Student Son completes his PADI Open Water Diver certification at a Dive Centre while on holiday. He enjoys his experience so much he informs his Instructor, Rio he’ll be back the following year to complete his Divemaster and possibly become an Instructor.

Rio informs Son that he must be certified beyond Open Water for a minimum of six months before he is allowed to participate in the PADI IDC so she recommends he take some additional training while at home.

Seven months later and true to his word, Son arrives back at the Dive Centre and is greeted by Rio. He explains that he wants to jump right in and complete his PADI Rescue Diver certification and go straight on to his Divemaster.

Rio is excited to see her student back and that he is taking steps to become a dive professional too. Before they begin their training sessions, Rio asks to see Son’s certifications and logbook to see if he has made any advancement on his training and experience while back home.

He shows his logbook and it has 38 logged dives and he also produces his PADI Adventure Diver certification card which he completed immediately after arriving back home. His logbook shows he completed the Deep Diver, Underwater Navigator and Night Diver Adventure Dives.

Son’s logbook also indicates that he has dived in the last two weeks so Rio schedules the Emergency First Response and Rescue Diver courses for the following days.

The EFR program goes without issue but on the first day of the Rescue Diver course, during the Self-Rescue Review in confined open water, Son seems to be having some issues with his buoyancy.

He explains that he has been used to diving in different equipment, most notably a thicker wetsuit than the one he is using here and feels that he may have selected an incorrect amount of weight for this exposure protection.

Rio agrees and decides to halt the Self-Rescue Review and starts to brief a Buoyancy Clinic. She explains to Son that although this isn’t part of the course and not tied to the performance requirements for certification, she feels this will be very beneficial for the rest of the course.

She conducts a buoyancy check at the surface, neutral buoyancy and then asks Son to hover using both the power inflator and oral inflation. She then asks Son to descend into neutral buoyancy to see if can complete the Self-Rescue Review without making contact with the bottom, which he does successfully.

The following day Rio enlists the help of PADI Divemaster, Femi for the Rescue Skills and Scenarios required to complete the program.

After completing all of the required skills on day two of their training Son prepares to complete the scenarios set by Rio using the Emergency Assistance Plan he has created during their academic sessions together.

All three have a great time on the final day of their course and Son successfully rescues Femi in both scenarios twice over two sessions. The first session is much longer than the first and the dive they complete together is seven metre deep for 25 minutes, the second is five metres deep for 19 minutes.

Rio explains to Son that since they have only completed one dive during the Rescue Diver course that qualifies as a training dive and he now has a total of 39, he will have to complete one more dive before beginning his PADI Divemaster Course.

Is there anything in this scenario you think is a violation and/or a misunderstanding of PADI standards?

Take a moment to gather your resources and think like an Instructor. Once you feel you’ve got an answer search below for Gaz’s views on this scenario.

‘It’s always great to see your students return and even more so when they decide to follow your path and begin their journey towards working as a dive professional.

Rio has shown good intentions in this scenario but unfortunately, she has made a few mistakes, some with information but some with the PADI Standards as well.

Her enthusiasm in wanting to give Son advice on how best to prepare for his return for professional training is admirable, encouraging your divers to dive often is always a great thing. She’s mistaken about the amount of time required between certification beyond Open water Diver training and the IDC though.

There is a six month period required after the completion of your Open Water Diver certification and when you may join the PADI Instructor Development Course, not between the Adventure Diver and IDC.

Rio is correct in accepting Son on to the PADI Rescue Diver course with his Adventure Diver certification as he has completed the Underwater Navigator Adventure Dive, therefore meeting the prerequisite certification requirements to begin the PADI Rescue Diver course.

She also shows good intention and considers the safety and satisfaction of her student during the Self-Rescue Review by adding in the Buoyancy Clinic to remediate before the open water sessions.

It’s important to assess your student’s skills and knowledge at the beginning of the course so using this technique is a good use of resources and she kept it simple and effective. She also explained that the skills weren’t part of the performance requirements but would benefit Son throughout his training.

Asking Femi to join for the Rescue Skills in the open water is a smart move too. It is very difficult to demonstrate and assess students during many of these skills when teaching one to one. Enlisting a certified assistant during the skills was the right thing to do. The error comes when she only has one certified assistant during the scenarios.

