Deptherapy, diving rehabilitation in Egypt

As PADI Regional Manager in charge of Egypt, I had the privilege to become involved in Deptherapy’s largest ever and most successful programme yet.During mid-May, 12 wounded Veterans took part in the Deptherapy programme at Pharaoh Dive Club – The Roots Luxury Camp, which thanks to the owners (Steve and Clare) has become the point of reference for Deptherapy in Egypt. These armed forces veterans suffering from life-changing mental and/or physical injuries, enrolled onto different PADI courses: some were certified as Open Water Divers, some as Advanced Open Water, some others as Deep Specialty Divers and all became EANX divers.

Deptherapy is a UK based charity, using scuba diving to rehabilitate veterans afflicted by both mental and physical disabilities. Deptherapy aims through adaptive teaching to qualify such individuals wherever possible as PADI divers and able to dive anywhere in the world (with the only support of their dive buddy – without extra personnel needed).Veterans – wounded in service – also assisted in the training programme as Instructors and Divemasters. The teaching team included PADI Ambassadiver, Chris Middleton, who lost both legs in Afghanistan and has subsequently worked through the Deptherapy programme from Open Water to Divemaster and is now aiming to become a PADI Instructor. Dr Richard Cullen, founder and chairman of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education also ran a Deptherapy Education Instructor Training Course, where in status Divemasters and Instructors can become qualified in Adaptive Teaching for the physically and mentally challenged diver.As a spectator, I was lucky to attend sections of each course: I assisted Confined and Open water dives of Open Water students,  dived with the students on their PADI Advanced Open Water and Specialty courses, attended and practiced  the ‘adaptive training’ delivered by Richard!

 

…and I even managed to run a presentation on the PADI continuing education philosophy together with Chris Middleton.

The audience was inspired by our words and the majority of OWD completed the AOWD in the next days. Some of the newly certified divers are willing to progress even further, motivated not only by Chris but also by Andy Searle, a motivated diver who lost both legs during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, who is now working through his Divemaster Course.

 

It was an incredible experience to watch these ex-military personnel participate in their PADI courses, many diving for the first time and really enjoying it! Once in the water, it was truly awe-inspiring to see that the words “I can’t” don’t exist in Deptherapy.  Watching the injured Veterans repeating skills, working as a team, showing that there are no limitations, made me quickly understand why Deptherapy’s slogan is ‘Mission Possible!’

There are many ways to get involved with Deptherapy including training, fundraising, donating. They’re a charity and couldn’t continue their work without your help, so if you’d like to get involved please get in touch with Richard Cullen.

For more information about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education visit their website at www.deptherapy.co.uk.

[ Photo credits: Dmitry Knyazev ]

PADI Elite Instructor Interview: Stefano Busca, PADI Course Director

Stefano Busca, PADI Course Director, achieved the status of PADI Elite Instructor 2016 – an award which recognises the efforts and accomplishments of PADI’s top performing instructors around the world.

We spoke to Stefano to find out what being a PADI Elite Instructor means to him, as well as learning about his achievements and future aspirations as a PADI Professional.


What inspired you to become a PADI Pro?                                                                     I have always loved outdoor sports and my dream has always been to work in the sports industry. When I became a scuba diver and started meeting positive people, I immediately knew that this was going to be my chance to fulfil my dream.

How do you think you’ve changed personally and professionally as you’ve moved up the ranks to become an Elite Instructor?                                                            Today, many people are attracted by scuba diving in order to escape the daily routine and the usual problems and commitments in their lives. I think that a successful instructor should be in the position to offer as many scuba diving activities as possible (recreational, specialties and Tec) in order to meet the customers’ needs and desires. Personally, I did exactly this!

Which PADI courses do you enjoy teaching the most and why?                                 Now, I can teach almost all the specialties with open circuit. I like diving and teaching in all environments; my favourites, however, are deep and wreck, especially on a recreational technical setup. The TecRec programs offer both the instructor and the client a chance to dive in an environment accessible to few, a sort of scuba diving elite group, where the technical preparation and personal fitness are vital.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your diving career?            Becoming a PADI Course Director! Having the possibility to pass on my passion, while training not only students but also instructors, is definitely the biggest reward.

