Instructor Use of Cameras During PADI Discover Scuba Diving and Open Water Diver Courses

Hawaii - Underwater Photography - Instructor and Student - PADI Scuba Divers

Written by Regional Training Consultant, Guy Corsellis

Underwater photography is an art form and an activity enjoyed by many of us. Some of us use photography and film simply for capturing souvenirs whilst others use it for recording data. As a PADI Instructor you may wish to engage in underwater photography activities whilst teaching which may be acceptable in some teaching situations. However, the PADI Instructor is still required to continually observe their divers with only the brief, periodic interruptions needed to lead the dive and provide assistance to individual divers, as required by PADI standards.

We do need to make a clear distinction of what is or isn’t allowed while conducting a PADI Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) or Open Water Diver course. Whilst conducting a PADI DSD, the standard is very clear. As you will find under the Supervision section from the PADI Discover Scuba Diving Instructor Guide, it clearly states: Do not engage in any other activities, such as taking photographs or video, while supervising participants. This standard was also reinforced in the 4th Quarter Training Bulletin 2012. While this standard has not been specified in the PADI Open Water Diver course, as PADI Instructors we still need to apply good judgment to increase and maintain diver safety without ever jeopardizing our student divers.

In the 4th Quarter Training Bulletin from 2005 we published an article about Student Diver-Centered Open Water Dives:

Training Bulletin - Student Diver-Centered Open Water Dives

During Open Water training dives, as the Instructor, you carry the responsibility to observe and evaluate each student diver’s performance. Participating in other activities during open water training dives detracts from your primary focus and responsibility. Underwater, if you are taking photographs, videotaping, mapping, searching, collecting or doing anything not directly related to the dive’s training objectives, you are not providing the direct supervision that student divers deserve or may need.  Please be aware that taking photos during a course (in particular an entry level course) may take your attention off the students.

From a risk management point of view as you will no doubt be aware, dive professionals are always advised to err on the side of caution. This is not only the safest option for all involved but also the best defence, should something go terribly wrong on the dive and the matter is taken to court. As a PADI Instructor, this is something you always need to bear in mind when you need to ‘make the call’. Make conservative judgment calls and always err on the side of caution. If student divers lack comfort and confidence, I strongly recommend that you only focus on the wellbeing of your student divers and not task load yourself with other activities. As stated in our Member Code of Practice, “As a PADI Member, you agree to the following: Put the safety of diving clients and students as your first priority and responsibility!”

Please don’t forget to have fun with your student divers and enjoy yourselves!

If you have any further questions, please email your Regional Training Consultant at training-sales@padi.com.au

Ordering PADI Materials Online

Written by PADI Regional Training Consultant, Robin Bylund.

Have you ever wanted to order your Digital PADI Products online and receive them into your account with minutes? With our PADI Online Shopping Cart, you can now place your Digital PADI Product orders online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and receive your products almost immediately into your account.  The PADI Shopping Cart was updated back in 2018, making it by far the fastest and easiest way to order any PADI Digital Products. So if you haven’t had the chance to try the PADI Shopping Cart, give it a try as it will save you a lot of time while eliminating any potential delays from traditional order forms or back and forth emails.

What Do You Need to Get Started?

  1. Your PADI store or PADI Pro login details.
  2. Access to internet and one of the following devices: computer, mobile or tablet.
  3. For payment you will also need Credit card or PayPal account .

What is the Fastest Way to Order?

The Fastest way to order is to use “Saved Carts” for your standard digital orders which will allow you to simply click “re-order”. This will process the order right away based on the products and quantities you have set up your “Saved Cart” with. The first time you do this, it might take an extra few minutes but once setup, it will take you no more than 1-2 minutes to place the same order again.

How Do You Set Up Your “Saved Cart”?

  1. Click “Account” in the top menu.

2. Scroll down and click on “Quick Order form”.

3. Enter the product code (1) and adjust quantities you wish (2) and click “Add item” (3). Once you entered all the products you wish to have for this specific cart.

4. Once you have clicked “add items” you will get to the “order summary” page, where you can see total costs etc. This is where you can “save cart” (1) meaning this will be a pre-set order that can be reordered with just a few clicks. Save the cart with an appropriate name and you can go directly to the “checkout” (4) for identical orders in the future. If you forgot to add an item you can “add item” (2). Here also If you wish to remove items from your order/ saved cart you can remove it and then update the order. Finally if you’re happy with the products and quantities you simply move on to “Checkout” (4).

