Welcome to our new 2018 PADI EMEA Course Directors

In July, the second 2018 International Course Director Training Course (CDTC) took place in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

During nine intensive days, working with PADI staff from Regional Headquarters, the selected Course Director candidates learn to market and teach PADI’s Instructor level training courses. Upon successful completion, candidates were awarded the esteemed rating of PADI Course Director.

We now welcome our newest PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa Course Directors and wish them much success with their Instructor Development businesses in 2018.


To learn more about the Course Director Training Course or to apply for selection onto the programme click here


Enrich Your Business!

Cross-selling is a pro-active sales process that aims to provide customers with a full understanding of the products available. It is crucial to every business, and a key aspect of the PADI educational system of diver training. You will see cross-selling all around you – from McDonalds staff asking “would you like fries with that?” to shoe shops selling socks and shoe polish. These are invariably high profit, easy additional sales that can be tagged on to an existing purchase by a customer.

Including cross-selling in your business is an important way to boost course numbers, profit and customer satisfaction.

One of the simplest ways to do this is to ensure that every single course you or your staff offer includes the option to add an Enriched Air Diver course to it. Quite simply, every time someone signs up to a program, ask them “would you like Nitrox with that?

Why Enriched Air?

We are all familiar with the many benefits of PADI Enriched Air Diver training for the customer, so the benefit to them is obvious.

For the dive centre Enriched Air is an excellent additional course too. Firstly, it is very easy to schedule – it can be conducted as a ‘dry’ course, which means organisation is simple. It is fully supported with student materials allowing for home learning – you can just add a couple of hours extra knowledge development and practical application time to your existing schedule.

This also means that your overheads are easy to anticipate, and therefore your profit on each student is straightforward to calculate.

Let’s do the maths….

If your dive centre teaches 120 entry level and con-ed core courses a year, and you can encourage 50% of these students to complete a PADI Enriched Air Diver course, you’ll generate an extra 60 certifications per annum.

At £80 profit per student, that’s an additional £4800 profit after all overheads are taken into account.

Take a look at your PADI Open Water Diver and PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certifications last year, and review how much additional revenue you would make it 50% of them signed up to Enriched Air Diver. Use the Course Calculator to establish your profit per student, and how much you stand to make!

What now?

  • Login to the PADI Pros Site and then open the Course Calculator to plan your Enriched Air Diver course pricing.
  • Brief every staff member to make sure they understand how the course works, the benefits of Nitrox and to ensure they ask ““would you like Nitrox with that?
  • Take advantage of the special offers on Enriched Air Diver materials to further boost your profitability.
  • Use the Enriched Air Diver digital marketing materials to promote the course at every opportunity including:
    • Website references alongside all your core courses
    • Facebook posts
    • Direct emails to previous customers
  • Challenge your staff to see who can cross-sell the most Enriched Air Diver courses in a month

How to Be an Effective Assistant in Confined Water

Certified assistants play an important role in confined water sessions. During this transformative time, students try things they’ve never done before, overcome fears, and achieve mastery. A certified assistant aids both the instructor and students acting as a partner and a second set of eyes.

We interviewed PADI Course Directors who have overseen the training of hundreds of divers and dive professionals. Their consensus: communication, preparation, and a thorough knowledge of the course material are the keys to being an effective assistant in confined water.

Good Communication

A good team can’t function well without good communication. It’s important to meet or message with the instructor prior to class to discuss skill sequencing, equipment needs, and any struggles students may be experiencing.

“It’s important to be proactive,” said PADI Course Director Kevin O’Brien from VIP Diving. “Talk to the instructor about where will you be positioned for each skill, and whether you will demonstrate.”

Course Preparation

Anticipate equipment needs such as extra cylinders, weights for buoyancy skills, pocket masks for rescue scenarios, etc. Review performance requirements in the PADI Instructor Manual, and the list of common student problems in PADI’s Guide to Teaching. Jot down notes on the course slates.

“Make sure your gear is in good shape and working properly. A dive professional who has gear that doesn’t fit or work properly sets a bad example for student divers and wastes class time,” advised O’Brien.

Certified assistants are sometimes called upon to work one-on-one with a student. In this instance, a good assistant will refer to their course slates to ensure the student can meet all the performance requirements before sending the student back to the instructor for evaluation.

Skill Demonstration

PADI Course Director Pepe Mastropaolo from Buddy Dive Academy emphasized the importance of using a slow, controlled manner when demonstrating skills. “A good assistant also positions themselves so students can see these actions clearly,” he noted.

Appropriate Level of Supervision

Use a different approach with new versus certified divers. For example:

– In the Open Water Diver course®, the assistant should be close-in and ready to take hold of a student who loses control of their buoyancy.

