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.

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.

Maldivian Force for Good

During the resent BOOT show in Düsseldorf, Euro-Divers Worldwide together with PADI had the privilege to raffle a piece of art painted underwater by a Maldivian artist named Ihfal Ahmed.

The proceeds were generously donated to the Project AWARE foundation.

About the artist

Hussain Ihfal Ahmed, is a compelling artist who has experienced different mediums and techniques. His understanding of art led him to break free from art practices that are holding artist from reaching a favourable outcome. These artworks are a challenge to break boundaries and creating new techniques and insights.

He has more than 15 years of experience in the field. He creates his paintings to make people aware of climate change and sea level rise that are threatening the very existence of his home country Maldives.

The artist, who was born and raised in Maldives hopes to convey the urgency of threats to his nation through art!

The lucky winner …..

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.

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.

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.

PADI Regional Headquarters opening times over the 2018 holiday period

The PADI EMEA Regional Headquarters at Bristol will be operating between Christmas and New Year. Please find below the dates and times of opening:

24th December – Phones are open 08:15 – 13:00

25th December – EMEA Office Closed

26th December – EMEA Office Closed

27th December – Phones are open 08:15 – 17:30

28th December – Phones are open 08:15 – 16:00

31st December – Phones are open 08:15 – 13:00

1st January – EMEA Office Closed

Hours resume back to the usual working hours of 08:15 – 17:30 as of Wednesday 2nd January 2019.

How Can We Protect More of Our Oceans?

For more than two decades, scientists have been telling us that Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are one of the keys to long term ocean health. While some debated their worth early on, today there’s little dispute. As reported by Smithsonian Magazine, MPAs with full protection have four times as much life (biomass). Species grow larger and reproduce proportionately more. MPAs and the areas around them recover more quickly from environmental damage, and (along with fishery management) have higher fish catches — so much so that commercial fishing comes out ahead despite the loss of fishable area.While established as big wins for everyone, global governments arenot on track to meet a U.N. goal to have 10% of the world’s ocean under full protection by 2020. Officially, we’re at just under 6%, but some say it’s really under 4% because some declared MPAs have no enforcement and nothing’s changed.

Moreton Bay Hope Spot Anemone Fish – Photo By Chis Roelfsema

But thanks to Hope Spots, we can help catch up and get ahead of the curve. Hope Spots, if you’re not familiar, were conceived by Dr. Sylvia Earle, with coordination and oversight by Mission Blue, a not-for-profit organization Dr. Earle founded to unite people and organizations for this cause. Hope Spots are unique marine areas identified as particularly distinct due to the diversity of species found there, the habitat’s importance for reproduction, threats from human activity, community economic needs or any other attribute that makes a location central to marine environmental health.

The idea is to conserve and preserve Hope Spots by leveraging public perception and attention so they receive appropriate protection (not necessarily becoming MPAs, and some Hope Spots are already MPAs). As you’d expect, the PADI organization formally partnered with Mission Blue in 2017, adding the weight of 26 million+ PADI Diver voices to the Hope Spot cause. Thanks to Dr. Earle, Hope Spots are a conspicuous example of how one person with a great idea can inspire millions to unite across borders and cultures for a common purpose.

Global Hope Spots map. Photo: Mission Blue

Today, there are almost 100 existing and proposed Hope Spots, and they are important, even though preserving them will not, in itself, halt global climate change, clean up the oceans, stop overfishing, etc. These bigger problems call for big, broad and deep social changes (that are not impossible), but we still need Hope Spots for several reasons:

  • By creating areas with proven biological productivity, they help us buy time addressing some of these challenges. For example, Hope Spots won’t solve overfishing, but by providing areas in which fish reproduction functions unchecked, we prop up fish populations as we sort through the management issues.
  • Hope Spots help preserve biodiversity. Some scientists see this as helping the ocean bounce back with as many species as possible as we make positive changes. Others, accepting that some change is permanent, see biodiversity as central to marine ecology. That is, some coral species tolerate heat better than others; having a diverse genetic supply of such species may be important in a warmer ocean.
  • Hope Spots are inspirational and visible. Hope Spots draw attention. They remind communities just how close and personal ocean threats are, but that we can (and must) act to offset them. As a source of local pride, Hot Spots inspire area divers and ocean advocates to speak up for and fight for them. Mission Blue, PADI and other supporters use social media to highlight Hope Spot stories to make and keep them in the broad public eye.

As a diver, you can support the PADI organization, Mission Blue and others united behind Hope Spots. You can nominate a Hope Spot, and you can participate in events promoting/protecting a Hope Spot (many led by PADI dive shops or instructors, and may tie in Project AWARE as well). Of course, you can contribute to Hope Spot funding – check out mission-blue.org. If you live near or visit a Hope Spot, talk about it in person and on social media – especially with those who may not be aware of it. Finally, get involved with Project AWARE and your local PADI dive operation to make every dive count. Millions of people like you and me passionately preserving, conserving and restoring the ocean is the best hope there is.

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO

Continue your PADI Pro journey for 2019

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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.

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