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.

Business Development Opportunities using Emergency First Response Distinctives

Does your local marketplace have a need for additional first aid training that is not immediately available through the current suite of EFR courses?  As an example, is there a local regulatory first aid requirement that businesses or industries require?  You may think the EFR program cannot cover these gaps in the market but by using the Emergency First Response Distinctive Speciality route, these gaps may be filled and your first business may indeed grow.

So how does the EFR Distinctive Specialty route work?  Once you have an idea for your EFR Distinctive Speciality simply download the EFR Distinctive Template, and use it to write your own Distinctive Specialty.  The template makes writing your course a very simple process for you.

To give you some food for thought, examples of EFR Distinctives include:

  • Primary and Secondary Care at Music Festivals
  • Diabetes Awareness and Treatment

Once you have written your EFR Distinctive Speciality, email it to us for review.

A Training Consultant will work with you to answer any questions you have and provide feedback, should your outline need revision.  Once you and your Training Consultant are satisfied with the Distinctive Specialty, the Outline, and application, will be submitted to a review panel for consideration.

It’s that simple.  EFR Distinctives are an excellent opportunity to add something unique, that prospective clients need or want, to your business model and will support your business plans for your EFR business growth.

Congratulations to the new EMEA EFR Instructor Trainers

We wish you the very best with your EFR business through 2018 and into 2019!

Jakub Uzytczuk Remco van’t Hooft Stephen Kruger
Aleksander Chmiel Werner van Loon Luke Caisley
Mona ali Aloud Sandro Krawinkler Ryan Burchell
Feher Abualfaraj Marianne Johner Jan den Boef
Carl Teare Dave Keany Neal Govender
Raed Alotaibi Phillip Pain Dimitris Synodinos
Nagib El Imad Keith Horsted Tony Larcombe
Hussain Almunajan Simon Hotchkin Irini Mitsotaki
Adel Alzahran Sammi Mills Ulf Jakobsson
Issam Kanafani Andrew Frith Thomas Nielsen
Ahmed M. Abel-Aziz Ian Culley Patrik Jeppsson
Khalid M. Hanny Stephen Laing Alfred Kristoffersen
Gerard Hughes Wayne Richards Bertram Nielsen
Daniel Wagner Janine Mansford Cory Symoens
Marc Peltier Jack Mason Vincent Maissan
Thierry Chazalon Darren Hector Truujse Terwijn
Jos Rosier Bethan Comley Daniel de Boer
Harry de Gier David Newman Sander van’t Hof
Julien Iacomelli Daniel Baugh Suzanne Sep
Thomas Mayer Mélanie Donven

PADI is delighted to announce the new EFR Instructor Trainers in 2018.  Programmes have been conducted around the EMEA territory throughout the year and completing the course has enabled these new EFR Instructor Trainers to teach the wide variety of EFR programmes at Instructor level.

This highly prized qualification allows these professionals to further expand their EFR businesses beyond diving markets.  A recent EFRIT candidate, Bethan Comley, said of the programme:

“The way that the trainer structured the course was done in a really considered way, keeping the timings flexible to allow and encourage discussion on each of the topics and the trainer was able to call on their vast knowledge and experience to answer any questions that were raised as we went along. Once again, a really great day”.

We wish everyone the very best of success for the future!

Are you interested in growing your business?  Become an EFR Instructor Trainer

Marketing your Emergency First Response Courses

Think back to your first CPR or first aid course and answer these three questions:

1) What made you enrol?

2) What made you choose that particular course?

3) Did you take other courses or go back for a refresher course from the same instructor or facility?

Chances are your answers are all very different, which makes a couple of important points. First, people have a wide variety of reasons for wanting to learn CPR and first aid procedures. This could range from wanting to know how to care for a family member, to being required to take a course by an employer. The second point is that in many regions there are a lot of training choices. Most people don’t have to look far to find a course that fits their schedule and budget. When training is easy to find, you need to figure out how to make your courses stand out. You need a marketing plan to keep your EFR courses full. Decide who your potential participants are and carefully craft your marketing message to appeal to each group. You also need to arrange your courses in a way that is convenient and attractive to potential participants.

