Conducting CESA

The Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent (CESA) is one of the most complex skills in the Open Water Diver course. It’s also an important emergency procedure to learn. After successfully completing the skill in confined water, applying it in open water instills confidence in novice divers that in the unlikely situation in which an alternate or redundant air isn’t available in an emergency, there is another option.

Organizing the skill so students fulfill the requirements in open water takes logistical preparation. Here’s clarification of some key points to help you set this skill up for success.

The requirements in the Open Water Diver Course Instructor Guide from the PADI® Instructor Manual state:

Setting up the Exercise

Use a vertical control line buoyed by a surface float. Ensure that the line is either tied off firmly at the bottom or held down with sufficient weight to enable you to stop the ascent at any time by grasping it with a hand or leg wrap while holding the student firmly. Conduct the skill one student at a time while maintaining physical contact with both the student and the control line.

The intent of using a secured vertical line is to provide you with as much control as possible in terms of ascent rate, stopping or slowing the ascent, and monitoring the student’s exhalation while looking for signs of stress. For proper control, you must grasp both the student and the control line. Either hold the line with your hand or use the leg wrap technique to maintain contact with the line.

Holding the Student

A common, effective technique is to firmly grasp the student’s BCD at a point where you can position yourself slightly higher than the student. This allows you to easily see the student’s face looking up toward you, and hear and see continual exhalation. Remember not to hold your own breath while watching and listening for your student’s continual exhalation as you both ascend.

Holding the Line

Effective control means you can immediately stop or slow the diver’s ascent. This can only be done if the line is thick enough and is secured both at the bottom and surface.

  • Line thickness
    • The diameter must be large enough (at least 12 millimetres/½ inch) to allow you to easily wrap your leg or hand around it, pull it taut, and stop you and the diver from further ascent. A thin line, such as a reel line, does not provide enough stability or adequate support to reliably stop an ascent.
  • Line secured
    • At the surface. The line must be secure at the surface. If secured to a float, ensure that the float is big enough so it doesn’t submerge when you pull on the line. It must have enough buoyancy to remain on the surface with two divers (you and the student) on the line. Surface marker buoys or small floats that easily submerge do not provide enough positive buoyancy for this skill. Keep in mind that the float also serves as a buoyant surface support at the end of the skill once the student reaches the surface.
  • At the bottom. The line must also be secured on the bottom. It must not pull free when used to halt two divers’ ascent. Secure the line using something that will hold the line firmly on the bottom (such as an anchor); or to a bottom attachment, such as a mooring pin. The bottom composition and location will dictate what is most appropriate. You know that securing a line to coral or other living bottom material is inappropriate.

When set up in this manner, the CESA line can also be used as a descent/ascent line during training, and provide a secured reference to conduct other skills during the Open Water Diver course.

For additional tips and techniques, review the Open Water Diver Course Conduct and Skill Recommendations in PADI’s Guide to Teaching.

This originally appeared in the 2nd Quarter 2019 Training Bulletin. You can read a PDF of the full edition here.

PADI Business Management Program Auckland, New Zealand

PADI Business Management Program

Join us on 28th August 2019 for our PADI Business Management Program in Auckland.

This new program will encourage you to think critically and creatively about management practice. You will gain an all-round understanding of how dive businesses and managers should function in a domestic environment while also developing analytical, problem solving and strategic planning skills that are attractive within the dive industry. The PADI Business Management Program will equip PADI professionals with the core knowledge and skills necessary to operate a cutting edge PADI dive business.

Led by industry experts, and with interactive presentations ranging from pricing strategy to store layout and staff management, this is an essential program for PADI Dive Store stakeholders aiming to raise the bar and increase turnover and profit in 2019.

The PADI Business Management Program in Asia Pacific will include the below presentations in 2019.

Attracting loyal customers

  • Elements of a Successful Website
  • Social Media and Video

Closing a profitable sale

  • Staff Training
  • Selling at a Profit
  • Great Customer Service

Bonus – Early Bird Offer & 4th Attendee Free

Register before 17th July to receive AUD $20 off the cost of your registration. Plus, with every third paid attendee, you will receive a fourth free. So get in quick and register your spot today!

