Archive | March, 2013

A Cautionary Tale of Required Materials

28 Mar

The PADI Instructor on the phone was beside himself, “I had no idea! Are you sure?”

Unfortunately, we were sure because we had sent him the email he was calling about.

“But it’s not in the Crew-Pak! It’s not in the Crew-Pak…” His voice trailed off. He was inconsolable.

It all started with a Course Evaluation Questionnaire (CEQ) from one of the distraught instructor’s newly certified PADI Divemasters. The CEQ answers indicated that the Divemaster did not own an eRDPML. When contacted, the Divemaster in question said he learned to use the eRDPML during Divemaster training, but borrowed it from the instructor.

As a result, the PADI Quality Management team sent a reminder to the instructor about two important PADI Standards:

  • The eRDPML is required for the PADI Divemaster course. Candidates must have their own eRDPML to use during training and afterward.
  • Instructors may not loan required materials to their student divers.

Like the vast majority of PADI Instructors, the one on the phone took pride in his dedication to teaching and following PADI Standards in all courses. Even though the Quality Management message he received was a friendly reminder, rather than a formal inquiry requiring a response, he was upset to learn that he had violated PADI Standards.

The instructor’s mistake? He assumed that all PADI Crew-Paks contain all of the required materials for a course. While this is true in many cases, it’s important to realize that it isn’t always the case.

The eRDPML, for example, is not in the Divemaster Crew-Pak. The Rescue Diver Crew-Pak doesn’t contain a logbook. Many divers purchase their eRDPML during their PADI Open Water Diver course. Most rescue divers already have a logbook. So, while Crew-Paks are convenient and economical, students and candidates may need some additional items to meet PADI Standards. If they don’t already have those items, they must purchase them separately.

To avoid finding yourself in the same position as the instructor on the phone, check the Course Standards in the PADI Instructor Manual for each course you teach. You’ll find a list of both required and recommended materials. This was the advice for the instructor on the phone and, while he may have had no idea before we contacted him, now he knows and it is unlikely he will need another reminder.

Learn from one instructor’s experience and remember that just because something isn’t in the Crew-Pak doesn’t mean it isn’t required. And please don’t loan materials to student divers without consulting the PADI Instructor Manual. That should help you avoid from becoming the instructor on the phone.

Take advantage of Official PADI Diving Society Patron Benefits

25 Mar

PDSLogoAs a current PADI Retail and Resort Member, you have the opportunity to reach 175,000 diving enthusiasts worldwide. Participation is free! Are you taking advantage of your benefits?

Get your free listing on the New and Improved online Benefits Directory:

  1. Society members can easily search by location for special offers from PADI Dive Centres and Resorts. If you have your logo ready, it takes less than 5 mins to get your free listing on the Member Benefits Webform
  2. You can offer multiple benefits and change them throughout the year.
  3. You have a dedicated benefits page with a unique link so you can link directly to your Society benefits from your website.
  4. Your benefits page has a direct link back to your website and displays your logo.
  5. Society members can easily print your benefit or special offer, which also puts contact information for your store right in their hands.
  6. Your benefit will be listed in the official PADI Diving Society Online Member Benefits section and on the destination pages of sportdiver.com/destinations, giving you access to even more potential customers.

Those are six great reasons to sponsor a PADI Diving Society Benefit. Looking for another one? It’s free!

Remember, more consumers are turning to their computers, tablets and mobile devices when they want to find local businesses and search for great deals. That means more divers are going online to connect with their local PADI Dive Centres and Resorts. Stay connected and get online – sponsor a Society benefit today.

To sponsor your complimentary benefit(s)*, visit the PADI Diving Society Member Benefits Webform. You can enter a benefit to start today and set one up to start in 2013.

If you already sponsor a benefit, thank you for your continuous support. You wouldn’t need to do anything to renew your benefit(s), however you can change your benefit(s) at any time.

KEY TECHNICAL DIVERS MEET IN SYDNEY PRE OZTeK 13

22 Mar

LEFT to RIGHT: Henry Iannitti, Thomas Knedlik, Matthew Hopkins, Richard Nicholls, Dan Macherel, Junya Kato,  Martin Robson, Rubens Monaco, Alex BoultonBefore attending the OZTeK’13 Dive Conference & Exhibition held from 16-17 March 2013 in Sydney, key technical instructors and trainers from around the world met to discuss their passion with the PADI Asia Pacific Technical Diving Team.

On Friday 15th March in Manly, Martin Robson, Rubens Monaco, Richard Nicholls, Henri Iannitti and Matt Hopkins talked Tec with staff of PADI’s Technical Diving Division – Thomas Knedlik, Junya Kato, Alex Boulton and Dan Macherel.

