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The PADI Advanced Training Academy is conducted over one day and delivers an exciting, educational and highly interactive program, delivered by experts and affording you the opportunity to network with industry peers. Walk away with new skills and knowledge that will increase your certifications and bottom line profit.

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Avoid the Trap

Apart from medical issues, what do you think most causes or contributes to serious dive incidents? Gear failure? Conditions? Panic? No, while these can all be factors, the number one cause or contributor in serious accidents is bad decisions. When we make good choices and follow accepted diving practices, unpleasant experiences are very rare, even when the unexpected happens. But, studies show that when divers make poor decisions, the probability of injury, death or a close call goes up disproportionately.

This shouldn’t be surprising, but here’s the important detail: It’s rarely errors, but violations that cause or contribute to these incidents. In this context, an error is unintentionally straying from accepted practices, whereas a violation is deliberately doing so.


In some dive incident reports, the violations are so extreme that we can only scratch our heads and ask, “What were they thinking?” But in others incidents, the violations are more understandable, at least in hindsight, and if we’re honest, we’ve all been there. It goes something like this: Pat Diver’s on a boat about to splash, and, wouldn’t you know it, Pat has left the emergency whistle normally always attached to the BCD, at home, next to the sink after washing it. Pat can even see it mentally.  A quick check finds no spares onboard . . . and that’s when Pat decides to dive anyway. We’re not going far, it’s flat calm, my buddy has one, there’s no current etc. . . . And, Pat probably gets away with it because in truth, on most dives you don’t need your whistle, and the same is true for other things, like your alternate air source. More often than not, predive checks don’t find problems and reserve gas never leaves your cylinder. Many accepted diving practices we follow on every dive (or should) prove unnecessary on most of our dives.

And that’s the trap. Since nothing bad happened, next time Pat forgets a whistle, or alternate or doesn’t want to bother with a predive check, Pat dives and gets away with it again. After a while, not having required gear, pushing limits, skipping checks etc. is Pat’s new MO.  Pat even begins to say things like “you just need it for training,” since nothing bad has happened after all of these dives, they must be unnecessary, right? (The human factors term for this is normalization of deviance. Logically, we know that eventually a whistle, alternate, reserve, predive check, etc. would make a big difference – maybe even a life-saving difference – and Pat has a bad day or worse. Problem is, it could be the next dive or next 200th; there’s no way to know.


Thinking Differently

Since the trap is that violations seem reasonable in the moment, the solution is a different mindset. Thinking like divers (remember that from your PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course?), the mindset we want builds on the primary objective of every dive: for everyone to return safely. Then we:

Question the violation, not the dive practice. Violations assume that the dive practice is flawed under the circumstances. Because someone likely got hurt or died for us to learn a dive practice, and because there is usually no warning that this is the dive when it will keep us out of trouble, reject that assumption. The data show that violations are flawed, even if divers get away with them frequently.

Remove incentives. Many violations happen for convenience or not missing a dive, so have choices. Spare gear, reasonable time, alternative dive sites, etc. remove incentives. There’s no incentive to dive with a short fill if there’s full cylinder available. There’s no incentive to skip a proper predive check if there’s no rush to get in the water. There’s no incentive to dive in terrible conditions if there’s something else fun to do together.

Be firm. When we rationalize, it’s human nature to look for agreement, so we can help each other by politely not agreeing, ideally followed by a solution in keeping with accepted practices. “No, I disagree. Swimming back alone violates safe diving practices. How about this – we can all swim back together, then those who want to continue . . . ”


Be a role model. We’re less likely to violate safe diving practices when we dive with role model leaders and when we realize that we’re role models ourselves, whether we want to be or not. Role model divers continue their education, keep up with the latest data from sources like DAN, and keep first aid/CPRRescue Diver and oxygen skills current because they know that even without violations, incidents can still happen. As German theologian Albert Schweitzer said, “Setting an example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO

The meaning of agency

Many PADI Professionals seem to be confused about the reason for the required Non-Agency Acknowledgement and Agreement in PADI training programs. The legal concept of agency is something many of us may never have even heard of, much less have considered as a part of our day-to-day professional lives.