Register Now

If you have further questions please contact or your PADI Regional Manager.

View dates and locations for additional PADI Business Management Programs in 2019 on the PADI Pros blog.

Congratulations to our 2018 PADI Elite Instructor Award Recipients

With the New Year well under way, we would like to congratulate all our 2018 PADI Elite Instructor Award recipients. These PADI Elite Instructor Award recipients are our top certifying PADI Instructors who have received an Elite Instructor Award for issuing 50, 100, 150, 200 or more than 300 certifications throughout 2018.

The Elite Instructor Award distinguishes PADI professionals by highlighting their experience as PADI Members and gives them the means to promote their elite status to student divers, potential students, prospective employers and others. Elite Instructor Award recipients will receive an acknowledgement letter and recognition certificate (signed by PADI President and CEO Dr. Drew Richardson), a decal to add to their instructor cards, and an e-badge they may use on emails, websites, blogs and social media pages. Elite award instructors may authorize PADI Dive Centres or Resorts with which they associate, to display their Elite Instructor Award on the business’ digital site as well.

Want to see who achieved a PADI Elite Instructor Award in 2018? Check out the 2018 Elite Instructor Recipient List on the Pros Site. Listed PADI instructors can download their 2018 Elite Instructor e-badge and will be able to view their e-badge on their PADI Pro Check results page.

For more information including qualifying certifications, visit the PADI Elite Instructor Award page on the PADI Pros’ Site. To see your current certifications count, view your Students Count Report.

If you have any questions please contact

February Tips from the PADI Quality Management Team

Each month the PADI Quality Management team continues to bring you tips on how to maintain and improve safety in your professional diving activities. This month we heard from Quality Management Consultant, Rebecca Wastall.


This month we decided to fire frequently asked questions to the Quality Management team to see if things are actually fact or fiction!


Fiction. When a complaint comes in, the Quality Management Consultant looks at all the facts and the member’s history. When members deviate from PADI Standards, most often unintentionally, the Quality Management program acts to get members back on track and help them avoid future problems. Deliberate, repeat offenders, on the other hand, are dealt with firmly and can face suspension, retraining and expulsion from the organisation.


Fact. The Quality Management Consultants are here to support you. We are happy to receive calls and emails concerning standards or best practice, all of which will be held in confidence and not disclosed to anyone without your consent.


Fiction. As defined in the Instructor Manual a flexible skill must be conducted during the PADI Scuba Diver and PADI Open Water Course. The flexibility element allows the instructor to choose the best time to conduct the flexible skill within the parameters of either the PADI Scuba Diver or PADI Open Water programme. One of the best examples would be the Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent where the instructor would choose the best location and conditions for the CESA on Open Water dives 2, 3 or 4.


Fiction. The use of a control line to conduct the Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent is mandatory when conducting the CESA in the ocean as per the Instructor Manual at page 65. This skill is taught with a control line to make it realistic and safe. The control line is there for you to stop your student if they ascend too fast. It is unacceptable to overweight yourself or hold on to your student without a line to stop a runaway ascent. In addition please consider that a Surface Marker Buoy may not be of sufficient strength to act as a control line despite it being secured. Page 65 of the PADI Instructor manual clearly describes how to run this skill.


Fact. This form has been approved by the RSTC to cover standard liability for a period of 12 months if a student conducts more than one programme. This is providing they do not change the store the programmes are conducted at. A good example would be where a student takes both the PADI Advanced Open Water and then moves straight onto the PADI Specialty Diver Programme.


Fiction. The RSTC liability form only protects you from the “assumed” risks of diving. A good example would be the fact that scuba diving is conducted underwater and the student assumes any general risks involved with being submerged. It does not protect you from any actions that would be deemed negligent. A good question to ask yourself is “would a reasonably prudent PADI member act in the same way?” If the answer is yes it is likely that your actions are ok and you would not be found negligent. If the answer is no then you may be acting outside the normal parameters of diving and the assumed risks it holds. In these circumstances you could be held liable.