Martin Robson, Designated Instructor Trainer for PADI Rebreather and Tec CCR, runs launch programs on behalf of all of the PADI offices worldwide. Martin is impressed with the quality of the rebreather courses and the way in which they have been designed. Martin explains, “PADI came to the table with a completely blank sheet. This gave them the opportunity to construct course materials that are the best available for any rebreather course compared to their competitors”. As an Instructor Trainer, teaching tec diving has always been a passion for Martin. “One of the best things is to come back from a course and hear people say that the dive they just completed was the best they’ve ever done, or the deepest they’ve ever dived. All those things are big milestones in a diver’s career and to have the opportunity to take people to do that is quite a privilege”, Martin said.

Rubens Monaco, PADI TecRec/CCR/Rebreather Instructor Trainer from IDC Scuba in Victoria likes teaching PADI TecRec courses because he believes there are more and more divers looking for a different adventure. Says Rubens, “Tec diving provides the next level for recreational divers to continue to new and exciting forms of diving.  Plus there’s a commitment in adding infrastructure to the store when running tec diving courses as well as ensuring a culture of tec is built within your facility.”

The challenge for his clients and the change involved in diving more diverse areas is what attracts Richard Nicholls, PADI Course Director/TecRec Instructor Trainer from Dive Centre Manly to tec diving.  He also enjoys the educational path he can offer to experienced divers. Richard adds, “I’m interested in the development of new marketing materials and working with PADI’s Technical Diving Division in integrating these materials onto the web”.

Henry Iannitti, PADI TecRec/Trimix Instructor says the wrecks within 45-60m depths are attracting tec divers to the Australian East Coast. “There are lots of opportunities here for divers to gain tec experience and variation. For me, I’m enjoying the added discipline needed to plan and execute tec dives as opposed to conducting recreational diving courses.”

“PADI TecRec programs have the latest in materials and information from various experience levels within the industry”, says Matthew Hopkins PADI TecRec/Trimix Instructor from Scubamunkies in NSW. “I like teaching small groups with a personal approach that gives me, as an instructor, more time to pass on knowledge to various levels.  My plans for teaching PADI TecRec programs in 2013 and beyond will be to introduce Closed Circuit Rebreather programs growing from an already successful Tec/ Trimix centre.  I also plan to write distinctive specialties – I know I can count on the fantastic Technical Diving Division in PADI’s Sydney office that gives 24/7 support!”

The PADI TecRec program debuted in 2000. Although TecRec is not the first technical diving program, it repeatedly receives accolades for its merits.

  • TecRec courses are integrated into an instructionally valid, seamless course flow that takes you from beginning tec diver to one qualified to the outer reaches of sport diving using different gas mixes.
  • Each level introduces you to new gear, planning and procedures appropriate to extend your diving limits.
  • The PADITec Diver course is an integrated sequence of three subcourses: Tec 40Tec 45 and Tec 50.  You can complete them continuously, or you can complete each level separately with a time span between them. This gives you learning efficiency, instructional integrity and schedule flexibility.

For more information on PADI TecRec programs, visit padi.com or your nearest PADI TecRec Centre.  

Look for the PADI TecRec Centre icon  on PADI’s Dive Centre Locator at padi.com

Tecrec-logo-22.3.13

Project AWARE: We did it! Celebrating Historic Decisions for Sharks and Rays

21 Mar

This article is courtesy of Project AWARE.

CITES_PAFteam 21.3.13Five species of highly traded sharks, both manta rays and one species of sawfish were listed under CITES at the conclusion of CoP16 held this month in Bangkok, Thailand. Delegates from 170 countries considered 70 proposals affecting more than 300 species, including eight of some of the most vulnerable sharks and manta rays.

“We’re proud that divers’ voice has contributed to achieving this key milestone for sharks and ray conservation and we’re grateful to proponent governments for recognizing the value of thriving shark and ray populations, and for championing sound proposals,” said Ania Budziak, Project AWARE’s Associate Director of Science and Policy.

The oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, three species of hammerheads and both manta rays – all classified as threatened on IUCN’s Red List – are now added to CITES Appendix II. “This is a significant and historic achievement for marine species in general, specifically manta rays which are the first Elasmobranch species to be listed under CITES on the first attempt,” said Budziak. “Scalloped hammerheads, among the most endangered and most commonly taken in illegal fishing operations for their valuable fins, received a surprising majority.”

Since 2010, when eight shark species were declined CITES listing, the scuba diving community joined with shark advocates around the world, have campaigned for this moment. Armed with more than 135,000 shark petition signatures and 245,000 letters sent direct to CITES delegates, Project AWARE has taken every opportunity to put CITES protections front and center on government agendas. Along with our partners, we’ve met with CITES representatives, participated in public consultation processes and worked on shark protection issues at every turn including the IUCN World Conservation Congress, meeting of the signatories to the CMS MOU on Shark Conservation and CITES preparatory workshops in Mozambique and Senegal.

