You CAN Make A Difference

Blog post by PADI Regional Manager, Neil Richards

Introduced in November of 2016, PADI’s Four Pillar of Change corporate social responsibility program, is in full swing throughout Thailand. With some big goals in mind, we want to use this program as a platform to protect our ocean planet and introduce more people to it – we need your help! Get involved now and “Be a Force for Good”!

Ocean Health

PADI members in Bangkok, Koh Tao and Krabi recently hosted Jack Fishman, Project AWARE’s Community Conservation Officer (yes that’s his real name and it’s quite fitting). We hope you were able to attend one of his multiple lectures on Marine Debris or jumped on a boat to conduct a Dive Against Debris together.

Take Action

Conduct the Project AWARE Dive Against Debris® specialty with your students and remember to credit the dive towards the Advanced Open Water course. The materials are free to download for both Instructor and student as well, and the Instructor fees (if you haven’t applied already) are donated directly to Project AWARE. The data received from this dive is collated and used by Project AWARE to encourage policy change.

People & Community

PADI is actively reaching out to schools across Asia Pacific in an effort to create the next generation of ocean enthusiasts. We have designed presentations to be delivered in the local schools, which focus on marine life and conservation. Where possible, we will even offer a PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience to pique their interest and introduce them to breathing underwater.

Take Action

Conduct similar activities with schools, clubs and activity centres. Remember the youth of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. Encourage further education focusing on buoyancy skills and Project AWARE specialties.

Other opportunities to build a sense of community are participating in PADI Women’s Dive Day or getting involved with local causes.

Healing & Wellness

PADI’s approach to diver education has always been inclusive, but the new Adaptive Techniques and Adaptive Support Diver courses build upon PADI’s long history of working with divers with disabilities. PADI field service staff in will soon be hosting experts across different regions who can help increase awareness of differing abilities and how to apply adaptive techniques that cater to them.

Take Action

Once you have the Instructor level consider offering workshops to your own staff and Instructor colleagues. If you do know of any divers with disabilities ask them for tips about how they were able to overcome challenges. Think about how you can make changes to your store to accommodate a wider audience.

Marine Animals

Similar to the “Ocean Health” pillar with respect to our actions, PADI and Project AWARE have been offering workshops about Shark and Ray Tourism. If you were unable to attend a live version, please watch this space for webinars with similar discussion topics.

Take Action

Conduct the AWARE Shark Conservation specialty with your students and remember to credit the dive towards the Advanced Open Water course. This is a great opportunity to engage with divers, creating awareness of the plight of some of nature’s most majestic creatures. Remember the student and Instructor materials are free of charge and the Instructor application fees go straight to Project AWARE.

Also, keep an eye on the Project AWARE Social Channels and participate in petitions and surveys that they share. These go a long way towards informing worldwide policy change.

If we all join forces we can and will make a difference. If we don’t do something, who will?

 

 

PADI eLearning Environment Update

In the effort to provide PADI Divers an elegant customer journey from point of purchase to product completion, PADI is on a digital product mission. PADI has always been a world-class leader in diver education and has always been committed to creating the best diver training materials in the world and delivering them to the global network of PADI Dive Centers, Resorts and Professionals. PADI Members have always offered the world’s most sought-after diver certifications and have always enabled people to explore our water planet confidently and competently. So what is new? This has just become significantly easier. PADI is rolling out some major updates to the (newly named) eLearning Environment.

Today, PADI Members send a code from the online processing centre to their students to allow those users to access eLearning products. Users then get an email with a link to access the product and an option to choose communication emails in a language of their choice. None of these steps have changed.

But now, when users click the link in that email, they are then taken to a freshly designed page where they create accounts to access their digital products. (If they already have an account, they simply use their login credentials to access their new materials.) The speed and efficiency of the login and sign up processes has been significantly improved too.

The new environment is clean and uncluttered. There’s a menu bar across the top, which makes it nice and simple for users to find their way. It’s easy to access PADI.com (by clicking either the logo or the PADI.com item in the menu bar). It’s easy to change languages. There’s a help option where users can find the number to call (or click a link to send an email directly to) the PADI office that supports them. There’s also the ever-popular forgotten password option where users can enter their account email and get a link to reset their passwords. Information icons provide additional information should users need it. It’s a clean simple interface and it’s difficult to get confused.

Once users sign in, they have the option to confirm or change their address. Now the icon in the top left changes from PADI to PADI eLearning®, confirming users are in the eLearning Environment where all their courses reside. (A My Courses subhead confirms this). A simple, clean, panel identifies each course. Users can either click on the panel image or the View Courses box to access everything in their certification paks. All this content is clearly listed and seamlessly accessible, with user-friendly links and, one of the big improvements is that there is now only one single login to access the eLearning environment.

In their eLearning materials, users can see all the components in their certification paks: the tablet product, the low-resolution manual, the eRDPML and the eTraining Dive Log complete with a link straight to ScubaEarth where that log lives (instead of having to login yet again for ScubaEarth). Obviously, the components vary with the course.

The bottom line is that it’s a much cleaner, more organised, user environment. The menu bar follows users wherever they go, so they always have those options. Things just got a lot easier for eLearners. There’s a lot more in store, expect other features to roll out regularly.

