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Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by OnTheMark, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    We can all cite individual cases of shops and their individual policies. Here is one that speaks to several points in this thread.

    Each year, DEMA statistics indicate that Colorado is one of the top 3 states in per capita certified divers. To my knowledge, there is only one shop in the state that has an inventory of BP/Wings on hand. If you wanted one from another shop, they could order it for you, with the sale handled probably by someone who has never seen one. That one shop is also the only shop in the state with a GUE presence, with an instructor/owner teaching GUE Fundamentals only. If you go on from that to their tech program (the only shop-based tech program in the state), your courses will be from NAUI. The shop teaches all other classes through PADI, and they teach the OW courses in standard BCDs.

    The shop I originally worked for taught tech and had tech gear on hand briefly, but it stopped that just about the time I left. (I was not then a tech instructor, but that is where I got my initial training.) I left when they switched to SSI and followed SSI advice to require all instructors to wear the same gear head to toe and tell students they had chosen that gear because it was the best. If I had stayed, I would not have been allowed to tell my students that I owned and used a BP/W for my personal diving, let alone teach in one.

    I then became a tech instructor and taught tech briefly for another shop (now also SSI), but the shop refused to carry any inventory of BP/Ws or any other gear they considered to be tech-oriented because they were afraid no one would buy it. That was part of the reason I became an independent and now teach pretty much nothing but tech.
    Colliam7, markmud and Hartattack like this.
  2. Rose Robinson

    Rose Robinson Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: British Columbia
    Hello OnTheMark,

    You have asked a very personal question.

    How do you feel about your training agency, and how do you feel about the level of training you received from your training agency instructor.

    You have gone through all the course material, successfully answered all the chapter questions/successfully completed all the assigned tasks, passed the exam, and received your open water certification.

    Do you feel confident and comfortable, are you happy with your gear configuration, can you readily achieve and maintain neutral buoyancy?

    How you rate yourself relating to the above, directly relates to the performance rating of the agency, and the instructor.

    Now that you have successfully completed your course, you should be contacting the agency in writing, providing them with a comprehensive evaluation, both positive and negative.

    Your opinion is the only opinion that matters.

    Dive Safely,

  3. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
    There is something about being attached to a dive shop that puts pressure on doing a good job teaching. Its the do good or find another shop to teach under. If training is considered to be substandard in the view of consumers the shop gives them the boot and gets something better. That is the check and ballance process independant instructors do not have to deal with. There is no consequence for dong a bad job.
  4. Rose Robinson

    Rose Robinson Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: British Columbia

    Except when the sub-standard instructor is the person running the dive shop.

    Ben_3 and KWS like this.
  5. Hartattack

    Hartattack PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Campaign, IL
    I would have to disagree. If we do a lousy job and someone gets hurt or killed, there is no shop to take the brunt of the fallout. It is our insurance and LLC. I would argue, Independent Instructors have more on the line from marketing, onboarding, to retention. Heck, even gear sales which we affiliate for. The difference is, we have time. I have the time to do a ten-day 8-15 dive Open Water Course, a week-long AOW course that includes Nitrox—the sort of thing that builds a report with my students, and I usually retain them for the period they are interested in the sport.

    Being attached to a shop puts pressure to churn out as many divers as possible to make a livable wage, which in-turn creates burnout and fatigue.
    If you are making $12.50 an hour—you are not worried about doing a bad job, you are concerned about putting food on your table and affording healthcare.
  6. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
    Im not sure you are defending your agency or supporting those that dislike your agency. Your posirtion is just what peole dont like about PADI. Your opinion of what the student does or does not understand is moot. it is the end result that counts. no matter what you are teaching if you are wearing the padi shirt it is padi agency. they have no other view of it. yes I expect instructors to do things for free. I consider many things to be part of the training and not an option to pay more for. I will not mention the business but if you eat there and order a baked potato they will ask what toppings. when you get the bill you are billed for the toppings when they should be part of the baked potato. Same place I got a meal package came with milk. I asked to substitute it for something else before the milk was even poured. I got charged for the milk that they never brought me; the something else and the exchange fee for milk to something else. They then had the gall to give a snide look when there was no tip. Would have been cheaper if I just ordered the other drink and nothing else as a side order, and left the milk to be thrown away. Yes the company and their company men can justify doing it. but it never leaves a good taste in the consumers mouth.
  7. Bigbella

    Bigbella ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Francisco
    No one give a whit about one's C-card; can't recall the last time that I pulled the dog-eared thing out of the wallet. Just be a competent diver and don't kick me in the face.

    I went through the YMCA and NAUI, only because they were the local agencies on hand; hadn't even heard of PADI at that time; SSI, maybe, somewhere.

