.

To finish, simply schedule sessions with your students to review their knowledge development before going on to complete their Adventure Dives.

Don’t forget to make use of the various marketing tools available to help promote Adventure Dives to new and existing customers. For information on the training requirements for teaching Adventure Dives contact [email protected].

First PADI Instructor Examination in Gozo has 100% Pass Rate!

On the 19th and 20th September 2015, the first ever PADI Instructor Examination was conducted in Gozo. With candidates from Bubbles Dive Centre (Gozo) and Reefers and Wreckers (UK), it proved a great success with a 100% pass rate!

Congratulations to all of the new PADI Instructors, and many thanks to the Course Directors and Dive Centre owners who helped to arrange the event.

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How To Get Divemaster Applications Processed Without Delay

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Divemaster candidates have been working hard all summer and applications have been streaming in to the PADI EMEA Office. We strive to process all applications promptly; however, they are occasionally delayed due to missing documentation.

The most common reason for a delay is missing first aid and CPR course documentation.

EFR_4C-Black-WhtTrap®_09The PADI Instructor Manual lists the qualifying certification description for EFR Primary Care as proof of current CPR training, and for EFR Secondary Care as proof of current first aid training, provided they have been completed within 24 months of the application date.

Please note that non-EFR first aid/ CPR courses can also meet the requirement for Divemaster; however, documentation of course completion must be included with the application. Most CPR/first aid courses are accepted provided they meet current emergency care guidelines. If you’re uncertain about whether your candidate’s CPR/first aid course meets the necessary requirements, please contact the Training Department via email on [email protected] to verify.

Please note: first aid and CPR courses taught entirely online do not meet Divemaster requirements (nor do they meet other first aid/CPR requirements for other PADI courses).

Here’s how to ensure your Divemaster candidate’s application is processed as quickly as possible:

  1. Verify the certification information is complete
  2. Verify that all required signatures are there
  3. Make sure that the application is completed in its entirety – including the hologram sticker
  4. When submitting prerequisite certifications from other organisations, including CPR/first aid course completions, Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver equivalents; make sure that copies of these are attached to the application
  5. Provide payment information

Acceptable documentation includes:

  • A copy of both sides of the certifying organisation’s certification card
  • A copy of the certifying organisation’s wall certificate
  • A letter on the certifying organisation’s letterhead verifying the certification

Clarification on Dive Medicals

PADI Divemaster, (Assistant) Instructor and other PADI Pro level training clearly states the important course prerequisite that the candidate must be medically evaluated and cleared for diving by a physician within the last 12 months.

As this is a course prerequisite, both the PADI Instructor conducting the course and the PADI dive shop where the training is conducted are responsible for ensuring that this dive medical is in place prior to starting the course – or at the very latest before conducting any in-water sessions (even if these take place in swimming pool or confined water). It is a violation of PADI Training Standards to take candidates into the water for training activities while not yet having a “fit to dive” medical on file.

The above also applies for any students on other PADI courses that involve dives and where they indicated “Yes” to any question(s) on the Medical Statement / Questionnaire. If their medical condition changes during the course, they must be re-evaluated and again cleared for diving by a physician prior to continuing the training. A “fit to dive” medical must also still be valid (less than one year old) at time of course completion.

Tips to ensure / verify appropriate dive medical documentation is in place at the start and end of every course:

  1. The dive medical must clearly state at least the following specific information:
  • Full name and details (e.g. date of birth) to identify the diver
  • Clearance for diving (e.g. “fit to dive”)
  • Full name and contact details of the physician
  • Physician’s signature and date
  1. Keep a copy on file (the diver keeps the original of their own medical)

If you have any questions about the Divemaster Application process please contact Customer Services by email ([email protected]) or by phone (+44 (0)117 300 7234).

Training Insights… EFR: Why teach Emergency First Response (EFR) Courses to Rescue Divers?

EFRMay05_99Emergency First Response (EFR) courses offer an outstanding set of course materials and the same well-researched and respected educational system as PADI courses. Both of these factors make learning CPR and First Aid simple for your divers and also make it easy and fun to teach.

Opportunities with potential Rescue Divers

Although some PADI Rescue Diver students may come to you with a current CPR and First Aid certification, many of them will never have studied these essential skills, or may otherwise need them refreshed. EFR is the perfect tool with which to address their needs.

If you don’t integrate EFR as part of your course offerings, then you’ll need to send your students elsewhere to complete this element of their training. This means you’ll lose out on EFR-generated profit to your business and the opportunity to build relationships with that customer. It goes without saying that turning your customers away to another business comes with the risk of losing that customer for future diving courses, too.

Integrating EFR courses into your dive business

Being an EFR Instructor is a requirement for PADI Instructors, which means you’ll very likely have the resources you need within your existing dive team.

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EFR courses are incredibly flexible and don’t require any in-water sessions, so you can really tailor them to fit around your existing schedule and courses, and use them to fill in off-peak seasons when diving might be less frequent. You could opt to integrate EFR into the Rescue Diver course itself, split it into smaller sections over several days (or even weeks), or run it all in one across a weekend. Choose whichever suits your business – and customers – the best.

