The Unifying Power of Diving

It’s a wonderful thing just how diverse we humans are. We differ in skin color, gender, physical details, language, culture etiquette, clothing and customs, and these are just obvious differences above deeper ones, like values, emotions, beliefs and even how we think.

Bonaire Diver - Scuba Diver - Women In Diving

As the world shrinks, cultural differences and inherent tribalism increasingly cause friction, competition, bias, rivalries, prejudice, political discourse, war, social separation and other by-products, which is one reason intercultural communication is a rapidly rising, global priority. It studies effective, positive and constructive communication across cultures, customs, borders, languages and other variations in people groups. As it happens, diving is an effective, positive and constructive intercultural communication vehicle in at least three main ways (probably more).

1. Diving teaches us a common language. If you dive internationally, you may have experienced something like this: A diver points to two fingers at their eyes, then one finger in some direction, followed by a hand vertically at the forehead. Above water, they might have shouted, “¡Mira! ¡Tiburón!,” “देखो! शार्क!” or “봐봐요! 상어!,” and you wouldn’t understand. They told you, “Look! Shark!” and underwater you got it, regardless of what voice languages you do or don’t speak. As divers, we constantly communicate with formalized signals, improvised gestures and expressions. We don’t even need a common voice language for things like predive safety checks or to help each other back onto the boat, and we communicate clearly. This is not a small point because language is the fundamental – the very heart of understanding, interaction and respect between people. It is the basis for higher level thinking, and one of the strongest factors that brings cultures together.

2. Diving generates interpersonal experiences. Social psychologist Gordon Allport’s contact hypothesis says that interpersonal contact is one of the most effective ways to reduce prejudice (i.e., create understanding) between groups, and diving together can be a close, interpersonal contact. Increasingly, dive tourism puts us with dive professionals, buddies and others from other parts of the world – at some top dive destinations today, it’s common to hear three or more languages on deck. Diving not only gives us interpersonal contact through experiences shared, but through responsibility shared. When buddied and on group tours, we rely on each other to dive safely as a team, and to be there for each other if there’s a problem. After the dive, we post and share images together, sign logbooks, get ready to go again, etc. It’s difficult to do things together and depend on each other, and not come to know and understand each other, at least a little better.

3. We are an inclusive community united by common purposes. There’s a 4th century proverb, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” which applies very much to diving. Because we have a passion for the underwater world, anything that threatens it is our common enemy, and we unite against the threat. In the past few years alone, millions of divers around the world have come together to ban shark finning, preserve threatened species, restore coral, eliminate plastic waste and spread the healing power of diving. Against these threats and human needs, cultural differences fade because we’re in this together, and these are everyone’s problems.

Scuba Diver - Underwater - All Okay Signal - Bahamas

As divers, our messages and images crisscross the planet in social media, drawing others from all walks and places to these causes, and to diving too. Moreover, our cross-cultural diversity adds legitimacy to what we say: When millions of divers (and those we influence) raise their voices in every country, in every language, from every culture, to every government, it cannot be a regional bias, special interest or part of a political agenda. Japanese poet Ryunosuke Satoro put it, “Individually we are a drop. Together, we are an ocean.” Wise words – and fitting. The oceans are nature’s most powerful force.

Let’s not overstate things though. Diving cannot, by itself, bring about the intercultural communication and cooperation the world needs to rise against these global challenges. But, diving is absolutely a needed unifying force pushing back against a myriad of social forces that try to divide and defeat us (meaning everyone, not just divers). In my opinion, this by itself, is a reason to be a diver, and a reason to invite others into diving.

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO

PADI Business Management Program – Perth, Australia

PADI Business Management Program

Join us on 3rd September 2019 for our PADI Business Management Program in Perth.

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 27th 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 alison.hush@padi.com.au or your PADI Regional Manager.

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

Register Now for PADI Training Bulletin Live Webinars

PADI Training Bulletin Live

Please join us for one of these live, interactive presentations of the PADI Training Bulletin, Third Quarter 2019 edition. During these FREE presentations you will have explained the latest standard changes, plus you can test your knowledge with a series of fun and interactive poll questions.

Training Bulletin LIVE- 3Q19 English 

Tuesday 16th July 2019, 6pm AEST (UTC+10)

Training Bulletin LIVE- 3Q19 Korean

Thursday 18th July 2019, 2pm KST (UTC+9)

Training Bulletin LIVE- 3Q19 Chinese

Tuesday 23rd July 2019, 6pm CST (UTC+8)

What do you need to do before the event?