Fact. It is unacceptable to leave your students unattended during any training element of the PADI Open Water Course. The Instructor Manual requires direct supervision throughout. This can be found within the Instructor Manual at page 52.


Fiction. If you engage the services of a freelance instructor to undertake PADI courses at your store you have formed a legal relationship. If anything were to occur and negligence found, a store could still be vicariously liable for the freelance instructor’s actions in the same way as if they were an employee. In essence, there is a relationship between you and the instructor which involves a contract of services. This contract would allow a diver to sue both the individual member and store in any claim of negligence.


Fact. PADI standards do not allow you to pass your weight belt to your instructor or place your weight belt on the side of the pool in the conduct of this skill. If there are concerns about damaging the pool then use sand weights or soft matting to prevent damage. Make sure your students know why this skill needs to be mastered. They must understand in certain circumstances it could prevent an incident from occurring. See page p56 of the instructor manual for the full standard.


Fiction. This must be a continuous swim as defined at page 53 of the Instructor Manual. Remember if your students are struggling with this component of the PADI Open Water Course you can consider the 300m snorkel instead. Never modify the watermanship skills. Failure to master watermanship could lead to serious incidents in the future.

All the best in your professional diving activities and Let’s Dive Safe.

Rebecca Wastall | Quality Management Consultant, PADI Asia Pacific.


PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management – A Brief Recap of 2018

2018 has been a big year for the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Team! Seminars, webinars, member updates, member excellence awards, saying goodbye to old faces and as well as welcoming new ones into the team has kept us all extremely busy. Since this is our last article for the year, it seems only fitting that we take a look back on an excellent year and share some of our highlights with you.

Risk Management Programme

This year PADI members have attended an impressive amount of Risk Management Seminars in the field. Close to 50 seminars across 3 languages have been delivered live and in person for PADI members. Over 1200 PADI members from all walks of life attended these seminars spanning across Asia Pacific. Members contributed their ideas and real life experiences to help us all make diving as safe as we possibly can. PADI Risk Management Seminars feature relevant information which is compiled from real data and trends occurring in the field. Risk Management seminars give PADI members a chance to listen to real scenarios, ask questions and provide their input and experience. Problem solving and solution thinking feature strongly in these seminars. This programme is an enormous benefit of the membership and diving safety in general. Attendance is one of the benefits of your PADI membership so please join us for seminars in 2019.  Don’t forget by attending you will receive seminar credit to count towards higher PADI membership credentials.

The team has also had a lot of fun delivering our quarterly Risk Management Webinars this year with the introduction of our fictional PADI members Bob, Betty, Barry and Beatrice. During these webinars the team tackled realistic issues faced by PADI members through the eyes of our fictional members. The webinars are interactive which gives our members a chance to ask a wide array of questions which we endeavour to answer. Our polls help our members see what other member’s thoughts are on specific topics and also provide a great discussion point for all. Again, this is another valuable benefit of the membership so please keep a look out during 2019 for your email invitation to these quarterly Risk Management Webinars.

Member Recognition Programme

In 2018 the QM team had the pleasure of recognising PADI members for their excellence in the field. This programme recognises PADI members who received outstanding feedback from students and customers with regards to training and customer service. This year the QM team had the pleasure of delivering over 1000 Excellence Awards for our members in Asia Pacific. We also nominated members every month for the Member of the Month Awards (a global award recognising the best of the best). Finally recognising the efforts of Emergency First Response members in the field who provide first aid and rescue support at incidents they encounter is incredibly rewarding. Well done everyone and keep up the fantastic work!

Quality Management

Maintaining the high standards by which PADI members are know is a role for all of us. Whether it be store owners, centre manager, instructors or PADI staff we are all invested in keeping diving safe and providing excellence in training and customer experiences. Because of this commitment to excellence, the vast majority of PADI customers receive an excellent level of service. Where the level of training or service falls short of PADI standards, the Quality Management Department is there to provide support, education, retraining and in a small number of cases to take punitive action. For more about the Quality Management Programme refer to your Guide to Teaching or under consumer protection.