In general terms, agency is the concept that a business may be found to be responsible for the acts of others, such as its employees (this is common, something we all probably take for granted). This also means, however, that when a business entity (typically a supplier) controls the actions of another business or individual service provider (such as may be the case in a franchise), the controlling business may be found to be responsible for the actions of the controlled business/individual and the employees of that business/individual.

The PADI organization has long defined the membership’s legal relationship within the organization in membership agreements. The concept of agency is and has been part of those agreements for quite some time as a matter of responsible legal clarity. In the two PADI membership agreements, one for dive businesses and the other for individual members, the following texts appear:

Individual Member:

  1. I understand and agree that this Agreement does not create an agency relationship between PADI and me. Except as otherwise provided in this Membership Agreement, PADI has no control over or involvement with my day-to-day operations and activities and bears no responsibility for the
    same.

Retail and Resort Member:

  1. I understand and agree that this Agreement does not create an agency relationship between my facility and PADI. Except as otherwise provided in this Membership Agreement, PADI has no control over or involvement with my facility’s day-to-day operations and activities and bears no responsibility for the same.

Within the PADI Membership, there is little likelihood of confusion.  Dive stores don’t picture themselves as franchises, subsidiaries or legal business partners of PADI, nor do individual members consider themselves to be PADI employees. However, the critical legal issue is not what we professionals know to be the case, but what consumers may perceive. It is therefore a responsible business practice to make certain the actual relationship – what it is and what it is not – relative to the agency concept is made clear to your students and customers.

For this purpose, the Non-agency Acknowledgement Agreement was created. Similar information appears throughout PADI materials, products and information sources, including diver manuals and videos, on websites, on member business cards and more. Making this issue clear is simply good business practice for us, and a useful, ethical clarification for the consumers we serve.

PADI Digital Core Courses Expand Reach

As part of PADI’s ongoing mission to expand independent study materials and enhance the PADI digital product suite, we’re expanding the number of language offerings for the PADI Open Water Diver, Freediver™, Advanced Open Water and Enriched Air Diver educational course materials. Making the PADI eLearning experience accessible to even more students across the globe.

Scuba diving is a sport/hobby/obsession that bridges borders and cultures, bringing people around the world together to enjoy the underwater environment. But people around the world have different needs and, more importantly, speak different languages.  PADI accounts for this when creating its eLearning products.

The PADI organization is making it easier for PADI Divers to access learning materials, with a digital suite of core courses that are easy to purchase, download and use. Now, these materials are offered in more languages than ever before too – further demonstrating that PADI truly is the way the world learns to dive.

What’s new?

  • PADI Open Water Diver – Open Water Diver now available in seven new languages: Czech, Croatian, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Russian and Turkish.
  • PADI Freediver – 11 additional languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Korean, with Thai and Russian soon to follow.
  • PADI Enriched Air Diver – 22 languages: English, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, French, Finnish, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, with Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Indonesian, Thai, Hebrew and Polish soon to follow.
  • Advanced Open Water Diver – Nine new languages: English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Korean, Arabic, Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

Important to note:

  • The PADI Library app will reflect these changes. If divers have automatic updates turned on in their device settings, the app will update automatically.  If not, they will need to make sure they update their app.
  • PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, be sure to update your eLearning preferences in your account to reflect the courses and languages you support.
  • The affiliate links are now universal and are not specific for each course. After clicking on the affiliate link, the student view defaults to all courses and languages. For this reason, be sure to update eLearning preferences in your account and deselect the courses and languages you do not support.
  • There is now an eLearning completion alert email when student divers have finished their final exam (Open Water and Enriched Air eLearning) and have affiliated with you. All members automatically receive these alerts but you can turn them off in the eLearning preference center if you prefer.

Keep an eye out as more updates to the eLearning experience are coming soon.

Manta Trust Expeditions in the Maldives

Experienced researcher from the Manta Trust have accompanied a series liveaboard dive vacation in the Maldives in 2018

These trips, were part of the PADI Travel Eco Project to explore this conglomeration of atolls, islands and reefs aboard a diving liveaboard. And special because there was one researcher from Manta Trust on the liveaboard. Manta Trust is a leading non-profit organization with the goal of researching and protecting manta rays. These experts were teaching all about manta rays and answer all the divers questions.