First of all make sure you are registered by clicking the relevant link above. The above listed starting times are in the presenters’ local time zones – to ensure you don’t miss out, please verify the equivalent in your own time zone.

On the day all you will need is a computer/tablet or notebook connected to the internet and a set of speakers or headphones to listen in. Login early to ensure your system is functioning properly.

For more information about using the GoToMeeting software reference the GoToMeeting Attendee Quick Reference Guide (PDF).

You can download the latest PADI Training Bulletin by logging into the PADI Pros’ Site and then clicking on ‘Training Essentials’ and ‘Training Bulletins’. It is useful to have a copy for your immediate reference when you are listening to webinar. Under this heading you will also find recordings on previous webinars and registration links to future events.

Seminar Credits

If you sign up and attend this webinar plus another four PADI Asia Pacific LIVE webinars within a 36-month period, you will receive one seminar credit, which can count towards a future PADI Course Director Application. There are no seminar time restrictions for Master Instructor applicants.

To receive a seminar credit for having attended five live webinars, or for having watched five recordings of webinars, please submit either the webinar confirmation email or write a brief synopsis about what was presented during the webinar then submit these documents together with your Master Instructor or Course Director Training Course application.

We look forward to seeing you online!

For more information please email training-sales@padi.com.au 

The Implications of Missing Skills

This month we look at the implications of removing skills when teaching PADI courses. The consequences may be greater than you think!

Let’s look at a couple of incidents that highlight the importance of teaching the performance requirements of each course in the proper sequence.  

Emergency Weight Drop skill

In the PADI Open Water Course students must demonstrate mastery of the emergency weight drop skill (Page 56, PADI Instructor Manual). The standard requires:

“During any dive, in either confined or open water, at the surface in water too deep in which to stand, with a deflated BCD, have student divers use the weight system’s quick release, to pull clear and drop sufficient weight to become positively buoyant.”

Incident

During a PADI Open Water course an instructor failed to teach a group of six students the PADI Emergency Weight Drop Skill. The students were all certified as PADI Open Water Divers. Subsequently, the group continued to dive together as certified divers. On one particular dive one of the students BCD’s failed to inflate on the surface. Unable to stay afloat, he panicked and started kicking and flailing his arms. Despite trying to orally inflate the BCD he couldn’t get enough air into it and he was struggling to keep his head afloat. As a result of using all this energy and inhaling some water he became unconscious and subsequently drowned on the surface. During the investigation it became apparent that he had not been taught the emergency weight belt drop skill which could have potentially saved his life. The family of the victim sued the instructor and won their claim for contributory negligence and damages. The failure to teach this skill was found to be one of the causes of his death.

Watermanship: Swim/Snorkel and Swim/Float

For our second incident we concern ourselves with Watermanship Skills from the PADI Open Water Course. Page 53 of the PADI Open Water Manual describes the requirements for the waterskills assessment as below:

 “Before Open Water Dive 2, have student divers demonstrate that they can comfortably maintain themselves in water too deep in which to stand by completing a 10-minute swim/float without using any swim aids.

At some point before certification, have students complete a 200 metre/yard continuous surface swim or a 300 metre/yard swim with mask, fins and snorkel.”

Incident

During this incident the instructor decided to allow his four Open Water student to complete a modified 200m swim. He allowed his students to simply pull themselves around a boat by a rope attached to the side of the boat and not actually swim at all. He certified them as PADI Open Water Divers. Two of the students decided to continue with their PADI Advanced Open Water Course at another dive centre. This centre failed to undertake a pre-assessment of the students and started the PADI Advanced Open Water with the Deep Dive. During the dive one of the students got into difficulties in a current. He was swept away from the group. After a search his body was found on the bottom and he was late pronounced dead. The cause of his death was listed as ‘drowning’.  His partner told authorities that neither she nor he could swim and neither had ever met the watermanship performance requirements during their Open Water course.

Whilst many factors contributed to his death, the PADI Open Water Instructor was found to be negligent in their failure to assess watermanship during the PADI Open Water Course.