Let’s break this down into three simple steps:

  1. Potential participants: everyone is eligible to complete first aid training, so the potential market is huge. Start by researching who may need CPR and first aid training in your local area to help you focus on specific groups. This training is often required for certain roles, such as child care, life guarding or commercial driving licenses. Also look towards anyone involved in organisations such as schools, universities or youth groups.
  2. Developing a contact: you can reach out to these groups through various mechanisms – direct email, letters or phone calls can all be effective. Try to identify the decision maker as a point of contact and speak to them personally (in business this may be the human resources manager, whilst in a sporting club it might be the chairperson or coach)
  3. Highlight the benefits! Make sure you emphasise the huge advantages offered by your EFR courses. For example, the fact that you can offer dedicated paediatric first aid courses, AED training or separate secondary care. EFR course are based on internationally recognised medical guidelines and that you can offer flexible learning options.

Be ready to follow up your contacts with additional communications and information.

For more details on how to market your EFR courses, don’t forget to refer to your EFR Instructor Manual (page A20) or contact your EFR Instructor Trainer for guidance.

PADI Recognition of Excellence Program

We all became PADI professionals for many reasons, but one thing we all have in common is that scuba diving has the ability to change our lives for the better as well as opening up a new world to many.

It is important to us that we recognise all the hard work that our PADI Members and Dive Centres put in to ensure that PADI remains the strongest brand in diving. The ‘Recognition of Excellence’ programme acknowledges our members who are praised by their students.  Through feedback from your students, whether through a Customer Evaluation Questionnaire, an email or a telephone call, we are able to congratulate you with a Certificate of Excellence. This is a small token of appreciation for the amazing work you are doing as a PADI Professional here in the EMEA region.

As well as this, each month we select the most compelling testimonials received for both individual members and dive centres from the EMEA region for consideration in the monthly Member of the Month competition, the winner of which is chosen by a selection committee made up of key staff members from all PADI offices.  It is an amazing achievement to be nominated out of so many amazing PADI Instructors and Dive Centres throughout the EMEA region, let alone Worldwide.

Be sure to watch out for the next Member of the Month!

Ribbon Eels – the stars of Nakolhu Giri

Scuba diving in the Maldives brings with it the chance to see many ‘must-see’ creatures such as manta rays, sharks and turtles as well as huge shoals of tropical fish congregating on the reefs. All of these things are hard to miss and there is a whole lot more to see when you start diving very slowly and really looking at the reef, the critters that can be found can be just as mesmerising and special as the big stuff…

One such critter is the ribbon eel, also known as a ghost moray, Rhinomuraena quaesita, it is widespread in Indo-Pacific but not so common in the Maldives so finding one is a real treat. Divers in the Lhaviyani Atoll are in the fortunate position of being able to have a go a finding them on Nakolhu Giri where sightings have been occurring for many years.

Known to inhabit the same spot, once found the ribbon eels are easily found again – as long as they are not hiding in their hole at the moment the diver passes by. It pays to be patient and keep very still,just watching the area until it eventually pokes its head and neck out again. Patient observers will be rewarded with the distinctive flattened ribbon eel with its flared, extended nostrils. They reach a length of up to one meter but typically only the head and neck are seen. Their colour is very distinctive and eye-catching; males/juveniles have a black body with a bright yellow dorsal fin. As the ribbon eel matures it slowly turns to the more commonly sighted bright blue colour, also with the yellow dorsal fin and accents around the mouth. It’s not only the colour that changes as the ribbon eel matures, upon reaching a certain size, the body of the male starts to turn yellow and develop female parts until it can eventually lay eggs, making them sequential hermaphrodites. These completely yellow females are the rarest ribbon eels to spot.

For a chance to see these fascinating creatures come and dive with Prodivers and visit the beautiful underwater island reef of Nakolhu Giri.

