Updates for PADI Freediver Instructors and Trainers

We have some great news for PADI Freediver Instructors and Trainers we wanted to share with you.

First, as you have probably read already in the First Quarter 2018 Training Bulletin, you can now teach several PADI Standardised Specialties to your Freediver students. Additionally, you can also write your own Distinctive Specialties that PADI does currently not offer, such as Monofin, Safety Diver, Surf Survival or Mermaid Diver. Please see the relevant Training Bulletin for more information.

Secondly, we have also scheduled a PADI Freediver Update Webinar for current PADI Freediver Instructors and PADI Freediver Instructor Trainers! This webinar will provide you with the latest information in regards to the PADI Freediver program, current trends and PADI marketing efforts to support the program and our members.

The webinar is scheduled for Monday 26 March 2018 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM AEST. Please click below to register.

Register attendance

Last but least, we are pleased to announce the 2018 PADI Freediver Instructor Trainer Course, scheduled from 21 May 2018 – 25 May 2018 in Cebu, Philippines. If you are interested in this course, please start the procedure by downloading the PADI Freediver Instructor Trainer Course Fact Sheet. This will give you an idea of the requirements and procedures involved and will help answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

To apply for the course, download the PADI Freediver Instructor Trainer Course Application Form. The application form should be submitted electronically to freediver@padi.com.au.

The deadline for submitting your application is 4 April 2018.

2017 Freediver Instructor Trainer Course Graduates

PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty & Women’s Dive Day

Written by John Kinsella

It’s five thirty on a Costa Rican morning and Georgia King is talking to me about the PADI® Adaptive Techniques Specialty. It’s quiet, she says, before the rest of the family wakes. I can almost hear the tropical dawn chorus. Georgia is a PADI Platinum Course Director in Costa Rica and her time is precious, but she’s absolutely committed to helping people with disabilities benefit from diving and happy to share her wisdom. Georgia was an advisor during course development and has extensive experience and expertise. In fact, before we finish, Georgia has made another significant time and energy commitment: She’s decided to run an adaptive techniques workshop for PADI Women’s Dive Day.

Georgia’s commitment is such that since the program launched she has run two Adaptive Techniques Specialty courses right after two IDCs. It was a natural fit. “I think it’s fantastic to be able to incorporate the training with the IDC,” she says quietly. “It makes sense to integrate it naturally with the various course elements. New instructors coming out of the IDC are super excited because we’ve been talking about it. It inspires them to take that next step.”

I ask what she’d say to PADI Pros with no prior experience, who may never have thought of taking or teaching the Adaptive Techniques Specialty.

“Get involved,” she advises, pointing out that one of the major benefits, even if you are not immediately going out and teaching people with disabilities, is that it will open your mind to various teaching techniques and ways to approach all PADI programs. This can completely change the way you teach. “It really does open your eyes to a whole world of possibilities,” Georgia says. “Even in something as simple as demonstrating a skill in the skill circuit, you really just think differently. You are not set in one way of doing something. A lot of people think, ‘You have to do it this way.’ You know? You don’t.”

Georgia feels that a lot of people may be apprehensive about getting involved and offers this encouragement: “It’s kind of like the EFR® program when people worry about helping others. They don’t think they’ll be able to manage it. But everybody who has done the Adaptive Techniques Specialty is absolutely blown away and amazed by it. There’s more to it than people realize. Sure, it’s helping someone in a wheelchair, but that’s just a tiny part of it. The program talks about the attitudes, and how you treat people.”

And the confidence that insight brings opens up the most significant benefit of the Adaptive Techniques Specialty: It’s so rewarding for everyone. “Just giving people the opportunity, that’s one of the biggest things,” Georgia believes. “In any teaching there’s opportunity for reward, but sometimes I find more so with this. I shed tears after my first Discover Scuba® Diving experience with a guy who was born without legs. It completely amazed him how he felt underwater. He came up and just cried. I was so overwhelmed. It’s an amazing thing.”

Interview with Two PADI IDC Resorts Working With, Not Against Each Other

Sometimes working together instead of against each other yields huge benefits. A great example of this is Atmosphere Resort and Liquid Dive Dumaguete in the Philippines who are two very similar, but still very different dive resorts working constructively together.

Atmosphere, winner of the “Luxury Resort Award” in 2017, is a PADI 5 Star IDC Resort with numerous, similar accomplishments. Liquid Dive Dumaguete, also a PADI 5 Star IDC Resort, focuses on a different clientele and during the last couple of years have managed to build a big name within the dive industry.

