PADI Wins TAUCHEN Award for the 21st time in 21 Years!

Every year, for over two decades, the readers of the highly popular German diving magazine, TAUCHEN, are invited to vote for their preference in 17 different industry categories. With the magazine focusing on dive travel, equipment and industry news categories include equipment, dive shops and diver training organisations.

The bronze dolphins awarded for each category winner are often referred to as the ‘oscars’ of the diving industry and are highly coveted. PADI has been the unwavering favourite diver training organisation, taking home the bronze dolphin statuette for the Best Diver Training Organisation every year, since the award’s inception.

This year, we’re extremely proud and honoured to have been awarded the prestigious TAUCHEN Award for Best Diver Training Organisation again.This would not have been possible without the continued hard work, professionalism and dedication of the PADI members and the continued loyalty of PADI Divers.

This year the awards were presented on 24th January, 2019, in conjunction with the BOOT Trade Show in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Mark Spires collecting TAUCHEN Award

“Thank you to Tauchen magazine and their readers for recognising PADI as the world’s best Training Organisation for the 21st year. I would like dedicate this award to PADI Members across the planet, whose expert diver training and professionalism keep PADI as The Way the World Learns to Dive. Together We are PADI, and a Global Force for Good.”

– Mark Spiers, Vice President of Training, Sales and Field Services for PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Training Bulletin Live – Webinar Schedule 1Q2019

Please find below the dates for the next round of Training Bulletin Live Webinars:

Join us for information and discussion on the latest updates and the philosophy behind them. This is your chance to ask questions and get tips on how to make the most of new opportunities. Alternatively, if you can’t join us live you can watch the recording – just register as usual and we’ll send the link once it’s ready.  

German04/02/2019https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8373485129000840963
English05/02/2019https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7655798703495079938
French06/02/2019https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2086508426150257153
Dutch07/02/2019https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7720034371787905027
Greek11/02/2019https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/330889622980117762
Polish12/02/2019https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4044895865516850947
Portuguese13/02/2019https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6331410561089540610
Scandinavian14/02/2019https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7080753024490919171
Italian15/02/2019https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7537944252772899330
Arabic19/02/2019https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4896679828545072897
Spanish 19/02/2019 https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6384882010973893377
Turkish20/02/2019https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7889411940892748290
Russian21/02/2019https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1271617479578303746

If you have any questions regarding the webinar you can email training.emea@padi.com. We look forward to speaking to you during the webinar.

Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer Course Dates 2019

We are pleased to announce the EFR Instructor Trainer course schedule for 2019.

The EFR Instructor Trainer course includes independent online learning followed by a live interactive knowledge development and practical day conducted on the dates shown below. This programme authorises successful candidates to market and conduct EFR Instructor courses, making it particularly beneficial to those working at PADI Instructor Development Centers or those involved in the IDC process.

Paris, France 15 January 2019 French
Düsseldorf, Germany 19 January 2019 German
Bristol, UK 19 February 2019 English
Warsaw, Poland 28 February 2019 Polish
Sliema, Malta 09 March 2019 English
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 09 March 2019 Arabic/English
Mauritius 14 March 2019 English
Johannesburg, South Africa 24 March 2019 English
Athens, Greece 31 March 2019 English
Lisbon, Portugal 31 March 2019 Portuguese
Aiguablava, Spain 14 April 2019 Spanish
Hurghada, Egypt 21 April 2019 English
Dubai, United Arab Emirates 29 April 2019 English
Tenerife, Spain 24 May 2019 English
Lanzarote, Spain 29 May 2019 English
Stockholm, Sweden 02 June 2019 Scandinavian
Helsinki, Finland 09 June 2019 English
Copenhagen, Denmark 16 June 2019 Scandinavian
Eindhoven, Netherlands 23 June 2019 English
Bristol, UK 09 September 2019 English
St Raphael, France 28 September 2019 French
Cabo de Palos 08 October 2019 Spanish
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 12 October 2019 Arabic
Lecco, Italy 02 November 2019 Italian
Bergen, Norway 03 November 2019 Scandinavian
Kuwait 03 November 2019 Arabic/English

Prerequisites to attend one of these events include:

  • EFR Primary / Secondary Care Instructor
  • EFR Care For Children Instructor
  • 25 EFR student course completions or conducted at least 5 separate EFR courses

You can register for a EFR Instructor Trainer course by completing and returning the EFR Instructor Trainer registration form – click to download the form now:
January to May – June to December

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Travel

When people talk about things to avoid before diving, sitting still for too long doesn’t usually make the list. However, when divers fly to dream destinations that are several hours away, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be a real concern. DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more of the body’s deep veins, usually in the legs, and can result in a pulmonary embolism or even a stroke. With a little knowledge, this condition is easily identifiable and more importantly, preventable.