Experience Overview

These expeditions have been scheduled to coincide with the most productive monsoon winds and lunar currents. These two factors strongly influence the movements and feeding habits of manta rays. The aim of these trips was to use the knowledge of Manta Trust experts to find feeding aggregations and allow the guests to experience the wonder of immersing amongst a feeding frenzy of manta rays.

Just north of the Baa Atoll, the trip ventured into Raa Atoll, one of most unexplored atolls. However, this group of islands is regularly visited by mantas and hosts some stunning dive sites. Vertical walls covered in soft corals, gardens of anemones and mantas gliding above the divers heads are only a few of the marvels of the region.

Ari Atoll is famous for being regularly visited by whale sharks. Venturing into this atoll, the divers were seeking out these gentle giants and had the chance to visit some of the richest and most spectacular dive sites in the Maldives. Ari Atoll also hosts the second largest manta population in the country, and divers had many opportunities to find manta aggregations and night feeding events at some specific sites.

Finally they visited Lhaviyani Atoll, another spectacular northern atoll. Here sharks, schools of eagle rays, tunas and other large pelagic fish are the main characters in the dives. They also encountered more manta rays and went diving on one of the most beautiful shipwrecks in the country.

Protect What You Love

During these diving holidays, divers had the opportunity to experience and participate in cutting-edge conservation research to protect one of the ocean’s most majestic animals.

Divers personally contributed to the research by collecting photographic identification images of the mantas they encountered throughout their vacation. All new manta rays have been added to the database, and divers were invited to name these new mantas.
Every manta sighting contains crucial information for developing effective management and conservation strategies to protect these increasingly vulnerable animals

The Manta Trust

A UK registered charity, the Trust’s mission is to advance the worldwide conservation of manta rays and their habitat through robust science and research, by raising awareness, and by providing education, influence and action.
The Manta Trust was formed in 2011 to co-ordinate global research and conservation efforts for these amazing animals, their close relatives and their habitat.
Data Collection: The Manta Trust has a number of research projects worldwide, such as incorporating population data, researching manta movements, and completing genetic analyses – to name a few. These projects serve to further the understanding of the general ecology of manta and mobula rays.

2019 Instructor Development Update

We are pleased to invite you to join us at one of the Instructor Development Update events taking place in EMEA during 2019. These events will cover the revised IDC curriculum due for launch later in the year.

These live events will give you the opportunity to be fully updated on the latest standards changes to the Instructor Development Course revision, and provide a broader overview of the exciting PADI developments planned for 2019 and beyond. As a PADI Course Director, attendance at one of these events will provide you with credit towards the 2020 ID Update which will include essential information on the revised curriculum due for launch later in 2019. Places at these events are limited and all IDC Staff Instructors, Master Instructors and Course Directors are welcome to attend. This program will meet Active Status Course Director requirements and will also count towards seminar credit for master Instructor and CDTC applications.

This Update will cover the following topics:

  1. What’s New – Standards and Curriculum
  2. Revised eLearning and Digital Materials
  3. Knowledge Development Evaluation changes
  4. Confined and Open Water Evaluation changes

 Dates and locations are listed below

DateLocationPrice (+VAT where applicable)
3rd March 2019Dubai, UAE£157
21st March 2019Sliema, Malta176 Euro
22nd March 2019Madrid, Spain176 Euro
30th March 2019Lisbon, Portugal176 Euro
22nd April 2019Hurghada, Egypt£157
24th April 2019Dahab, Egypt£157
28th April 2019Santa Margharita, Italy176 Euros
29th April 2019Copenhagen, Denmark176 Euros
18th May 2019Amsterdam, Netherlands176 Euros
22nd May 2019Paphos, Cyprus176 Euros
30th May 2019Lanzarote, Canary Islands176 Euros
30th September 2019Moscow, Russia£157

Please register by completing this registration form and returning it to id.emea@padi.com. Please provide a telephone number that we can call you on to then take payment details over the phone.

