What is the purpose of PADI Junior Divemaster?

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Divetech Cayman

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To those who are currently involved with teaching the Junior DM programme.

What is the process when the diver reaches the age of 18 years?

Do they have to repeat the Rescue Course before continuing to do the "Adult" DM course?

In a nutshell, they must go though the same Divemaster course once they turn 18 as anyone else would who applied to be a DM. This includes the pre-requisites, class itself and evaluation process to graduate.

If Scuba were to model the golf industry there would just be coaching fore hire. if a diver wanted to get better at buoyancy they could hire a scuba coach/instructor for a period of time to coach them on buoyancy with no certification being issued. The drawback to this approach is that 100% of the money would go to the local coach and none to the agency. Looking at it this way I think the reason for the complaints about the current system are evident. I think it is possible that many folks either don't recognize or inherently value the advertising that agencies do to help bring divers to local shops.

I think what people forget is what I said in my first post, that the training agencies provide a lot of services to their members. Marketing is part of it, but providing books, powerpoint presentations, educational videos, but mostly training standards that their instructors can follow.

We've all seen outstanding dive staff, and horrible dive staff. As a manager for a diving company, I interview all kinds. Imagine for a second, that these instructors were left to their own devices when teaching a class. A mature, competent, informed dive instructor would try to put on a good class. A beach bum would do the bare minimum, forget critical information and skills, and generally do a poor class. As a layperson, you'd have no idea if you were mis-taught.

In either case, both instructors would find themselves wide open for legal liability, as the classes for each were drawn from their own experience outside of some vetted and reviewed standards. But also imagine if the instructor had to write their own textbook and knowledge reviews, product their own videos, or somehow design their own app for dive planning. That thought makes me smile with how some of those results could turn out.

I will fully agree that some agencies do this better than others. Some agencies offer far more value to their members than others. Some agencies are clearly are in the game to maximize their profits, while others have a genuine interest in providing quality training programs for the members and the diving public. Some members who have no business being dive professionals are able to slip though the cracks as we've all seen. This is found in every facet of life. There are good doctors and bad doctors. Good cops and bad cops, good dive institutors and bad ones.

I think any initiative that gets youth involved and teaches them skills, risk management and responsibility is good.

This is very important. There are far less youth getting into diving. In addition, there is a huge segment of our youth that could benefit from some structure and direction. I wish I had this opportunity available to me when I was 15.

Thanks to @Divetech Cayman for being a voice of reason rising above the exaggeration and pessimism. You just earned my family’s business.

Thanks, this means a lot. Come find me when you make it down here, and I will be sure to dive with you and show you the secret spots we don't tell the others about! :-D

Tony
 

Divin'Papaw

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...I think any initiative that gets youth involved and teaches them skills, risk management and responsibility is good.

This is very important. There are far less youth getting into diving. In addition, there is a huge segment of our youth that could benefit from some structure and direction. I wish I had this opportunity available to me when I was 15.

Both of these are very good points. Looking at it from that perspective I think the program makes sense and might actually be helpful to the industry long-term.

Some of you seem to have misunderstood a number of my points and have taken them to an extreme I did not intend. I never said making money was bad. I never said that revenue and profits weren't important. I never said that scuba instruction agencies provide no value to their members. I do question sometimes if money doesn't drive decisions to an undue degree in some agencies. I'll leave it at that. I'm not in the industry. I will be more careful posted on threads regarding the inner workings of the dive industry as I'm not an insider.
 

Divetech Cayman

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Both of these are very good points. Looking at it from that perspective I think the program makes sense and might actually be helpful to the industry long-term.

Some of you seem to have misunderstood a number of my points and have taken them to an extreme I did not intend. I never said making money was bad. I never said that revenue and profits weren't important. I never said that scuba instruction agencies provide no value to their members. I do question sometimes if money doesn't drive decisions to an undue degree in some agencies. I'll leave it at that. I'm not in the industry. I will be more careful posted on threads regarding the inner workings of the dive industry as I'm not an insider.

Hi Jim,

I was not singling you out specifically, sorry. The anti-training agency rhetoric is one I hear often, so I quoted your post as I was reading the thread so I could specifically address this topic to a general audience. My apologies for singling you out, this wasn't my intent.