5. After clicking on “Checkout” in picture above it will ask you what payment method you use PayPal or Credit Card. When selecting PayPal it will redirect you to PayPal to place payment with your PayPal account or if selected credit card it will bring you to the page where you can input your credit card details.

6. If you use Credit card did you know you can also save your Credit Card on file so that next time you order, you simply select “use saved credit card“. This will speed up your orders once again.  

Now let’s pretend that you have placed your initial order and a week down the line you need to go in and order again. Below I will show you in 2 easy steps how to process your order using your previously “saved cart”.

How To Access Your Saved Carts

  1. Accounts – Saved Carts

2. Cart – View Saved carts

When you have done one of the 2 options above, it will show you all your “saved carts”. In the example below, I have set up multiple carts for various products and order types. This way once you have setup the carts, your ordering will take less than a few minutes to process as the products you want are already there. All you need to do is adjust the quantities you need to order.

So you can either simply click “order” (1) which will bring you to the order summary. Here you can choose to checkout and pay or you can  “edit” the order (2).

How to Locate an Old Invoice

Another function that is often over looked is your invoice history. The shop online feature allows you to see any past invoices that have been invoiced or ordered from your Pro account. To find these invoices simple go to “Account” in the top menu bar on the front page, then look at the Order history section and click on “orders”.

Important Note: for physical orders outside of Australia please contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant for best practices in your region. Please double check this prior to placing an order as these are often available locally.

I hope this gives you a bit more of an idea of how easy it can be to order PADI materials on the shop online. I challenge you all to give it a try as it will not only save you time but will allow you to place an order online at anytime, with digital product orders arriving into your account within minutes of checking out.

If anything is unclear or if you need assistance with starting to use the shop online please contact you PADI Regional Training Consultant.

Transform and Diversify Your Training Abilities

Dry Suit - Dry Suit Diver - Women Diving

Written by PADI Regional Training Consultant, Young Hee Simpson.

As PADI Professionals, we’re in the business of transformation. Being able to influence our customer’s lives is a great privilege and a rewarding responsibility. However, the lifestyle we choose is sometimes bound by environmental factors that we must adapt to; the location we’re living, diving and teaching in. Our responsibility is to educate our students to dive safely while enjoying diving in their local environment.

Luckily, we have equipment readily available that will help us overcome some environmental challenges, such as diving in colder water. When the water temperature drops, there is nothing better than donning your dry suit to help you stay warm underwater. As a PADI Pro, you might be diving more than three dives a day with potentially longer bottom times. Diving in a dry suit opens the door for additional dives and a longer dive season. For you as a dive professional, using a dry suit could be a tool to conduct additional courses that will create income opportunities while also providing access to local dive sites, year round, for your customers.

To teach the PADI Dry Suit Diver Specialty, you will need to gain the relevant instructor rating. To become PADI Dry Suit Diver Specialty Instructor, there are two ways; it is recommended you take a Dry Suit Diver Specialty Instructor Course with a PADI Course Director or you may apply directly to the PADI organisation. In addition to the PADI Dry Suit Diver Specialty Instructor rating, if you hold five specialty instructor ratings in total, you can also apply for the PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer rating, which denotes one of the highest membership ratings within the PADI system of diver education.

You can order related materials through the Online Shopping Cart or you can email your Regional Trainer Consultant at training-sales@padi.com.au with any questions.

Membership Renewals for Inactive PADI Pros

Diver- Scuba Diver Instructor - Topside - Grand Cayman

Written by Mark Wastall, PADI Regional Training Consultant.

“The strength of the team is each individual member, the strength of each member is the team” – Coach Phil Jackson.

It’s the time of year when PADI Membership renewal is on a lot of inactive dive professional’s minds. The PADI Regional Training Consultant team receive hundreds of questions regarding renewals from members across the Asia Pacific region. Let’s have a look at some of the common questions we get asked.

Q:  ‘I didn’t renew last year, do I have to re-sit my Instructor Examination?’

A:  No, we understand how hard the dive professional works to earn their status along with the time and dedication involved in becoming a respected PADI member. We also understand that sometimes life just happens, opportunities arise and diving can occasionally take a back seat. There is no reason you should be punished for that by having to start over again. Retraining varies depending on the circumstances and can be undertaken via several means.

