Winter Training Options and Diver Referrals

To borrow a phrase from a great northern “Winter is Coming” (Game of Thrones—Eddard Stark), or to be honest has already got here. While as I am writing this it is still relatively mild, however, the slow temperature decline has started in the water already.

So what does winter mean for your training pipeline and marketing effort? Well, there are those that don’t mind the cold and can be seen braving the ice in a semi-dry, those that honestly enjoy the experience are few and far between.
But you don’t need to put your business on hold and it really gives you the option to pull out your trump (no, not Donald) card and heap on the added value that makes your business stand out from the crowd. Diver Referral and Dry Suits are winter training considerations.

There are a few winter dive training options open to you but I would like to look at your Centre’s bread and butter, Open Water training. Whilst Tec is great and a fantastic route for the limited few who have made diving their passion, without a steady flow of entry level divers who will be your ConEd divers in years to come? Get your padi UK social media

Both of these options may mean that you need to look at your course pricing and equipment choices. If you would like to do a pricing workshop then please pick up the phone with your friendly Regional Manager as we are here to help. PADI reinvests heavily in the industry from marketing the industry (see latest UK-centric campaign) to local support for 100% PADI Centre’s with individual campaigns agreed with your Regional Manager. Your Manager is there to help so if you haven’t picked up the phone in a while please do.

Back to training, the logical 1st step is to include Drysuit training within your core open water course training. I know that for some this next section is redundant and a few of you do UK Dry Suit Cost divinginclude drysuit as an optional extra, however… I would suggest that at this time of year a drysuit is a must, especially in our temperate clime. Looking at some surveys of why people left diving, feeling cold was a strong indicator that someone would not continue.

Drysuits have moved on a long way in recent years and needn’t be the cumbersome and expensive beast they once were. If you ask around there are some exceptional budget choices that you could incorporate into your school right up to custom fitted deluxe options. But drysuit costs are something that you need to speak to your suppliers over.

What PADI can do is make the training, which is what PADI does best, link together. When did you last look at your instructor guide, in particular, the general standards section? Sorry for dragging you back to basics but please remind yourself about linking Courses:

P45 S7 2016 Instructor Manual –
Dry Suit Diver – integrate knowledge development, confined water performance requirements and conduct all four-course dives in a dry suit. Complete Dry Suit Dive 1 skills during Dives 2, 3, and 4. Conduct another dive beyond course dives to complete Dry Suit Dive 2 skills.

This means that if you are following the recommended Sequencing then you can “bolt on” an additional training dive on to one of the days to complete the added course. Your sells rep will be able to work out a “bolt-on” package deal when buying an Open Water product (Touch/eLearning or CrewPak) and the Drysuit Manual/Crewpak and PIC. If you need help with training then your Regional Training Consultant will be able to give you some guidance.

The 2nd option is to partner up with a Centre who’s able to carry out your winter training.  You could and should be set yo to just sell a “Referral” and hope that your student returns post course to continue diving. There are some great follow-up tips that your Regional Manager can help with to try and maximise the return of your student.

The referral market is a good one and some build their whole business on it. So what is a Referral? Well, incase you have never taught one a referral, it is a process in which student divers complete part of their training in one location, then complete the rest of their training at a different location with a different instructor. What is important if you are going to just send your customers out into the wild is to make sure you register them with PADI. As the referring instructor and Centre, you will get credited with the part certification and it can help with planning marketing once you get a true reflection on numbers. There is a great guide to Entry-level Diver Referrals if you need help.

Jumping back to point 2 teaming up. It is worthwhile building up a formal working relationship with a Centre who is able to conduct parts of the Open Water Course and run it as priced option on your core course structure. PADI invited a contingent of professional English speaking Italian Centres to the recent NEC Dive Show. These Italian Centres were looking to work with UK Centres for just this sort of tie in. Italy is one option there is, of course, the fantastic Isles of Malta and Gozo, the canary islands and the Azores to name but a few who operate all year round. All of which have excellent English and would be looking for a good reciprocal business partner. Don’t forget that resort markets have a similar need for a solid centre to send their DSD customers too in order to keep their interest alive ready for their next holiday.

All regional managers have links within the EMEA territory (and beyond) and will be able to help point you towards reputable 100% PADI Centres.

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Dive into the Digital Age in 2016

The PADI Digital Product Suite is a collection of industry-leading products designed to modernise and enrich the learning experience of students and PADI Professionals. Make the switch to Digital Products in 2016 and you’ll see immediate benefits:

  • Give your students a fun, interactive way to learn
  • Purchase and receive products on-demand, straight away
  • Save on stocking and shipping costs with digital delivery
  • Help the environment by cutting back on paper

PADI Touch Products

PADI’s Touch Products in particular will catapult your diving business into the digital age, offering a rich and immersive experience to students that’s available straight from their mobile or tablet device anytime, anywhere. Using a highly intuitive navigation style, they’ll be able to interact and expand their diving knowledge through text, images, videos, quizzes and more.

