A Force for Good: The Restorers

Coral Restoration Foundation

One thing about divers and the tenacity of the human spirit is that when we face a challenge, we size it up and then find a way over it, around it or through it. We’re handling coral stress and decline the same way. Today divers, partnering with scientists, have been at the heart of dozens of coral restoration initiatives, with research and practice in coral farming and transplanting growing and spreading. In my last blog post, I linked to the Coral Restoration Project, birthed by diver Dr. David Vaughan of Mote Marine Laboratory, who in starting some of the first coral nurseries, discovered how to grow coral 25 to 40 times faster than before. His discovery is one of the major breakthroughs we needed to start replacing coral on a large scale, and is just one example.

Jump to PADI Ambassadiver Andre Miller MSc in Barbados. Recognizing that documenting coral damage is important but not a solution, Andre spearheaded a local effort to relocate endangered corals and to repopulate damaged heads. With a 90+% survival rate, this effort has already spread to several destinations in the Caribbean. Check out this link for locations and some amazing before and after images.

CRF Restoration Program Manager Jessica Levy Works on Hanging New Corals on in the CRF NurseryPhoto: Coral Restoration Foundation 

One more example, in the Netherland Antilles, the Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire and Curacao, with extensive participation by local PADI Dive Centers, visiting divers and the local dive community, their emphasis is staghorn and elkhorn corals, which are important because they provide structure and habitat, yet are listed as threatened by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Today, the foundation grows more than 12,000 corals in their nurseries, and they have transplanted more than 14,000 corals on their reefs.

All the ways divers are central to restoring and reviving the underwater world could go on for pages, but three important points:

First, there’s a place for you in coral restoration. Head to tropical water and chances are the dive community’s doing it or getting it going – and needs your help because coral restoration requires divers. There is a lot of caretaking and routine maintenance to grow and transplant coral and to do this properly. Several dive operators teach PADI Coral Restoration distinctive specialties or host experiences that get you involved hands on. If you’re local and can participate regularly, even better. And, the coral colony you plant tomorrow could still be there — and much larger — when your descendants swim by on some dive in the distant future. Pretty cool.

Second, preservation is pivotal part to coral restoration. Although restoration is accelerating, globally, coral decline is ahead. We have to address the drivers that accelerate coral loss as well as replant more to close this gap. Besides, replanting ultimately fails if new coral can’t survive anyway. So, every time you reduce your carbon footprint, recycle plastic, reduce debris, choose sustainable seafood, vote for the protection and conservation of aquatic resources and the marine environment and so on, you are helping to restore coral.

Third, we need to be realistic but also optimistic. Twenty-five million plus divers is an overwhelming force – with more than ten times the world’s largest military force, and an allegiance to a healthy, livable planet, it is a positive force that can change things. So, as I said before, the seas are in trouble, but the situation is far from hopeless because you’re on their side. We’re already moving, but let’s do more, faster. If you’re not sure where you fit in best, start your own journey and informed discussions with others.

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO

PADI Specialty of the Quarter – Quarter 4 (October- December 2018)

Would you like to increase specialty certs this quarter?

The popular Specialty of the Quarter campaign has been crafted to do just this. With easy to adopt marketing tools be sure to grow interest in continuing education today!

Quarter 4, 2018 will be focusing on:

With two PADI Specialties on offer, you have the flexibly to promote what best suits your dive shop. PADI Asia Pacific will also be promoting these specialty courses throughout the quarter to consumers.

3 easy steps to get you started:

  1. Download marketing toolkit
  2. Print speciality posters and flyers
  3. Bundle with core courses

Bundling is a great way to add-value and provide a convenient way to introduce divers to PADI Specialty courses. Specialty courses offer the perfect opportunity to widen the knowledge of your students, better understand their interests as divers, and make sure they come back to do more courses. You can also tie this in with the free PADI MSD Application available in the Asia Pacific region.

Start your campaign today!

To help you promote the PADI Specialty of the Quarter you can download free digital marketing materials in English, Korean, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese which includes web banners, headers and more.

DOWNLOAD MARKETING TOOLS

Questions?

Contact your PADI Regional Manager, Regional Training Consultant or the PADI Asia Pacific marketing team on marketing@padi.com.au.

Crossing over dive leaders to PADI Professionals

By Tony Cook, PADI Regional Training Consultant

Frankie owns a PADI Five Star Dive Resort in Fiji. At a local bar after work, he chats to a group of French tourists. One of them, Amina, says she is a dive leader from France and is looking for work in Fiji. Frankie does need a new instructor, but tells her he can only employ PADI Pros. He says she should contact him again if she eventually gets her PADI qualification.