Risk factors for DVT include prolonged bed rest or immobility, injury or surgery, pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy, obesity, smoking, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, age (being over 60), height (being shorter than 160 centimetres/5 foot 3 inches or taller than 190 centimetres/6 foot 3 inches), personal or family history of DVT and sitting for long periods of time, such as when flying.

Most cases of DVT related to air travel occur within two weeks of a flight and are resolved within eight weeks. In about half of all cases, individuals experience no noticeable symptoms before the blood clot forms, and many asymptomatic cases resolve spontaneously.

If apparent, symptoms typically begin in the calf and, if left untreated, spread to the thigh and pelvis in about 25 percent of cases. An untreated DVT of the thigh and pelvis has about a 50 percent chance of leading to a pulmonary embolism, the most serious complication of DVT. If you or someone you know is at risk for developing DVT and experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Swelling in the leg, ankle or foot
  • Pain in the calf that spreads to the ankle or foot
  • Warmth in the affected area
  • A change in the color of the skin to pale, red or blue

To reduce your risk, avoid sitting still for prolonged periods: get up and walk around on the plane, and if you can’t, flex or massage your feet or calf muscles regularly. Wearing compression socks can also help to improve blood flow and prevent clotting. To further reduce your chance of experiencing DVT, exercise regularly and stay hydrated. If you’re at high risk for the condition or exhibit multiple risk factors, consult your physician regarding the potential benefit of taking a medication such as aspirin that may limit clotting. Divers who have been diagnosed with acute DVT or take anticoagulants should refrain from diving until cleared by a physician.

PADI’s Mission 2020 Pledge: Join Us!

PADI’s long-standing commitment to ocean conservation began more than 25 years ago with the formation of Project AWARE® Foundation. In 2017, the PADI Pillars of Change were introduced to increase awareness of issues affecting our ocean communities, and to mobilize PADI Professionals and divers to act together as a catalyst for positive change. Now, the PADI organization is integrating the Mission 2020 effort to reduce plastics in the ocean into its overall commitment to ocean health and corporate citizenship ethos.

Aligning with PADI’s belief that greater change can be affected when working together, Mission 2020 is a collection of pledges from organizations within the diving community to change business practices to protect and preserve the ocean for the future. With a primary focus on single-use plastics, the project sets ambitious targets of changes to be made before World Oceans Day 2020.

PADI’s Mission 2020 Pledge

As PADI moves towards a fully integrated and digital learning system, we will lessen our dependency on plastics and packaging, thereby mitigating the plastic footprint of PADI Professionals and the million divers certified each year. To broaden our impact even further, PADI is committed to rallying our 6,600 Dive Centers and Resorts to reduce their use of single-use plastics by the year 2020. We invite everyone to make a pledge and to change their business practices in support of a clean and healthy ocean.

“We are passionate about creating a preferred view of the future in healthier oceans. We have a strong legacy of environmental conservation behind us and a robust roadmap for continued progress that will drive our force for good responsibility well into the future. This is the foundation of PADI’s Mission 2020 pledge, and it is our hope that this project will inspire the PADI community to make immediate commitments that will lead to lasting change.’ – Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide

Why You Should Make a 2020 Commitment

It’s good for the planet – Changing your business practices to reduce plastics is good for the ocean and good for us too. Let’s protect the places we love to dive and make sure they are healthy for future generations.

It will enhance your business – Consumers are proud to attach themselves to a business with purpose. Show your customers that you care about the ocean and they will reward you with their loyalty.

It’s good for the dive industry – If we come together as an industry to protect our ocean planet, we set a good example for other businesses to follow. If a clean, healthy ocean is our goal, we need all the help we can get.

PADI’s Mission 2020 pledge to reduce plastic with help restore ocean health. Join us in protecting the underwater world we love.

