If you were to redo the scuba industry how would you do it?

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ChrisDee

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Anyone happen to know how it works in skydiving? I tried looking it up.
What would you like to know? A few points: Skydiving is less forgiving than diving, in the states their is only one organization, with mutual reciprocity to 2 Euro organizations,... in Dubi they are very strict that you meet a highr standard, although multiple agencies can skydive in Dubi, they will let those without any certification skydive, but they really do watch you, best to be certified somewhere. Japan and Russia have multiple organizations. The biggist issue I see is that the FAA in the states has taken a back seat to the one organization that overseas training. The basic training is genererally a no nonsense set of standards. It is when individuals progress to what is known as a "D" license that things begin to get stupid. Just like in SCUBA the US organization favors industry over safety. Allthough they make extensive use of "waivers," there have been a number of very profitable law suits where the plaintiffs have pervaled over the waiver. There is a strong self policing attitude in skydiving due to the local business controling the aircraft. The reserve portion of skydiving gear is highly controlled and regulated. There is not a lot of recurring training or required re-certification. Licenses are for life basicially. However under a hunderd each year give or take, kill themselves demonstrating how masculine they are trying to out doo each other. PM me,
 

boulderjohn

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I'm not trying to be dramatic. I am just pointing out the logical extensions of the thinking. For example, I am remembering watching a scuba instructor working with students in Ste. Maarten in the Caribbean. Would there be an office of the overseeing organization on that island, or would his students have to go to another island or a mainland site in order to be certified? Ste. Maarten has two sides, a Dutch side and a French side. What would happen if the supervising organization were headquartered on the Dutch side and the French side refused to accept its authority?

That last one is a very serious question because of something that happened in my own experience.

The PADI Student Record File (SRF) has an enormous number of places for the instructor to initial individual portions of the student experience and sign larger sections. They also have to put in their PADI numbers for every skill. This allows for situations in which different instructors certify different portions of the student's performance. All of this is repeated in the student's logbook. This leads to painful writer's cramp for the instructor finishing up a class. To ease that pain, PADI made it clear that if one instructor was responsible for all the skills in a section (like all the pool sessions), then the individual initials, instructor number, etc. next to each individual item were not necessary--the signature at the end would do.

At the dive shop were I was working, one of our students took that form as a referral (standard practice) to a PADI dive shop on a French Caribbean Island. The instructor there refused to accept the referral because each item was not initialed. The student called the shop, and the shop explained that the instructor had properly signed the form. Nope. They contacted PADI in America, and PADI told the French island dive shop that the form was indeed correctly filled out according to its planned design, and that design was used throughout the world. Nope. The French instructor said his agency was PADU Europe, not PADI America, so they couldn't tell him what to do, by golly. Incredibly enough, PADI Europe backed the French instructor, even though he was clearly wrong about a form they used, too.

As a result, at our shop, we were all required to put our individual initials, instructor numbers, etc. on every blasted line of the SRF, because you never know when a French instructor is going to require it.
 

ChrisDee

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Here is the bottom line:

Untill SCUBA is a threat to the public safety, which is never going to happen, as soon as anyone raises prices, the public will travel to the neighbors establishment: for less hassel, headachs, less training, whatever. Your neighbors will always undercut each other.

Someone made a good point, eailier , which is I am free to purchase whatever compressor I want. I can swim where allowed, I can dive wherever allowed.

Manufacturers will be held in check by the various consumer protection agencis worldwide. Tanks will continue to be regulated by the DOT, etc.

But otherwise the training agencies are VOLUNTARY. And they come and go,...no one needs them, no one.

Your not going to reinvent anything by regulation that is never going to be implimented.

You can however promote safety and learning and physicial fitness, you can promote these things,...but from what I see,...no one here could be bothered. You guys have an opportunity to teach, and each and every day,...you blow it.
 

