A Cautionary Tale of Required Materials

28 Mar

The PADI Instructor on the phone was beside himself, “I had no idea! Are you sure?”

Unfortunately, we were sure because we had sent him the email he was calling about.

“But it’s not in the Crew-Pak! It’s not in the Crew-Pak…” His voice trailed off. He was inconsolable.

It all started with a Course Evaluation Questionnaire (CEQ) from one of the distraught instructor’s newly certified PADI Divemasters. The CEQ answers indicated that the Divemaster did not own an eRDPML. When contacted, the Divemaster in question said he learned to use the eRDPML during Divemaster training, but borrowed it from the instructor.

As a result, the PADI Quality Management team sent a reminder to the instructor about two important PADI Standards:

  • The eRDPML is required for the PADI Divemaster course. Candidates must have their own eRDPML to use during training and afterward.
  • Instructors may not loan required materials to their student divers.

Like the vast majority of PADI Instructors, the one on the phone took pride in his dedication to teaching and following PADI Standards in all courses. Even though the Quality Management message he received was a friendly reminder, rather than a formal inquiry requiring a response, he was upset to learn that he had violated PADI Standards.

The instructor’s mistake? He assumed that all PADI Crew-Paks contain all of the required materials for a course. While this is true in many cases, it’s important to realize that it isn’t always the case.

The eRDPML, for example, is not in the Divemaster Crew-Pak. The Rescue Diver Crew-Pak doesn’t contain a logbook. Many divers purchase their eRDPML during their PADI Open Water Diver course. Most rescue divers already have a logbook. So, while Crew-Paks are convenient and economical, students and candidates may need some additional items to meet PADI Standards. If they don’t already have those items, they must purchase them separately.

To avoid finding yourself in the same position as the instructor on the phone, check the Course Standards in the PADI Instructor Manual for each course you teach. You’ll find a list of both required and recommended materials. This was the advice for the instructor on the phone and, while he may have had no idea before we contacted him, now he knows and it is unlikely he will need another reminder.

Learn from one instructor’s experience and remember that just because something isn’t in the Crew-Pak doesn’t mean it isn’t required. And please don’t loan materials to student divers without consulting the PADI Instructor Manual. That should help you avoid from becoming the instructor on the phone.

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