What does diving give you that nothing else does?                                                Diving gives me the possibility to escape from my daily life, to enter an environment where interacting with the underwater life is so intense that everything else disappears. An escape from reality!

Did you have to overcome any fears, challenges or obstacles to get where you are now in your diving career?                                                                                       The commitment to get where I am now has been considerable. The PADI educational system, however, is very efficient and systematic at every level. You just need to believe in what you are doing and focus. You will succeed!

Do you believe you change others’ lives through diving?                                     Absolutely! People discover an extraordinary and exciting activity. Lately, more and more students get into scuba diving with an eye to becoming professionals; many become instructors to work full time in scuba diving. To date, I have trained instructors that are working in the most beautiful locations in the world: Red Sea, Maldives, Micronesia, etc.

Describe in a few sentences how you would convince a non-diver to learn to dive?                                                                                                                                  There is a very effective video, on the internet, showing the difference between the life of an employee and that of a scuba diving instructor. The morning wake up and the daily routine in the city, for the employee, the beach and the sea for the instructor. In a few minutes you have the best representation of what is the scuba diving lifestyle.

As a PADI Elite Instructor how does it feel being recognised as one of PADI’s top performing Instructors in 2016?                                                                                     Being an Elite Instructor is definitely a great recognition for the work done and an incentive to improve. In 2016, I issued over 200 certifications: this is hard to beat. But the important thing is to always do your best, without focusing too much on one objective; if you do your job the best you can, you will always achieve some new, important objectives.

What does “My PADI” mean to you?                                                                             For me, My PADI is a lifestyle, a chance to make dreams come true! One of my favourite quotes is: if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life!

What would you say to other PADI Instructors hoping to become Elite Instructors?   I would tell them to always work to the best of their abilities, following the standards and procedures unique to the best scuba diving training agency in the world… PADI!

 

 

PADI Elite Instructor Interview: Kerrie Eade, PADI Course Director

Kerrie Eade, PADI Course Director and owner of PADI 5 Star IDC Center Ocean Turtle Diving, achieved the status of PADI Elite Instructor 2016 – an award which recognises the efforts and accomplishments of PADI’s top performing instructors around the world.

We spoke to Kerrie to find out what being a PADI Elite Instructor means to her, as well as learning about her achievements and future aspirations as a PADI Professional.


What inspired you to become a PADI Pro?                                                                     I learnt to dive in the 90’s and was surrounded by male divers.  I felt, even then that more women should get into diving, both at recreational and professional level.  I loved the challenge of proving myself in this dive environment, so after my PADI Rescue Diver course I decided to become a PADI Divemaster, and the rest is history!

How do you think you’ve changed personally and professionally as you’ve moved up the ranks to become an Elite Instructor?                                                                 My journey has been so much fun and quite literally life changing.  As a PADI Divemaster, I moved to Spain and started working as a dive guide and eventually became a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. I decided I wanted to stay in the dive industry, so when my local dive centre went up for sale, I bought it!  So professionally I have progressed to become a PADI Course Director and dive centre owner, and I have never felt so alive and challenged.

Which PADI courses do you enjoy teaching the most and why?                                   I love teaching the PADI Rescue Diver course as it’s such a positive experience for the participants and I love watching them grow in confidence.  I also love teaching Instructor Development Courses as I get share the instructor candidates’ highs and lows and really make a difference.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your diving career?                   Achieving my PADI Course Director in 2016 is my greatest achievement in diving – closely followed by turning around a failing dive centre into the rip roaring success that Ocean Turtle Diving is today.

What does diving give you that nothing else does?                                                   Peace.  I have two young children and a very busy and demanding business with many staff and customers.  When I dive I get time to myself – peace, tranquillity, relaxation and space.

Did you have to overcome any fears, challenges or obstacles to get where you are now in your diving career?                                                                                         My greatest challenge was, and still is, time.  With a young family it’s hard to carve out enough time to teach, to run the business, to expand the business, to enjoy fun diving and to be mum and wife!  I often work 7 days a week, but I try and chop out segments on many of those days to spend time with my family.  Luckily my husband is great and very tolerant of me and my passion!