What opportunities has Frankie just lost?

  1. A potential employee.
  2. Greater income from new students. While there is a cost for Frankie in crossing a diver over from recognized French organisation to PADI, the potential income she could generate is far greater.
  3. Fresh ideas – Amina might have other great skills like social media or IT skills that Frankie doesn’t have.
  4. New markets – Amina could attract more French and European customers to Frankie’s business.

Crossover process

What Frankie didn’t know is that a dive leader in good standing qualified with another diver training organisation can cross over to PADI via the PADI Assistant Instructor (AI) course or the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC). They do not have to repeat what they already know and can do.

*Remember to contact and involve your PADI Regional Training Consultant early in the crossover process if you have any questions on eligibility.

What should Frankie have done instead?

Frankie should have checked Amina’s qualifications together with Steve, a PADI IDC Staff Instructor who works for him.  After verifying that all the course prerequisites have been met, Steve could have enrolled Amina in the AI course*. Steve would then have conducted a knowledge and skill pre-assessment with Amina – any necessary remediation training can be personalised and scheduled before the start of the AI course.

*Review the course standards, organisation and curriculum in the PADI Course Director Manual.

Assessing candidate readiness*

Typical examples of great tools available for assessing the readiness of a dive leadership candidate are Dive Theory Online, and eLearning Quick Reviews for knowledge and to gauge dive skills use the Skill Evaluation Slate.

*Refer to PADI General Training Standards and Procedures when assessing open water dive readiness.

Remember, if in doubt, contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant.

Other factors to consider

There are other factors to consider during your assessment, before accepting the candidate into your PADI AI or IDC program. Take a moment to verify:

  • When was the candidate certified at dive leadership level by the other agency?
  • Has the candidate acquired any active experience as a dive leader?
  • How recent is this experience?
  • Does the candidate fulfil all other AI / IDC course prerequisites?
  • Can I help the candidate document all prerequisites?

A reminder

Prospective PADI Professionals are required to provide copies of all underlying prerequisite qualifications: their entry-level, advanced, rescue diver certifications and proof of first aid / CPR training within the past two years.  Make sure you verify these and have them on file before accepting the candidate on to the course.  Don’t forget to attach copies of non-PADI certifications when sending their completed application form to PADI for processing.

Following PADIs assessment standards and documentation procedures reduces your risk. It also ensures the candidate (and you!) will have an enjoyable experience during their instructor-level program and avoids unnecessary delays in processing their application upon training completion.

Crossing dive leaders over to PADI professionals is easier than you think. Take a few moments to consider the opportunities you could gain.

Contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant at training-sales@padi.com.au to find out more.

Tony Cook – PADI Regional Training Consultant

Divers Already Make A Difference

When you hear reports about overfishing, global climate change, coral bleaching, shark finning . . . and the list goes on . . . it’s tempting to question whether the situation is hopeless. Will we have coral reefs in 30 years? Will anything be living in the seas in 50 years?


Photo by I Love the Sea

Yes, and yes. The seas face formidable challenges, but they have formidable allies – you, me and more than 25 million other divers around the world among them. It’s not just that you and your fellow divers can make difference, but that you’re already making a difference through personal efforts like recycling, responsibly consuming only sustainable seafood, reducing our carbon footprints and campaigning to protect endangered marine animals. These are vital efforts, none of which are wasted, with millions (and growing) of divers and nondivers doing these – which is great. But, compared to some outdoor groups, divers raise the bar for environmental stewardship and leadership. Beyond the forefront of conservation and preservation, divers are at the forefront of restoration.

Did you know that, working alongside scientists, divers help grow and replace coral? Use 3D printing to create artificial structures where real coral and coral species can live? Remove debris (like plastics!) from almost every dive site? Replant mangroves, sea grasses and other vegetation vital to coral and oceanic health? Use different methods

to protect and repopulate turtles, fish and other species? Gather data we need to identify and implement ongoing and new solutionsTeach kids and cultures what we’re learning and that we do make a difference so that saving and restoring the planet continues, expands and strengthens? These are not small local experiments – these are fins-on-the-ground, proven-results initiatives in action.

The truth is, we face a much bigger threat than the issues facing the seas, and it is this: loss of hope. We don’t want our heads in the sand, but let’s not lose perspective amid the doom and gloom. There are thousands of healthy coral reefs and other dive sites around the world. By staying informed, innovative and engaged, we can not only visit these, but preserve them, learn from them and leverage them to rebuild and restore.