– During the Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course, the assistant can give students more space and time to fine tune their buoyancy skills.

Be Approachable and Handle Issues Professionally

“It is no secret that many student divers feel more comfortable approaching the certified assistant than the Instructor. Having a friendly conduit between the student and the instructor makes student learning easier and enhances teamwork,” said Mastropaolo.

Open a dialogue by speaking to each student after class. Ask what they learned today, or just, “how was it?” If a student expresses a concern, be sure to communicate it to the instructor at the appropriate time. Work as a team and avoid making executive decisions.

“Never contradict the instructor or disparage your dive shop in front of student divers,” said O’Brien. “If you have an issue or disagreement, take it offline with the instructor in private for clarification.”


For additional tips on working as a PADI Divemaster, or how to find that dream job, visit the Divemaster section of the PADI Pros Europe blog and follow PADI Pros Europe on Facebook.

The Adaptable Prevail – A Message from PADI’s CEO

Put “adaptive” and “PADI” together and it conjures images of people overcoming disabilities and challenges, and rightly so. Diving is one of those rare, rich experiences that can help heal the body, heart and soul, whether someone’s dealing with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), paraplegia, cerebral palsy, amputation – the list goes on, as you know. With its performance-based design focused on what people can do instead of what they can’t, the PADI® System’s adaptive approach has opened diving and the underwater world to thousands.

Thousands? I should say millions. The PADI System’s adaptability isn’t new, and it benefits 25 million of us and counting – that’s every single PADI Diver. It has made PADI the world’s dominating force in diving because we all have challenges, needs, interests, preferences and desires. Only a system that adapts to the infinite individuality of learning and teaching can address all of these distinct variables.

What makes the PADI System stand apart is its ability to fit a standardized diving instructional system to so many people individually, in so many ways. It is international, cross-cultural, multilingual and transgenerational, so that beyond accommodating varied learning needs and preferences it builds a bridge that makes us one amid our differences. Take five PADI Divers from China, Italy, Mexico, Russia and Vietnam and put them on a boat for a day. They share a language even if they don’t, because they “speak” diving and the ocean, thanks to the PADI System you and your fellow PADI Professionals apply every day.

The PADI System succeeds because it stands on a solid, unshakeable but adaptable philosophical and instructional foundation that retains our core values while evolving as emerging technologies and social trends change how we meet individual needs, one student at a time. As the PADI family stands up for ocean health and marine animal protection, and champions the power of diving in community, and health and wellness, we need to recognize that, hand in hand with tenacity, this is where our strength lies. Overcoming challenges requires adapting what we do, whether it’s to help one person with an individual need or one planet with a social need.

The Chinese philosopher Lao-tsu said, “An army that cannot yield will be defeated. A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind. The hard and stiff will be broken; the soft and supple will prevail.” The PADI family has emerged as a force for good because we don’t try to live in someone’s idealized version of what the world should be. Rather, we are supple. We adapt and change to meet what the real world blows our way. Together, we always have, and I expect, always will.

Good luck, good teaching and good diving,

(Drew Richardson Ed.D.
PADI President and CEO)

Using Virtual Reality in your dive store

Virtual Reality in your dive store

The modern day shopping experience is constantly evolving. Customer’s need their senses tingled before committing to a purchase, and virtual reality will do just that. Swapping quaint imagery of Red Sea fish life for the PADI® VR Scuba Planner app will give your customers the immersive experience of Egypt right from your store.

For dive businesses that plan dive trips to Egypt, the PADI® VR Scuba Planner is a great tool to back up a sales promotion. Instead of relying on your word to explain how great Red Sea diving is, simply let your customers see for themselves. Through VR glasses, divers and non-divers alike can experience 360-degree videos on a mobile device. Giving your customers virtual bottom time on some of the Red Sea’s most memorable dives will certainly tempt them to book their place on a trip.

In addition to the modern day sales pitch, the app also has the very real benefit of being able to plan dives. Available on Apple and Android, divers can plan 67 immersions in the Red Sea with tips and advice from PADI Pros in the area. The geo-positioning and mapping feature allows for accurately planned dives accompanied by maps, photos, key information and illustrations to further assist with pre-dive planning.

Use this post from the PADI Blog, The Virtual Red Sea, across your social media channels to encourage your customers to come and check out the PADI VR Scuba Planner!

The PADI VR Scuba Planner is available in eight languages and can be found here:

For Apple devices

For Android devices

The Virtual Red Sea

PADI’s newest app makes diving the Red Sea even easier. And you don’t have to be a diver to do it.