Do you believe you change others’ lives through diving?                              Undoubtedly, but I wouldn’t dream of taking credit for that!  The divers are the ones who have taken action and are changing their lives for the better.  Ocean Turtle’s Missions Statement is “Changing Lives and Making Dreams Come True” – it’s emblazoned on the wall of the dive centre and we do our best to live up to it every day.

Describe in a few sentences how you would convince a non-diver to learn to dive?
I would never convince someone who doesn’t want to learn to dive that they should BUT I do always spend time getting to know someone and to find out what they are interested in.  From that, there is normally something in their life (photography, exploration, travel, history etc..) that they are passionate about and that can be satiated in a new and interesting way by doing it underwater!

As a PADI Elite Instructor how does it feel being recognised as one of PADI’s top performing Instructors in 2016?      
It’s very humbling.  I don’t feel that I do more or less than the guys and girls around me – we have a great team at Ocean Turtle and we all work very hard. This year we are on track for at least 4 of us getting this prestigious award – which I am super proud of.  To me it shows that even if the industry isn’t basking in the glory days, you can still give a great service and add true value. There are still plenty of people out there who want to learn to dive and crucially want to keep diving and expanding their knowledge.

What does “My PADI” mean to you?                                                                                To me PADI is a big supportive and protective arm around me – I am fortunate to have an amazing team who encourage me, push me, challenge me and support me.

What would you say to other PADI Instructors hoping to become Elite Instructors?                                                                                                                        It’s not about numbers.  Concentrate on giving each and every student / candidate / customer / diver a great experience, the benefit of your time and experience, and the rest will fall into place by itself.

 

 

FAQ – Greek Diving Law / Ελληνική Καταδυτική Νομοθεσία

ENGLISH (Greek version below)

You can also find more information about Greek Diving Law in this article: Certificates – Greek Diving Legislation / Πιστοποιήσεις – Ελληνική Καταδυτική Νομοθεσία

1/ Can foreign Dive clubs/Instructors come to Greece and offer courses/DSD/Fun dives  without co-operating with the existing  legal Dive Centers in the country? 

They can offer DSD, courses or fun dives ONLY if they are registered here in Greece. This means that they need to have a license as a Dive Centre, and also their staff has to be registered with the Authorities. If they do not have this license no they can’t offer any services except if they co-operate with a legal Dive Centre in Greece.

2/ Is there any standard document  where we state that we have no criminal records?

Yes. They made the system easier for Dive Centres and Instructors. We can use a Statutory Declaration form (Ipefthini Dilosi) with a specific text that you can find at the Gazette 35 B 11/01/2013 No 513.12/13/118b. Or you can download the form with the text here: ipefthiniDilosiInstructors

3/ What about language requirement for the Foreign Instructors? How fluent they need to be with the Greek language? 

Basic knowledge of the Greek Language at the following level: reading, oral communication and understanding . The provider  confirms their knowledge. The Port Authorities can check their knowledge.

4/ How does the Ministry checks if the Dive Center is legal? 

The Port Authorities can check our activities when we operate ie when we run a course, a fun dive. Also they can come to the Dive Centre to check if our papers are ok. e.g. to check our insurance license etc.

5/ What can a Dive Center do if they see that somebody else (Individual Instructor/Dive Center) is breaking the law? 

Inform the Authorities.

6/ What does PADI have to report to the Ministry? 

By the Greek Diving Law every January PADI has to submit to the Ministry of Merchant Marine a list of the individuals (diving instructors & amateur divers) to whom the Organization issued training certificates the previous year. Nothing else. The list has to include the following details: surname, name, father’s name, year of birth and nationality.

Also PADI has to submit a list of the Recreational Diving Service Providers it authorized to operate the previous year, which is available at www.padi.com.

7/ How does PADI check if the Dive Center is legal?