PADI GO PRO Night 30 June 2018 – Giardini Naxos.

by Fabio Figurella – Regional Manager PADI EMEA.
Last June 30th I had the pleasure and the honour to attend like every year at a PADI Go Pro Night organized by Sea Spirit Diving Center in Giardini Naxos, one of the most active Italian Dive Center focused on training of divers especially for the professional levels, managed by the Course Director Carmelo Sgroi, and by Cilla Lentz – Diving Center Manager.
Every year I have always come with great pleasure to these events because there is always a large number of participants, very interested in the PADI Professional Career.
This year the event has been a huge success, organized in collaboration with the association MEGISS Dive Lab has focused on the topic of Naturalistic photography and Environmental awareness related to the world of PADI professionals.
Guests of excellence Francesco Turano, Naturalist photographer who projected photos that created strong emotions in the hall.
Also present was Dr. Laura Marroni Vice-President of DAN Europe Foundation, one of the youngest managers worldwide of the diving industry, who presented the DAN Europe foundation and its activities, telling of her experience during the IDC becoming PADI Instructor.
About 60 PADI Pros have attended the event, interested in their professional career.


I interviewed some of the most representative members of the Sea Spirit Staff:

Carmelo Sgroi – PADI Course Director.
Carmelo Sgroi, owner of Sea Spirit, PADI 5 Star Diving Resort, is also a skipper and PADI Course Director and has made from his passion a profession.
His career began as a PADI Dive Master in Mediterranean waters of the Ionian coast of Taormina. Later, he became a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor in Australia.
Then he developed himself into a PADI IDC Staff Instructor and PADI Master Instructor in Thailand. In 2018, Carmelo Sgroi completed the PADI Course Director Training Course in Malaysia with success and achieved the status of PADI Course Director. In 2015, Sea Spirit Diving Resort became a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Resort and Carmelo Sgroi and Mark Soworka decide to bring their experience in Europe by organizing the first international PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) in Sicily and founded dive-careers-europe.com.


Cilla Lentz – Diving Center Manager.
Cilla Lentz, general manager, PADI IDC Staff Instructor and main instructor at Sea Spirit Diving Resort, started diving in 2010 during a holiday at diver’s paradise Koh Tao, Thailand. In 2012 she flew back to Koh Tao, Thailand to become a PADI Divemaster. During her internship, she became passionate about diving and decided to take the next step to PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor in Thailand. In 2013, she moved from Koh Tao to Sicily and implement her experience in Sea Spirit Diving Resort. In 2014 she increased her experience in several PADI Specialties and got the PADI MSDT certification (Master Scuba Diver Trainer). After that she gained more experience in training on professional level during Instructor Development Courses and got the PADI IDC Staff Instructor certification. Nowadays she manages Sea Spirit Diving Resort and trains people how to become good or even better divers and trains people who want to take their first step in professional diving.


Amy.
Amy started diving in her homeland, the U.K. and she joined Sea Spirit as a Dive Master Candidate (2016) and grew into the role of main instructor in 2017. By now, Amy guided more than 100 people during PADI Discover Scuba Diving, PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver and PADI (Junior) Advanced Open Water Diver and from this year also PADI Rescue Diver, Divemaster and specialties. At Sea Spirit you will find Amy most of the time on one of our boats, teaching diving with all her enthusiasm and big smile.


Alina.
Alina started her professional dive career at Sea Spirit in 2017 as a Divemaster Candidate. In October 2017, she joined the IDC at Sea Spirit and became an Open Water Scuba Instructor. Now she teaches (Junior) Open Water Diver and (Junior) Advanced Open Water Diver. You will find Alina on one of our boats or in the office, organizing everything with perfection and always ready to take care of everybody with her sunny smile and pro-active attitude.