“This is an enormous victory, not only for the vulnerable species and ocean ecosystems, but for the coastal communities globally whose tourism-based economies rely on healthy, thriving shark and ray populations,” said Alex Earl, Project AWARE’s Executive Director. “It’s also a significant achievement for the marine protection movement as a whole. This conference was the very first to consider an unprecedented number of shark and ray proposals and there has never been stronger momentum for their protections than now.”

What’s next for the campaign to protect sharks and rays? “We now urge all Parties to CITES to work swiftly on implementing the obligations to ensure sustainable international trade,” said Alex Earl. “But for the moment, we celebrate the significance of these historic decisions.”

Heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who joined the Project AWARE movement and campaigned for this amazing milestone. The passion and dedication of ocean advocates is unmatched. We’re proud of our achievements together and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you to all PADI Members and Dive Centres who support Project AWARE. Please look out for more alerts from Project AWARE on how you can get involved. 

 

The New Australasian Rolex Scholar for 2013

20 Mar

Jayne Jenkins VP, Australasian Operations Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society ® has forwarded the following press release announcing..

OWUSS Logo

The New Australasian Rolex Scholar for 2013

The 2013 Our World-Underwater Australasian Rolex Scholar was announced last week, with this year’s prestigious award going to Stefan Andrews.

“Competition is always tough; these candidates are the best of the best. It is a very difficult decision for the selection panel to make. Sadly we only have one scholarship to award, but for the winner, it will be the most amazing, experiential growth year of their lives,” explained Jayne Jenkins, Australasian Vice President, Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society (OWUSS).

Essentially the OWUSS mission is to identify and develop the next generation of dive leaders and underwater researchers. For more than 35 years, the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society® and Rolex have fostered the development of future leaders of the underwater environment. There are three Rolex Scholarships: North America, Europe, and Australasia. During their scholarship year, three deserving recipients have the opportunity to travel internationally and learn from the world’s leading experts in conservation, underwater photography, maritime archaeology, marine engineering and other related fields.

Stefan Andrews  Photo courtesy of Jayne JenkinsStefan, our 2013 Australasian OWUSS Rolex scholar will now meet the global OWUSS team in New York in April and from there is plugged into one of the most prestigious global networks in the world; scientists, explorers, film makers, photographers, doctors.. You name it, someone will do it and they’ll be right at the very pinnacle of their career.

The mission for Stefan is to choose well and wisely those projects he would like to get involved with to help him advance his own career. It is one of the most rewarding short term and long term scholarships around.

“The OWUSS is a massive family with everyone looking to give back, to help deserving candidates find their true paths and excel. It can be very daunting at the beginning for new scholars but they are not cast out alone. We guide new scholars and help them become aware of the possibilities and make the right choices for them – each scholar is unique with unique requirements,” says Jenkins.

Stefan is 24 years old with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree majoring in Ecosystem Biogeochemistry, Marine Conservation and Fisheries Management, Marine and Coastal Planning and Management plus Data Management and Analysis in the Natural Sciences from the University of Western Australia, Perth.

His specific interest is in ecological activism. Stefan is also a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor with over 2,000 dives to his credit.

The Selection Panel feel that Stefan has the strength of character and determination to excel in his role representing the Scholarship Society and, as with all our Scholars, past and present to continue with a career in or around our oceans and marine environment.

We feel he is a very worthy recipient who will be a shining ambassador as the Australasian Rolex scholar for the Scholarship Society, our Corporate Sponsor Rolex and not least of all, himself and his family.

“Take a look at what our previous scholars have achieved and you’ll be amazed and impressed – we are every year!”

For more information about the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society, visit their website, http://www.owuscholarship.org/

 

PADI eLearning® Payment Report Now Available at PADI Pros’ Site

19 Mar

eLearning
The report includes all eLearners that affiliate with your instructor number or store and can be sorted by date range and downloaded in multiple file formats.

Go to the PADI Pros’ Site, choose the My Account tab and scroll down for the eLearning Payment Report link under My Applications.

Plug into the Digital Age with EVE

15 Mar

EveLogoMake delving into the digital age your resolution for the New Year by accessing the ideal digital interface for your business: EVE (Electronic Virtual Employee.) EVE’s many attributes and options include:

  • EVE 5.8: Specifically developed for PADI Dive Centres and Resorts, EVE can streamline nearly every aspect of your dive business by helping you automate and manage point-of-sale processes, equipment rental, course scheduling, dive/boat planning and inventory control.
  • EVE Online: Implement your own online store. EVE Online provides the infrastructure you need, including shopping cart technology and site hosting.
  • EVE Website Templates: EVE can help you set up an appealing website that integrates your class calendar and dive travel schedule.
  • EVE Cloud Hosting: Let EVE host and protect the digital assets of your business, including your customer database, online store and website.
  • EVE Data Backup: Reduce the possibility of catastrophic data loss with EVE’s automated backup systems.

Ready to make 2013 the year you master your digital universe? Email Mark Spiers at mark.spiers@padi.com.au to get started or visit issys.co.uk to download your free trial.