Through lists that PADI takes from the Ministry of Merchant Marine, which has all the Dive Centers in Greece that are licenesed.

8/ Which Diving Organizations are legally recognized to operate in Greece?

At the moment they the following have the legal recognition to operate in Greece:

  • ANDI
  • ΕΟΥDAA (GREEK FEDERATION)
  • IANTD
  • PADI
  • SSI

9/ If a diver is not certified from one of these five Recognized Diving Organizations can he/she dive in Greece?

Yes but only through a Dive Center.

10/ How can I work as a PADI instructor in Greece?

You have to be an active PADI Instructor, with a valid health certificate, copy of your ID card/passport and to sign the Statutory Declaration form (ipefthiniDilosiInstructors).

11/ If I’m a foreign Instructor do I need extra documents for the Authorities in order to work in Greece?

Yes. Except the above documents a foreign Instructor needs to create a  tax number from the Greek tax office and also a Residence permit (only for English and non EU citizen), work permit (non EU citizen).

12/ Where can I take a Health Certificate?

From a General Doctor, from a Public Hospital or from a Hyperbaric Doctor. But if in your area you have a Hyperbaric Doctor they want from this doctor a certificate.

13/ Can I work as an Instructor Independently with out affiliation with a Dive Centre?

No. The Greek Diving Law doesn’t allow for an Instructor to work independently. They have to be affiliated with a Dive Centre (as an employee or as a freelance instructor).


Ελληνική γλώσσα (English version above)

1/ Μπορούν ξένα Καταδυτικά κλαμπς/ξέοι Εκπαιδευτές να έρθουν στην Ελλάδα και να προσφέρουν μαθήματα/DSD/καταδύσεις αναψυχής χωρίς να συνεργαστούν με τα υπάρχοντα νόμιμα Καταδυτικά Κέντρα στη χώρα;

Μπορούν να προσφέρουν DSD, προγράμματα ή καταδύσεις αναψυχής εάν είναι εγγεγραμένοι στην Ελλάδα. Αυτό σημαίνει οτι χρειάζεται να έχουν άδεια ως Καταδυτικό Κέντρο, και επίσης το προσωπικό τους πρέπει να είναι δηλωμένο στις Αρχές. Εάν δεν έχουν αυτές τις άδειες, όχι δεν μπορούν να προσφέρουν καμία υπηρεσία, εκτός εάν συνεργάζονται με ένα νόμιμο Καταδυτικό Κέντρο στην Ελλάδα.

2/Υπάρχει ένα τυποποιημένο έγγραφο στο οποίο δηλώνουμε ότι έχουμε λευκό ποινικό μητρώο;

Ναι. Το σύστημα έχει απλοποιηθεί για τα Καταδυτικά Κέντρα και τους Εκπαιδευτές. Μπορούμε να χρησιμοποιήσουμε το έντυπο της Υπεύθυνης Δήλωσης, με ένα συγκεκριμένο κείμενο το οποίο μπορείτε να το βρείτε στο ΦΕΚ 35 Β 11/01/2013 Αρ. 513.12/13/118β. Ή μπορείτε να κατεβάσετε το έντυπο με το κείμενο εδώ: ipefthiniDilosiInstructors

3/Τι ισχύει για τις απαιτήσεις όσον αφορά στη γλώσσα για τους αλλοδαπούς εκπαιδευτές; Πόσο καλά χρειάζεται να μιλάνε την Ελληνική γλώσσα;

Βασικές γνώσεις στην Ελληνική γλώσσα στο εξής επίπεδο: ανάγνωση, προφορική επικοινωνία και κατανόηση. Ο πάροχος επιβεβαιώνει τις γνώσεις τους. Οι Λιμενικές Αρχές μπορούν να ελέγξουν τις γνώσεις τους.

4/ Πώς το Υπουργείο ελέγχει εάν ένα Καταδυτικό Κέντρο είναι Νόμιμο;

Οι Λιμενικές Αρχές μπορούν να ελέγξουν τις δραστηριότητές μας όταν βρισκόμαστε σε λειτουργία. Όταν τρέχουμε ένα πρόγραμμα, πραγματοποιούμε μία κατάδυση. Επίσης μπορούν να έρθουν στο Καταδυτικό Κέντρο για να ελέγξουν εάν τα χαρτιά μας είναι εντάξυ π.χ. να ελέγξουν το ασφαλιστήριο σύμβόλαιό μας κλπ.