Q: ‘I have been un-renewed for several years but have remained in the industry, is this taken in to account?’

A: Yes, again we appreciate that job roles can change and maybe your chances of teaching are reduced. If you have been running a dive store for a few years for example, this would be reflected in the retraining required.

Q: ‘How long can I be out of status before I have to re-sit by Instructor Examination?’

A: As previously mentioned, we do all we can to avoid this from happening. You would have to be out of status and away from the industry for a considerable amount of time before that would happen. Even in the event that you are required to complete your OWSI/IDC and IE again, we may be able to help with some of the costs involved as a thank you for coming back to us. It’s never too late!

So, if you want to take advantage of the many opportunities you have as a PADI professional once again, what are your retraining options if you have had a lapse in your membership?

The first option is to view a free Online Member Forum or attend a Live Member Forum in your area. Either of these will take around an hour of your time and are simply an update on PADI news, products, courses and standards. The next level would be a Status Update with a PADI Course Director, auditing an OWSI/IDC or an Online Status Update. To find your nearest Course Director, use the new PADI Dive Shop Locator. The Online Status Update will also include a Digital Product Suite (5 top of the range digital eLearning products) along with a digital PADI Guide To Teaching and digital PADI Instructor Manual to bring you back up to speed. If you have been out of status for too long to qualify for any of these options then it’s time for IDC/IE.

Once you have access to the PADI Pros’ Site, it’s a great idea to review the Training Bulletins that you will have missed since being away and to download the latest Instructor Manual to keep yourself familiar with the latest skills and standards. We have similar levels of retraining for PADI Divemaster, Assistant Instructor, EFR Instructor and PADI Freediver Instructor. It really is that easy to get back to what you love doing! Give your Regional Training Consultant a call and come back to the PADI family.

For more information on renewing as an inactive member call +61 2 9454 2888 or email a PADI Regional Training Consultant.

Teaching Diving is Teaching Life

As early as the 1950s, scientific research began demonstrating that sports have significant benefits. Early research focused on physical activity in team sports, but today, research is broader and looks at mental as well as physical changes. It also looks beyond team sports to include adventure/extreme sports like mountain biking, kayaking, base jumping, and (of course) scuba. The latest findings suggest that sports that give an adrenaline rush develop skills that apply to everyday life.

Life Lessons: Confidence, Self-Reliance, Self-Control

Adventure sports tend to be more individual and have a perceived higher degree of risk than competitive team sports. This helps participants learn to rely on themselves as they stretch beyond their comfort zones, which builds confidence. But, many adventure sports (including diving) have strong teamwork aspects, which develops socialization and cooperative interaction skills much as do team sports. Anecdotal and research evidence finds that adventure-sport participants tend to be calmer, more confident, mentally stronger, more self-disciplined and better able to handle stress situations. One study found that extreme sport participants who experience fear and close calls not only exhibited more ability to manage fear, but also more humility.

Connected to the Environment

Unlike field/stadium team sports, which are usually played on constructed ball fields, stadiums and parks, adventure sports take participants into the environment because almost all of them require relatively natural settings. The benefit of this is that adventure-sport participants tend to develop a positive, protective relationship with the environment because their activities are integrated with it rather than separated from it. This social benefit, many argue, develops learners who are environmentally aware and sensitive, which is important because our collective future depends upon our relationship with the environment.

Old Dogs Do Learn New Tricks

Physical activity is known to benefit our health in our senior years, and now it seems that suitable mental challenges prevent – and in some ways can reverse – mental decline. Studies find that older adults who keep learning new skills tend to stay more active and enjoy better cognitive and memory performance. But, research finds that this learning must be challenging with demands on both thinking and memory. Most adventure sports require new skills, planning, assessing conditions and social interaction, making them good fits for the purpose of helping slow mental decline in older adults, as well as providing physical activity. The limiting factor for seniors is the ability to meet the physical requirements of a given adventure sport.

The Takeaways

Of all adventure sports, diving is probably open to the widest range of age, culture, physical abilities and other demographic characteristics. It is likely the adventure sport with the widest access for senior participants. These characteristics make diving suited to offering benefits to -divergent markets with differing, specialized interests and needs.

