At the Top of the PADI Food Chain

Continued-Scuba-Education-padi--300x212In January 2014 I reached another life goal and became the PADI Regional Manager for the Canary Islands, Cyprus and Switzerland (the German Speaking Part). I made this transition after taking my Course Director course in the Dominican Republic in the summer of 2013 and leaving the Swiss branch of PADI when PADI Europe became PADI EMEA. Cyprus and the Canaries are two of the furthest islands apart in the continent of Europe and my life as an RM is a constant whirlwind of travel adaptors, planes and time zones.

I love it.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

The hustle and bustle that is PADI has been, and is, the best part of my life. My job as RM is many things, but my main responsibilities are support, reports, and helping the growth of the dive industry as a whole. However – sometimes I am the bearer of great news for my members, and this has to be one of the biggest highlights of the job. Great news can take many shapes and sizes, but being the bearer of a PADI AWARD gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.This year saw two Course Directors reach the HUGE milestone of achieving 1000 professional certifications. Let me say that again: a thousand certifications!!

Inspiring isn’t it?

I think so.

But how did they get there? What makes them stand out above  the others? I went to visit

PADI Platinum Course Director Kev Turner
PADI Platinum Course Director Kev Turner

David Taylor and Kevin Turner in February 2015 in the Canary Islands with a rather heavy backpack full PADI awards. After the ceremonious presentation, handshake, and the muscle memory click of posting it all on my social media platforms, I had the chance to talk to them about their achievements. I wanted to know how they managed to facilitate a whole army of instructors to pass their respective instructor examinations (IE) and release them into the world. As a Course Director, myself I am in awe of these two. I want to teach more IDC’s, and perhaps one day I too may become a platinum course director.

So what is a course director? Well, a course director is a Master Instructor who has taken the next step to join the most elite group of instructor trainers. They are the most influential leaders. They are the crème de la crème of role models. They have had to go through a tremendous program in their Course Director Training Course. Oh, and did I mention that this program only runs in two places on earth? The Dominican Republic and Malaysia are the breading ground of the course director – and the cost of even taking the exam is an investment that should not be taken lightly. You are lucky if you are even selected. Only those instructors who perform in the highest capacity and who are recommended most highly by their peers will even be considered for the program. It is one of the most competitive processes that I have ever been through. This is just the beginning.

After completing and passing the program, a new Course Director can then start to teach IDC’s. They can start shaping the future of the new generations of instructors that will ensure the continued growth of our industry.

PADI Platinum Course Director David Taylor
PADI Platinum Course Director David Taylor

Kevin Turner and David Taylor are both platinum Course Directors, meaning that they have made over 100 divers into instructors within a year. That number alone is huge in such a small time frame. In order for these two course directors to receive the award that I handed them they had to achieve this level for a decade. That is serious dedication. That is a serious love of the ocean. That is amazing!