Can’t make these dates? Don’t worry – an online update will also be available later in 2019 to retain Active Teaching Status! Please note: Attending an online update will not enable you to teach the revised IDC curriculum when launched in 2019. CDs have a choice to attend a Live update in either 2019 or 2020, to be able to teach the new curriculum. Only after completing a Live update can a CD teach the new curriculum.

** Not an IDC staff Instructor? Contact the Training Department to find out how to become one.

Hussain “Sendi” Rasheed

With great pleasure we want to inform you that PADI Course Director Hussain “Sendi” Rasheed has been inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (ISDHF) for his career service to the sport of recreational scuba diving

Hussain Rasheed (known as Sendi Rasheed) was the first PADI Course Director in the Republic of Maldives and a key figure in developing diving tourism there.

During his career, which is on-going, he has certified over 1,600 divers. He is active in developing regulations for the Maldives Islands and also works to assist marine environmental projects. His work came to international media attention when he created and organized an underwater Cabinet Meeting, chaired by the President of the Republic of Maldives, to bring world attention the threat of global warming.
He is the former Dean of the Faculty of Marine Studies at Villa College (2006 – 2008), overseeing four departments: Marine Science, Watersports, Scuba Diving and Marine Medicine.

He is affiliated as an Executive Director of all Villa Dive Centres under his company, Dive Oceanus, operating five PADI Dive Centres across four different atolls in the Maldives, and supervising 40 diving professionals. He is a founding member of the Divers Association Maldives (DAM).

Regarded as “the Godfather of the Maldivian diving industry” Hussain Rasheed, better known as Sendi, was born in Male’, the capital of the Republic of Maldives. He started diving in 1981 and became a PADI Divemaster in 1986, an Instructor in 1993, and Course Director in 2000. He currently focuses on teaching PADI Professionals and has been a mentor to literally thousands of new divers. Sendi has given numerous presentations at local schools, sharing his love and knowledge of diving and the marine environment, thus ensuring that the next generation of Maldivian’s understands their importance to the Maldivian economy, and also to the nation’s culture. Using regional television he has been able to further expand his programs delivering them to a much wider national audience.

In recognition of his many efforts on behalf of diving and the marine environment, Sendi has received both the Maldives Tourism Award, and the Presidential Award. Each of these are major career acknowledgements, and together they recognize his contributions and ongoing dedication over many years.

Sendi is a keen underwater photographer and dedicated diving professional. When asked about what he likes most about his work instructing divers he noted that, “It is the satisfaction that they will become environmental ambassadors. So, for the Professionals… they will become the ambassador trainers. I enjoy every moment, on all levels, and have so many good memories.”

Sendi has been actively involved in the lobbying of all marine protected species and dive sites in the Maldives since he started scuba diving. As a witness to the decline in the area’s shark population he has been active in opposing shark finning and the sale of shark souvenirs such as jaws and teeth, and was an effective supporter of the 2010 national legislation that provided protection to sharks.

Sendi’s 37 – year career shows his deep love of the ocean that he actively works to protect, and his educational abilities that produce a continuing stream of diving professionals that become Maldivian Ocean Ambassadors.

Since his first breaths underwater, Sendi has seen the Maldives diving industry grow from a few explorers to a multiple million – dollar industry that directly benefits thousands of local Maldivian many of who directly or indirectly owe their role in the industry to him. Sendi thanks his father for inspiring him to venture out into the blue, and to succeed in his chosen field. “He taught me that the ocean was not something to fear, but that it had much to offer.” His wife of 30 years and their two children, he credits with the rest of his impressive journey.

The immensity of the contribution that Sendi has made towards diving in the Maldives is indisputable.

PADI Supporting the Maldives Dive Community

2018 has been a successful and busy year in the Maldives. As Regional Manager I have been out and about supporting Dive Centers and Instructors with a host of activities and events.

So, what has been happening? Member forums, specialty workshops, business development workshops and AWARE Week, are just a few of the many events across the Maldives. I would like to thank you for your continued commitment and support at these forums, training days and events.