What these two business have done is combine forces when it comes to their PADI Instructor Development Courses by creating ‘Instructor Development Philippines’ (IDP). Together they currently have 4 PADI Course Directors on staff as well as multiple PADI Master Instructors working in both resorts making sure that each and every one of their students gets the attention they need and require.

PADI Regional Manager Conny Jeppson contacted Gabrielle Holder (Owner/Course Director at Atmosphere Resort) and Tim Latimer (Owner/Course Director at Liquid Dive Dumaguete) to ask them a few question about how and why they decided to join forces.


Why did you make the decision to work together when conducting IDC programs?

GH/TL: We felt that there was a hole in the IDC market in the Philippines and we believed that by working together we could have a bigger impact by bringing in the expertise and knowledge from our different backgrounds. This combined with our separate marketing efforts and students being taught in the different dive centres also increases the combined reach.

Your program includes a unique ‘Learn to Teach’ element. Can you tell us a bit about that?

GH/TL: Our candidates have the opportunity to teach in two separate dive resorts which focus on separate markets and clientele. Candidates often do not know where they are heading after becoming an instructor. We wanted to offer two different venues through which they could conduct their first courses. This teaches them how to apply varying teaching styles to suit the student, and candidates work closely with our instructor teams to gain experience and teach a variety of PADI courses.

What else is unique about the program you offer?

GH/TL: We have four Course Directors in house at all times, with two being the owners of the resorts and Instructor Development Philippines. This means at any time we have the staff to give candidates individual attention whenever necessary. All candidates are signed up for IDC Online Study and they have individual tablets fully loaded with PADI materials during their IDC, ensuring they are well aware of how to function as a PADI Instructor in today’s digitalized world. We are also keen advocates of the environment, operating Project AWARE monthly clean-ups (Dive Against Debris) and a general environmental thinking throughout both resorts.

Do you have any memorable moments from the program thus far?

GH/TL: Every IDC is unique in its own way, but the main highlights are seeing candidates succeed in the future. We stay in touch with our candidate and we have seen them find their dream jobs and open their own dive centres, which is just fantastic.

How has coming together to run a joint IDC benefited your dive shop?

GH/TL: Working together has lead to benefits for both dive shops by growing our IDC reputation, including our ‘learn to teach programme’, as well as the reputation and brand awareness of both dive centres in general within the area.

What’s in store for the program going forward (e.g. growing, continuing to run etc.)

GH/TL: A venue purely for DM to IDC training to make us the ultimate experience in professional training; not just in the Philippines but also globally.

What advice do you have for any dive shop owner thinking about joining together for an IDC program?

GH/TL: It is very simple really. You need to offer something unique and find someone you are willing to work together with who has the same goals as you.

Thank you to both Tim and Gabrielle for taking the time to answer these questions and I hope that you, the reader, have some good ideas of how you and your neighbouring dive centers can start a similar cooperation be it in IDC’s, Freediving, TecRec or even normal courses working with different referral systems.

Conny Jeppson
PADI Regional Manager for the Philippines

March Tips from the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Team

In 2018 the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management team has been bringing 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 Europe, Middle East and Africa Territory Director, Rich Somerset.

“We are blessed with a career that puts us in contact with the ocean – and the ocean demands our respect. Treat her with respect and she will give you a lifetime of adventures, but underestimate her at your peril. Remember: be prudent in your decision making, put your students’ safety above your ego and – if in doubt – stay out.” – Rich Somerset

The Ocean is indeed a truly awesome place – the energy it holds, the life it creates, the life it supports, and the life it consumes. We are lucky enough to connect with it every time we enter the water. Even a simple swim can bring perspective to your day and put a running mind at ease. But like Rich says – the Ocean demands our respect.

A good dive instructor will know their limits and will stay well within them. This means having an even-handed grasp on the abilities of your students too. Good judgement must be applied in regards to water conditions, temperature, visibility, water movement, entries and exits, ability of participants, certified assistants available, your and your assistant’s personal limitations, and ratios etc.

You must ask yourself questions like:

  • “Am I familiar with this dive site?”
  • “Can I expect bad visibility or perhaps strong currents?”
  • “Can I provide adequate assistance to all divers in the group?”

