Surprised to find my wife in HSA

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fiziks

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She was given the PADI OW book and DVDs. His advert said PADI or NAUI. Oddly he emailed her and asked her to bring back her DVD's. He must plan to reuse them.

BK

Let us please remember that this is an instructor issue, not a training agency issue. If the Instructor had been using NAUI or SSI materials. He would likely have done the same thing (issued an HSA certification).

First, When I went through my HSA Instructor training, it was stressed that we should only issue an HSA cert if the student failed to meet the performance requirements of our primary training agency. Even fully abled people don't always do things right the first time (or second or third...) and there is nothing in PADI standards that says a student has to do it right the first time, only that they must demonstrate mastery of the skill.

Second, we have certified both paraplegics and amputees through PADI because they were able to meet all the performance requirements (we had to get an exception from PADI to skip the giant stride entrance and allow use of webbed glove for the swimming test for the paraplegic... she turned in a better swim time than a lot of able bodied people)

Third, PADI requires that all students have their own personal copies of all original PADI materials for a PADI Open Water Course. She either purchased them herself or they should have been included in the cost of the class. We are not supposed to loan a student educational materials. Students are supposed to buy them from the Instructor, directly from PADI, or through a PADI Dive Center if they are not included in the cost of the course. I am told PADI very recently reprimanded an instructor for loaning a student training materials.

Buddy breathing is no longer a required skill for PADI since all regulators should have an octopus or alternate air source. Alternate air source breathing IS a required skill. However, some people (even some instructors, shame on them) do use the two terms interchangeably. (Buddy breathing IS sharing air, but sharing air does not necessarily mean buddy breathing.) So Some clarification is needed. Were you and your wife using the same second stage (i.e using the same regulator mouth piece, passing it back and forth)? Or were you both using a different second stage regulator (both breathing on a different hose attached to your wife's regulator and tank)? I would first take it up with the instructor. If it was the former, and she successfully, performed the alternate air source skill, I would ask for a PADI certification. If it was the latter, then explain that he did not allow her to reattempt the skill and ask for a chance to perform the skill and meet the requirement. And ask why she wasn't given a chance to retry the skill and WHY weren't you informed she would be receiving an HSA certification. If you are not satisfied with the Instructors response, then by all means go to PADI directly. In my experience PADI will look into the situation. They may not move as fast as you would like them to, but they will.
 

agesilaus

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"Were you and your wife using the same second stage (i.e using the same regulator mouth piece, passing it back and forth)? Or were you both using a different second stage regulator (both breathing on a different hose attached to your wife's regulator and tank)? "

No I was using her alternate. We contacted HSA and PADI. PADI brushed us off saying it was an issue for the instructor. HSA never bothered to reply at all. Frankly I want to know how she can move from the class B that instructor stuck her with to a class A. I assume that is unrestricted.

BK


 

fiziks

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"Were you and your wife using the same second stage (i.e using the same regulator mouth piece, passing it back and forth)? Or were you both using a different second stage regulator (both breathing on a different hose attached to your wife's regulator and tank)? "

No I was using her alternate. We contacted HSA and PADI. PADI brushed us off saying it was an issue for the instructor. HSA never bothered to reply at all. Frankly I want to know how she can move from the class B that instructor stuck her with to a class A. I assume that is unrestricted.

BK

OK, so for whatever reason, the instructor never attempted to let her try the alternate air source skill again. I really do have to stress that you should try talking to the instructor again.

A class B HSA certification means that your wife must have two other divers with her. There is no requirement for that diver to have any training beyond open water certification. I really don't think that is warranted in this situation, but that is what Class B means. Does that mean the dive operation you dive through will enforce that restriction? Hard to tell. You can always call them and ask if they will accept HSA certification.

As far as getting her moved to a class A, here's the thing. HSA isn't going to change her to a class A on your word. She would have to be evaluated by another HSA instructor for that to happen. As for getting her certified by a PADI instructor in the Keys, you'd have to get a referral from the original instructor with copies of all the forms and folder pages that someone had suggested in an earlier post. But your wife would have to redo her OW training dives with the PADI Instructor in the Keys. Since your wife received an actual HSA certification, I am assuming that she did all the required open water dives with your first instructor, and if that is propperly documented in her logbook and on the referral form, your wife may only have to do the last couple of training daives with the PADI instructor in the Keys. I would suggest you contact the dive operation in the Keys you plan to go with, explain the situation, and what they can do to help and what documentation they would need. They want your money. You haven't given them any money yet. So they are likely to be the most accommodating.

As for HSA, they have a very small staff and it may take a while for them to get back to you.

As for PADI, if you still aren't satisfied with the response you get from the original instructor, tell PADI you want to open up a quality assurance report. Once they have something in writing, they HAVE to do something about it. But it may not happen before your trip.

While I don't know you or your wife personally, based on your description of your wife's disability, she should be able to complete the alternate air source skill satisfactorily.

Good Luck
 

agesilaus

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Well based on HSA's refusal to answer and PADI's reply, my plan is just to let her get some dives in and in the fall get her in a good SSI AOW class and when she gets her AOW cert that will bury this issue. So far no one has even noticed the tiny print limitation. In big letters the card says OPEN WATER DIVER and that's all they see.

We are going to drift dive the Rainbow river tomorrow and hopefully get back down to Largo for some reef diving in a few weeks.
 

Polett

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Agesilaus,

Did you get a response from HSA?
 

agesilaus

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Sent you a PM.