  1. You’re not just “teaching scuba.” You’re teaching skills that have broad personal applications. This can be a useful message when presenting learn-to-dive opportunities to different groups as well as individuals.
  2. Market these “extra” benefits. Especially with institutions like youth, senior and environmental groups, it is exactly these developmental and environmental connections that add a reason to participate in diving or allow you to offer it to their members.
  3. Target the “nonteamers.” Scuba will appeal to many people who can’t or don’t want to participate in team sports, yet offer many of the same benefits.
  4. Target the “teamers,” too. Diving will also appeal to people who do like team sports. Scuba gives such groups something more individual in nature that they can do together, with some distinct challenges and benefits.
  5. Continue education. Senior divers may feel like they “just” want to be PADI® Open Water Divers, but continuing education offers new, deeper mental challenges, socialization and physical activity – all associated with benefits for older adults.

References

  • Association for Psychological Science (2013) Learning new skills keeps an aging mind sharp. (psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/learning-new-skills-keeps-an-aging-mind-sharp.html)
  • English Outdoor Council. Values and benefits of outdoor education, training and recreation. (englishoutdoorcouncil.org/Values_and_benefits.htm)
  • Adventure sports. (learn.healthpro.com/adventure-sports/)
  • Mathis, B. (2017) What are the benefits of adventure sports? (livestrong.com/article/149821-what-are-the-benefits-of-adventure-sports/)
  • OMG Lifestyle (2017) Major health benefits of adventure sports. (omglifestyle.co.uk/major-health-benefits-adventure-sports/)
  • Scott, K. (2015) The surprising benefits of extreme sports. (coach.nine.com.au/2015/10/19/13/34/the-surprising-benefits-of-extreme-sports)
  • Smart Health Shop (2018) Surprising mental benefits of doing extreme sports. (blog.smarthealthshop.com/2018/04/10/surprising-mental-benefits-of-doing-extreme-sports/)
  • org. The health benefits of sport and physical activity.(sportanddev.org/en/learn-more/health/health-benefits-sport-and-physical-activity)
  • Vitelli, R (2012) Can lifelong learning help as we age? (psychologytoday.com/us/blog/media-spotlight/201210/can-lifelong-learning-help-we-age)
  • The Wellness Seeker, Extreme sports benefits and health promotion. (thewellnessseeker.com/extreme-sports-benefits-health-promotion/)

A version of this article originally appeared in the 4th Quarter 2018 edition of The Undersea Journal®.

The Undersea Journal First Quarter 2019 – Now Available

Each quarter The Undersea Journal is filled with stories and articles that help you stay informed and inspired as a PADI Professional.

The First Quarter 2019 edition includes articles on; tips for turning students into engaged divers, how to make PADI’s marketing resources work for you, DEMA show updates, dive shops making a difference, how travel helps a commitment to dive, and many other articles.

There are several digital reading options for you to access this publication:

If you’ve opted for the printed version, it will continue to be delivered to your mailing address.

If you have any questions please contact customerservice.ap@padi.com.

Training Tips for PADI Specialties of the Quarter

Wreck- Diving- Wreck Diving- Shipwreck

Written by PADI Regional Training Consultant, Brigit Jager

With the summer high season at our doorstep throughout Oceania, it’s not hard to make the most of the current quarter’s PADI Specialties. With these two PADI Specialties on offer, you have the flexibility to promote whichever specialty best suits your dive shop or local area.

PADI Wreck Diver

There are many amazing wrecks in the region that make it rather easy for you to offer this specialty – be it in your immediate local area, or as an exciting dive travel opportunity for your customers. To name just a few famous ones:

In Australia: ex-HMAS Swan (W.A.), ex-HMAS Hobart (S.A.), ex-HMAS Canberra (VIC), ex-HMAS Adelaide (NSW), ex-HMAS Brisbane, SS Yongala and soon also ex-HMAS Tobruk (QLD).

In New Zealand: Rainbow Warrior and HMNZS Canterbury (North Island).

In the rest of Oceania: SS President Coolidge (Vanuatu) and numerous WWII wrecks (Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and many more).

Wreck- Diving- Wreck Diving- Shipwreck

PADI Digital Underwater Photographer

We all know that every diver wants to show what they’ve seen underwater, so why not teach them how easy it is to take more than just an average snap shot picture? After completing this specialty course, your students will go home and proudly share their awesome digital underwater images to all family & friends (and on social media) – which in turn no doubt brings more business into your dive shop.