If you’ve not harnessed the potential of EFR then get started today. For information on the training requirements for EFR courses, please contact [email protected].

Training Insights… Rescue Diver Part 7: What is a Rescue Diver?

By the end of the PADI Rescue Diver course your students will have mastered all the skills and knowledge in the course, but they will not be perfect. Divers should understand that following the guidelines and being willing to try are more important than being technically perfect.

Rescue Divers are divers that have mastered personal skills, buddy skills and have been introduced to rescue management skills. These divers are ideal to move onto a Master Scuba Diver, Divemaster or TecRec course. Don’t try to force them, but do chat to them, emphasise the value of the skills they have and ask them where they would like to go next.

This article concludes our Training Insights… Rescue Diver series. Here’s a recap on the previous blogs in this series. Save these links and use them as a refresher for new and experienced PADI Pros within your business:

RDOnLn0310_1204Part 1: Who are our potential PADI Rescue Divers?

Part 2: How do you get divers interested in the course?

Part 3: What does the Rescue Diver course consist of?

Part 4: Skills Review and Development

Part 5: Applying Knowledge and Skills

Part 6: Rescue Techniques

If you haven’t done so already, make sure you download your free marketing toolkit to help promote the PADI Rescue Diver course to potential students. For any enquiries about the toolkit please contact [email protected]

For more information on the training requirements for PADI courses, please contact [email protected].

Working on a Liveaboard: Pros and Cons

For many PADI Pros, the thought of working on a liveaboard is a dream opportunity. Maybe you’ve already toyed with the idea or started applying for that once-in-a-lifetime position, imagining endless expanses of sea and the fascinating dive sites that can only be reached by safari boat.

Whilst this is certainly a worthy attraction for PADI Pros, there’s a few lifestyle sacrifices you’ll also need to be aware of – and prepared to make – to avoid disappointment. Check out the pros and cons below to make sure you know what to expect before heading out to sea on your first job.

Pros

#1 Dive sites

Many of the best and most spectacular dive sites of our blue planet can only be reached from a liveaboard. As a PADI Pro, you’ll undoubtedly experience countless memorable dives that you wouldn’t have access to from the shore.

#2 Experienced divers

If you work as a PADI Pro on a liveaboard, you will accompany many experienced divers on their dives and depending on the level of experience they may even ask to go alone with their dive buddy. This means you’ll often only need to guide smaller groups and show them the most beautiful corners of dive sites.

feel4nature-tauchsafari-1#3 Specific interests

Due to the previous dive experience often required for a longer safari trip, it’s less common to encounter training courses on a liveaboard, and those that are conducted usually focus on developing the specific interests of the group or skills relevant to the type of dives they’ll do, such as PADI Digital Underwater Photographer, PADI Deep Diver or PADI Enriched Air Diver. This often means you’ll be able to apply more of your personal interests and experience over a more relaxed scenario.

#4 Building relationships

Because you will spend a week or even longer with your guests on a liveaboard trip, there is plenty of time to build up a friendly relationship with the divers on board. Not only does this mean building happy memories from great trips, but it’s also a springboard for creating loyalty amongst customers who will want to come back and dive with you – and your business – in the future.

Cons

#1 Limited lifestyle

If you have ever been on a boat, you’ll remember how small the space can be, and cabins of liveaboard boats are no exception. Dive guests may only spend a few days like this, but remember you may need to call it your home for several months.

You’ll also need to be prepared to sacrifice comforts such as long showers, internet access and even peace and privacy, as well as the ability to catch up with your partner or friends at the end of each day – while you’re on board, your friends are your customers.

#2 Need for preparation

One of the benefits of liveaboards is the ability to travel to faraway destinations, sometimes several hours away from land. This means you need to be prepared for the journey as you won’t be able to pop back to shore if you need something.

From Divemaster training and above, self-sufficiency is emphasised – and bringing extra gear in case you or your guests need something is even more important when liveaboard diving. Double check your packing list to make sure everything is on board, which should include plenty of spare gear, from o-rings to masks, as well as medical supplies such as seasickness tablets.

feel4nature-tauchsafari-2#3 Physical demands

As a PADI Professional working on a liveaboard, you may be expected to complete multiple dives every day for several days at a time, and there won’t be spare Divemasters or Instructors ready to take your place once you’re out at sea. It won’t be possible to cancel your guests’ diving plans just because you feel tired or just don’t feel like diving today – just like shore-based operations, you are required to support the needs of your paying customers, and it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re fit for duty. If you don’t think you can keep up with the demand, then liveaboard diving might not be for you.

#4 Diving experience

We already know that liveaboards travel to some of the best diving spots in the world, but quite often these are also the most demanding places to dive. Strong currents, difficult entries, dives in blue water with no reference and potentially tricky surface conditions mean that, as a PADI Pro with guests under your care, you need to have enough experience in the same conditions to be able to safely operate and guide the dive.