Impactful Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Use

  •  Prevent debris from getting into the ocean! Remove single use plastics like water bottles, plastic bags and plastic cups from your shop and dive boats.
  • Work with your local community to organize joint beach and underwater clean-up events. This effort brings awareness to everyone about how individual behaviors positively impact our environment.
  • Set monthly and yearly clean up goals for your local dive sites. Log the debris on the Project AWARE Dive Against Debris® App to contribute to data collection that could influence new ocean-friendly policies.
  • Protect your local waters and Adopt a Dive Site™. It’s the ideal way to engage in ongoing, local protection and monitoring of our underwater playgrounds.
  • Carry sustainably made merchandise in your dive center or resort. Make sure tee shirts, hoodies and other branded goods come from eco-friendly suppliers and are made from non-plastic materials or from recycled plastic fibers.
  • Make the switch to PADI eLearning® and improve your carbon footprint. Going digital reduces production of plastic materials and removes the need for shipping.

Make a Mission 2020 Pledge

All members of the dive community are encouraged to make a Mission 2020 pledge. And what a great time to align your pledge with your 2019 New Year’s resolutions! Whether sustainability is already a key component of your business model or you’re just getting started, we encourage you to join in by making adjustments (big and small) to your business practices in support of a clean and healthy ocean. See what others in the industry have pledged on Mission 2020’s Who’s In page.

We believe that the global PADI family is a force for good that can help play a critical role in protecting and preserving our oceans for the future if we all make conservation a priority at our places of business.

Thinking Like a Diver When Wreck Diving

The PADI® Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver courses provide a strong foundation for teaching divers to think through diving scenarios to make sound decisions. As you mentor divers at all levels, you can build on this by providing dive scenarios relevant to the course you’re teaching, and offer questions that help them think like a diver as they evaluate the scenario and share their decisions with you. This helps you assess understanding and how they apply what they’re learning. It’s a great way to coach thoughtful and deliberate decisions. In this example, the scenario promotes using sound judgment in deciding whether to enter a wreck in the PADI Wreck Diver Specialty course.

Entering a Wreck

When a diver wants to enter a wreck, the primary-decision-making goal must always be to have a safe exit. That means being able to find a way to an exit, and being able to handle any emergency situation that could arise while in that overhead environment. Wreck-entry methods include two classifications: swim-throughs and penetrations.

  • Swim-throughs – In a swim-through, the diver enters through one opening and exits through another. In a basic swim-through, the diver will always be able to see two exit points to open water using natural light. The path between them will be free of significant obstacles, entanglements or silt. The combination of the distance to an exit point and up to the surface should not exceed 40 metres/130 feet for Advanced Open Water Divers and higher, and in other circumstances the distance should be the depth for which the diver is qualified.
  • Penetrations – In a penetration, the diver enters more than a few metres/feet into the wreck intending to return to the entry point, either because there is no other exit or the diver is not sure there is another one. The diver may go beyond the point that the entry is still clearly visible and must run a line to ensure a safe return to the exit. The path should be well lit and free of obstacles, entanglements or silt. As with swim-throughs, the distance to the exit and then to the surface should not exceed 40 metres/130 feet.

Using Sound Judgment

Either situation calls for good, reasonable judgment. Answers to the following questions can help a diver shape an appropriate decision:

  • Are the exits big enough to allow my buddy and me to swim through side by side?
  • How much light is there? Is there enough that I will always be able to see the light of the exit?
  • Is there anything big enough to be a dangerous obstacle?
  • Is there enough silt to have potentially obscure my vision to the extent I couldn’t find my way out?
  • For my planned maximum distance, is the nearest exit close enough to allow me to leave the wreck and with ample time to handle an emergency?

Also factored into the decision should be the diver’s experience, training, skill and equipment. Two different divers looking into the same wreck can make two totally different, yet appropriate decisions. For example, divers with little wreck experience entering a silty environment could obscure visibility creating a potential hazard. A diver trained in non-silting kicking techniques may not have a significant issue with silt. A diver with excellent buoyancy and trim skills can pass around obstacles that could challenge a less‑skilled diver.

Good judgment can also allow divers with more experience and training to go beyond some of the penetration guidelines. A diver with technical training, such as cave training that includes effective use of suited lights, will be able to work in areas without clear daylight.

When teaching the PADI Wreck Diver Specialty course, mentor your divers on how to think like a diver and make good decisions regarding wreck penetration based on the specific wreck circumstances and their individual training and experience. Apply similar decision-making mentorship in all courses as appropriate to the diver level, environment and course topic.

Reference the PADI Wreck Diver Instructor Guide (Product 70232) for information about this specialty diver course.

A version of this article originally appeared in the 3rd Quarter 2018 edition of The Undersea Journal®.

