If you could change one thing about dive training...

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Centrals

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I said core skills of a Fundies diver - buoyancy, trim, finning (look, no hands)
An active dm or any competent divers would never have any issue with that!
They(dm) would not survive long in the trade otherwise.
I have seen plenty of dive guides(with AOW training at most) in SE Asia really impressed me with their all round skills including dealing with OOA situation let alone sharing air with clients. Buoyancy? Even carried couple of extra weights would not affect their gas consumption or finning!
 

TMHeimer

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A couple of replies--
Graduated OW certs. (need to get some more dives for full OW cert.)--like graduated driver's licenses.
and re-testing/qualifying for dive pros.......
I don't favour either. Take some responsibility and keep up your knowledge, diving, etc.
Once you get that drivers license the only time you may have to re-test is when you hit 85 years old (in some places).
Once you get your teaching certificate it means you finished 4 years of college. It is good for life. I wouldn't have wanted to re-test to keep that. Many other situations-- doctors, dentists.....

Instructors having much varied experiences--like worldwide, cold, warm, drift, cave, etc.
I've said often I want the instructor who teaches me to have a ton of experience where I am taking the course. I can learn how to dive in other places/situations by reading, talking, scubaboard, taking courses. I have adjusted to other places, temperatures, etc. It's not rocket science.
 

Esprise Me

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A couple of replies--
Graduated OW certs. (need to get some more dives for full OW cert.)--like graduated driver's licenses.
and re-testing/qualifying for dive pros.......
I don't favour either. Take some responsibility and keep up your knowledge, diving, etc.
Once you get that drivers license the only time you may have to re-test is when you hit 85 years old (in some places).
Once you get your teaching certificate it means you finished 4 years of college. It is good for life. I wouldn't have wanted to re-test to keep that. Many other situations-- doctors, dentists.....

Instructors having much varied experiences--like worldwide, cold, warm, drift, cave, etc.
I've said often I want the instructor who teaches me to have a ton of experience where I am taking the course. I can learn how to dive in other places/situations by reading, talking, scubaboard, taking courses. I have adjusted to other places, temperatures, etc. It's not rocket science.
Someone in the thread about the fatality at Glacier Lake brought up an interesting point about scuba certification giving a false sense of security. That is, if you're certified, you might think you're good to go because your have this official seal of approval, instead of having to ask yourself whether you're really any more qualified than any other rando who can just walk in and get all the necessary gear, as is the case with many other adventure sports. Perhaps an official expiration date for scuba certification would create similar problems--"my cert doesn't expire for 2 more months; I'm totally good to dive! Now which way does this valve thingy go?"
 

CT-Rich

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The idea of divers being in a nanny state is kind of funny, because no one posting in this thread would want the nanny state evaluating a their competency...

I think adding a day or two to OW to include first aid, CPR, and basic competency skills like free diving, boyuancy control, dealing with currents, etc (I haven’t been in a modern OW Class). What concerns me watching my daughter is that she feels pretty confident that she knows everything after OW. I would like her to have a better understanding of how much she doesn’t know. I think it would make her a better diver.
 

Scraps

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I’m in the “be the change you want to see” camp.

It’s real easy to point fingers at unskilled, inexperienced divers and make assumptions about the instructors who taught them.

Unfortunately, it’s just as easy for the legions of instructors and tech divers who are more experienced and more skilled than I am to point fingers at me.

So that’s a game I don’t want to get into.

My mission is to become as good and safe of a recreational diver as I can and to help other people have fun becoming good and safe recreational divers themselves.

I can’t worry about other divers or trainers, but I can make sure my training comports with standards and my students have enough time to practice skills repeatedly, ask every question that comes to mind, understand why we do things, and develop routines and discipline to conduct dives safely.

Changing a few people into safe, competent divers is enough change for this old man.
 

Scraps

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One other train of thought:

It’s natural for divers to notice more shortcomings in other divers as their own skill and experience develop.

As a consequence, it’s also natural to develop a perception that divers as a whole are getting worse as one notices more and more shortcomings in others.

The discussion of how to fix recreational diver training should be conducted with an awareness of the context of long-term positive trends in diver fatalities. The system might not be as broke as it seems.

I think it’s also natural for new divers either to get better or to quit. These new divers are the ones we're most likely to see at warm water resorts and on big dive boats. Our observations are skewed because the skilled divers are diving from other platforms and more challenging sites with equally skilled buddies. We don’t see the good ones as much when we’re out teaching and guiding.
 

Marie13

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DM/instructors would need a lot more than the current minimum number of dives. The zero to heroes I see at the local quarry are scary to watch.
 

Bob DBF

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Someone in the thread about the fatality at Glacier Lake brought up an interesting point about scuba certification giving a false sense of security.

I believe this is what you are referencing.

The point I was trying to make by bringing up other activities that could result in death or serious injury was that SCUBA is one of the few that has mandatory instruction.

Perhaps the mandatory training has given the impression that scuba is safe.

I think the required SCUBA certification is a double edged sword. It does, theoretically, ensure a certain knowledge level and, hopefully, proficiency. It may also give participants a false sense of security and a heightened sense of ability that is not necessarily present in those who do the other activities I talked about.

My diving predates the need of a c-card, by me, of 17 years. When I was trained, informally, the emphasis was on watermanship skills and good judgement, because as my instructor (dad) pointed out, you can't breathe water. The training revolved around scuba and skills to survive a hostile environment.

When I did take OW it was on the NorCal coast, Mendocino county. Other than the instructor making me a more humble and responsible diver and person, his was to prepare his students to dive the coast and survive the conditions that could arise during your dive. It wasn't to scare divers, but train the divers to deal with the conditions we would encounter. It took a couple of months of Thursday nights and weekends. I knew I was good going in, but he made some good divers out of people that had never been in the ocean.

My point is that it is going to be hard to produce a competent OW diver without taking a lot of time. A new diver today is going to get the same c-card, competent or not, and the instructor may not impress upon them that they are actually ill equipped to survive the environment they were being trained to enter. So one has the card of diving competence and feels safe, whereas back when I started, I was as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I got over it, but it took time, mentors and knowledge.


And I'm with John that the standards haven't changed, but actual instruction is all over the board, now as well as then.
 
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