Why PADI Standards are Important to PADI Members

All training programs share some fundamental concepts that need to be regularly considered by not only the training provider but also those conducting the training under the auspices of the training provider.

Educational Validity

A primary concept of any training program is the educational validity of that program.  It stands to reason that the educational validity of an activity that has inherent risks needs to be carefully considered, tested and documented to ensure that it adequately addresses those risks and provides a system of training that mitigates those risks as much as reasonably possible.

Legally Defendable

The system of training must provide clear documentation that the training was not only conducted in accordance to the training standards, but also contains the appropriate documentation that identifies the student diver was clearly aware of the inherent risks involved and chose to accept those risks.  Documents such as:

  1. Documentation that the actual training was an approved training program.  (WRSTC recognition, Government recognition, industry recognition, etc.)
  2. Documentation that the individual training provider was qualified to conduct that training. (PADI certification)
  3. Documentation that identifies that the training was conducted in accordance with the organizations training standards (Student Record Files)
  4. Documentation that the participant was aware of and assumed the risks inherent to the activity. (Liability Release and Express Assumption of Risk)
  5. Documentation that the participant was medically fit to take part in the activity. (WRSTC Medical Declaration)

If we miss out on even one of the above five components, the student diver is subject to an increased incident of risk, both to injury and/or death.  It is also increases the members’ exposure (both individual member and dive centre) to the quality management process and to litigation.

From time to time, we receive comments from members who believe that PADI Standards are inflexible and ask why PADI Standards cannot be revised or altered to fit unusual circumstances that occasionally occur while conducting PADI courses.

To illustrate these concepts, it is worthwhile to use actual incident scenarios that we have dealt with in the past.

Please review the two scenarios by visiting the PADI Pros site. Go to Training Essentials > Regulations to find this information.

Training Bulletin Live 2nd Quarter – 14th May 2013


The first ever Training Bulletin LIVE event in PADI Asia Pacific was a great success and now it is time to register for the second edition of the popular webinar. You are invited to join us for a live, interactive presentation of the PADI Training Bulletin, Second Quarter 2013 Edition where PADI staff will present the latest standards changes plus you can test your knowledge with a series of fun and interactive poll questions. As spaces are limited please register early to guarantee your seat for this online spectacle by following the link at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/909508576. The event will take place on Tuesday, 14th May 2013, commencing 2 pm Sydney (Australia) time (UTC +10).

PADI Divemaster Exchange Thailand April 2013

PADI Divemaster Exchange
DMT Exchange Thailand

PADI would like to applaud the efforts of two PADI Instructor Development Centres in Thailand – Sunshine Divers (Koh Tao) and Sail Rock Divers (Koh Phangan) who offered a recent Divemaster in Training exchange. The energetic owners, managers and dive crews of these centres created an opportunity for four PADI DMTs to spend 3 days experiencing life at a different dive shop. The exchange allowed these soon-to-be PADI pros to gain a greater appreciation for the training and operations offered by these reputable 5 Star facilities.

Olly and Nadine of Sunshine Divers were the first to head off to a new location and were greeted by the Sail Rock Divers crew who are famous for their hospitality. During the exchange they were spoiled with multiple dives at Sail Rock dive site which were “truly incredible” offering countless barracuda, trevally, batfish and triggers. The 30 metre visibility and abundant aquatic life didn’t distract them however from their Divemaster responsibilities which included boat briefings, role calls, tank checks, assisting and leading.

During the next instalment of the exchange, Gemma and Emma of Sail Rock Divers had a chance to be part of the Sunshine Divers family. The impressive list of dive sites which these DMTs experienced over 3 days included the HTMS Sattakut, Buoyancy World, Southwest Pinnacle, White Rock, Red Rock, Chumpon Pinnacle, Mango Bay and Lighthouse. The great visibility helped them perform in their various roles of boat master, dive master and pretend ‘bad students’ for the Instructor Development Course.

Sunshine at Sailrock
DMT Exchange

PADI Regional Manager Tim Hunt had the pleasure of meeting all participants and was thrilled to receive such positive feedback about this unique initiative. After sharing his praise for the efforts that the dive centres had put into the program, DMT Olly from Sunshine Divers wrote… “I really just wanted to emphasize how beneficial it was for both myself and Nadine, and for the girls from Sail Rock also to see a different dive operation for a few days.  I think it would make a great part of all Divemaster programs..”    

For more information about the DMT exchange please read the following blog posts:



A Cautionary Tale of Required Materials

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.