We then moved on to the presentation of the MAGISS Dive Lab Association, which is a summary of the words of its President Giovanni Laganà:
Joining the Pro Night of Giardini Naxos has taken for MEGISS Dive Lab – the Association of which I am President and Co-founder – an extremely important meaning in line with one of the projects that, together with the other members, we want to pursue: to contribute to educate the professional divers plays a decisive role in supporting the preservation of what is one of the most precious jewels of the Planet Earth: the Mediterranean.
In agreement with Francesco Turano, with whom we are sharing the AWARE DIVERS project, we are convinced that, also through the tool of naturalistic photography, the knowledge of biodiversity and the mechanisms that regulate the life of the Mare Nostrum must become the patrimony of the professional diver who, if properly informed, will be able to guarantee the noble interests of the whole underwater community, being able, at the same time, to support scientifically correct positions.
To do this, guides and instructors need specialized knowledge and accurate information on ecology as well as on the management and sustainability of the Mediterranean Sea. More. They must be able to translate this knowledge into practices that promote low impact diving.
The task now – if the goal is shared – is up to the teaching. We are here and if you want to follow us do it on our social profiles Facebook and Instagram.

Laura Marroni Vice President of DAN Europe closed the event. Here are her words:
Participating to the PADI Go Pro Night in Taormina was a great experience. I had the chance to talk to a group of passionate divers willing to become dive instructors and to tell them about my career in the diving business and how DAN can help and protect them. DAN has always been on the side of every diver, from the beginners to the most experienced. Dive professionals can count on our medical assistance and support in every step of their career, and they can in turn help us making diving safer by joining our research programs. All together we are a big community and we share a very important goal: diving safely, respecting the environment. As dive professionals, we have the privilege to guide people through the marvellous submerged world and the power to change people’s lives. Being diving instructors is much more than a job, it’s a challenging and beautiful mission!


Finally, as PADI EMEA we have given a special recognition to the Naturalist Photographer Francesco Turano “For the exceptional commitment to the dissemination of environmental sustainability through naturalistic photography” Here are his words:
The diver’s awareness is one of the main points people need to focus on. Everything comes from the fact that underwater tourism is no longer in balance with the marine environment, and people often take advantage of it, without knowing and respecting it. Diving centers should change the way they operate and dive management for large groups.
The scuba diving teaching has the task of introducing the use of the underwater world and must be accompanied, today more than ever, by adequate training on marine biology and ecology, through tools like naturalistic observation and photography. Only in this way it’s possible to avoid scuba diving alone just for fun and one becomes aware, through the knowledge of the submerged environments and therefore brought to the respect of life in the sea.
A life in the Mediterranean, studying and photographing in all seasons and in all conditions, allows me today to state that diving must evolve through proper environmental education, only possible with appropriate courses that allow you to learn important points in the practice of diving. I shared my thoughts with MEGISS Dive Lab, an association for the knowledge and protection of marine environments in the Mediterranean, and now I would like to try to share it with PADI, if you understand the importance and validity of the message!

 

Reporting Incidents

PADI Standards require you to report incidents that occur so that they can be appropriately tracked, identified and managed if the need arises. As part of your PADI Membership Agreement, you agree to file a PADI Incident Report Form with PADI for any incident relating to your activities as a PADI Member. Additionally, PADI Standards require you to “submit a PADI Incident Report Form to your PADI Office immediately after you witness or are involved in a diving or dive operation-related accident/incident, regardless of whether the incident occurred in or out of the water; is training related, recreational, technical or seemingly insignificant.”

While the Incident Report Form is largely focused on collecting information related to scuba diving incidents, it’s important to remember that you are also obliged to report incidents that occur during snorkelling, skin diving and freediving activities, as well as any incident that involves divers, dive customers, dive staff or anyone in or around a dive business.

Incident Report Forms should be submitted directly to the Quality Management department (preferably by email, to incident.emea@padi.com) as soon as possible following the incident. This ensures that important information is captured while your recollection of events is still fresh. Always use the most current version of the Incident Report Form, which can be found on the PADI Pros’ Site (Training Essentials/Forms and Applications/General) to ensure that all of the required information is recorded. If the incident occurred during a PADI training course, don’t forget that you will also need to submit copies of all of the student’s course paperwork alongside the Incident Report Form.

