10 Tips for PADI Instructors from the Quality Management Team

By Kim Ngan, Quality Management Consultant

This month we would like to share some terrific tips for new (and not so new) PADI Instructors.

1 – Use your PADI Cue cards

Ignoring your cue cards is a rookie’s mistake. Using a cue card does not make you less cool, but in fact it makes you look professional and well-prepared. The cue cards are made to support us to ensure we do not miss teaching any skills and we teach in the correct sequence. Further they assist us in presenting the performance requirements clearly which serves to assist us to teach the skill correctly and the student understand what they are expected to achieve.   

2 – Read your PADI Instructor manual – Don’t follow the crowd

Sometimes we question our understanding of PADI standards, don’t just listen to other instructors or follow the crowd, simply read your Instructor manual and find out the answer. The Instructor manual gives us guidance and reminds us what we should do and what we should not do. Thanks to today’s technology, we now have the PADI digital manual available in several languages so you may always find the latest version to download from the Pro Site.

3 – Read PADI’s Guide To Teaching

While the Instructor Manual lists required standards, PADI’s Guide to Teaching provides explanations, teaching techniques and suggested approaches to meet those standards. When preparing to teach a PADI course or program, particularly those you have never taught a course or don’t conduct courses on a regular basis, you will find the reminders in Guide to Teaching manual valuable in helping organize training sessions and dives. Be familiar with what information is in it will make it beneficial instructional tool and we can continue to use it throughout our teaching career.

4 – Keep a copy of Training Records

We should keep a copy of the training records, as they can play a key part in incidents and quality management situations. The training records prove the dive professional acted appropriately. Without them, it can be difficult to remember exact details of what happened. They are so important that we have will have another article later this year just about documentation. To download PADI training records go to your PADI pro account at PADI.com and download the forms under the section of Training essentials.

5 – Go onto the Pro site and utilize the resources

At the early stage of our diving career the primary reason for most of us to use the Pro site is to do a dive check or certify our student using the OPC. However the site offers much more than that.  Pro Site in fact is another powerful tool where PADI members can obtain a lot of different resources. Not only just the teaching tools or the marketing tools, but also tools for personal development. For examples, you may find out the dates and location for the next Instructor Update and sign up live Member Forums, seminars and webinars. You may also find the recordings if you have missed out any webinars. Pro Site also acts as a job finding platform for those who are looking for dive jobs around the world.  Check out the Risk Management recorded webinars as well: Pro development/BOD webinars/PADI Asia Pacific webinars. You will also find the Duty of Care, Guided dive and Rush Hour risk management videos at: 
Toolbox / Member / Quality Assurance – Duty of Care Resources.

6 – Have a set of digital manuals on your phone

We are in the Digital Age, most people have their own smartphone so there is no excuse not to have a set of digital manuals downloaded and be ready for your use if needed. One of the best things about your PADI digital manual is that they get updated regularly. PADI uploads the most up to the date version of the digital student manuals whenever it is available, so each time you refreshed your PADI library, the manuals in there will get automatically updated. You will be able to know what the students are reading and also have a better understanding of what they are going through.

7 – Attend LIVE member forum and Risk Management Seminars as much as possible

Have you attended any PADI live events yet? Do you know we have live Member forums and Risk Management Seminars in most region each year? Member forums bring us the Training Bulletin, a summary of the year and also what’s new in PADI. Risk Management seminars invites you to discuss trends in dive incidents and issues relevant to the safety or ourselves and our customers. These live events provide a great opportunity to meet other dive professionals and PADI staff.  It’s a great way to learn from each other!  

8 – Learn from a role model – Member of the Month and read the Undersea Journal

Wishing to find more tips and inspiration about how to become an outstanding PADI Instructor? Check out the winner of the Member of the Month on the Pro Site! It is one of the highest recognitions you can have as a PADI Instructor. The winner is selected from the extraordinary nominees from all around the globe. These PADI members are awesome role models. You may also find out more inspiring PADI members from the Undersea Journal in the section ‘Exceeding Expectations’. The UJ always features great stories of our PADI AmbassaDiver and all the articles there are written by experienced divers and PADI staff! There are plenty of places to look for great tips in leading divers and teaching great courses.

9 – Follow our E.A.P method to reduce Risk

Remember our first Surface Interval article and Webinar this year? We introduced a way to evaluate risk using a three-prong approach? It is calledEAP or – Environment- Activity- People.  To recap, we should always conduct an Environmental risk assessment as well as evaluate the type of the dives Activity itself, then assessing the People’s abilities and limitations. This helps us to use good judgement to make good decisions.

10 – Last but not least, talk to us!

We are here to help! Like you we are passionate about dive training and safety.  If you have any questions, just email us on qa@padi.com.au or pick up the phone and ring us on +61 2 9454 2888. We would love to hear from you!

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