The Small Print/Technical Requirements

Tablet & Mobile Devices

  • iOS tablet and phone operating system 9 (limited support) 10 and 11. Current Version and two previous versions
  • Android tablet and phone operating system Nougat and Oreo. Current version and two previous versions.

Desktop/Web Viewer

  • Mac OSX 10.10 or later, with the two most recent browser versions of Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer 11 or later
  • Windows 7 or 8.x with the two most recent browser versions of Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer 11 or later
  • Desktop Web View not supported on tablets or phones.

Last Chance to Register- PADI Business Academy Lite Chennai

This is your last chance to register for the upcoming PADI Business Academy Lite (One Day) in Chennai on Tuesday 26th June, 2018.

PADI-Business-Academy

Do you want to enhance your multi-channel marketing and business strategies this year and improve the overall effectiveness of your initiatives? Learn how by attending our one day PADI Business Academy Lite in Chennai.

This one day Business Academy will focus on topics such as:

  • Website
  • Sales
  • Social Media
  • Customer Service

There will also be dedicated workshop time, where PADI staff will help you work on specific action plans for your dive operation.

The number of attendees is limited to ensure that the PADI Business Academy staff can really focus on you. Register today to make sure you don’t miss out!

Click Here To Register.

For more information, please contact your PADI Regional Manager or email  Brooke.McConnell@padi.com.au

You can also view the rest of the upcoming Business Academies for 2018 here.

Maximise Your Potential

Written by PADI Regional Training Consultant, Mark Wastall.

One of the beauties with the PADI System of diver education is how flexible it can be, how easily adapted it’s timeline is, how it can cater for a variety of diving styles, how much it has moved with the times and how much potential there is to keep divers learning.

This style of training means that we, as Instructors, have the ability to be able to add to our students experience and add to the revenue generated from the course. The latter should be great news if you own or run your own dive centre, if you are a freelance Instructor paid by the course or an independent Instructor looking to maximise earning potential.

It is very easy to become blinkered into only teaching the course that is in front of you. ‘The student has asked for a PADI Open Water Course, that’s what I’ll teach them’ is a mindset that a lot of Instructors develop. We can sometimes miss the glaring opportunities that we are presented with. How many times have you told an Open Water student that they cannot take a camera on the training dives as it’s ‘against standards’ but were you aware that you can, in fact, link the PADI Open Water Course with PADI Digital Underwater Photographer LVL1? The knowledge development can be done at any time during the course. The Level 1 Photo dive can be done in confined after confined dive 3 or in the open water as part of the tour potion of dive 4. With 1 more dive after the PADI Open Water Course and the student has Level 2. As simple as that, you have just earned 2 certifications from 1 student, extra revenue for yourself or your dive center and you now have a student who can happily and comfortably take photos underwater. This could also lead to retail potential on top if you are a centre that has the opportunity to sell equipment.

With just a quick look at the PADI Instructor Manual, General Standards and Procedures, you can see how our courses can be linked together and how students can easily earn credit towards the next level of their diving. With this knowledge, you can help increase your Con-Ed ratios. A great help if you are working towards PADI Master Instructor or PADI Course Director.

Another easy course to link with any of the core courses is PADI Enriched Air Diver Course. The theory can be combined during the PADI Open Water Course for example and goes hand in hand when explaining No Decompression Limits. The practical application exercise can be conducted at any time during the course, maybe at the pool during equipment setup. As an enriched air dive is not required, this course can be run with very little overheads but again is 2 certifications and extra revenue.

These extra dives can also count towards a student’s PADI Advanced Open Water Course if the knowledge reviews have been completed or again, why not combine an Enriched Air tank on a deep dive of the PADI Advanced Open Water.

It doesn’t need to stop there either, adding PADI O2 Provider to the PADI Rescue Course is another way to upsell a course with very little extra time or outlay. The training structure can be your friend. Look for the opportunities, maximise your potential.

For further advice please don’t hesitate to contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant on training-sales@padi.com.au.

June Tips from the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Team

In 2018 the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management team continues to bring you tips from PADI staff in the field on how to maintain and improve safety in your professional diving activities. This month we heard from PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Manager, Michelle Brunton.

“Taking simple, small actions can make the biggest difference in reducing risk.” Michelle Brunton

The ‘Be safe- Be seen’ type campaigns for cyclists combined with driver education and changes to driving laws has been effective in many areas at reducing the risk of cyclists being hit by traffic.

Surface Markey buoys Dive flags have been around a long time and are one of the most simple and cost effective ways to reduce risk of surface boat incidents, yet they are still not used in every location where there is boat traffic. Incidents in which boats hit a diver have tragic consequences and are devastating for everyone involved. We should have a zero tolerance for these incidents and do everything possible to reduce the risk.

The U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Centre reports that from 2005 to 2013 boat-propeller strikes caused 636 injuries and 38 deaths of people engaged in water activities (boating, water skiing, swimming, snorkelling, diving, tubing, etc.); 442 of these injuries and 29 of these deaths were caused by a person being struck by a vessel.

