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                                                                                                                                            

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