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.

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].