Join a PADI Advanced Training Academy Near You

Drive your dive business forward

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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PADI/GoPro Evolution Video Contest Kicks Off

PADI® is partnering with GoPro to present the three-part Evolution video contest series, which will run through October 2019. Whether it’s a sunken ship in your favorite quarry, an unforgettable turtle encounter or a freedive over a vivid reef, you and your divers have a shot at winning valuable prizes as you show off your video and editing skills. Best of all, the contests are a chance to increase your business by offering specialty courses and camera sales.

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Take your next steps and claim your 5 for 4 offer

Take your next steps and claim your 5 for 4 offer – That’s 5 Specialty Instructor credentials for the price of 4!

More scuba diving and more fun sharing what interests you – that’s what teaching specialty diver courses is all about. The best way to learn how to make your specialty diver courses really special is to take a Specialty Instructor course from your local PADI Course Director. Specialty Instructor courses provide teaching tips and hands-on experience that you can implement right away. With over 25 PADI Specialty Diver courses, and numerous distinctive specialties, you have lots to choose from – so get going!

All PADI Instructors will benefit from taking Specialty Instructor training courses, especially those who are ready to step up to the Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT) rating, which requires at least five PADI Specialty Instructor certifications.

Important: This offer is only applicable on a single Specialty Instructor Application and all five specialty instructor ratings must be applied for at the same time. You are also eligible for 10 specialties for the price of 8 or 15 specialties for the price of 12.

Find your local PADI Five Star Instructor Development Center

If you have questions and would like more information, please contact

Congratulations to our 2018 PADI Elite Instructor Award Recipients

With the New Year well under way, we would like to congratulate all our 2018 PADI Elite Instructor Award recipients. These PADI Elite Instructor Award recipients are the top certifying PADI Instructors who have received an Elite Instructor Award for issuing 50, 100, 150, 200 or more than 300 certifications throughout 2018.

The Elite Instructor Award distinguishes PADI professionals by highlighting their experience as PADI Members and gives them the means to promote their elite status to student divers, potential students, prospective employers and others.

Elite Instructor Award recipients will receive an acknowledgement letter and recognition certificate (signed by PADI President and CEO Dr. Drew Richardson), a decal to add to their instructor cards, and an e-badge they may use on emails, websites, blogs and social media pages.

Elite Instructors may authorize PADI Dive Centres or Resorts with which they associate, to display their Elite Instructor Award on the business’ digital site as well.


For more information including qualifying certifications, visit the PADI Elite Instructor Award page on the PADI Pros’ Site. To see your current certifications count, view your Students Count Report.

PADI on Tour – UAE

At the beginning of March, PADI staff travelled to UAE to hold a series of events aimed to meet and support PADI Members – PADI Dive Centers and boost the diving industry by promoting divers acquisition.

The team was composed by: Mark Spiers (Vice President) – Jonas Samuelsson (Territory Director) – Teo Brambilla (Regional Manager) – Sascha Engeler (Regional Manager) –   Firas Jundi (Training Consultant & Examiner) – Jessica Armishaw (Senior Marketing Manager) – Amber Swan-Hutton (Marketing Executive – Events) – Cathy Evans (Marketing Consultant – Social Media) – Fraser Bathgate (Advisor Adaptive Techniques).

Here the busy agenda:


11 owners and managers of different Diving and Freediving Centers in UAE and KSA attended the program aimed to equip PADI professionals with the core knowledge and skills necessary to operate a cutting edge PADI dive business.

Participants gained an all-round understanding of how dive businesses and managers should function in a domestic environment while also developing analytical, problem solving and strategic planning skills that are attractive within the dive industry.

Dive MENA Show:

Part of the Dubai International Boat Show, the dive show was a great chance for PADI members to catch up with the ‘PADI Middle East Team’  to discuss business support, receive free consultancy  or simply have a friendly chat. PADI presence at the show was also used to promote diving activities to newbies and motivate divers to continue their education.

Member Forum: 

More than 150 PADI members attended the 2019 PADI Member forum. The update was a fantastic opportunity to ask questions and source all new information needed to further enhance the courses taught but also stay tuned with ‘what’s new’ with PADI.


This live event was a great opportunity to update Course Directors and IDC Staff Instructors on the latest standards changes to the Instructor Development Course revision, and provide a broader overview of PADI developments planned for 2019 and beyond. The attendance at this event enabled participants to teach the revised IDC curriculum when launched later in 2019.


The PADI Beach Day was held on Dubai’s famous City Beach on Friday the 8th March!

With plenty to do all day, from beachfront yoga at sunrise, to talks throughout the event from a selection of PADI professionals, Project AWARE and our inspirational PADI Ambassadivers participants had no shortage of entertainment.

Entertained by live performing DJ, delicious food, underwater treasure hunts and water sports on offer, attendees settled in for a day of fun in the sun!

The presence of 10 Diving Centers gave also the opportunity to chat to local Instructors about PADI certification courses or find out more about the best places to dive in the UAE. The icing on the cake a pool where people could try to dive or freedive all day long!


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