In the PADI Guide To Teaching, it indicates that at least four people must participate in the scenarios and that they may be made up of students, certified divers or certified assistants. Having only three people participate in the scenarios is a violation of the standard and although not listed in the PADI Instructor Manual, The Guide To Teaching must be considered an extension of the standards.

Rio also makes an error when it comes to logging of the dives for the Rescue Diver certification. The two scenarios for the course should be logged as two dives and may be credited towards the logged dive prerequisite as described in PADI’s Guide To Teaching under Logging Dives.

It’s worth noting that Rio’s encouragement of Son to complete the scenarios more than once and the use of the prepared Emergency Assistance Plan during them shows intent to build a holistic learning experience and general use of the PADI Instructor Manual seems good.

Her problems arise primarily from her lack of familiarity with the connections to the Guide To Teaching.’

Gaz Lyden                                                                                                                                            

Want to learn more about Thinking Like An Instructor, PADI Standards and their application and how to increase your customer experience? Join my upcoming PADI Professional Development programs such as Divemaster, IDC, Specialty Instructor and IDC Staff. Book Now and Ignite Your Life today!

PADI Adventure Diver, Sanna has chosen to complete the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Diver Specialty with her local PADI Dive Centre.

Dive Centre manager, Margo assigns the course to recently certified PADI Assistant Instructor, Alison. Because Alison is relevantly newly certified as a PADI Assistant Instructor and this is her first PPB Spec. Margo recommends Alison to take Sanna into their pool and complete the Buoyancy Clinic after their Knowledge Development session. She also asks one of the schools more experienced Instructors, Ido to observe and provide assistance and guidance if necessary.

After the Buoyancy Clinic is complete Ido gives Alison some logistical tips about the Open Water Dives for the Specialty Course and some feedback on her teaching conduct before leaving Alison and Sanna to prepare for the rest of the course.

Alison takes Sanna out the following day for two Open Water Dives to complete the Performance Requirements for the course and after the dives are finished they head back to the Dive Centre to wrap up the certification paperwork.

While completing the logbooks Alison notices that Sanna actually completed four Adventure Dives; Deep Diver, Night Diver, Wreck Diver and Underwater Navigator, logged during their Adventure Diver Course and enquires why they didn’t complete the PADI Advanced Open Water Certification?

Sanna explains that conditions had deteriorated during their course and her Instructor at the time of the course had made the call that conditions were not adequate to complete their final planned dive, which they planned to be the Peak Performance Buoyancy Adventure Dive.

Sanna explains the Instructor at the time had offered the students either a referral for the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification, or the PADI Adventure Diver certification and Adventure Dive credit for the fourth Adventure Dive. She explains that since she had planned to take a liveaboard later that year, which required certification as Adventure Diver with Deep Diver Adventure Dive as a minimum certification for many of their planned dives, she took the Adventure Diver certification option.

Is there anything in this scenario that fails to meet PADI standards? Are the dive professionals and dive centre involved maintaining the safety of their staff and students? Could anything else have been done by any of the dive professionals to have increased customer experience using your knowledge of the PADI system?

Take a moment to gather your resources and think like an Instructor. Once you feel you’ve got an answer search below for Gaz’s views on this scenario.

‘There are a lot of fine points in this scenario to be covered so let’s simplify it by using the Standards-Safety-Satisfaction model and break down each event in order.

Firstly there is the assigning of the PPB Spec to the Assistant Instructor by Dive Centre Manager, Margo. She is within PADI standards to allow Alison to conduct the program and is also right in asking Instructor, Ido to help out if needed as the Peak Performance Buoyancy Speciality Diver course may be conducted by a PADI Assistant Instructor, Under The Supervision Of a PADI Instructor. This can found in your PADI Instructor Manual – Training Standards – Supervision – Under The Direction Of – ‘Be available for consultation during the course, although not necessarily present during training sessions.’

Asking Alison to go to the pool with Sanna first was a good call too. Although not a mandatory component of the PPB Spec, The Buoyancy Clinic should be used in situations such as this.

Alison is a newly certified professional at the level of Assistant Instructor and Margo has given her an easy route to make an appropriately conservative judgement call by using The Buoyancy Clinic to actively practice her teaching skills while being supervised by Ido.

Sanna’s Adventure Diver Instructor has also conducted themselves well in this scenario. Once they have determined conditions weren’t adequate to complete the final Adventure Dive – which all dive professionals should do using the Safety – Self/Students/Staff model as taught in the PADI Instructor Development Course – they offered options to Sanna and her fellow students to help to reach a satisfactory conclusion to their experience.