By Tara Bradley Connell


Thanks to the recent addition of the PADI® VR Scuba Planner, divers and non-divers alike can experience the underwater realms of the Red Sea. The PADI VR Scuba Planner, developed by I Love the Sea, is the newest addition to  I Love The Sea suite of virtual reality apps, featuring Red Sea experiences such as dive site tours, geo-positioning and route planning.   The real thrills come with the 360-degree views that give users virtual bottom time on some of the Red Sea’s most memorable dive sites, without ever getting wet.

Available on Apple and Android apps, the PADI VR Scuba Planner enables divers to plan 67 immersions in the Red Sea with tips and advice from PADI Pros in the area.  The geo-positioning and mapping feature allows for accurately planned dives accompanied by maps, photos, key information and illustrations to further assist with pre-dive planning. Each  dive site is also  shown in a 360 video, making it possible for each user to enjoy the dive from their mobile device in 360 or, to  maximize the experience,  through VR glasses.

The PADI VR Scuba Planner is available in eight languages and can be found here:

For Apple devices

For Android devices

Dealing With DCS

Identifying decompression sickness (DCS) as a dive professional can be tough. Is a student diver tired because of working really hard during the course or is the diver’s fatigue a symptom of DCS from the last deep dive? The good news is that DCS is exceptionally rare in well-managed certification courses of all levels, and the most serious types of DCS that require immediate response are often quite obvious.

Making a judgment call about what may or may not be DCS in the moment may be difficult, but you can improve your readiness by reviewing the signs and symptoms. Keep in mind that any sign or symptom that could indicate a decompression injury warrants a thorough examination by a healthcare professional. If there’s ever any question, a set of qualified eyes can only help the situation and the diver.

Type 1 DCS

Type 1 DCS is most typically characterized by musculoskeletal pain and/or mild skin symptoms. Common manifestations include itching and mild rashes (distinctly different from the pinkish blue mottled or marbled and raised skin – cutis marmorata – which may indicate more serious Type 2 DCS) and musculoskeletal pain, particularly in large joints. Less common symptoms include obstruction of the lymphatic system that can result in swelling and localized pain in the armpits or groin or behind the ears. Symptoms of Type 1 DCS can build in intensity. A diver who initially reports a mild joint ache may report serious pain shortly thereafter. Pain associated with DCS typically does not increase with movement, although immobilizing a painful joint can reduce discomfort.

Type 2 DCS

The symptoms of Type 2 DCS are considerably more serious and typically fall into one of three categories: neurological, inner ear and cardiopulmonary.


  • Numbness
  • Paresthesia (a burning, tingling or prickling sensation typically felt in the extremities)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty walking/impaired gait
  • Problems with physical coordination or bladder control
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or impaired mental status
  • Hearing sounds that do not exist


  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness or vertigo (sensation of spinning)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Impaired balance


  • “The Chokes” (dry cough and difficulty taking a breath)
  • Chest pain (particularly behind the sternum)
  • Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)

Type 2 DCS can develop either slowly or rapidly, and progression is difficult to predict. Slowly building symptoms can obscure the seriousness of the situation and provide an opportunity for the diver to deny issues or the severity of injury. Fatigue and weakness are relatively common after diving, and if their onset is protracted they can be easily ignored. More serious symptoms such as difficulty walking, urinating, hearing or seeing can prompt more rapid recognition of injuries. Divers are frequently reluctant to report symptoms, which is vital for you to keep in mind. Students frequently fail to report, or underreport, symptoms for fear of judgment or “making a big deal out of nothing.”

If you suspect that you or a student has any symptoms that could potentially indicate DCS, get an evaluation by a medical professional as soon as possible. Treating a noninjury as if it were quite serious has minimal repercussions, but failing to respond appropriately to an acute case of DCS can cause serious long-term harm to an injured diver.

For more information about DCS and diving visit DAN.org/Health.

My PADI Club™

The Portal to a World of Underwater Exploration and Discovery.

Written by Mohammad Dahdul, PADI Marketing Consultant

Sharing your passion for diving, the ocean and ocean conservation is what you do as a dive professional. You’re likely looking for innovative ways to make diving accessible and increase engagement for those who want to continue their dive journeys. My PADI Club™ was created to help you keep your ­customers diving for a lifetime.

Based on the extensive research ­provided by McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s leading research and business consulting firms, My PADI Club is designed to overcome the barriers people experience when learning to dive and help prevent divers from drifting away from diving. It provides what they need to stay active in the sport.