Rick Brant

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If you say a separate certificating entity would weed out so many divers, how is that different from how it’s supposed to be now? Are you admitting then that there is corruption in the current system since it seems anybody passes no matter what?
No, I am saying that even within the smallish community of SB there are tons of opinions on how to do things the right way. I mean there is even a faction that calls itself "doing it right"! The people who would volunteer to be on a test/certification team would definitely include some that have their own bias and they would make it hell for people to pass.

You guys must see a lot more bad divers than I do. I dive at a site that hosts a lot of visitors and even more students, DSDs and dive tours, but I don't see unsafe divers often if at all. Sure I see people struggle with bouyancy but the majority of divers only dive twice a year and always use rental equipment -- they will always struggle.

Oh and the "anybody passes no matter what" has not been my experience. I've seen many students have to return for multiple added sessions to get straightened out and I've seen students flat-out fail.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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And then when found guilty they would be sent to a Russian gulag in Siberia.
Despite the fact that my wife's grandfather died in the Gulag under Stalin, I think bad instructors deserve something harsher.
 
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Eric Sedletzky

Eric Sedletzky

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Of all the classes I’ve assisted with and helped out plus my DM internship I have never seen one single student not pass. And I have seen a lot of scary things. I have seen people decide diving is not for them and voluntarily withdraw mostly during the pool sessions. I have also seen people refuse to do their ocean dives on our coast and they get a referral to do their OW completion at their vacation destination. But I have never seen a student be denied that stuck it out. And some of them were not proficient by any stretch of the term. They were just told that they needed to work on the skills they were week at or in some cases couldn’t do. Is that a violation of standards? Yes it is but who cares?
It’s not my place to say anything, I’m not the instructor. So I just don’t help with classes anymore. It’s been a very long time since those days and I’m glad I didn’t become an instructor even though I could have been 20 times over if I wanted. I chose not to because I loved doing my own thing too much. I guess seeing all that crap ruined me.
 

boulderjohn

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I have never seen one single student not pass.
Now I have not seen what you saw, but almost every agency today uses the Mastery Learning approach, which is exemplified by what Rick Brant in post #195:
Oh and the "anybody passes no matter what" has not been my experience. I've seen many students have to return for multiple added sessions to get straightened out
You do not fail students except in extraordinary cases. That does not mean they pass no matter what. It means you keep teaching them until they get it right or until they realize they aren't going to get it and quit. I have had some students take extra sessions, and I have had some students not make it, at least with me. Here are some examples of what that takes.
  • The most common cases happened before eLearning, when students were supposed to show up for the academic sessions with all the book work completed. Some would show up with little to none of it done and expect me to teach it all from scratch. I told them to go home, give it another shot and show up for another session. I assume they did, but it would have been with another instructor.
  • A couple tried to push through the pool sessions in preparation for a family trip with children and grandchildren. They expected to do the OW dives at the location. The husband was doing well, but the wife struggled. As time was running low (it was almost time for the trip), they decided the wife would drop out. The husband consoled her, telling her she had done a great job for someone who had never had her head under water until that day.
  • On the second day of pool sessions, the class started with a giant stride entry. The young woman stared at the water for a long time, looked at me, and said she couldn't do it. She had confessed to me before that session that she was taking scuba lessons with the goal of overcoming her intense fear of water. A year or so before she had been in a white water rafting accident. The raft had overturned in a small waterfall, and she had been trapped at the bottom of the falls, with her life vest pulling her up and the water pushing her down. She finally stopped struggling and gave herself permission to drown, which finally allowed the waterfall to spit her out. The others who lived had done the same thing. The rest did not live.
Here's the point: Although the overwhelming majority of scuba students are able-bodied and reasonably intelligent adults, the simple fact is that basic scuba diving is very easy. The knowledge and skills required can be learned by a 10-year old, and many 10-year olds are certified every year. Any scuba instructor who regularly has students failing the class despite multiple attempts under the mastery learning system is one very sorry instructor who needs a new line of work.
 
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