Membership Renewals for Inactive PADI Pros

Diver - Scuba Diver - Instructor - Topside

Written by Mark Wastall, PADI Regional Training Consultant.

“The strength of the team is each individual member, the strength of each member is the team” – Coach Phil Jackson.

It’s the time of year when PADI Membership renewal is on a lot of inactive dive professional’s minds. The PADI Regional Training Consultant team receive hundreds of questions regarding renewals from members across the Asia Pacific region. Let’s have a look at some of the common questions we get asked.

Q:  ‘I didn’t renew last year, do I have to re-sit my Instructor Examination?’

A:  No, we understand how hard the dive professional works to earn their status along with the time and dedication involved in becoming a respected PADI member. We also understand that sometimes life just happens, opportunities arise and diving can occasionally take a back seat. There is no reason you should be punished for that by having to start over again. Retraining varies depending on the circumstances and can be undertaken via several means.

Q: ‘I have been un-renewed for several years but have remained in the industry, is this taken in to account?’

A: Yes, again we appreciate that job roles can change and maybe your chances of teaching are reduced. If you have been running a dive store for a few years for example, this would be reflected in the retraining required.

Q: ‘How long can I be out of status before I have to re-sit by Instructor Examination?’

A: As previously mentioned, we do all we can to avoid this from happening. You would have to be out of status and away from the industry for a considerable amount of time before that would happen. Even in the event that you are required to complete your OWSI/IDC and IE again, we may be able to help with some of the costs involved as a thank you for coming back to us. It’s never too late!

So, if you want to take advantage of the many opportunities you have as a PADI professional once again, what are your retraining options if you have had a lapse in your membership?

The first option is to view a free Online Member Forum or attend a Live Member Forum in your area. Either of these will take around an hour of your time and are simply an update on PADI news, products, courses and standards. The next level would be a Status Update with a PADI Course Director, auditing an OWSI/IDC or an Online Status Update. To find your nearest Course Director, use the new PADI Dive Shop Locator. The Online Status Update will also include a Digital Product Suite (5 top of the range digital eLearning products) along with a digital PADI Guide To Teaching and digital PADI Instructor Manual to bring you back up to speed. If you have been out of status for too long to qualify for any of these options then it’s time for IDC/IE.

Once you have access to the PADI Pros’ Site, it’s a great idea to review the Training Bulletins that you will have missed since being away and to download the latest Instructor Manual to keep yourself familiar with the latest skills and standards. We have similar levels of retraining for PADI Divemaster, Assistant Instructor, EFR Instructor and PADI Freediver Instructor. It really is that easy to get back to what you love doing! Give your Regional Training Consultant a call and come back to the PADI family.

For more information on renewing as an inactive member call +61 2 9454 2888 or email a PADI Regional Training Consultant.

Becoming a PADI Course Director

PADI Course Directors are PADI Master Instructors who have taken the next step and joined an elite group of instructor trainers. Course Directors teach PADI Instructor Development Courses (IDCs) and other instructor-level training, and thus are the scuba diving industry’s most influential leaders and role models. This rating is the highest and most respected professional rating in recreational scuba diving. To become a Course Director you must earn a spot in a Course Director Training Course (CDTC) through a competitive application process that examines your experience and training goals.

PADI Master Instructors who have solid teaching experience and have assisted with several IDCs may be ready to apply. You also need to be an EFR Instructor Trainer, have at least 250 logged dives, have PADI Dive Center or Resort work experience and meet other requirements as listed on the most current CDTC application available for download from the PADI Pros’ Site.

After your application is approved, you start your training by completing several online presentations, knowledge reviews and a Course Director-level exam on PADI Systems, Standards and Procedures.

The actual CDTC lasts nine days and consists of staff presentations about how to organize and promote instructor development, plus many hands-on workshops in class, confined water and open water with a focus on evaluation training, professional development and counselling techniques.

PADI Regional Manager Gio Cacchione had a chat with all candidates from Thailand that have recently been accepted to the upcoming Kota Kinabalu 2015 CDTC.



Darren Gaspari
Darren Gaspari

Darren  Gaspari from Australia has been living in Thailand for over 7 years now. He owns and manages Aussie Divers Phuket, a PADI 5 Star Dive Centre in Phuket.

RM: What was the most challenging part of your CDTC application?

DG: I personally did not encounter any particular challenges. The whole process was actually very exciting and rewarding.

RM: How many years have you been diving?

DG: My first encounter with the amazing underwater world goes back over a decade ago, in Australia at The Great Barrier Reef.

RM: When did you first decide to apply for the PADI CDTC and why?

DG: This is been one of my professional goals for some time now. I would like to have a real impact on students and what better way to do that by teaching and training future instructors.



Marie-Lise Rux
Marie-Lise Rux

Next up Marie-Lise Rux from Canada. Marie has been working as the Manager of Professional Training at Buddha View Resort, PADI 5 Star IDC Centre in Koh Tao. She speaks 3 languages, English, French and Arabic and loves mentoring Divemaster Trainees and staffing IDCs.

RM: When did you start diving?

MLR: I did all my entry levels and Divemaster rating in Egypt over 10 years ago.

RM: What was the best part of your CDTC application?

MLR: I thoroughly enjoyed the Interview process. As part of my application, in fact I had to go through an interview conducted by one of the PADI Staff members of the Instructor Development Department. I was quite nervous at first but it actually turned out to be a very enjoyable step.

RM: What are your plans after the CDTC?

MLR: I am planning to conduct IDCs in several South East Asia regions. India, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Thailand. I also look forward to be able to work together with my husband, who is a PADI Course Director as well.