I believe in realistic optimism and hopeful future, partly because the data support them, but also because really, we have no choice. With hopelessness comes inaction, resignation and surrender, which solve nothing. Hope anchors our souls to what’s possible, to action, and to doing what needs to be done. This isn’t Pollyanna – no one expects the global environment to be like it was in 1618 – but it can be vibrant, healthy and growing. A healthy Earth with healthy seas can be the ultimate heritage we leave our children and theirs.

Literally every dive you and I make can be a step towards that goal — with that in mind, remember that 15-23 September is AWARE Week. Please join the 25 million (and growing) divers who are fighting to restore our ocean planet. If you’re not yet involved with an AWARE event, please click the link and join in: http://www.padi.com/aware-week/join.

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO

PADI TecRec Instructor Trainer Course

PADI will be conducting a TecRec Instructor Trainer Course in Koh Tao, Thailand from the 8th to 12th of October, 2018.

This course is for experienced PADI Tec Deep Instructors (and higher) who want to become PADI Tec Deep Instructor Trainers. Successful candidates, who also hold other TecRec Instructor level certifications, will be able to apply for additional TecRec Instructor Trainer ratings upon meeting any additional requirements.

Applications will be rated and the top candidates accepted onto the course. The application time has been extended and will need to be received at PADI Asia Pacific by 17th September 2018. Successful applicants will be notified shortly after.

Cost: AUD $5,490 (excludes accommodation, food and beverages).

For more information and an application form please contact; instdev@padi.com.au.

PADI Instructor Examinations for August 2018

2 August | Lembongan, Indonesia


4 August | Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia


4 August | Bohol, Philippines


7 August | Semporna, Malaysia


7 August | Moalboal, Philippines


9 August | Wenzhou, China


10 August | Malapascua, Philippines


11 August | Sanya, China


11 August | Tioman Island, Malaysia


11 August | Hong Kong


18 August | Cairns, Australia


18 August | Phuket, Thailand


21 August | Koh Tao, Thailand


25 August | Sydney, Australia


25 August | Tianjin, China


25 August | Bali, Indonesia


25 August | Nha Trang, Vietnam


29 August | Lembongan, Indonesia


31 August | Taipei, Taiwan

taipei

Leveraging PADI Travel for Your Group Trips

You already know that travel and scuba diving go hand in hand. You probably also know that the majority of scuba divers will take multiple international dive trips during their lifetimes. Using this fact to your advantage and offering group travel opportunities to your customers can spell success for your business.

Benefits of Organizing Group Trips

Embedding travel into your business is a proven way to engage new divers and to keep certified divers active. The promise of getting to use new skills and explore new places encourages divers to enroll in more courses and buy more equipment. Successful PADI Dive Centers sell group trips to fascinating scuba diving destinations to leverage their customers’ desire for adventure. Group trips fuel engagement by building a community of travelers who are loyal to your business. This makes dive travel a win-win for everyone involved.

Why Organize Group Trips Through PADI Travel?

Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone when it comes to booking group travel. Partner with PADI Travel for your trips and get access to:

• Unbeatable group discounts – PADI Travel offers the best prices and terms around. As a global, wholesale travel agency with significant reach and purchasing power, PADI Travel is able to pass on competitive rates and terms to you when you book group trips. You have access to unbeatable group discounts (a.k.a. commissions) through PADI Travel that you can decide to pass on to your customers or to increase your margins.

• Special deals – The PADI Travel team negotiates special deals that may include anything from free enriched air nitrox fills to significant overall discounts. You can save big by securing available special offers on your next trip.

• Extra spots – One of our most popular promotions for group trips booked through PADI Travel is extra spots. Sometimes there are free cabins, rooms, equipment or other special terms for large group bookings. Again, you can decide how to manage these extras – increase your margins or pass spots on to your customers or staff.

• Diver medical insurance – Every diver in your group will benefit from the complementary diver medical insurance offered with each booking. This means reduced extra costs and more savings for your group.

Additional Benefits

If you end up with unfilled spots on your trip, PADI Travel can help you fill them. The future PADI Travel Marketplace will have global reach and help divers connect with you in order to fill your trips.

As an added benefit, PADI Travel acts as your personal tour operator. If any problems should arise prior to departure or after your customers are on the ground, the PADI Travel team will be in charge of handling issues. The 24/7 world-class customer support team is on hand not only to help you organize and fine tune your group trip, but also to deal with any problems or questions that may occur at any point. This essentially removes many of the hassles associated with organizing travel and reduces your personal workload.

You also can take advantage of the PADI Travel team of scuba travel experts to improve your knowledge of the world’s top dive destinations. Use this information to advise customers and increase your bookings. PADI Travel can help you organize, market and run successful group trips across the globe. Simply ask for a nonbinding quote the next time you organize a trip and discover new ways to thrill your customers.