Diving instructors - low standards debate

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AnaCat

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Hello,
while I’m a certidied AOW and Nitrox with about 60 dives I still consider myself a beginner as I only go diving in vacation.
This year has been great as prices went down during the pandemic, and having access to the vaccine in January as an essential worker gave me an advantage to safely travel and log more than 30 dives in 7 months.

What I want to open to debate is only being as good as our instructors and fellow divers show us to be.

Point in case:
I did my first dive with some friend in Barbados 4 years ago and it was instant love.
I went to a PADI dive shop in Egypt and did my OWD the next Xmass, and I continued to dive as much as I could.
I was trained in a Duch/ German school in Hurghada and had a very professional and strict teacher. I learned as much as I can from each dive, always trying to improve my skills.
I documented my experience in the logbook with details that I can now go back and check.

Now in June 2021 I went again in Hurghada and did my AOW with my best friend and buddy, who has a similar number of dives.
He dived in many tropical paradises and was certified as OWD in Cuba.
Nobody ever taught him the basics, he did not study a book, he was only taught with practical dives and verbal instructions.
He never saw a log book until this June…

He is way better than I am with buoyancy, air consumption and discipline and one of the best buddies I dived with. He pays attention, remains in contact, checks air and generally takes very good care of me while I take pictures, move around quite a bit and have long conversations with the creatures I meet.
We tried diving at home in the Black Sea, with visibility below 1 m, and very shallow - I aborted after 5 minutes, he completed the dive with others and actually enjoyed the rough conditions.

Now we were looking for a LOA, and he cannot join because he only has 9 dives in the logbook.
Him not being trained professionally and shown what and why a logbook is important now impact our life.

My request to all instructors: please think about the consequences of not following the standards.
We, as beginners, cannot hold you to any standards. Even if you teach the skills, and we watch fellow divers, if you do not tell us about the importance of all diving aspects, and if you just concentrate on making our dives fun you do us a disservice.
Diving should be fun, but most important safe, and the standards are what makes it safe.
Please, never do this with your students! We look up to you and follow you example, so please be good role models.
In the end they will suffer on the long term!
 

Marie13

Great Lakes Mermaid
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Which agency was your buddy “trained” through?
 

Edward3c

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I wouldn't say standards had been cut on your friend’s training, as you describe a competent diver. I’ve had students complain that they hadn’t received certain aspects of the syllabus, either from me or another instructor. Its quite amusing when the bit they complain about it the instructor’s pet aspect of training. For me its planning the dive and diving the plan with proper gas management.

It’s down to each individual how they maintain a log; be it a book, separate sheets of paper, electronically on Word, Excel or an app, or even just rely on your computer’s memory.

As they’ve been diving with you, when they’ve seen logbook completion; from you.

Bear in mind a logbook can be fabricated, so reliance on one for experience can be misguided. Hence the importance of operator’s check out dives.
 

Searcaigh

Chromodoris gordonii
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He never saw a log book until this June…

Very interesting point.

I met a new buddy recently and she has about 20 dives to her "cv" and also never used a log book. I was always under the assumption (wrongly) that a log book was one of the first things that you were introduced to when starting diving, it was for me.
 

KatieMac

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Bear in mind a logbook can be fabricated, so reliance on one for experience can be misguided. Hence the importance of operator’s check out dives.
And divers with the same number of dives are not equally competent.
 

rongoodman

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A log book might have been one of the first things introduced, but for many it was also one of the first things discarded, along with those tables. I know I tossed both after my AOW course, many years ago. I think the next time I ran into a question about tables was on a quiz in my rebreather course.
 

CuzzA

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Bear in mind a logbook can be fabricated, so reliance on one for experience can be misguided. Hence the importance of operator’s check out dives.
Exactly.

From a dive operator standpoint the question should be how many dives have you done. Write it down and "sign here" below the liability release. Not how many dives you wrote down in an unofficial book with no way to verify if the contents are legit or not.

Hands on check out dives will prove if the diver is competent or not.

While the diver may have got substandard training, we're also receiving this information from a third party lacking details.

If the customer didn't receive class materials that would be extremely rare as those materials are sold for profit by poor instructors eating Ramen and drinking Natty light who will work for fills. :)
 
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