With all things considered, you as the dive professional have the ultimate responsibility of making the go/no-go decision. If an incident occurs on the dive, the question will always be raised – “Should the divers have been in the water at that time, in that environment, in those conditions, with their experience?” If something goes wrong and it is shown that the diver should not have been in the water in the first place then you won’t have much chance of defending your decision to dive.

Rich couldn’t be more right when he says be prudent in your decision making, put your students’ safety above your ego and – if in doubt – stay out.” – This is the Quality Management department’s favourite part from Rich’s quote and we urge all PADI Members to live by this rule.

Until next time, we wish happy and safe diving for all.

Donny McFadden
Quality Management Consultant
PADI Asia Pacific

PADI Instructor Examinations for February, 2018

03 Feb | Cairns, Australia

06 Feb | Gold Coast, Australia

10 Feb | Jeju Island, South Korea

10 Feb | Perth, Australia

13 Feb | Anda, Philippines

13 Feb | Bohol, Philippines

13 Feb | Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

14 Feb | Ao Nang, Thailand

16 Feb | Moalboal, Philippines

16 Feb | Semporna, Malaysia

17 Feb | Papeete, French Polynesia

17 Feb | Phuket, Thailand

19 Feb | Malapascua, Philippines

20 Feb | Koh Tao, Thailand

23 Feb | Manado, Indonesia

24 Feb | Singapore, Singapore

New Year Tips from the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Team

As PADI Members we all want diver training and certified diver activities to be comfortable and safe.

Part of the joy of teaching people to dive and leading certified divers is knowing that we have helped our customer to be more confident and competent in the water. In 2018 we will be bringing you tips from the field from PADI Members on how to maintain and improve safety in your professional diving activities. We will also share some insights from the QM team about common incidents and lessons to learn as well as common QM issues that we see in our work.

This month tips from the QM team: Run PADI courses as they are intended and described in the PADI Instructor manual and Guide to Teaching.

Vanessa – Quality Management Coordinator.

“Use a line on your CESA. Sounds like common sense but we do see cases of instructors deciding to run the CESA skill in their own way without a line

Don’t shift skills, remove skills or modify skills.

Doing this can increase the risk for both your student and yourself.

For your student it is about physical risk. The way the CESA is described in both the PADI Instructor manual and the PADI Guide to Teaching has been developed and tested and undergone industry scrutiny. Many thousands of CESA’s are conducted this way every year without incident. Why would you modify what has proven to be successful and safe?

For yourself it is about both your physical risk and legal risk. If you can’t stop someone when you need to on a CESA and something goes wrong such as a fast ascent or a rescue situation then you yourself may face physical risk.

Secondly it is about your legal risk. Ask yourself this question “If an accident happened during this course how would I defend myself in court when I have changed the course?”

Donny – Quality Management consultant

“Waterskills assessments are crucial steps in the Open Water Diver training process. Skipping these assessments is like allowing someone to jump out of a plane without checking they know how to deploy the parachute.

 PADI Open Water Diver students must be able to complete the 200m swim with no swim aids or 300m snorkel with mask fins and snorkel comfortably. They also need to complete a 10 minute swim/ tread. These are non-negotiable – they must be conducted and the instructor needs to feel a confidence that their student has a level of water comfort to enable them to manage themselves on the surface comfortably.

The PADI system of diver training is a well-established internationally recognised programme of diver education. The components and sequencing has been carefully considered and tested by the best educators in the industry. The system of training mitigates the inherent risks of diving as much as reasonably possible. The standards themselves become part of your defence if things go wrong. If you have not followed those standards then that part of your defence is reduced or lost.

From the Quality Management team at PADI Asia Pacific have a successful and safe year in diving for 2018.

Michelle Brunton, PADI Course Director and Manager of PADI Asia Pacific Quality and Risk Management.

PADI Instructor Examinations for January, 2018

17 January | Ao Nang, Thailand

17 January | Cebu, Philippines

20 January | Boracay, Philippines

20 January | El Nido, Philippines

20 January | Phuket, Thailand

23 January | Anilao, Philippines

23 January | Dumaguete, Philippines

23 January | Gili Islands, Indonesia

23 January | Koh Tao, Thailand

26 January | Koh Phangan, Thailand

26 January | Komodo, Indonesia

26 January | Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

26 January | Puerto Galera, Philippines

27 January | Bali, Indonesia

27 January | Koh Lanta, Thailand

27 January | Sydney, Australia

30 January | Lembongan, Indonesia

30 January | Pattaya, Thailand