5/ Τί μπορεί να κάνει ένα Καταδυτικό Κέντρο εάν δουν ότι κάποιος άλλος (ένας εκπαιδευτής/Καταδυτικό Κέντρο) παραβιάζει το Νόμο;

Να ενημερώσουν τις Αρχές.

6/ Τί ενημέρωση δίνει στο Υπουργείο η PADI;

Σύμφωνα με τον Ελληνικό Καταδυτικό Νόμο κάθε Ιανουάριο η PADI κατατέθει στο Υπουργείο Εμπορικής Ναυτιλίας έναν κατάλογο  των ατόμων (εκπαιδευτών κατάδυσης & αυτόνομων δυτών) στους οποίους ο Οργανισμός έχει εκδόσει πιστοποιητικά εκπαίδευσης κατά το προηγούμενο έτος. Ο κατάλογος πρέπει να συμπεριλαμβάνει τα ακόλουθα στοιχεία: επίθετο, όνομα, όνομα πατέρα, έτος γέννησης και εθνικότητα. Τίποτε άλλο. Επίσης η PADI πρέπει να καταθέσει έναν κατάλογο των Παρόχων που παρέχουν Υπηρεσίες Κατάδυσης Αναψυχής τους οποίους είχε εξουσιοδοτήσει κατά το προηγούμενο έτος το οποίο είναι διαθέσιμο και στην ιστοσελίδα www.padi.com.

 

7/ Πώς η PADI ελέγχει εάν ένα Καταδυτικό Κέντρο είναι νόμιμο;

Μέσα από λίστες που η PADI παίρνει από το Υπουργείο Εμπορικής Ναυτιλίας, οι οποίες καταγράφουν όλα τα Καταδυτικά Κέντρα που έχουν αδειοδοτηθεί στην Ελλάδα.

8/ Ποιοί Καταδυτικοί Οργανισμοί είναι νόμιμα αναγνωρισμένοι να λειτουργούν στην Ελλάδα;

Αυτή τη στιγμή οι ακόλουθοι οργανισμοί έχουν νόμιμα αναγνωριστεί να λειτουργούν στην Ελλάδα:

  • ANDI
  • ΕΟΥΔΑΑ (ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΟΜΟΣΠΟΝΔΙΑ)
  • IANTD
  • PADI
  • SSI

9/ Εάν ένας δύτης δεν είναι πιστοποιημένος από έναν από αυτούς τους πέντε Αναγνωρισμένους Καταδυτικούς Οργανισμούς, μπορεί αυτός/αυτή να καταδυθεί στην Ελλάδα;

Ναι αλλά μόνο μέσα από ένα Καταδυτικό Κέντρο.

10/Πώς μπορώ να εργαστώ ως Εκπαιδευτής της PADI στην Ελλάδα;

Πρέπει να είστε ένας ενεργός Εκπαιδευτής της PADI, με έγκυρο πιστοποιητικό υγείας, αντίγραφο της Αστυνομικής Ταυτότητας/Διαβατηρίου, και να υπογράψετε την Υπεύθυνη Δήλωση (ipefthiniDilosiInstructors).

11/ Εάν είμαι αλλοδαπός Εκπαιδευτής χρειάζομαι επιπλέον έγγραφα για τις Αρχές ώστε να εργαστώ στην Ελλάδα;

Ναι. Εκτός από τα παραπάνω έγγραφα ένας αλλοδαπός Εκπαιδευτής χρειάζεται να δημιουργήσει ένα ΑΦΜ στην Ελληνική Εφορία και επίσης μία άδεια παραμονής (μόνο για Βρετανούς πολίτες ή πολίτες εκτός Ε.Ε.), άδεια εργασίας (για πολίτες εκτός ΕΕ).