We’re so lucky that Oceania offers a wide range of exceptional marine environments that many divers can’t wait to see and take pictures of. So this is yet another PADI Specialty that helps you make the most of your local area this summer high season, or on that special dive trip. The following are just some examples of the outstanding opportunities Oceania has to offer for underwater photography students:

In Australia: leafy seadragons (S.A.), nudibranchs (VIC), weedy seadragons (NSW), coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef (QLD, during full moon this November).

In New Zealand: Poor Knight Islands (North Island) and Milford Sound (South Island – exceptional clear waters, 7 gill sharks, to name a few attractions).

In Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Island Countries: coral reefs teeming with life, reef and oceanic sharks, dolphins … (from Fiji all the way to French Polynesia).

It’s impossible to name all marine animals – However, my point is: are you making the most of all of these fantastic opportunities in your area?

Underwater Photography- Photography

PADI Asia Pacific is already promoting the PADI Specialties of the Quarter to consumers around the world. To help you promote these courses in your own dive shops, you can download the easy-to-adopt free digital marketing materials, available in English, Korean, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. The toolkit includes PADI Specialty of the Quarter web banners, headers and more.

Here are 3 easy steps to get you started:

  1. Download marketing toolkit
  2. Advertise online and in store
  3. Bundle/Link PADI specialties with other PADI core courses

What next? Be ready for students who are interested in the PADI Wreck Diver and PADI Digital Underwater Photographer specialty courses and place your orders for required student materials online or contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant – they’re available to take your orders, answer questions or offer guidance.

The Undersea Journal – Fourth Quarter 2018 – Now Available

Each quarter The Undersea Journal is filled with stories and articles that help you stay informed and inspired as a PADI Professional.

The Fourth Quarter 2018 edition includes articles on Trends in Teaching and Training, Digital Optimization, The Revised Project AWARE Specialty Course,  Dive Travel, Family Additions, Gear and much more.

There are several digital reading options for you to access this publication:

If you’ve opted for the printed version, it will continue to be delivered to your mailing address.

If you have any questions please contact customerservice.ap@padi.com.

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

Building Water Confidence in Training

Written by PADI Regional Training Consultant, Robert Scammell

As PADI Professionals, especially when based in resort environments with a diverse client base, we face a wide variety of challenges to learning whilst teaching students. These can vary and include differences in educational backgrounds, culture and language. However the greatest thrill as a PADI Professional is seeing the look on your students face when they overcome obstacles and begin enjoying and sharing our passion for the underwater world.

Many of us are familiar with helping students who need help mastering the RDP or clearing their mask and are happy in spending the time with students who may be facing these and many other obstacles. However sometimes we need to remember that maybe we need to wind things back even further and help our students gain confidence, in just, purely being in water.

For many of us confidence in water becomes a motor skill, like walking, running and talking, from an early age. I remember my grandmother, who couldn’t swim, taking me to the local pool once a week as a small boy to ensure I gained the confidence she never had. Others are not so lucky.

With the diverse cultural backgrounds we face in our ever expanding industry we need to remember that we will meet students who wish to enjoy scuba diving as much as the next person but they just need us, as professionals, to help them gain their water confidence. They may have grown up in a land-locked environment, have an embedded cultural fear of water or simply not had those opportunities to build up confidence in the water.

So is it right to assume that our students are comfortable donning mask, fins and snorkel and then spending most of our time talking about BCD’s and regulators when all of the time the student is wondering what the funny things on their feet and face are?

In conversation recently with an instructor he was explaining to me how he found that PADI Discover Scuba Diving participants got a lot more from the program by him helping them don and adjust mask fins and snorkel correctly and helping them initially gain confidence with these before progressing to scuba. Similarly another example is an instructor being aware that he would have to spend more time building water confidence with his PADI Discover Scuba Diving participants and having completed this how much they enjoyed their subsequent open water dives and were hungry to learn more.

Simply by remembering that learning to dive is helping build confident and competent divers and taking the time to help them build basic water skills is equally as important as every other part of training. Bear in mind that sharing our passion helps create the divers of the future so that customer will come back to you, recommend you to a friend and share ever-lasting memories.

Next time you turn up for work and your boss tells you that your students are from “XYZ” country, don’t roll back your eyes and imagine endless problems because of perceived backgrounds. As a PADI Professional, an educator, take on the challenge you may be surprised!

If you have any questions please contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant at training-sales@padi.com.au.

PADI Regional Training Consultant, Robert Scammell