It has been particularly inspiring to see how many PADI Professionals have taken part in the DPV workshops around the Maldives. PADI has teamed up with BluEmotion, the official SUEX DPV distributor in the Maldives.

As a result of this partnership, we have been conducting several unique ‘Business of DPV’ training events in the Maldives. Diver Propulsion Vehicles have proved crucial business tools for dive centres in the Maldives, however the techniques involved in maximising their effectiveness are often misunderstood. The aim of the two day workshop was to not only show how these DPV work and how to include them in the dive centres daily operation, but also to give staff the tools to successfully sell PADI DPV courses in order to increase certifications and revenue.

The workshop have been conducted complimentary and were conducted by PADI Regional Manager Matt Wenger, together with experts from BluEmotion who specialise in the use of DPVs in the Maldives. These workshops were aimed at PADI dive centre staff and included for example:

• How to effectively teach this course
• Marketing techniques for increasing certifications
• How to integrate the use of DPVs into your business model
• Pricing strategies
• How to set up and run a DPV wing of your dive business
• Specific details on the Suex DPV and their use
• The opportunity to register as a PADI DPV Centre of Excellence
• PADI specialty DPV training

Should you be interested having one of these DPV workshops conducted at your dive centres, please contact matt.wenger@padi.com

Marketing & Event Support

There is a range of support available as well as assets ready for your use. Be sure to use the PADI Dropbox account for access to the latest marketing materials. As well as this, the PADI YouTube Channel and the image library on Flikr is a great source of visual content available for use. There is also a host of support available if you are looking to step outside your center and run an event or take part in a show.
Please email Matt Wenger for any further information and support.matt.wenger@padi.com

Why Paperwork Matters

New PADI Instructors sometimes comment that they spend more time checking paperwork than they do actually diving. So why is paperwork so important?

Firstly, it informs divers of their responsibility to be honest in disclosing and evaluating their medical condition and the risks of diving – even when operators do their very best to provide an enjoyable and relatively safe experience. It also establishes the guidelines all divers are expected to follow when participating in this transformational activity. Paperwork is also used as evidence to help defend dive professionals if an incident occurs and legal action is filed, and is usually a key requirement of your professional liability insurance policy. Each form has its own unique purpose:

Liability Release / Statement of Risks – This document explains the risks of scuba diving to the participant and ensures they are aware that it is possible for something to go wrong. It’s important here to ensure that all the blanks are filled in properly before the diver signs the form. Do not alter the document after the student signs the form, and always confirm the form is signed and dated properly.

Non-agency Acknowledgment – This form explains to your customers that PADI Member businesses are not owned by PADI, that dive professionals are not employees of PADI, and that PADI does not and cannot control the day-to-day operations and decisions of your staff and your business. As with other forms, ensure all the blanks are filled in and that the form is signed and dated.

Safe Diving Practices Statement – This document is designed to inform divers of their responsibility to dive safely – not only while a student diver, but after certification as well. Again, all blanks should be completed, and the form must be signed and dated.

The Medical Statement discusses the risks of diving and asks the diver to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions. Any ‘yes’ answer requires the approval of a physician before participating in any in-water activities. Always have the diver answer a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on each line and again, sign and date the form. 

Invariably, one of your divers will answer ‘yes’ to a question on the medical statement and then want to discuss it with you, or change the answer to ‘no’. If the diver chooses to change their answer, think carefully about the reasons they might do so before allowing this.

  • Was it a simple oversight? If someone who is biologically male answers yes to, ‘are you pregnant or trying to become pregnant?’ it’s acceptable for the diver to change their answer. Be sure the diver initials and dates the change.
  • Did the diver truly misunderstand the question? If a diver initially answers ‘yes’ there must be a reason for it. Counsel the diver to be truthful about medical issues for the benefit of their loved ones, their dive buddy, and their own health and safety. If in any doubt, they should always consult a medical professional.

It is important to schedule sufficient time at the beginning of each course for student divers to fill out the required forms and for you to check them thoroughly – ensuring student divers complete paperwork properly and accurately can be key to your legal protection in the event of an incident.