Neil Richards from the UK is the Dive Centre Manager of Haad Yao Divers, PADI 5 Star IDC Centre in Koh Phangan and has been living in Thailand for over 11 years. Neil initially arrived in Koh Tao but then decided to take root in Koh Phangan and never looked back since.

Neil Richards
Neil Richards

RM: What was the best memory of your very first dive?

NR: My first dive was in India and the best memory I have was that amazing feeling of weightlessness, gliding through the water…I had goose bumps underwater.

RM: Tell us about the process of applying for the CDTC.

NR: The whole process was exciting and challenging at the same time. When I received the acceptance email from PADI, I was thrilled and felt a huge relief. One of the best experiences I have ever had. I am really looking forward to the CD Training Course itself.

RM: What is next on the agenda?

NR: I would really like to increase the IDC market on Koh Phangan.


Gareth Lyden
Gareth Lyden

Gareth Lyden, also from the UK, works for Master Divers, PADI 5 Star IDC Centre in Koh Tao. For numerous years he has been the Professional Development Manager and enjoyed teaching students from entry levels all the way up to professional. Gareth was an Instructor Trainer with another Training Organisation but recently decided to go back to the PADI system.

RM: Where and when did you start diving?

GL: I first dove in Australia, Great Barrier Reef, over 12 years.

RM: Although you were already an Instructor Trainer, why did you decide to become a PADI Course Director?

GL: I believe PADI has a very solid teaching system and a better foundation to business & standards support. When doing my IDC, I knew then that I wanted to teach Instructor level courses. My PADI Course Director was a real inspiration.

RM: What are your future plans after the CDTC?

GL: I consider Thailand to be my new home, so I will definitely be staying here for a long long time. I would like to expand in different markets and take advantage of online teaching.


Last but not least, Silvano Cacchione from Italy. He is the Dive Operations Manager of Coral Grand Divers, 5 Star IDC Centre in Koh Tao. Silvano worked in the hospitality & catering business, first in Spain and UK after. He relocated to Thailand to embrace a career in scuba diving.

Silvano Cacchione
Silvano Cacchione

RM: Tell us about your first diving experience?

SC: The first time I put on a Mask, BCD and fins was during a DSD in Mexico, many years ago. It was one of the most amazing experience ever.

RM: When did you first think you wanted to become a PADI PRO?

SC: During the DSD in Mexico, I remember actually liking the confined session more than the dive. I really enjoyed completing the skills that my instructor demonstrated and that was when I realised I also wanted to become an instructor one day.

RM: What would it mean to you to become a PADI Course Director?

SC: It is the highest rating in the PADI system so besides being an amazing personal achievement, it will allow me to be able to pass on to new instructors all my passion for diving and marine conservation.


If you also want to reach the top and become a PADI Course Director your next steps are:

  • Log on to the PADI Pros’ Site and read through CDTC Questions and Answers document, then check out the online presentation about what it takes to become a PADI Course Director and download the CDTC Fact Sheet.
  • Download a PADI CDTC Application from the Pros’ Site.


Why attend the PADI Business Academy

PADIBusiness Academy Regional Manager Giovanni Cacchione recently joined Bas van Riemsdijk and Marie-Lise Roux to have a chat about their experience at the PADI Business Academy in 2012 and share their successful story.

Bas and Marie currently live in Koh Tao, Thailand. Bas is a PADI Course Director whereas Marie is a Master Instructor. After applying all the knowledge gained at the Business Academy, their website had a growth of 40% for Entry level and ConEd courses and an additional 20% for professional levels.

RM: When did you setup your website and how did the Business Academy effect your bookings?

Marie: We setup the website around August 2011. During the first year, the amount of bookings was quite low; however, after participating to the Business Academy in 2012 we saw an enormous increase of enquiries. Our website started as a simple project, but with the tools that the PADI Staff gave us in Bangkok, we discovered that even a simple website could have a lot of potential. The key of a successful website is to make sure it ranks high in all Search Engines such as Google or Bing, know how to use and integrate all social media platforms and maintain fresh content on a blog.


RM: Did you have a blog when first launching your website?

Marie: We did not have one until 2012. With the support of the PADI staff, we actually started one live at the Business Academy. Now, when I blog, I feel like a kid in a candy shop: I try different keywords, link pictures to our website, and share our stories via Facebook and twitter. After two years, I can say that a blog generates a lot of traffic.


RM: Which are the main Social Media Platforms you rely on?

Marie: We find Facebook incredibly powerful if you know how to use it properly. We gained so many interesting tips at the Business Academy, one for example: how to target specific demographics in order to be more effective and reach potential customers. In addition, we have linked our Facebook business page to Twitter so with one post we update two different platforms!


RM: Is there any areas of your business plan that you are currently working on?

Marie: We want to improve our You Tube channel. A few years ago, I became a professional underwater videographer, the plan is to soon buy a camera and create various marketing videos. Until then we rely on all the PADI videos from the PADI Producer YouTube Channel, which we find very useful.


RM: Is there any tips related to your success you would like to share?

Marie: I would like to say that it is not just about spending hours behind a computer but also about striving for excellent customer service once the client arrives at the dive centre. Following up a booking and making sure our students have an unforgettable experience is our main goal. Finally yet importantly, I would highly recommend taking part in the PADI Business Academy, it definitely helped us grow our business!


During the two-day PADI Business Academy, you’ll receive targeted, contemporary business training custom-tailored to meet your specific business needs and designed to increase your bottom line. Through six hands-on workshops, the PADI Business Academy curriculum delivers proven tactics and techniques you can immediately implement in your business. Additionally, you and your staff will have the opportunity to interact and network with other participants during this invigorating program.

If you are interested in participating in the next available seminar, please contact Lisa Romeo



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 The event will take place on Tuesday, 14th May 2013, commencing 2 pm Sydney (Australia) time (UTC +10).