12/ Πώς μπορώ να αποκτήσω ένα Πιστοποιητικό Υγείας;

Από έναν Παθολόγο, από ένα Δημόσιο Νοσοκομείο ή από ένα Γιατρό Υπερβαρικής Ιατρικής. Αλλά εάν στην περιοχή σας έχετε Γιατρό Υπερβαρικής Ιατρικής θέλουν μία πιστοποίηση από αυτό το γιατρό.

 

13/ Μπορώ να εργαστώ ως Εκπαιδευτής ανεξάρτητα χωρίς να συνεργάζομαι με ένα Καταδυτικό Κέντρο;

Όχι. Η Ελληνική Καταδυτική Νομοθεσία δεν επιτρέπει σε έναν Εκπαιδευτή να εργαστεί ανεξάρτητα. Πρέπει να συνδέονται με ένα Καταδυτικό Κέντρο (ως εργαζόμενος ή ως ελεύθερος επαγγελματίας Εκπαιδευτής).

PADI Elite Instructor Interview: Jordan Topkoski, PADI Master Instructor

Jordan Topkoski, PADI Master Instructor, achieved the status of PADI Elite Instructor 2016 – an award which recognises the efforts and accomplishments of PADI’s top performing instructors around the world.

We spoke to Jordan to find out what being a PADI Elite Instructor means to him, as well as learning about his achievements and future aspirations as a PADI Professional.


 What inspired you to become a PADI Pro?                                                                 Recreational diving allowed me to see the most amazing things and having the most incredible time. It inspired me to share these extraordinary experiences with others, who as far as I was concerned were missing so much! And what a better way to do it than by becoming a professional diver!

How do you think you’ve changed personally and professionally as you’ve moved up the ranks to become an Elite Instructor?                                                           Instructor I have always been eager to learn more and move up the PADI ladder. I always read the PADI updates and standards so I can stay up to date and maintain a good professional reputation amongst my diving peers. Personally I have become more adventurous, wanting to explore more and more each day, which certainly keeps me active on both a physical and a psychological level.

 Which PADI courses do you enjoy teaching the most and why?                                  If I have to choose, I would say the PADI Open Water Diver course because this not only teaches diving but introduces people to the joys of diving! Seeing the smile on each student when they receive their certification card makes me feel proud that it was me who has introduced them to a whole new world.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your diving career?                My greatest achievement in diving has to be the day my PADI Instructor Examiner shook my hand and handed me my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certificate. Of course since then there have been many other achievements since such as receiving my PADI Certificate for Recognition of Excellence and now the PADI Elite Instructor Award. At the end of the day nothing beats the achievement you feel when you successfully get a candidate through a PADI course.

What does diving give you that nothing else does?                                                   The feeling of freedom when exploring the underwater world truly amazes me and it is something I never get tired of.

Did you have to overcome any fears, challenges or obstacles to get where you are now in your diving career?                                                                                             Absolutely! For a long time I simply didn’t like being anywhere near water! Learning to dive and understanding how to see and breathe underwater definitely helped me to overcome this fear. Now I simply love being underwater and in fact I enjoy all types of watersports.

Do you believe you change others’ lives through diving?                                       Yes! Although it really isn’t that difficult to change lives out here in the Red Sea, especially in Dahab, where we have plentiful marine life and spectacular local reefs.

Describe in a few sentences how you would convince a non-diver to learn to dive? If they were an adventure seeking type I’d say we have something here they don’t have a chance to try every day, which I was absolutely certain they’d not only love- but that they’d be able to enjoy for the rest of their lives.

As a PADI Elite Instructor how does it feel being recognised as one of PADI’s top performing Instructors in 2016?                                                                                   The feeling is amazing. I never thought I would rise to be part of the “Elite” but it shows that with determination, hard work and passion anything is achievable. Proud is the only word I can use to explain my feelings.

What does “My PADI” mean to you?                                                                         PADI introduced me to the world of diving and ultimately changed the course of my life. Professionally I believe it’s a well organised system that imparts the required knowledge to dive safely in a simple, fun and easy package. As a result, it has rightly earned its place as the world’s premier training agency and through its accessibility brought fun and enjoyment to millions.

