Wanda is planning to complete her PADI Open Water Diver Course whilst on holiday with her friends.

She shows up for the first day of her course and meets her instructor, Frederica. They go through the required paperwork and discuss the schedule together.
Their first day includes her orientation and OWD videos 1 and 2. After this, they cover the first reviews from Knowledge Development 1 and go through how to fit equipment and the assembly of the SCUBA kit before she goes home for the evening.

The next morning she shows up and Frederica explains there has been a change in the schedule as they are expecting a storm to come in the afternoon.
They planned to go through a little more academic work prior to going out on their boat to complete their first confined session, planned to include all 5 confined water dives at a sheltered bay nearby.

They will now be doing their confined water session first and then catching up on their academic session while the storm comes in so to guarantee good conditions during the water session.

They head out for a successful confined session and complete all 5 dives that morning but towards the mini dive on confined dive 5, Wanda says her stomach is starting to feel a little funny. They finish their session and head back to shore.

During lunch Wanda becomes a little more ill, thinking it’s something she ate the night before she asks Frederica if they can postpone the academic session that afternoon and to see if they would be able to alter the schedule to complete the Open Water Diver Course in the time she has remaining.

Frederica says it isn’t a problem and that Wanda should swing by tomorrow to discuss options if she’s feeling better and gives her the dive centre’s contacts in case she needs any assistance.

The following day and feeling much better, Wanda returns to the dive centre to discuss options with Frederica. She explains that they will be able to catch up on Knowledge Development that morning and go out to complete Open Water Dives 1 and 2 that afternoon as long as they have complete Knowledge Development 3.

She also explains that before they head out on the boat that afternoon that Wanda would have to fill in a new medical statement declaring that she is fit to continue the course after her illness. To which she agrees.

Is Frederica within the sequence of the Open Water Diver Course and is she correct in getting Wanda to complete new documentation before heading out for their open water dives?

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.

‘The sequencing for the PADI Open Water Diver Course states that KD 1 must be completed before Confined 1 and then open water dive 1. It’s recommended but not required that the rest of the Knowledge Development is completed prior to the remaining confined sessions so Frederica is within the sequencing standard there.

She then informs Wanda she must have completed at least Knowledge Development 3 before they head out in the afternoon to complete open water dive 2. The sequencing states that KD 1-3, confined 1-3 and open water dive 1 be completed prior to open water dive 2. Again, Frederica is well within the standards.
She also uses the flexibility with the sequence to be able to meet a novel problem that occurs during her teaching schedule. Students can get ill on trips due to many reasons. Adapting her schedule while remaining within the sequencing here is to be applauded.

She is also correct in asking Wanda to complete a new medical statement declaring she is now fit to continue after her mild illness. It clearly states in the PADI Instructor Manual that if a student becomes ill or injured during training they must complete a new medical statement prior to resuming their course.

Check out more regarding the sequencing of the PADI Open Water Diver Course in your PADI’s Guide To Teaching and the information on Medical Statements in your PADI Instructor Manual-Paperwork and Admin Procedures-Documentation-Diving Fitness-Point 3.’

Gaz Lyden.