If you’ve read the above and think that liveaboard diving is a perfect match for your skills and lifestyle, then visit the Job Vacancy board on the PADI Pros’ Site today to start searching for your dream job!


christian_huboThis article was written by guest blogger, Christian Hubo. A PADI diving instructor, Christian has enjoyed over 4,000 dives whilst travelling around the world. Above the surface, he’s hiked thousands of kilometers across the natural world. Christian is a freelance web and media designer, underwater photographer, social media and marketing consultant and freelance author. His magazine articles and blog, Feel4Nature, inspires people to follow an independent, individual and eco-conscious lifestyle.

Training Insights… PADI Rescue Diver Part 6: Rescue Techniques

RDOnLn0310_1493There are often many different techniques that divers can use to meet the performance requirements with the PADI Rescue Diver course. You will usually teach one or two techniques that you find the easiest for each skill, but if students achieve the performance requirement by using another method which they find more comfortable, then that’s perfectly acceptable too.

Different training locations, equipment and personal attributes will dictate what the easiest technique is for each individual diver. The PADI Rescue Diver course is all about arming divers with lots of tools so that they can choose the best one to assist in a situation if and when it arises.

Don’t be afraid to ask other divers and instructors how they perform each exercise. Even if you don’t want to use their techniques on a regular basis, by taking note of the variety of options available, you will have a bigger “toolbox” to help divers who are struggling and who might need some fresh suggestions on how to approach a skill.

Check out the PADI Rescue Diver Course Presentation notes and Guide to Teaching for ideas on different techniques you can implement within your teaching sessions.

If you haven’t done so already, make sure you download your free marketing toolkit to help promote the PADI Rescue Diver course to potential students. For any enquiries about the toolkit please contact [email protected]

For more information on the training requirements for PADI courses, please contact [email protected].

Women’s Dive Day: Go Pro, Girls!

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Today is PADI Women’s Dive Day, and in this guest blog article, Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler shares exactly why she wants to encourage more women to take the next step and become PADI Pros…


I have been a diver since 1992 and I can say, without a doubt, that scuba diving has been the driving force behind my own personal development. I became a professional diver on Halloween 2005, joining the largest diving family that is PADI, and it changed my life forever. How have I felt throughout my journey? How did I feel entering a sport that I had considered a “manly” activity? Why am I passionate about encouraging more females to take the plunge and Go Pro?

Cultural

Equality. It is a beautiful word. It opens so many doors and scuba diving is definitely one of them. Women are being encouraged to lust after everything, women are encouraged to try anything that takes their fancy. Scuba diving is no exception. What was before considered extreme has become safer. What was before considered unusual has become an experience not to be missed. Equality has given women the confidence to think “I can do everything” and we can. Cultural differences may have meant that men were considered to possess greater physical strength, finding it easier to lift heavy scuba equipment, but that perception is a thing of the past.

Alexandra DimitriouExperience

When I became a scuba diver I was seen as a “tom-boy” – a little unusual, and it makes me extremely happy to say that this is no longer the case. When I was a child my father had over 10 friends who he would dive with – only one was a woman. She was seen as a dare-devil and I wanted to be just like her. I was the only girl on my dive courses from my PADI Open Water Diver course to Rescue Diver.

When I signed up for the Divemaster course, however, things had already started to change. The dive center where I received my training had more female instructors then male and my course had a balanced split of students from all genders and backgrounds. I felt more at home, and less of an anomaly. It became more and more evident that diving could be an interest for anyone, that is was a uniting force that allowed global discovery across the board.

Equipment

Diving equipment now exists that has been developed with females in mind. Female specific BCD’s can now shift the load of our equipment from the upper back onto the hips – making it more comfortable. Wetsuits are now tailored to fit the female form, they fit better and are definitely more flattering! All equipment comes in a huge variety of colours and girls can now express themselves underwater. Diving equipment has become more female friendly.

Becoming a PRO

So why should more women think about taking the next step? Why should more women “Go Pro”?

Because we can do anything we want to do.

We can teach and spread our passion to the next generation. If I can do it, so can you. When a guy signs up for his PADI Open Water Diver course, encourage his girlfriend, sister or mother to sign up too! Any doubts that she may have can be immediately dispelled when she sees that you can do it – and that you have made it your career. She can become “one of the gang” and it will be life changing.

In my experience dive centers like to keep ratios even. They like to have both female and male instructors, as it allows them to cater to more of the market. This can improve your chances of getting that dream job in an exotic land.

So, over the years I’ve seen a shift in the diving world. A shift in perception, a shift in involvement and a shift in the pursuit of adventure. We can do everything, and anything that we set our minds to… so tie up that hair and jump in girls!


Alexandra Dimitriou selfieAlexandra Dimitriou-Engeler is a dive center owner in Agia Napa, Cyprus. She became a diver in 1992 and received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at Plymouth University in 2003. Her love of the ocean has always been her driving force, and this has led to the natural progression of becoming a diving instructor in 2005. She is currently a PADI staff instructor and owner at Scuba Monkey Ltd.