The barriers identified include dive planning being too difficult, trouble finding people to dive with, and reliable ratings of dive sites and dive businesses being unavailable. When it launches, My PADI Club will offer divers an online community for finding information about dive centers and sites globally, a dive buddy finder, custom dive notifications and trusted ratings. The platform’s tools work to not only make diving more accessible to the average ocean explorer, but to also increase repeat customers and drive business growth for PADI® Members in numerous ways.

Advertise Your Business

Advertising is imperative to grow your business and My PADI Club actually makes it easy. Publicizing what you offer and promoting your events is funda­mental to customer acquisition, and in building and maintaining customer loyalty. Think of My PADI Club as another marketing tool to drive customers to your store and participate in your events. The more you advertise and network, the larger, more loyal customer base you’ll build.

There are various ways to use My PADI Club as an additional advertising tool. Upload promotion or event flyers to the activity feed, change your dive center display ad with monthly specials or tent sales, and directly interact with customers through “likes” and “comments.” By uploading a display ad and linking it to your website or event page, you’ll be able to drive more traffic to your events. Reference the photo specs in the Settings section of My PADI Club to make sure your photo is the correct dimension and size.

Although advertising’s main ­objective is typically to foster business growth, you can also use it to share your passion for conservation with your network. Use the platform as a way to highlight the conservation projects that you and your team are working on. Invite your My PADI Club connections to your Dive Against Debris® events and enlist them to help have a ­positive impact on ocean health.

The wide reach of advertising through My PADI Club gives you the opportunity to grow your business, build a community of like-minded individuals, and work toward PADI’s Pillars of Change.

Build Stronger Customer Relationships

People and Community is one of PADI’s Pillars of Change and is the heart of teaching the world to dive. Building a community of divers in your area is a crucial way to keep customers returning to your business.

In Entrepreneur’s 5 Ways to Build Killer Relationships with Customers, connecting and communicating are two of the most important actions to forging healthy customer relationships. Both interpersonal and online interactions have a direct effect on whether or not a customer returns a second time. The consistency of these interactions also plays a large role in keeping your business, and diving in general, at the top of a customer’s mind. In the technologically advanced world in which we live, maintaining constant contact with another person is as easy as tapping a button on your smartphone. My PADI Club can offer this consistent, and instant, interaction.

Use the convenience of My PADI Club to your advantage by connecting and interacting with your customers in several ways. Update your instructional team on your dive center profile so student divers can easily follow their dive mentors. Make sure you and your instructors follow your students’ profiles as well. Once you’re following them, comment and like their logged dives, photos and videos encouraging them to continue their dive adventures. Post interesting content that will prompt your customers to interact with you. Maintaining these relationships could lead to referrals to friends and family.

Another way to prompt students to dive with you is by contributing to Go Dive Alerts™. As a PADI Pro, you are the local expert of the sites you frequently dive. Report conditions in My PADI Club for dive sites each day to alert divers of conditions that might pique their interest – for example, perfect water temperature and great visibility. My PADI Club users can customize notification triggers – Go Dive Alerts – for their favorite dive sites. As you report conditions, divers who chose to receive alerts for specific parameters at their favorite dive sites will be alerted to go dive. Prompting divers to dive reinforces their passion for scuba and gets them back into your dive center more often.

Having the ability to follow new and existing divers, other PADI Members, as well as share your passion and knowledge of diving within your community will make your voice and influence as strong, and global, as ever.

Grow Your Business

Using My PADI Club to advertise and build stronger customer relationships ultimately leads to business growth. By enabling your customers to become My PADI Club Premium members (coming later in 2018), you help them access exclusive savings on PADI continuing education courses and gear from some of the top dive brands. Leveraging these premium features is the best way to sell a Premium membership to both new and experienced divers.

What’s in it for you? Earn commissions for every new Premium membership sold. Commissions are paid on first-time Premium members only and the diver must remain a Premium member for at least 60 days. You will be paid in credit each month and also have the option to cash out credit via a check.

Encouraging your customers to join My PADI Club and upgrade to a Premium membership not only benefits them, but you as well. When customers seek out your dive services and products time and time again, you earn more revenue from each return visit. By bringing all your divers into the largest online dive community, you grow a robust dive tribe and expand your influence.

Set Up Your Profile

Now that you know there are many ways to leverage My PADI Club, it’s time to learn how to create and update your profile. Use these steps:

  • Step 1: Visit my.padi.com and log in using your PADI Pros’ Site or ScubaEarth username and password.
  • Step 2: Click on Profile to update your profile image, avatar, and general info. Connect with divers and share your photos.
  • Step 3: For Dive Centers and Resorts: Although some aspects of your profile can be updated directly on the My PADI Club dive center profile, information such as parking, transportation, services and courses must all be updated within the PADI Pros’ Site Premium listing section. To update these additional store details, go to PADI Pros’ Site (padi.com/mypadi). Log in using your Dive Center/Resort account, select the Account tab and then select Premium listing. Update your Premium Listing to improve your My PADI Club profile. This information will automatically populate into your My PADI Club ­profile within 24 hours.