These examples shows us how important it is to teach all of the skills in each PADI programme. Each skill is in the course for a reason. What may appear to be a minor infringement to some people can have serious consequences later. From a moral perspective we have a responsibility to teach people the skills in each course so that they may be able to conduct dives of that type in a similar environment in a comfortable manner. This is not just about us and our needs. It is about holding a position of responsibility to ensure that each diver you certify is capable of undertaking the dive level and type that you have certified them for.

When an instructor takes it upon themselves to decide what skills will and won’t be completed in a course they expose themselves to liability. Remember the question to ask yourself is “would reasonably prudent dive instructor conduct the programme or course in the same way?” If the answer is no then your ability to defend a legal claim may be remote. Your ability to provide a reasonable answer to family and friends asking how this could have happened is lessened.

Sometimes people make decisions like this due to poor weather, time constraints or pressure from customers to get finished before mastering the skills. There is no justification for modifying courses or failing to teach the required standards. Breaches of this nature are considered very serious and can lead to punitive action being taken against the instructor and/or the store.

As PADI members we strive collectively to maintain our high standards thus protecting ourselves, the diving public and the PADI brand. If the PADI brand is damaged so is our ability to attract customers and grow our careers. Protecting the standards is in everyone’s best interests.

If you have any concerns about incidents or standards email us at qa@padi.com.au.

PADI | GoPro Evolution Contest Moves on to Part 2 – EDIT

Go Pro Evolution Contest - Go Pro - Contest

By now you’ve heard that PADI® has partnered with GoPro to present the three-part Evolution video contest series, which will run through 2019. It’s now down to just two parts, since the CAPTURE contest ended 30 May (with more than 1,200 entries). If you missed your chance to enter the CAPTURE contest, there’s still an opportunity for you or your divers to win great prizes.

The second contest, EDIT, opens 1 July and closes 15 August, and tests video-editing skills by asking you to artfully piece together a series of clips provided by GoPro. (The final contest, CAPTURE/EDIT, runs 16 September through 31 October and requires putting everything together – capturing and editing – into one awesome story.) While the focus is on editing GoPro’s underwater clips, the EDIT contest is still a great opportunity to grow your business:

  • Sell the Digital Underwater Photographer specialty. The Digital Underwater Photographer specialty course doesn’t just teach how to shoot great stills and video; it teaches divers how to tell a story. This includes shooting and editing. Whether it’s Adobe Premiere Pro, Windows Movie Maker, Final Cut Pro or even GoPro’s free-to-download Quik software, there are dozens of great video editing programs your students can learn. Quik makes video editing seamless with panning and time-lapse effects, and the ability to sync music to clips with just a few clicks. Sell your divers the complete storytelling experience with a Digital Underwater Photography course,  then…
  • Sell more GoPro cameras (and accessories). Even though GoPro provides the clips to edit a story together and GoPro’s Quik software is free to download, meaning there’s no purchase necessary to enter the EDIT contest, what you’re really selling is the experience and the chance to enter the third contest, CAPTURE/EDIT. That means selling divers a GoPro camera along with the Digital Underwater Photography course, and putting it all together.

Download logos, images and other GoPro assets to promote the PADI | GoPro Evolution video contest on your page, and good luck.

Gearing Up for PADI Women’s Dive Day 2019

Women in Diving - PADI Women's Dive Day - Scuba Diving

On July 20, 2019, thousands of divers in hundreds of locations around the world will be celebrating, and diving, during the fifth annual PADI Women’s Dive Day. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to bring together your community in the spirit of diving and camaraderie.

Past events have brought divers of all ages, shapes, and genders for some exciting, and inviting dive events. If you’re looking for inspiration to start your own PADI® Women’s Dive Day event, it’s not too late!

Check out this small sampling of the hundreds of cool and worthwhile experiences already planned to help you with ideas:

  • Asia Divers in Puerto Galera, Philippines, has devoted the weekend of July 20-21 to PADI Women’s Dive Day. The “Healthy Ocean, Healthy Body” weekend will include a Dive Against Debris®, freediving lessons and freedives, a night-time “blackwater” dive, as well as yoga, fresh fruit and drinks, and healthy meals throughout the two days.
  • For “Operation Conservation,” Dive World in Austin, Texas, together with a local Girl Scouts troop at Windy Point Park, will have an underwater trail of facts and suggestions on how to protect aquatic ecosystems and #divelikeagirlscout!
  • Lanzarote Non Stop Divers isn’t satisfied with just one day dedicated to women in diving, they’re devoting an entire week! (Yeah, you can totally do this too!) From July 15-20, women of all ages can do any PADI course in the center for 50 percent off plus they get a free dive in the underwater art museum, the Atlantic Museum.
  • A dive shop that’s giving back to the community at a high level, Scuba Ventures in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, is running a PADI Women’s Dive Day event that will raise funds for a local women’s shelter and rape response group.
  • Azul Unlimited in Komodo, Indonesia, is offering a special discount for day trips and has organized a Dive Against Debris event that will take place at their Project AWARE® Adopt a Dive Site™, Batu Bolong.