If more than one person from the same facility is involved in, or witnesses, the incident, it is acceptable to have one person complete the Incident Report Form and then either have each individual sign the summary, or complete a covering letter, signed by all, stating that they agree with all the details contained in the report (email statements to this effect from all Members involved, originating from the email address currently on file with PADI, are also acceptable).

If you have any questions regarding the incident reporting requirements, contact the Quality Management department directly on qm.emea@padi.com for clarification.

Diving in the fast line, DPV diving in the Maldives

Seeing the concerned and rather worried faces of divers before a DPV (Dive Propulsion Vehicle) dive, is part of the “game”. In contrast to this, seeing the smiles from ear to ear after the dive is just priceless.

PADI in conjunction with BluEmotion have conducted a series of very successful DPV workshops over the last few months. These workshops were powered by SUEX, an Italian manufacturer of reliable and affordable DPV’s, which are distributed and serviced by BluEmotion in the Maldives.

From the north to the south of the Maldives, a total of 13 workshops have been conducted and over 40 new PADI DPV instructors have been trained. Results show that these workshops have been highly successful and have created a new source of revenue for many dive operators.

by Virgilio Gabriele

Testimonies from some workshop participants include:

Manuel Tobolars, General Manager of Dive Butler Maldives:

“We are super pleased with the DPV’s and have in less than two months got our investment back. Staff are also excited as it gives them an alternative option to dive and ways to explore the surrounding reefs”

by Jessica Ogliar Badessi

Hussein Shifau, Dive Centre Manager Bandos Island Resort:

“We weren’t sure in the beginning if we should invest in DPV’s. However we made a move to purchase three machines and haven’t regretted this investment at all. We have issued over 30 DPV certifications at Bandos in less than three months, and we have actually just placed an order for another three units.”

by Virgilio Gabriele

The workshop will be complimentary and will be conducted by PADI Regional Manager Matt Wenger, who will be working with experts from BluEmotion who specialise in the use of DPVs in the Maldives. These workshops are aimed at your PADI staff and will include:

  • 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 and receive special prices on Suex products in order to facilitate an easy and economical way of integrating this equipment into your existing business
  • PADI instructors whom aren’t yet DPV instructors will have the opportunity to be trained, free of charge

If you would like to be included in this project, please send an email to matt.wenger@padi.com so that we can plan the event We will then be in contact with you to confirm specific details of your personalised training.

 

Are You Covered?

With litigation constantly on the rise, comprehensive liability protection is critical for today’s dive professionals.

Maintaining current liability insurance is not only good risk management, but it is also required in many (although not all) areas in order to remain in Teaching status. Although many members feel that liability insurance is only really necessary in the United States and maybe Canada, in recent years we have seen that this is not the case. These days, dive litigation is a truly global issue, with dive-related lawsuits being filed not only in the United States, but in many other locations.  Even in countries where civil litigation isn’t all that frequent, coroners’ inquests often are. Defending one’s self or business in a coroner’s inquest involving a diving death or serious injury can be an extremely expensive proposition without insurance.

Dive professionals need professional liability insurance to cover them for claims resulting from accidents while training divers and snorkelers, supervising and guiding dive excursions, or even assisting an instructor during a training course. In addition, those providing the equipment for their student divers and course participants also need equipment liability coverage, because professional liability coverage alone will not defend accidents in which the equipment provided was alleged to be the cause.

Dive operations should also maintain general liability insurance, covering accidents resulting from products sold, rentals and repairs, air fills, slips-and-falls and so on. In some areas, stores/resorts may purchase group professional policies that insure the store and all the store’s associated professional staff for teaching and supervisory liability.

Given the increasing frequency and global reach of scuba-diving lawsuits, it’s recommended that every PADI Member obtain the information necessary to make wise insurance decisions. Having insurance coverage when a dive accident occurs can make the difference between being properly defended or being financially ruined even when, as is usually the case, you have done nothing wrong. You can still be sued, and you still need to be defended. In today’s world, every active dive professional and dive operator can benefit from dive insurance.

Sign up for the PADI endorsed V Insurance Professional Indemnity Policy today.