Be sure to make your profile stand out. Add photos, videos and content that’s intriguing to your customers to make your profile distinctive. Remember, ­interaction and content are key in attaining the ­maximum benefits of My PADI Club.

Using the tools discussed throughout this article will help you leverage the My PADI Club platform. As mentioned, the best ways to fully benefit from My PADI Club is to be an exceedingly active member through consistent updates, constant interaction and communication with other users, and posting interesting content. Use your voice and influence as a dive mentor in My PADI Club to spread your passion for diving and encourage others to continue their exploration of the ocean, and to protect it while doing so.



How you as a Divemaster can encourage more women into the world of diving



July 21, 2018 marks the fourth annual PADI Women’s Dive Day. With hundreds of events hosted by PADI Dive Centres and Resorts around the world, divers will join together to celebrate female divers, aiming to encourage more women to take up the sport. 

 As a PADI Divemaster you can help encourage more women to take the plunge and sign up for a scuba diving course. Here are 5 top tips how to inspire and empower others to enjoy diving as much as you do!

  •  Promote PADI eLearning

PADI eLearning provides a flexible learning option that enables women and men alike to easily fit dive theory around work and family commitments. Learning to dive has never been more convenient!

  • Promote ReActivate

As a PADI Divemaster you can conduct the ReActivate™ program for certified divers. With that in mind get in touch with women who have dropped out of diving and invite them back to ReActivate.

  • Promote scuba diving lessons for kids

Having more female divers generally increases the number of families diving, which helps create a stronger and more active dive community. As a PADI Divemaster you can further attract mothers and families into diving by promoting kids scuba programs, such as PADI Bubblemaker, PADI SealTeam and PADI Junior Open Water Diver. Learning to dive will help the soon to be female divers relax from the stresses of daily life and keep the kids active at the same time!

  • Organise non-diving events

Non-diving events (for example, beach clean ups, hosting fundraising events for Project AWARE) can help divers and non-divers alike connect with the dive community. As a PADI Divemaster you can encourage your customers to invite female friends who are curious about diving, so they can network with scuba enthusiasts and get a flavour of what extraordinary experiences lie ahead of them on their scuba journey.

  • Stock women’s dive gear

Encourage your dive centre to stock up on female and children’s dive equipment. When walking into a dive centre for possibly the first time, people need to be able to identify themselves in imagery, so including bright and vibrant photos of women diving in your marketing materials should help inspire more female divers.


Don’t forget to register your event on the PADI Women’s Dive Day event locator so divers can easily find information and make plans to take part. It’s easy! All PADI Members (dive shops and individual pros) can simply enter the details here and your event will show when a diver looks for Women’s Dive Day events near them.

PADI Divemasters, we are reaching out to you to help us spread the word! By implementing one of our top tips you can help to encourage more women into the world of diving!






Help Divers Avoid Injuries

Written by DAN Staff

In the Northern Hemisphere spring is a great time to maintain both equipment and skills in preparation for warmer weather and a busy dive season. As many divers make sure their gear is ready to get in the water, you can help them make sure they’re ready, too. By familiarizing yourself with the most common causes of diving accidents, you can offer tips for effective skills practice.

What causes the most accidents?

Accident analysis data has shown that there are five leading causes of preventable dive accidents and injuries:

  1. Uncontrolled ascents
  2. Ear and equalization problems
  3. Poor air management
  4. Diving beyond personal limits
  5. Failure to adequately plan and perform dives

At least one of these factors is present in the vast majority of reported incidents.

How can you help divers avoid incidents?

A great way to minimize problems is to get divers to practice foundational dive skills. Encourage your students and customers to consider which of their skills need improvement and suggest ways for them to practice these skills. Ascents, buoyancy control, ear equalization and emergency weight release at the surface can all be practiced in the pool. Divers can work on air management and dive planning by calculating their air consumption and planning practice dives with you or an experienced buddy.


What else can you do?

Some dive accidents are caused by unexpected equipment problems. Make sure divers know how to maintain, store and care for their gear. Also suggest they practice responding to different gear failures – regulator malfunction or stuck BCD inflators – by reviewing air sharing skills, freeflow regulator breathing and disconnecting their low pressure inflators underwater. Although not common issues, divers should feel comfortable responding to such events before they get in the water.

For more information about safe diving practices or preventing dive accidents, visit DAN.org.