PADI ReActivate Touch™ – students will be encouraged to jump back into diving or simply refresh their knowledge with a fully prescriptive approach and a ReActivated certification card included.

PADI Open Water Diver Touch™ – as the first step, new divers will be able to learn the PADI Open Water Diver course syllabus on a modern platform, as well as log their training dives electronically.

PADI Equipment Specialist Touch™ – students will see how equipment works and fits together by exploring 3D diagrams, helping to drive new equipment sales and the importance of servicing.

PADI Freediver Touch™ – new or existing divers can learn about the principles of freediving with this brand new product which accompanies the recently-launched PADI Freediver program.

PADI Touch products can be purchased from your PADI Sales Consultant or via the e-Shop, and are allocated to students via the Online Processing Center. Students can then download their copy onto their iOS or Android device via the free PADI Library App.

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PADI App

The PADI App, available in multiple languages, is another Digital Product designed to deliver valuable content to divers and PADI Pros on the go.

Divers can use this one-stop diving hub to search for their nearest dive shop, browse travel destinations, remind themselves of important items with checklists and even log their dives. They’ll also have access to any of their purchased eCards, whilst renewed PADI Professionals automatically get these for free for all of diver- and professional-level certifications.

PADI Digital Product Tools

To help you make the most of PADI’s Digital Product range, we’ve created some useful tools to allow you to find out more about each product and how to sell them, as well as marketing tools to help promote them to your students.

Renew before 31 Dec and get a FREE Digital Product

If you’re a PADI Professional and renew your PADI Membership for 2016 before 31st December 2015, you’ll be eligible to receive a FREE copy of the PADI Open Water Diver Touch or PADI Equipment Specialist Touch product. That’s a benefit worth up to £65 / 88€ / 96CHF straight away!

Simply complete your PADI Membership renewal for 2016 and you’ll receive an email which will contain further instructions on how to get your free Digital Product.

Plus: Visit the PADI Online Shop and get 5 for 4 on all digital products*. That’s a saving of 20%! Click here for terms and conditions and more details on these offers.

For more information, contact your local Sales Consultant at sales.emea@padi.com or telephone +44 (0) 117 3007234 during business hours.

PADI App Feature: Logging Dives Part 2: Training Dives

In addition to logging recreational dives with ScubaEarth, the PADI App also makes it really easy for student divers to log training dives – and have them verified digitally by their PADI Instructor.

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Logging training dives is an essential part of any PADI course and part of PADI Standards, as it ensures the student diver has a clear record of completing the exercise as well as information about the conditions, equipment, scenario and any comments or feedback regarding the dive itself.

PADI Instructors are encouraged to sit with students to help them log their dives straight after the debrief so that the details are still fresh in mind. Gone are the days of soggy pages and pens that don’t work properly – many students will already be using their mobile devices to tweet, call and message their experience with friends and family, so the tools they’ll need to log their dive are ready and right at their fingertips.

Just like logging a recreational dive, adding training dives is quick and easy for students to do:

How to log student training dives in the PADI App:

  1. From the PADI App homepage, choose Log
  2. Select “+” to create a new dive log
  3. Choose “Training Log” from the options
  4. Select the Training Dive (Open Water Training Dive 1, 2 etc.)
  5. Enter the name of the dive site, and select from the list
  6. Enter the PADI Instructors Member number
  7. Complete the remaining options to describe the dive
  8. Click “Next” and that’s it – the log has been entered
  9. Click “Log” to revisit previously logged dives

Currently, only PADI Open Water Diver training dives are available to log via this process. Other courses will be available in the future – watch the blog for updates!

For the PADI Instructor, it’s also very easy to verify a training record that their student diver has entered:

How to approve your student’s training dives:

1. You will receive an email letting you know you have a new log waiting to be approved

2. Log onto the PADI Pros’ Site > Online Processing Center

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3. Click on the “eTraining Dive Log” button

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4. You will see a list of pending dive logs and can click to approve them, or reject it if something is incorrect

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5. If rejecting a log, you will be able to enter details of why it has been rejected and what the student needs to make the entry accurate. The diver will receive an email with this rejection, and details on how they can resubmit their entry.

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6. This process continues until the log has been approved – after which time it can no longer be edited.

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When student divers purchase and redeem their certification paks, they have access to the eTraining Dive Log in their ScubaEarth account and can also log dives on ScubaEarth via the ScubaEarth App or via a personal computer.

The completely revamped PADI App is now available for Apple iOS and Android-based devices. Visit the App Store or Google Play Store to download it today!