Newest Member

The QM team is very excited to welcome Kim Ngan who is our newest Quality Management Consultant. Kim has previously worked for PADI as a Regional Training Consultant, is a Master Instructor, and brings a wealth of expertise from her teaching background in Queensland. Be sure to say hello to Kim at one of our many seminars during 2019.

Thank You

As the year draws to a close we would like to thank our members for your support and remind you that in 2019 you can count on us to continue to deliver a superior level of Quality Assurance and Risk Management support to our individual and store members.

We welcome your feedback as always and you can contact us at or for incidents

We wish you all a wonderful festive season and that you all have happy, safe diving for the year to come!

All the best from your PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Team.


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.



Contact your PADI Regional Manager, Regional Training Consultant or the PADI Asia Pacific marketing team on

Responders in Action

When Emergency Responders use their skills to care for an injured or ill person, it’s significant and worth sharing. In this newsletter we’d like to share a good news story from Vanuatu.

If you know of any Emergency Responders who have used their Emergency First Response skills in an emergency situation, or if you’ve used your training to help someone in need, please send the information describing the action to Emergency First Response by using the Responder in Action Report form found in the Appendix of your EFR Primary and Secondary Care Instructor Guide and email it to so the Emergency Responders involved will receive formal recognition for their efforts.

This good news story from Vanuatu is a great example:

Last March PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer / EFR Instructor Wilfred ‘Wills’ Tileya # 330494 and PADI Divemaster / Emergency Responder Luaky Nabanga # 466304 (both working at PADI Five Star IDC Resort Big Blue # S36279 in Port Vila, Vanuatu) were going out for a night dive around 6:30pm, just after sunset.

Half way out at the channel they noticed a catamaran with four people waving franticly, trying to attract their attention. The Big Blue boat was the only boat out on the harbour. As they got closer, they noticed a person in the water face down and in distress.

Luaky grabbed him and managed to pull the man into the boat where he lay on the floor, breathing but unable to speak. The patient was put into the recovery position and returned to base, still unable to give his name. Wills called emergency services and tended to the patient, keeping him warm, until EMS arrived. He was treated on the scene and taken to hospital where he was released the following day.

Congratulations to Wills and Luaky – this person’s luck would have run out had you not spotted the emergency and responded in such an effective manner; well done!

Expand into Instructor Training

Are you an experienced EFR Instructor? Would you like to help new instructor candidates become EFR professionals? Training other professionals is a demanding but rewarding job.

Helping new EFR instructor candidates to gain instructor level knowledge and skill and then pass that on through positive coaching to their own students is the role of the EFR Instructor Trainer. As an EFRIT your own skills will also be polished as you role model instructor level teaching. You’ll also consider opportunities outside your normal market as you guide instructors considering work in a wide range of environments.

If you would like to be an EFR Instructor Trainer you will need to:

  • Be a current, authorised EFR Primary / Secondary Care Instructor
  • Be an EFR Care For Children Instructor
  • Have registered at least 25 EFR students, or
  • Have conducted at least 5 separate EFR courses


  • Successfully complete an EFR Instructor Trainer Course

For dates and locations of these courses CLICK HERE. Please note that additional locations are added throughout the year so if you don’t see one that is convenient for you, contact our Instructor Development team to see if one can be scheduled (bearing in mind each course is subject to a minimum number of participants).

Emergency First Response Manuals Go Digital

The first EFR digital student manuals are planned for release during 2018. With more and more people using their tablets, phones and computers the option for online and offline digital study materials is increasingly popular and in demand.

The manuals will be accessed through the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) platform which offers a great online and offline experience across various platforms. It also offers the ability to search for key words so that a learner can quickly find information to review or jump back to a specific topic or course content. Updates are almost seamless and each time the user logs in the most current content is available.

Watch out for further information and announcements with exact launch date.

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:

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO