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.

Something We All Need

In 2008, something happened to Leo Morales that most of us can’t even imagine – his leg was amputated to stop aggressive cancer. But what would be lifelong setback for some didn’t deter him. Already a passionate diver, Morales not only went back to diving, he became an instructor and a tec diver. Then he set two records (depth and distance) for divers with disabilities. Then he . . . well, he grew into an impressive and accomplished person by any standard: a PADI AmbassaDiver, Tedx presenter, author and inspiring mentor for hundreds – maybe thousands of people. Amazingly, Morales says that if he could change the past and keep his leg, that he would not. “Scuba diving gave me my life back,” he says. He actually took his life backusing scuba, leveraging it to do more and now gives back more than many would expect. Amazing.

It’s a moving story, but only one example that diving, beyond its force for healing the oceans, heals people – and there are more stories than you can count. Paraplegic at age 12 from transerve myelitis, after the discovering freedom and therapy scuba gave her, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Cody Unser now uses scuba to help people living with paralysis, and participates in related research, through her First Step Foundation. Losing his legs in a combat zone, PADI Divemaster Chris Middleton, U.K. similarly found the healing power of scuba when he started diving with Deptherapy, and now works with Deptherapy to get more people involved.

And it’s not just physical healing. After serving in Iraq combat and discharged in 2014, US Marine Juan Gonzales had diagnosed Post Tramautic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It impeded having healthy connections with people – particularly his family – but discovered diving through WAVES (Wounded American Veterans Experience Scuba), which uses diving’s healing power to help veterans with physical or psychological wounds. Gonzales says the peace he experiences diving has been a major help in his battle with PTSD.

PADI Course Director Thomas Koch can’t hear, but with scuba, his “disability” turns into an advantage. Why? When his daughter Claire got her Junior Open Water Scuba Diver certification with PADI Course Director Cristina Zenato, they talked as fluently and as much as they always do – underwater, using American Sign Language.

There are hundreds of stories – miracles really – about how, through diving, people have helped, healed and comforted. There are literally hundreds of dive professionals and divers who serve divers with disabilities, and you bring honor and meaning to the dive community as a Force for Good.

But, the truth is, scuba’s healing power goes beyond this because everyone needs healing at times. The dynamics of life can often hurt. There are times when it feels like the weight of the world got dumped on your back. Maybe you can’t sleep and you’re not much fun to be around. Maybe the people you care about most don’t get to see your best, and yet they worry about you. And you see it in their eyes.

Then you go diving . . . and something wonderful happens. The worry world stays at the surface as you descend into the underwater world. Your mind clears. What’s really important can finally break through. Your buddy signals, “okay?” And for the first time in a long time, you really mean it when you reply, “okay!” Maybe it takes a couple of “doses” (dives), but you become you again. It reflects in the faces of those you care about.

My point is this. We share diving because it’s a wonderful experience that we’re passionate about, but we should also share it because it’s a restoring, healing experience. Some of us need it more than others, but that’s something we all need.

Wishing you the happiest New Year,

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO

Engagement and Productivity

Over the last decade and a half, “employee/work engagement” and “productivity” have risen as hot, linked buzzwords in the business community. Though definitions and measures of “higher productivity,” “better performance,” “lower turnover,” “better quality” and similar concepts differ, studies consistently find higher engagement correlated with them. Studies also find it correlated with a positive customer experiences. In other words, “engaged” workers do more, better.

What Does “Engagement” Mean?

Schaufeli (2013) acknowledges that “work engagement” and “employee engagement” are used interchangeably, but they have slightly different meanings. Simplified, “work engagement” may be defined as being mentally and emotionally connected to work goals and performance in a manner that motivates the person to further both, beyond expected minimums. “Employee engagement” is work engagement, plus an emotional commitment to the organization for or within which the person works that motivates furthering the organization’s reputation and interests beyond expected minimums. It’s important to note that “engagement” is not “satisfaction,” “happiness,” or “workaholism,” which can be high without engagement.

Rising Importance

Measuring individual worker productivity is increasingly difficult as “knowledge-based” services make up more of the economy. In many countries, as many as half of all workers create and use intellectual property rather than physical property, making conventional productivity measuring methods obsolete and unreliable. Impraise, a management software company, notes that “knowledge-based employees simply can’t be measured by the output of their productivity.”

Engagement behaviors, however, can be observed and measured, and their effects can be seen on the bottom line. For this reason, more and more businesses concern themselves with encouraging and measuring engagement behaviors and overall results.

The Takeaways

Much of the dive industry falls in the knowledge/service domain, making engagement central to increasing and sustaining productivity. Creating engagement is complex, with entire courses on how to do so, but experts seem to agree on a few common themes:

  1. Communicate regularly and personally. Frequent one-on-one communication with the dive operation manager/owner should increase engagement. Focus on purpose and how each person’s purpose fits in with it. They also need to know and see specifically how their efforts make a difference.
  2. Quality is often more important than quantity. This especially includes instruction. Beyond the more important safety issues, well-trained divers are more likely to invest in gear, travel and more training, and more likely to refer friends. So, training fewer divers well in a given time is likely more productive from a business perspective than training more divers poorly in the same interval.
  3. Dive businesses thrive on customer experience. Diving is all about customer experience, especially in training and travel. Engagement and customer experience tend to go hand in hand. Engaged employees and instructional staff have a passion for what they do and with whom they work that contributes to this.
  4. Trust. Knowledge-economy workers need relative autonomy and responsibility for managing their own productivity. This doesn’t mean ignoring what dive center staff does, but providing guidance and goals that allows them to get their work done without micromanagement.
  5. Results over effort. Recognize when people work hard and for long hours, but for most tasks focus on doing the right things well over simply staying busy. Reward innovation that saves money/time, expands services or improves customer experiences.

Adapted from the 4th Quarter 2018 edition of The Undersea Journal®, written by Karl Shreeves.

In Celebration of the PADI Divemaster

A good divemaster is the PADI System’s “secret weapon.”

The PADI® System of diver education is built upon a foundation of learning and applying safe diving for fun and exploration. It is this system that makes PADI Pros the most sought-after professionals in the scuba diving space. While many divers may not fully appreciate the significance of the PADI Divemaster, PADI Instructors, Dive Centers and Resorts do because certified assistants are integral to the PADI System. Divemasters are a key component that allows other parts of the system to move freely and function at full capacity, working toward optimal safety and education to enhance fun and adventure.

The role of the PADI Divemaster can’t be underestimated. Divemasters are often the conduit between student divers and instructors. Sometimes students find themselves struggling with particular cognitive or motor skills. Instead of risking looking foolish in front of the instructor, reaching out to the dive master for help creates a strong bond of trust. A diver may look for assistance in mastering the physics of diving, overcoming an inwater skill, making the best equipment purchase choice, figuring out how to get to the dive site or whether to bring sunscreen. The divemaster can become the source of all kinds of dive knowledge for that diver.

What is a divemaster’s value to an instructor and dive center? From the PADI Instructor’s perspective, a good divemaster is like the best birthday present ever. Someone who anticipates needs, shares the course planning and execution load, communicates effectively and empathically with divers and works independently when needed, a divemaster is a trusted second-in-command whose presence can help ultimately contribute to effectively conducting PADI courses.

For the dive center, a good PADI Divemaster can be the store’s secret weapon; its USP (unique selling proposition) that drives repeat business. Happy customers are often repeat customers, and repeat customers translate to increased revenue. PADI Divemasters are the most versatile of creatures who may be found filling cylinders, preparing a site briefing and assisting on a training dive that morning. In the afternoon they may be out guiding certified divers or coordinating a Dive Against Debris® survey. (Does this sound like you?)

The breadth of knowledge and skills needed to become and remain a competent PADI Divemaster can’t be overstated. Everything learned and experienced at this professional level forms the foundation of the PADI Instructor you may aspire to soon become.

Earning the prized title of PADI Divemaster is pretty awesome, with much kudos attached to it, and you’ll want to hang on to it. Do this by staying current. Renew your membership each year. Read all published training and standards updates. Go to live Member Forums and network with other PADI Pros. Look for opportunities to practice and further develop your knowledge and skills. Take PADI specialty courses. You never know where or when you’ll be called upon to use your divemaster knowledge and skills, so always be ready.

Be Best. Be PADI℠.

Customer Service and PADI Standards

There are times when complaints come into PADI that are more about customer service issues than clear violations of PADI Standards. The PADI Quality Management team won’t tell PADI Members how to run their businesses but will get involved when a member’s practices fall within the parameters of PADI Standards, including those found in the PADI Member Code of Practice (found in the first section of your PADI Instructor Manual).

Here’s a review of a few common customer service complaints, along with tips to help you avoid disappointing your customers and hearing from the Quality Management team:

  1. Customers express concern and frustration when planned dives are changed at the last minute to very different sites than those initially advertised. For example, the dive was scheduled for a shallow reef, but en route the boat captain tells customers they’re going to a deep site with more challenging conditions because one buddy team, or worse, a crew member, requested it.

In the Member Code of Practice, you are required to comply with the intent of safe diving practices, consider individual comfort levels and err on the side of safety. Divers who are prepared and comfortable doing a shallow reef dive may not be ready for a deep, challenging dive. If you must change sites, make an effort to choose alternate sites with dive profiles and features similar to the initially planned dives.

  1. Another common complaint from student and certified divers alike is concern about rental equipment provided to them. For example, divers describe ill-fitting BCDs, wetsuits that are either too small or too large or a leaky alternate air source.

PADI Members have an obligation to put diver safety first. Providing a student diver or novice with ill-fitting equipment, or worse, equipment that isn’t functioning properly is inconsistent with this obligation.

Proper equipment maintenance is paramount to diver safety, customer satisfaction and risk management. Enhance your customer service by asking customers if they’re familiar with and comfortable using the provided equipment. Showing your concern for the diver’s safety and enjoyment is both prudent and good business practice.

  1. Customer refunds are a common customer service issue. For example, a customer complains that a “three-week” Rescue Diver course is only partially complete after three months due to continuous rescheduling on the instructor’s part. The customer asks for a referral and the instructor refuses without explanation.

Remember that PADI Standards require you to issue a referral if the student diver completed at least one segment of the course and has met agreed-upon financial arrangements.

The best way to avoid customer service and quality management issues is to apply good judgment when providing dive services and to be diligent about maintaining professional business practices.

Get yourself covered all year round, worldwide

As a PADI Professional, it is critical that you can get on with what you do best. Teach students the world’s most popular dive curriculum, show them the wonders of the ocean, and transform their lives. To help you do this, PADI has teamed up with Divers Alert Network Europe (DAN Europe) to offer PADI endorsed professional liability, personal accident insurance and FREE dive accident cover for an unlimited number of your students so you can have peace of mind while you teach.

Maintaining current liability insurance is not only good risk management but PADI Pros working within the PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa territory may need to carry professional liability insurance to remain in PADI Teaching/Active status.

As a PADI dive professional, you’re a champion of safety working on the front lines every day to protect the divers in your care. The PADI endorsed DAN Europe insurance program provides PADI Pros access to risk-mitigation and safety programs to protect both divers and dive professionals.

Features of PADI endorsed DAN Europe insurance program

    • Personal accident cover for diving emergencies that is valid all year round, worldwide
    • Access to the renowned DAN specialised multilingual hotline, 24/7
    • Unlimited cover in case of hyperbaric treatment and repatriation
    • Travel insurance provided for non-diving medical emergencies abroad
    • € 4,000,000 professional liability cover, including legal defence, per occurrence
    • EXCLUSIVE PADI FEATUREFREE dive accident insurance for an UNLIMITED number of your dive students up to PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD) and PADI Advanced Freediver level*

In addition:

    • Members benefit from specialized consultancy services from the DAN Legal Network, so you have access to a worldwide network of legal experts and lawyers who are knowledgeable in diving-related disputes

Exclusive pricing for PADI Pros – Get Pro Silver for the price of Pro Bronze!

PADI Pros get access to discounted DAN Europe insurance plans receiving Pro Silver coverage for the price of Pro Bronze!

Sign up for the PADI endorsed DAN insurance program today

 

*The dive accident cover for an unlimited number of YOUR dive students is for the following PADI courses: Discover Scuba Diving, Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Basic Freediver, Freediver and Advanced Freediver.

Student dive accident cover includes:

  • Alarm Centre and management of medical emergencies 24/7
  • Worldwide emergency medical treatment & medical evacuation (€15,000,00)
  • Search & rescue of the missing diver (€ 2,500,00)

PADI and The Reef-World Foundation Embark on a Global Venture to Make Sustainable Diving the Social Norm

PADI® and Reef-World have joined forces to promote sustainable diving practices for the protection of the marine environment. This partnership will raise awareness and deliver tools to implement the Green Fins standard of best practice, helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of coral reefs, recreational scuba diving and local livelihoods.

Green Fins is the only internationally recognized environmental standard for dive and snorkel operators, established through a partnership between UN Environment and The Reef World Foundation. Green Fins uses a unique and proven three-pronged approach; green certifications of dive centers, strengthening regulations and environmental education for dive staff, divers and government.

As the largest diver training organization in the world, PADI has the reach and influence to mobilize divers to be citizen activists. With 6,500 PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, 135,000 PADI Professionals and more than 25 million divers around the world, the PADI network has tremendous potential to make an impact on critical environmental issues.

PADI is committed to supporting social and environmental efforts through its Pillars of ChangeSM, designed to empower divers, and the dive industry, with information to get involved with causes they care about in tangible ways. With PADI’s support and more dive operators worldwide adhering to the best practices outlined by Green Fins, the dive industry can play a significant role in creating a more sustainable future.

“Reef-World is working in partnership with UN Environment on the front lines alongside business, government and the public to be the driving force for making sustainable diving and snorkeling the social norm globally. Our ultimate goal is to reduce local threats to coral reefs, allowing them to be more resilient to global impacts such as climate change. We’re thrilled to work with PADI, alongside other dive industry leaders, who can engage divers and diving businesses worldwide, helping us to scale solutions with the urgency that is required.” – JJ Harvey, Reef-World

Many locations are experiencing increasing numbers of tourists who are attracted by vibrant coral reefs. Ensuring that every diver and dive operator in all corners of the globe are equipped with appropriate training and knowledge will help relieve pressure on the marine environment.

“Unquestionably, there are serious and formidable issues threatening the world’s coral reefs. That said, I’m a firm believer in engagement, problem identification and mitigation. The PADI organization is committed to acting as a force for good. By empowering divers and connecting them to the PADI family and global issues relevant to our industry, we can help people be a powerful catalyst for change.” – Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide.

“Saving coral reefs as a source of livelihoods and as a business asset requires collaboration between industry, civil society and governments. This partnership is set to raise the sustainability bar of the diving industry and will help establish environmentally friendly diving as the global norm” – Jerker Tamelander, Head of Coral Reef Unit, UN Environment

The partnership between PADI and Reef-World aims to reach more divers and businesses with the Green Fins lessons and tools. This will be achieved by:

  • Collaborating to help scale the proven solutions of Green Fins: PADI supports market research efforts for the development of a new Green Fins online support system for broader global implementation and easy adoption.
  • Promoting the Green Fins approach: PADI Dive Centres and Resorts are encouraged to adopt the Green Fins Code of Conduct and, where available, seek Green Fins certified membership.
  • Help deliver on PADI’s Pillars of Change focusing on marine animal protection and sustainable tourism by raising awareness throughout the diving industry about available tools and materials to promote change in business practices and reduce environmental impact.
  • Promoting sustainable dive tourism and coral reefs protection through the development of new online media content that inspires environmentally friendly actions.

Working collaboratively provides greater opportunity for dive operators around the world to be better informed and equipped to apply sustainable dive practices, using Green Fins’ guidelines. Reducing environmental threats and pressure on the fragile marine environment will result in improved coral reef resilience and increased sustainable tourism at dive destinations. The partnership delivers on the goals of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations, specifically SDG 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production) and 14 (Life below water).

About Reef-World:

Reef-World supports governments and communities in sustainable consumption and production of coastal resources and marine life. This is done through the Green Fins initiative, established and implemented in partnership with UN Environment. Green Fins is a free membership program for participating businesses that provide scuba diving or snorkeling activities and pledge to follow a set of best environmental practices. Within the 550+ businesses that have implemented Green Fins across nine countries, consistent reduction in threats to the marine environment has been measured, reflecting continued improvements in environmental practice. Specific areas of change are seen in reduced single-use plastics and chemical cleaning products, more responsible underwater behavior among divers and improved environmental awareness within our target audience. For more information visit reef-world.org and greenfins.net.

Continue your PADI Pro journey for 2019

Being a PADI Pro means teaching the world’s most respected and instructionally solid system in diving, transforming people into divers and changing their lives forever.

Renew Online Now

PADI Member Benefits

  • The ability to teach or assist PADI courses and programs around the world
  • Be part of a global community of over 135,000 Professional members
  • Competitively priced specialist diving insurance policies for PADI EMEA members
  • Gain recognition and be an Elite Instructor with the annual PADI Elite Instructor Awards
  • Free access to PADI seminars, webinars, Quarterly Training Bulletins and Member Forums
  • Participate in or host one of PADI’s global events, such as Women’s Dive Day and AWARE Week
  • Stay up to date with the latest news in diving with the Undersea Journal and the Surface Interval email newsletter
  • Training information and pro-development webinars on the PADI Pros’ Site
  • Cutting-edge digital educational tools with PADI’s Digital Products available in 25 languages across all devices
  • Online certification processing
  • Online access to the Pros Site and Employment Board classifieds
  • Access to your Regional Sales and Training Consultants and support from your Regional Headquarters

Renewing your membership ensures that you can continue to transform lives, provide a community for your divers and protect our ocean planet.

Renew Online Now

Dive Opportunities in Salalah – Oman

When it comes to dive center ownership, location is everything. You need access to good diving, good transport links for customers to reach you and a demand for diving that will sustain your operation. Salalah, the capital city of Dhofar province in the Southern region of Oman, provides these qualities for PADI Dive Centers.

What can you expect from owning a dive center on Oman’s Southern coast?

Like most places on Earth, dive store owners here can expect seasonal variance. In real terms, June to September is considered the low-season due to the Indian Ocean climate change. Although monsoon rain settling over the mountains turn the typical Arabian landscape into lush green scenic views, the diving grinds to a halt. Heavy rains wash out many dive sites and turn the underwater flora from vibrant coral fields into dense kelp forests. The strong winds and limited visibility make diving opportunities in Salalah difficult in this Khareef (autumn) season.

To learn more about the unique nature of Oman’s diving, visit the PADI Blog.

Once the Khareef is over, the diving starts! As to be expected from a Gulf country, everything goes back to normal sunny days during September. The green mountains fade for another year, giving way to the beautiful wild and white beaches. Temperatures average 30 degrees and are twinned with a pleasant constant ocean breeze. The water warms up and divers are ready once more.

Where to dive and what to expect?

Mirbat – Beach Diving and shallow waters. PADI Dive Centers can conduct all of the PADI Entry Level Courses in Mirbat.

Mirbat is approximately a 45-minute drive from Salalah. It is reached by 4X4: halfway on a scenic highway, paved alongside the Dhofar’s mountains, and the remaining part of the journey is an off-road drive above sandy dunes. All the dive sites in Mirbat are characterized by easy access directly from the shore. Underwater, the abundance of sunlight and limited depth provide the perfect conditions for corals to flourish. Mirbat’s diving environment not only offers stunning coral gardens, but also a great range of fish: from the tiniest Nudibranches, Flat Worms, Shrimp and other crustaceans to Clownfish, Octopus,  Morays, Stonefish …and if you keep an eye on the blue, it is not unusual to spot different Rays, Turtles  and Barracudas.

Main diving spots are: Eagle Bay, China Wreck and Aquarium.

Salalah – Boat Diving and depths of 30m offer a wide range of diving opportunities for a PADI Dive Center

Differently from Mirbat, diving in Salalah is operated by boat – departing from the fisherman’s port, which is easily reachable with a short drive from any accommodation in town. Dive sites are all located West of the port and along the cliff’s faces. Bottom’s depth in this area averages from 7 to 30 mt. therefore dive sites vary in topography each with something unique to offer; depending from your certification level, you can choose the better depth range that fits your needs. Given the location, marine life here changes with the season, constantly offering something new to admire: there is a large variety of Morays, Crocodile fish, Cuttlefish, Frogfish, the occasional huge Turtle and gigantic – up to 2mt.-Stingrays. During the dives, it is a good habit to monitor the surface as there is always a chance to find yourself caught in a school of Sardines being hunted by Trevally or even Mantas searching for Plankton.

Main diving spots are: Port wall, Raysut point and Donkeys Head east/west

What are you waiting for?  For more information on diving in Oman, contact PADI Regional Manager Teo Brambilla

 

Risk Management Tips

As diving instructors, we have a duty of care to the students we take into the water. We are the experts, and therefore we need to be prepared to make decisions on behalf of our students as well as on behalf of ourselves, taking into consideration their current skill levels and general comfort.

PADI standards provide a fundamental structure within which instructors can operate. For example, the student to instructor ratios represent the maximum number of participants an instructor could take in ideal conditions – instructors can then use this to work back to an appropriate ratio for their personal environment, experience and students.

Ensuring students have appropriate equipment is another example of good risk management. Consider whether their thermal protection is appropriate for the water temperature anticipated at your prospective dive site.  Also consider their likely air consumption – students who are nervous will breathe air far more rapidly than an experienced instructor. Even in relatively shallow water, an Open Water Diver course student or Discover Scuba Diving participant may go through their air very quickly. Consider how often you will need to monitor their air supplies, taking the prevailing water conditions into account.

Sometimes the most mundane factors can be overlooked, however a thorough briefing and debriefing after each dive, along with a clear plan for how your dive will be executed, can be very important in the event of an incident underwater. In some parts of the world, a certified assistant is required by law, but in other areas the instructor is responsible for determining whether they wish to take an assistant with them. Consider your supervision of the divers at all levels, and how you will handle a large group if one of them has a problem.

PADI standards also help to enforce good risk management practices from the very start of a diver’s experience. The Statement of Risks and Liability / Liability Release & Assumption of Risk form outlines the risks inherent in scuba diving activities to your students so that they are suitably informed. Similarly, the Medical Statement is used to help screen out divers with possible medical contraindications to diving. This screening is a crucial risk management tool, and failure to use the relevant medical statement – or failure to act appropriately upon the answers from a medical statement by ensuring that written approval is obtained from a physician prior to any in-water activities if there are any “Yes” answers on the medical questionnaire – represents a serious risk to your students as well as compromising your own legal position in the event of an incident.

Adhering to standards and always being safety conscious when supervising others is your best approach to minimise the likelihood of an unfortunate incident from occurring, and ensure you provide your students with the best possible training experience.