Our Unshakable Foundation

Amid everything the PADI® organisation does in a rapidly changing world, we need to always build on the foundation for everything the PADI family does. It’s what John Cronin and Ralph Erickson laid down first when they established PADI in 1966, it’s our foundation today and it will carry us into the future. That foundation is, of course, education: diver training. What we teach and how we teach have, will and must continue to change. But, that we teach will never go away. It can’t, because it’s not what we do, but who we are.

Training is PADI’s foundation, but the heart of it is not the PADI System, eLearning, instructor cue cards and the like. These are powerful modern tools, but in 1966, several years before all of these existed, you could take PADI courses and earn PADI certifications because our training foundation was already there, entrusted where it is today – in the hands of you and your fellow PADI Instructors, Assistant Instructors and Divemasters. Without you, the PADI System – the best education system in diving by a long shot – can’t do what it does so well, much as a Steinway piano can’t sound like a Steinway without a master at its keys.

Even with all the innovations in instructional technology, such as the rise of artificial intelligence and dynamic online learning systems, human teachers still bear the weight of the best education. Innovations are important to keep PADI training relevant in today’s dynamic, personalized online world, but you still need great instructors to have great training. As American author William Arthur Ward explained it: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

That describes the PADI family – more than 130,000 people who inspire others to learn, to dive and to care. Together we motivate divers to rise to new challenges, to have underwater adventures, to heal and help others with scuba, and to protect our fragile world. PADI Course Directors shape the future by passing our collective -wisdom to a rising generation of dive leaders, who will in turn inspire divers to do things we have not even imagined yet. Everything the global PADI organisation does today has its roots in training, and that training has its roots in you, me and the rest of the PADI family.

Aristotle said, around 2,300 years ago, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all,” and that hasn’t changed – the PADI family doesn’t “teach diving”; we educate the heart and transform lives. That’s what makes PADI’s training foundation solid.

Good luck, good teaching and good diving,

Drew Richardson Ed.D.
PADI President and CEO

This article originally appeared in the 4th Quarter edition of The Undersea Journal.

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.

Leveling up from Divemaster to Instructor – What You Need to Know

January is a popular time to reflect on personal goals and hopes for the future. As a Divemaster, you may have thought about leveling up to PADI® Instructor. For some, it’s a foregone conclusion; for others, teaching people to scuba dive seems like a big step. Whether becoming a scuba instructor is at the top of your to-do list for 2019, or it’s your Plan B if you get tired of office life, here’s what you need to know:

The basics:
To enrol in a PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) you must hold a Divemaster certification and be a certified diver for at least six months. Other requirements include:

  • Current training (within the past 24 months) in CPR and First Aid from Emergency First Response©, or other qualifying organisation
  • A medical statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months.

Before taking the instructor exam, you need:

  • 100 logged dives
  • A CPR and First Aid Instructor certification from EFR® (or other qualifying organisation). Most people take the EFR Instructor class in conjunction with the IDC.


Frequently asked questions


How long does the IDC take?
The minimum length of an IDC is five days, but most are a full week. Some programs take place over three consecutive weekends.

How much does it cost?
Prices vary depending on location. Generally speaking, the cost is similar to what you’d pay to become a yoga instructor, and cheaper than becoming a ski or snowboard instructor.  

What if I don’t have teaching experience?
The PADI system of education was designed to help people with no teaching experience become instructors. You probably didn’t have experience breathing underwater when you became a diver, right?

The IDC focuses on teaching people how to conduct in-water training sessions, present information to students, and provide feedback. Many PADI Instructors tell us the skills learnt during their IDC made them better, more confident communicators.

Is it worth it?
Helping people experience their first breath underwater is an indescribable feeling – ask any PADI Instructor. In addition, PADI Instructors are the most sought-after dive professionals in the world. The job board on the PADI Pros Site is filled with job openings around the world, and a PADI Instructor credential opens doors to a variety of careers.


I’m not sure I’m ready…
Going from Divemaster to instructor may seem like a big leap. But the reality is, your experience and training as a Divemaster has you well-prepared.

What are you waiting for?

According to one study, those who made a New Year’s Resolution were ten times more likely to achieve their goal than people who resolved to make a life change at other times of the year.
Whether you’re the sort of person who makes New Year’s resolutions or not, why not resolve to take the first step towards becoming a PADI scuba instructor?

Step one is easy, use the PADI Dive Shop Locator to contact an IDC Centre. If you’re not sure whether you might want to do your training locally or abroad, look at the PADI Pros employment board to see where the job opportunities are.

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