After reviewing several incidents in which boats have hit divers the following aspects became noticeable:

WHEN: Boats can hit divers before, during and after a dive. We assume that these boat propeller incidents happen at the end of the dive when the divers ascend to the surface. But often they occur on the surface before the dive on during the dive when divers unintentionally get close to the surface.

We should be ensuring the start of the dive is smooth in terms of the descent and that divers are not placed in situations where they drift away from the marked descent line or into areas of boat movement. We should use a well-marked and clearly visible descent line where possible.

We often stress the importance of divers deploying their SMBs at the end of the dive during the safety stop to mark their location. But at the start of dives a diver has an ear problem having difficulty descending, conducting a buoyancy check, or getting more weight from the boat or shore. These situations mean the diver is on the surface possibly away from the pre-arranged descent area and possibly at higher risk of not being seen by a boat driver.

SNORKELING: We tend to think of SMBs and Flags for the use of SCUBA Divers, but what about snorkelers. How do we mark the location of snorkelers in areas of boat traffic? Some locations now require the marking of snorkelers so they are easily seen both by other boats and by the dive operation surface watch staff. So let’s ask ourselves “Does our dive store or resort supply marking buoys or surface marking devices suitable for both snorkelers and divers?

DIVER BEHAVIOUR CAN PUT THE DIVER AT RISK: Some incidents occur as a result of diver skills and behaviour. What diver behaviours could make a difference?

  • Using SMBs every dive – every time
  • Use a hand held float on dives with lots of boat traffic and/or drift dives
  • Training and practicing effective safe entry and descent skills
  • Being aware of boat traffic before the dive, at the safety stop and during ascent
  • Navigation skills – getting back to the planned exit point
  • Buoyancy skills – reducing the likelihood of unplanned surfacing during a dive
  • Know the weights you require – or if you are not sure get in the water and do buoyancy checks so that you can comfortably descend
  • Manage gas consumption – keep fit, plan the dive well in terms of depth, current and bottom time to avoid unplanned ascents due to low air situations

BOAT DRIVING BEHAVIOUR CAN PUT THE DIVER AT RISK: This one might be a bit more complex and requires some good leadership and teamwork between dive stores. Can we get together the operators in the area to talk about the management of boats at our dive sites? Can we come up with a local ‘good practice’ guideline for boat operators that will enhance safety? It might include:

  • Radio communications protocols during drop offs and pick ups
  • Establishing safe lanes where divers tend to surface
  • Agreements that all operators will use a dive flag when dives are in water
  • Agreements to reduce speeds around diving areas to even lower than local law requirements
  • Ensuring Dive professionals and other crew are vigilant on watch and letting the skipper know about DSMBs in the water and divers (especially on larger boats where the skipper cannot see everything)
  • Staggering dive entries between operators so that each boat has time to get in and out of the entry area safely

It is in all of our best interests to reduce the risk of boating incidents. Consider the whole picture and look for ways to reduce this risk:

The timing
The snorkeler
The diver behaviour
The boat behaviour

PADI Instructor Examinations for May, 2018

04 May | Wellington, New Zealand

05 May | Hong Kong

09 May | Amed, Indonesia

11 May | Komodo, Indonesia

11 May | Taipei, Taiwan

12 May | Auckland, New Zealand

12 May | Bali, Indonesia

12 May | Singapore

15 May | Gili Islands, Indonesia

16 May | Cebu, Philippines

16 May | Pattaya, Thailand

19 May | Phuket, Thailand

19 May | Shanghai, China

22 May | Koh Tao, Thailand

22 May | Perhentian Island, Malaysia

22 May | Puerto Galera, Philippines

24 May | Dumaguete, Philippines

26 May | Christchurch, New Zealand

27 May | Anilao, Philippines

28 May | Lembongan, Indonesia

GDPR – New Privacy Regulations in the Old World

GDPR – New Privacy Regulations in the Old World

You have likely heard that the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is here. But do you know what it is, what it means and who it applies to? Here’s an overview.

What is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

The GDPR legislation replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive and was designed to unify data protection laws across the European Union while providing greater data control and protection for European Union citizens.

Why was it brought into force?

Today’s world revolves around data and it is dramatically different from the world in which the 1995 directive was developed. Many of the original provisions are valid and remain, but the increasing number of privacy and data breaches have made it imperative to update this policy for a number reasons – including the need to protect European Union citizens.

How is GDPR different from the 1995 Data Protection Directive?

Who does it apply to?

  • GDPR primarily applies to businesses established in the European Union but it also applies to businesses based outside European Union that offer goods or services to European Union residents or collect data about European Union residents (Article 2 – Material Scope and Article 3 – Territorial Scope)

What does compliance mean?

  • Because of the complexity of this legislation, full compliance requirements will vary. Please seek information from an appropriately qualified source such as your professional or legal counsel.

When does compliance enforcement begin?

  • 25 May 2018

In there a grace period?

  • The European Parliament approved GDPR in April 2016 and if was officially published in May 2016. There is no grace period.

Where can I go for more information?

Sources:

Disclaimer

The materials in this post do not constitute legal advice and others and are provided for general information purposes only. It is recommended that you contact your general or legal counsel.