What would you say to other PADI Instructors hoping to become Elite Instructors? If you are passionate about diving and love the lifestyle you lead as a PADI professional it shouldn’t be too difficult to put in that extra mile. Never give up on your students – and before you know it you will be well on your way to becoming an Elite Instructor.

 

PADI Joins Forces with Mission Blue to Help Protect the World’s Ocean

Photo: Kip Evans | Mission Blue

PADI® and Mission Blue™ have forged a formal partnership to help increase the level of protection of our world’s ocean. Led by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue inspires action to explore and protect the ocean. At the heart of this effort is a global campaign to build public support for the protection of Hope Spots — special places that are vital to the health of the ocean.

Hope Spots are about recognizing, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean. By activating its global network of divers and dive professionals, the PADI family will further bring attention to marine areas in a worldwide network targeted for enhanced protection.

Photo: Kip Evans | Mission Blue

“Mission Blue is thrilled to partner with PADI to bring awareness to divers around the world about the value of Hope Spots,” says Laura Cassiani, Executive Director of Mission Blue. “Divers are an important voice in the global coalition for greater marine conservation because they know first-hand the beauty and fragility of marine ecosystems. We believe deeply that this exciting new collaboration between PADI and Mission Blue will ignite broad support for further ocean conservation around the world. Onward and downward!”

In November 2016, PADI announced our Four Pillars of Change social and environmental responsibility program. Devised to elevate the PADI mission to be best in and for the world, the Four Pillars will help connect the PADI community to the ocean causes they care about. Program efforts will be focused on building awareness of important issues affecting ocean health, strengthening dive communities and dive infrastructure, and forming global alliances that will engage and mobilize PADI Dive Centers, Resorts, dive professionals, and divers to be a global force for good.

“Connecting PADI Divers and Members with the Hope Spots program provides them with actionable opportunities to have a lasting impact on the future of our blue planet,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “Through our partnership, PADI and Mission Blue hope to educate divers and ignite support for Hope Spots with the long-term goal of formally protecting more areas of our world’s ocean.”

Photo: Kip Evans | Mission Blue

PADI will showcase a different Hope Spot each month, such as the Coral Triangle and the Saanich Inlet, to give divers a deeper insight into these vital ecosystems and the need to safeguard them as protected areas. In the coming months, PADI Divers will learn more about some of the best Hope Spots for diving and have an opportunity to nominate new Hope Spots.

Photo: Kip Evans | Mission Blue

If governments, civilian organizations and communities work together to formally protect Hope Spots, these special marine environments can form the seeds of tomorrow’s healthy ocean. Currently, only 5% of the world’s oceans are protected. By joining forces, the goal set forth by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress to protect 30 percent of our world’s oceans by 2030 is reachable.

Photo: Kip Evans | Mission Blue

Can the “Best” Divemasters come from the “Worst” Divers?

By John Kinsella

Perhaps an instructor’s most important role is training fellow dive professionals; running a PADI® Divemaster course, as the book succinctly says, demands nothing less than your best effort. Ditto for the DM candidates.

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Speaking of effort, a recent candidate got me thinking about what it takes to make a really great PADI Divemaster. This person had to work hard at every step of the journey to PADI professional. Throughout the progression, from Open Water, to Advanced Open Water and Rescue, nothing came easy, but equally, nothing was allowed to get in the way. Often, skills had to be practiced time and time again to develop mastery; sometimes even to the consternation of fellow candidates who flew through the required skills and exercises. This was real world affirmation of the benefits of performance-based training.

It wasn’t easy for the DM training staff either; they had to put in extra effort too. From counseling sessions to restore confidence when if flagged to the extra time needed to make sure skills were performed comfortably and confidently, the trainers went the extra mile. What was notable in this context was how willing and selfless they were in response to the tremendous efforts the candidate made.