Speaking with students rather than to them and letting them know all the options available to them in every situation allow them to gain a sense of efficacy. Every course should adhere to the paradigm of Safe, Comfortable, Competent and Autonomous students and when they make an informed decision of their own, even in the case of alternate certification offerings and referrals certainly meets those criteria.

The final part of the scenario sees Alison completing the certification paperwork and logbook. Unfortunately, this doesn’t meet PADI Standards.

In accordance to the Supervision – Under The Direction Of – Alison and Ido have failed to meet the second part of that requirement to ‘Verify that all performance requirements are met by cosigning participant logbooks and training records.’

Although Ido didn’t need to be part of the training dives, he does need to verify their completion and cosign the training record and logbook.

If Ido had have been present it’s possible he would have also seen that Sanna had completed four Adventure Dives and known that he could have counted the first dive from the Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty Course as the final required Adventure Dive towards the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification.

As Sanna already has the required materials for the course and has now completed all of the performance requirements to receive certification, she would have only been required to purchase the additional PIC and then been certified as a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, allowing her to move closer to the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating or stepping closer to eligibility to enter the PADI Divemaster course.

This can be referenced in your PADI’s Guide to Teaching – General Consideration - Logging Dives – Cosigning and would have brought another level to their customer experience.’

Gaz Lyden                                                                                                                                            

Want to learn more about Thinking Like An Instructor, PADI Standards and their application and how to increase your customer experience? Join my upcoming PADI Professional Development programs such as Divemaster, IDC, Specialty Instructor and IDC Staff. Book Now and Ignite Your Life today!

Marlon is signing up for the PADI Open Water Diver course with a local dive centre near their home. During the orientation to the program their Instructor, Dory shows them all the required paperwork including the Liability Release/Assumption of Risk, Safe Diving Practices Statement of Understanding and the Medical Statement and explains what they mean and how to complete them.

After completing the medical Dory sees that Marlon has answered yes to Diabetes.

Dory informs the student that they must go to the doctor to get clearance prior to in-water training to which Marlon agrees.

At their next session, Marlon presents Dory with a completed RSTC Medical Statement which indicates that the doctor has cleared student for diving activity. It also lists some stipulations for the program; such as ensuring that Marlon takes additional blood glucose readings, should only dive in shallow, calm conditions and that they should only complete a maximum of two open water diver per day.

Dory thanks Marlon for visiting the doctor to get their clearance but says that with these additional conditions from the physician, she is unsure of whether she can accept it.

Is she correct?

Take a moment to gather your resources and think like an Instructor. Once you feel you’ve got an answer search below for Gaz’s views on this scenario.

‘When Marlon signed yes to Diabetes, Dory is absolutely correct in asking him to visit the doctor for clearance and even though he got the physicians ok for the course the listed stipulations are an issue.

Dory is correct in questioning the medical statement, even though it has been cleared by a physician. If we reference the PADI Instructor Manual – Paperwork and Administrative Procedures – Documentation – Diving Fitness, we can see that it indicates that a yes must get clearance from a physician prior to inwater activities but must have no additional restriction or conditions attached to that clearance.

Since the physician has listed three such restrictions and conditions to the medical clearance they have provided to Marlon, Dory is correct in her hesitation and must explain to Marlon that the clearance isn’t valid’

Gaz Lyden.

During an Open Water Diver Course, Instructor Devlin is taking his student, Manny on their second day in the open water.

After successfully completing all of the confined water sessions a few days previous and feeling comfortable with the skill – Remove, Replace and Clear a Mask during the confined sessions, Manny is finding the skill more challenging while on Open Water Dive 3.

After attempting the skill three times, Devlin feels Manny is becoming too stressed and signals him that they are not going to attempt the skill for a fourth time. He signals that will go for a dive and before they move asks Manny to check his air pressure.

Manny signals back that he is 80 bar and the dive has only been 22 minutes long so far and they are at 16 metres depth.

This reinforces Devlin’s belief that Manny is starting to show signs of stress as his gas consumption has been much better relative to depths and time during the other sections of the course.

He leads Manny towards the area they have planned to ascend and once a safety stop has been completed they ascend together using the five-point method.