I got a long response from Jim Gatacre from HSA today. This was part of it:

"For HSA Level A Certification we actually require 3 types of sharing air skill development and evaluation, and basic lifesaving skills. The HSA also requires the open water students to ‘find and identify one marine life form on each of the 5 certifying scuba dives’. It doesn’t sound like that was happening during your training. We have been certifying divers with disabilities for 28 years without any injuries. We want people safely trained, as do all diver training agencies, PADI, NAUI, SSI, etc. Sometimes there is an ‘instructor failure’, and we all want to know when that happens."

He has sent a message off to the instructor who didn't train Cindy in three types of air sharing and didn't do any marine critter ID either. Not that that was important in this case since Cindy has been snorkeling for 40 years or so in the ocean and springs. So we'll see how this works out but he is way ahead of the PADI reply already which partially follows here:

"Thank you very much for your letter regarding your experience with PADI Instructor XXXXX, #YYYYY. We are sorry to learn that you were not pleased with Mr. XXXXX’s method of instruction and appreciate you taking the time to inform us of your concerns. Be assured we will follow up on your communication by contacting Mr. XXXXX to inform him of your discontent. However please understand that certification issuance is the discretion of the instructor because they take responsibility for determining if the student should receive a certification. If Mr. XXXXX believes the most appropriate certification is through HSA rather than PADI, we cannot require him to issue a PADI certification.

With regard to your question about having a different PADI Instructor evaluate the Alternate Air Sharing skill (referred to in your email as “buddy breathing&#8221:wink: please also understand that the certifying instructor for aPADI certification is the instructor that completes the last training dive and after confirming that all otherPADI performance requirements had been met for the PADI course in question. An instructor that simply conducts the Alternate Air Share skill would not be authorized to certify your wife as a PADI Open Water Diver. PADI also would not issue a certification card to your wife without an instructor having submitting the required certification documentation and taking responsibility for the certification.

Please be aware the quality management process is confidential; we do not give out details about specific actions taken with the PADI Member nor do we disclose names or contact information of the complainant. On occasion however, some individuals are able to determine the identity of the complainant based on the details of the complaint. For your reference, we have a copy of the PADI Quality Management Procedures posted on our web site at www.padi.com. "

That I interpreted as a "Don't bother us" brush-off.

BK
 

oly5050user

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I got a long response from Jim Gatacre from HSA today. This was part of it:

"For HSA Level A Certification we actually require 3 types of sharing air skill development and evaluation, and basic lifesaving skills. The HSA also requires the open water students to ‘find and identify one marine life form on each of the 5 certifying scuba dives’. It doesn’t sound like that was happening during your training. We have been certifying divers with disabilities for 28 years without any injuries. We want people safely trained, as do all diver training agencies, PADI, NAUI, SSI, etc. Sometimes there is an ‘instructor failure’, and we all want to know when that happens."

He has sent a message off to the instructor who didn't train Cindy in three types of air sharing and didn't do any marine critter ID either. Not that that was important in this case since Cindy has been snorkeling for 40 years or so in the ocean and springs. So we'll see how this works out but he is way ahead of the PADI reply already which partially follows here:

"Thank you very much for your letter regarding your experience with PADI Instructor XXXXX, #YYYYY. We are sorry to learn that you were not pleased with Mr. XXXXX’s method of instruction and appreciate you taking the time to inform us of your concerns. Be assured we will follow up on your communication by contacting Mr. XXXXX to inform him of your discontent. However please understand that certification issuance is the discretion of the instructor because they take responsibility for determining if the student should receive a certification. If Mr. XXXXX believes the most appropriate certification is through HSA rather than PADI, we cannot require him to issue a PADI certification.

With regard to your question about having a different PADI Instructor evaluate the Alternate Air Sharing skill (referred to in your email as “buddy breathing&#8221:wink: please also understand that the certifying instructor for aPADI certification is the instructor that completes the last training dive and after confirming that all otherPADI performance requirements had been met for the PADI course in question. An instructor that simply conducts the Alternate Air Share skill would not be authorized to certify your wife as a PADI Open Water Diver. PADI also would not issue a certification card to your wife without an instructor having submitting the required certification documentation and taking responsibility for the certification.

Please be aware the quality management process is confidential; we do not give out details about specific actions taken with the PADI Member nor do we disclose names or contact information of the complainant. On occasion however, some individuals are able to determine the identity of the complainant based on the details of the complaint. For your reference, we have a copy of the PADI Quality Management Procedures posted on our web site at www.padi.com. "

That I interpreted as a "Don't bother us" brush-off

BK
sorry but cannot see PADI response as a brush off. If she did not meet the requirements no PADI certification. It's that simple. Some credibility is lost by calling alternate air source "buddy breathing" as the skill of buddy breathing has not been a requirement for a few years now. If all reading, view of video,knowledge reviews, quizzes, final exam, pool and confined water was done correctly I would think it unlikely the wrong terminology would be used by the student.
Any instructor from any agency can withhold certification if the agency standards are not met. I had a student I certified once ask me to take on his wife, who was physically handicapped, as a student. I refused as I felt she would not be safe in water. She had both a physical disability and learning disability.
My former student did not like it, but she is not getting herself or someone lose hurt on my watch. They went to a HSA type instructor and she can only dive now to my understanding with a dive pro and another diver who is trained by their agency to assist her. They went on 1 trip on their own to Bonaire to get this certification, with this instructor who traveled from Pennsylvania to join them. She made the required certification dives and never dove again. Sorry but this was way out of my comfort zone.
 
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