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The end result was that, with considerable time and effort, and constant good humor, this candidate prevailed and I have yet to meet someone who was more delighted with success. But the best was yet to come. I think, more than anything, it is the inherent understanding of the challenges people sometimes face and overcome while learning new dive skills, and the consequent empathy, that helped this new divemaster really blossom and become an invaluable and committed dive shop team member and one of the most popular divemasters with customers.

For those involved with professional development, and that should include all PADI Members, the basic message is clear. Sometimes it takes a bit of extra effort to help a DM (or other) candidate succeed. But work hard with people who try hard and the rewards can be worth it.

Grow your business and take the plunge: Become a PADI Dive Centre!

Have you have been teaching independently for a while and pondering what might be your next step in developing your diving career? How about registering as a PADI Dive Centre?

As a member of the PADI Retailer and Resort Association you benefit from more than just the prestige of the PADI brand. You will be able to take advantage of a comprehensive suite of benefits guaranteed to drive more divers through your doors.

What benefits will you receive as a PADI Dive Centre or Resort?

  • High visibility via our PADI Dive Shop Locator
  • Store visits and business consultation: meet your PADI Regional Manager and receive individual and comprehensive support to grow your dive business
  • Regional Consulting Team: Sales and Training consultants dedicated to supporting your business
  • Exclusive sales offers
  • Extended business training with our PADI Business Academy and through our dedicated PADI Regional Managers providing you with the latest in the business of diving
  • Marketing support at your fingertips through the PADI Pros Site with marketing toolkits, email templates, a range of high resolution images and much more
  • Access to worldwide and regional events, such as Women’s Dive Day, giving you more exposure through our dedicated Event Locator, as well as event associated, exclusive dive centre merchandise

These are just a few reasons why in 2016 more dive centres and resorts joined the PADI Retailer and Resort Association (RRA) than ever before, and why RRA membership now exceeds 6400 members globally.

So take the plunge and become a PADI Dive Centre and be a part of unparalleled training standards, superior customer service and in-depth business support today!

If you have questions about becoming a PADI Retailer and Resort Association Member, please contact us at customerservices.emea@padi.com

 

 

A Message from Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO

PADI President and CEO

There’s been an exciting change of PADI® ownership to a consortium of conservation-minded family investors. This conglomerate of family wealth investors, based in North America, are run similar to foundations and endowments, who invest long-term in cause-oriented premium brands with dominant market share positions that show steady and consistent growth.

As PADI president and CEO, I’m committed to leading the organization into its next 50 years, as is the entire PADI executive team. Together, we will continue to grow the PADI brand and through our stewardship efforts ensure PADI is not only the best in the world, but also best for the world.

This is a positive transition for the organization as the family wealth investors will hold and nurture PADI for many years. This group is closely aligned with PADI’s mission and supports PADI’s efforts to remain stewards for this amazing brand we all love. The new ownership group includes philanthropists drawn to PADI’s commitment to ocean conservation and preservation. And, most importantly, they respect the organization’s dedication to PADI Member support.

Focus remains on the following global priorities:

  • best-in-class support to ensure PADI Member prosperity and growth
  • new diver acquisition initiatives to attract millions of consumers to the sport and train them to be comfortable and confident divers
  • long-term diver engagement and retention through encouraging divers to explore and seek adventure in the underwater world
  • a deeper purpose vision to inspire all divers to ultimately pay it forward through ocean conservation, marine animal protection, community support, and the healing powers of scuba.

This transition marks the next evolution of the PADI organization and is a positive move for PADI Members and the entire dive industry. As my personal friends, I can confidently say that PADI Founders, John Cronin and Ralph Erickson, would be extremely proud of this next step for the PADI organization and heartened to see that it has transformed into a global force for good for scuba diving and the ocean planet.

I thank you for taking the time to read this message. To all PADI Members, I want to reinforce my personal appreciation of your role and contributions to dive training excellence and aquatic conservation advocacy. You are the heart of the organization and the entire PADI staff remain focused on delivering the best service and support to help you succeed. Together, we are – and will continue to be – The Way the World Learns to Dive® . Be best. Be PADI.

Best personal regards,

Drew Richardson

Drew Signature

President & CEO

PADI Worldwide