    They are occasionally the butt of jokes, due to their ubiquitousness; that, and their ridiculous assortment of specialties.

    Why is it a drag to go on a boat dive through a PADI shop? Well, should it sink en route, you'll be also charged for a wreck dive.

    P.A.D.I -- the acronym for "put another dollar in . . ."

  8. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    My negative thoughts for PADI, and the others, is about their marketing scheme. The same slick marketing scheme that probably saved recreational diving, way-back-when. I either did not listen, or I was not told, that I really needed to go through the cert card mill in order to dive intermediate to advanced dive sites off a boat or with an organized group.

    I don't dive with the same people or dive-ops. I am always someplace new with different divers

    PADI marketing is slick. Beautiful pictures of beautiful people in beautiful places. Reminds me of a beer commercial on NFL Sunday. I thought that with my certification, I could go dive with dive ops in the recreational zone because I was trained to SCUBA dive. Oh no son, you need this xyz cert to dive there and this other cert to dive like that! OK, OK, I will go get that AOW cert so I can dive some intermediate to advanced sites. But, but, you really need to take Rescue! And then you have to go for MSD. And then for Deep, and then a tech course or two. Always the bait'n'switch. You know son, you will be a real SCUBA diver if you take just one more course!

    I can be so gullible.

    PADI, et allia, would have promoted their brand better by selling me a probationary cert instead of certifying me as an OW diver. How about this: Change the certs to Probationary diver 1, then Probey 2, then 3, then 4, and then Scuba Diver. I would have felt better because I was not conned. I had an OW cert that was basically worthless.

    You are so correct. Without profits, organizations eventually fail. With the not-for-profit corporations that I presided over, we did make profits, but we plowed those profits back into training, facilities, or political action [one was a 501 (c) 7, one was a 501 (c) 3, and the other was a PAC]. We did not distribute those profits to shareholders. We had cash reserves for rainy days.

    You are absolutely correct that there are people who believe that services should be rendered for altruistic reasons, until they are required to give their time away for free.

    I get so tired of people bestowing the virtues of non-profits because they feel non-profits aren't greedy. The world works because of a rational distribution of energy. All products and services require someone or some entity to exert energy. The exertion of energy costs money.

    My favorite bumper sticker of all time:
    Cash, Grass, or Arse, Nobody Rides for FREE!

  9. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
    I dont agree but that is ok. Again , you, like the vase amount of company men / instructors base their arguments on making a living over making good divers. Honestly I dont know anyone that makes a living on teaching diving. Its a second profession or something you do when you retire or want to suppliment your income.. BTW no one is talking about an accident or some one dead. The short comings are at much more basic levels than that. Add to that most instructors are covered buy the documents the student signs in various phases when they do not know the actual use of those signatures are and what the signature means. It is a real shore to get 2 new ow's to gether from different instructors to compare notes and find common information or course experience. other than pool than open water.

    You say if you do a lousy job. who knows if you do a lousy job. Short of a death you are never brought to answer. And the student has no clue or background to fairly say if the course was good or not. I dont believe the INS is at fault either. NO matter what ,,,, by your post,,,, what ever is wrong is the fault of any one but the instructor. The very fact that getting 10 instructors in a room and all describe their training techniques and outcomes blows that theory.
  10. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

    My dislike for PADI...

    Started off with NAUI. The closest shop to where I grew up. Looked like they had the best instruction around and the only place with an on-site pool. Pre-internet. Most everything looked the same not knowing anything else. Several years and several states later I am taking a Nitrox class (I think). They wanted to teach it PADI (for reasons I don't remember nor cared about). The class was laid out as a continuation of open water. I spent more time going back and having to look up all the acronyms they were using (but didn't define) than actually reading the material. No glossery to define anything either. You had to have the prior books (or look stuff up online) to get information. Very heavy 'blinders on, only follow the path in front of you' instruction. Like a lot of todays education it really didn't teach you, it spoon fed you and asked for timed regurgitation. About the same time I took a different class (sorry, forgot what it was, somewhere in a stack of cards I don't care about) I took another NAUI class. As the book went on it defined each acronym as it used it, and they thought enough to put a glossary in the back if you needed to look them up. Didn't have the finished glossy pages, but it was more educational.

    Now with the way most people get an education these days, minimal hands on, repeat back what the teacher said, no self learning. PADI fits the modern education system, which I feel is garbage. Now add in the standard thinking these days of "how quick and little effort do I have to put into this to get the reward at the end". 8 classes cuts down to 6 classes, down to 4 classes, we can do it in a long weekend.

    Can't comment on SSI, never took any of there stuff.

    So that is my distaste for PADI.
    living4experiences likes this.

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