If you need more inspiration to create your own event, or to find an event to participate in, visit the PADI Women’s Dive Day page for ideas, tips and tricks to get divers – both female and male – into your store for the day, weekend, or entire week of diving and fun!

Make sure you Register Your Event as a PADI Dive Shop or PADI Professional.

Career Opportunity: Instructor Development Coordinator

We are have a career opportunity for an Instructor Development Coordinator to join PADI Asia Pacific’s Instructor Development team based in Sydney, Australia.

Seeking suitably qualified PADI Instructors, your role will involve providing the efficient organisation, coordination and support of all Instructor Development programs and activities. Key duties include maintaining event details, logistics and annual schedule of events and function as the primary contact person for inquiries from PADI Members and staff.

Further information: Visit My PADI Pros Site ‘Employment’ section or <click here> for the job description.

To Apply: Please send your CV to alison.vasek@padi.com.au

Applications close: 28th June 2019

You must have appropriate citizenship, residency or visa with the right to work in Australia.

Instructor Development Update -2019 PADI Asia Pacific

Bonaire - Open Water Diver - Scuba Instructor - PADI

Calling all PADI Course Directors and IDC Staff Instructors, join us for the 2019 Instructor Development Update. This update is mandatory for all PADI Course Directors intending to teach the revised Instructor Development Course (IDC). It covers the new IDC standards and curriculum including a review of the new IDC eLearning program and other associated tools. This includes the PADI Course Director Manual, evaluation tools and lesson guides, various workshops that are now part of the IDC and comprehensive evaluation training on the new criteria for Knowledge Development and Confined and Open Water.

The Instructor Development Update will include refreshments and lunch with the exceptions of Hong Kong and Seoul.  Hong Kong and Seoul will start mid to late in the afternoon and run through into the evening with refreshments and dinner.

Topics include:

  • Overview of the Revised IDC and New Materials
  • Standards and Curriculum Overview
  • Using Your Digital Material
  • Evaluation Training – Knowledge Development
  • Evaluation Training – Confined and Open Water

Registration will be available online soon. In the meantime we suggest you select your preferred venue from the options below and secure the date in your calendar.

Instructor Development Update schedule:

Date Location Time Venue
14 Sep Bali, Indonesia 9:00 –
16:00
Swiss-Belresort Watu Jimbar
16 Sep Cairns, Australia 9:00 –
16:00
Holiday Inn Esplanade
18 Sep Sydney, Australia 9:00 –
16:00
Stamford Airport Hotel
25 Sep Auckland, New Zealand 9:00 –
16:00
Novotel Auckland Airport
1 Oct Koh Tao, Thailand 9:00 –
16:00
Regal Resort
3 Oct Phuket, Thailand 9:00 –
16:00
Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort
5 Oct Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 9:00 –
16:00
Holiday Inn Glenmarie
10 Oct Manila, Philippines 9:00 – 16:00 Belmont Hotel
12 Oct Cebu, Philippines 9:00 –
16:00
Pacific Cebu Resort
15 Oct Hong Kong 15:00 – 22:00 Cityview Hotel
17 Oct Shanghai, China 9:00 –
16:00
Noble Center
19 Oct Taipei, Taiwan 9:00 –
16:00
The Howard Hotel
4 NovJeju, South Korea 9:00 –
16:00
Bareve Hotel Jeju
5 Nov Seoul, South Korea 15:00 – 22:00 Olympic Parktel

Frequent Trainer Programme discounts apply to the CD Update programme fee. A comprehensive materials package is available for purchase at a very favourable price. The package includes materials required for conducting the PADI Instructor level courses and the new digital IDC Crewpak with IDC eLearning.

For more information contact PADI Asia Pacific Instructor Development at instdev@padi.com.au or any member of the PADI Asia Pacific Instructor Development department team.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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 alison.hush@padi.com.au or your PADI Regional Manager.

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