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?
- A potential employee.
- 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.
- Fresh ideas – Amina might have other great skills like social media or IT skills that Frankie doesn’t have.
- New markets – Amina could attract more French and European customers to Frankie’s business.
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?
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 email@example.com to find out more.
Tony Cook – PADI Regional Training Consultant