Once back at the dive centre Manny explains that he was starting to feel frustrated with the skill and that had led him to feel stressed but would like to try to complete the course and would like to try the skill on the next dive.

Devlin explains some options for Manny to complete the course, they could complete another short and shallow dive with only the mask skill as an objective or they could add the skill to the beginning of Open Water Dive 4.

Manny thinks the first option will be better for him as he feels he’d like to get his confidence back in shallower water before attempting the mask removal skill once more. Devlin schedules a dive later that afternoon to a max depth of 10 metres for 25 minutes in which Manny completes partially flooded, fully flooded and mask removal and replacement twice; once at 5 metres and then later at 10 metres.

The following day they complete Open Water Dive 4 successfully allowing Manny to receive certification as a PADI Open Water Diver.

Is Devlin within standards with the options he gives Manny to complete the mask skill and how will he log Manny’s open water dive experience?

Take a moment to gather your resources and think like an Instructor. Once you feel you’ve got an answer search below for Gaz’s views on this scenario.

‘Firstly I think we have to applaud Devlin’s sensible decision to move on from the skill in the open water to start with when he felt that Manny was displaying signs of stress.

He follows a classic Safety-Standards-Satisfaction paradigm here.

During Dive 3, Manny was running low on air and was consuming it at an unusually fast rate so Devlin is correct in leading the dive to shallower water and ascending safely. Because the dive was cut short for safety reasons Devlin is allowed two options; either move the unfinished skill set from the previous dive or to complete another dive to complete the remaining sections of the previous dive.

Discussing the options with Manny is a great idea as they can feel involved in the decision making too. After all, we are trying to create safe, competent, confident and also autonomous Open Water Divers.

Manny agreeing to a shorter dive in which he practices the progressions for the skill he has lost confidence in is excellent practice for him and the fact they repeated for comfort and mastery shows that Devlin understands the principles of simple-to-complex and shallow-to-deep are there for the students benefit.

Devlin will effectively log five dives for Manny’s Open Water Diver course and should log the fourth dive in that sequence as the dive in which Open Water Dive 3 was completed.’

Gaz Lyden

Sisters Arianna and Meagan are on holiday and are looking for something to experience together while they are away. Their friend suggests scuba diving as they both enjoy being in the water so they search for a local dive centre to go and see what is available.

Once they arrive at the centre they meet the manager, Celeste. Their first question to Celeste is to ask what their options for experiencing diving would be as Meagan is blind.

Celeste suggests the PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience to begin with and mentions they have an Instructor on-staff who is certified as a PADI Adaptive Techniques Instructor who would be perfect for the job.

After a short conversation discussing the requirements of the DSD experience program and how it will be conducted the sisters sign up and meet their Instructor, Marley.

After completing the required paperwork, Marley goes through the DSD flipchart using tactile cues and other objects for Meagan to feel to describe the key concepts for the experience.

She then decides to have the sisters don the BCD’s and go through a dry run of the skills and the optional open water dive prior to getting on the boat to reinforce the visual and tactile signalling that will be used during the experience.

After everyone feels comfortable she asks the sisters to complete the review required for the DSD and reads the questions to Meagan and then marks her response and then verifies it has been correctly marked with Arianna.

Once everything has been completed they travel to a shallow dive site close by. Marley helps both the sisters enter the water and swims them to a shallow area to complete the required skills.

She uses the same visual and tactile signals she had introduced at the dive centre and both the sisters complete the skills without hesitation.

Marley then takes the sisters on a dive to a sandy area with corals off to the side. She maintains physical contact with Meagan throughout on Meagan’s right side whilst keeping a visual reference of Arianna to her left.

Are Celeste and Marley offering good customer experience while using the standards as intended and taking the sisters safety into consideration?

Take a moment to gather your resources and think like an Instructor. Once you feel you’ve got an answer search below for Gaz’s views on this scenario.

‘Balancing out the three S’s – Safety, Standards and Satisfaction is an indicator of a great dive leader and the experience that Marley and Celeste have offered to the sisters is a great example of this.

From the initial interaction with Celeste to the completion of the DSD experience, all three elements were taken into consideration.

Listening to the sisters and then matching them up with the right experience and the right Instructor made sure they had a great experience that was safe and used the PADI system of education perfectly.

Marley’s Adaptive Support Instructor training is also a great example of how diving can be a vehicle of endless growth and development as a professional and how that can have a positive effect on others.’

Gaz Lyden.