Tony
 

mac64

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Nothing new here, if you can get them young you have em for life. There learning from the banks and others who sign up the young.
 

boulderjohn

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When you paid for the lessons in golf were they part of a "certification program" or were they just coaching and lessons? I think that is fundamentally where we all get hung up. Scuba courses now are largely structured as certifications, where the certification has some recognizability to other divers and thus value. Hence the objections many have to the structure, especially when "certifications" don't actually have any perceived value or they believe that there should not be a separate "certification" for something. I most often see Peak Performance Buoyance used in this way but you can see the core logic of this type of complaint in a joke about any new specialty, like a bluetooth split-fin distinctive specialty, or bottom kneeling certification.

If Scuba were to model the golf industry there would just be coaching fore hire. if a diver wanted to get better at buoyancy they could hire a scuba coach/instructor for a period of time to coach them on buoyancy with no certification being issued. The drawback to this approach is that 100% of the money would go to the local coach and none to the agency. Looking at it this way I think the reason for the complaints about the current system are evident. I think it is possible that many folks either don't recognize or inherently value the advertising that agencies do to help bring divers to local shops.
The biggest difference between scuba and golf is liability. The odds of a golf student dying during a dive lesson and having the family sue the instructor for unsafe golf instruction technique are not good. With scuba, there is always a chance of some sort of a problem, even death, during the class, and if that happens, you will almost certainly face a potentially life-changing lawsuit.

Because of that, scuba instructors are advised to teach within the guidelines of an agency-approved program. By doing that, the burden of proof shifts dramatically in a lawsuit. The plaintiffs would have to prove that the requirements approved by a major dive agency are not within industry standards, and that is a tall order. A friend and I used to teach unapproved workshops and got the message to stop doing that loud and clear from an attorney who was not affiliated with any agency.

As for a certification card, meh. So what? The important thing is the instruction. I give my students the option of getting the card or not. Sometimes it is important; for example, my certification to use a DPV in an overhead environment is a requirement for me to scooter in Ginnie Springs. Sometimes it isn't important, and if my students don't want the certification, I don't send it in, and I don't charge them the small fee for it. I teach a couple PADI-approved distinctive specialties, and I made all my own course materials for them. If the students don't want the card, then PADI not only does not make a dime off of it, they don't even know I taught the class.

So why do you get upset if a certification card comes with the instruction? How does that affect you in your life?
 

Graeme Fraser

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I'm very much in favour of the Junior DM program.

At our LDS we have a number of young divers who would benefit hugely from this and have already demonstrated skills and maturity way beyond their years, certainly far more than me at that age.

One in particular came to us a few years ago as a painfully shy lad with no hobbies or interests and has since developed into a confident young man and quite an accomplished diver. He very much wants to be a diving instructor when old enough, but having just turned 15, still has a few years to go. This course will help maintain his ambition and drive during these potentially furlough years and give him the background theory, knowledge and organisational skills to hit the ground running.

Young leaders like this are far better equipped to act as would be mentors and role models to fledgling divers than most of us old enough to be their parents or grandparents.

Yes, it's incumbent on dive centres offer a worthwhile interpretation of programme and, if that is the case, I see this as a definite win win.
 

boulderjohn

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As a former high school teacher, I am amused at the very general belief among the masses that people in their young teens are incapable of doing anything of value. I taught many who were of very sharp intellect and ability, far beyond many of the adults I meet. Here are a couple of famous figures in history.
  • During the Hundred Years War between England and France, the most effective military leader on both sides in the early years was Edward of Woodstock, often called the Black Prince. He led the vanguard in the initial fighting in the important Battle of Crécy, winning a critical victory. He was then 16 years old.
  • The Marquis de Lafayette was made an officer in the French army at the age of 13. He came to America to join the revolution, and he was made a major general in the colonial forces at age 19. The forces under his command played a key role in the decisive Battle of Yorktown.
Those things don't happen today, but they show that historically we expected more of people in their teens than we do today, and they showed they were capable of meeting those expectations.
 

BoundForElsewhere

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As a former high school teacher, I am amused at the very general belief among the masses that people in their young teens are incapable of doing anything of value. I taught many who were of very sharp intellect and ability, far beyond many of the adults I meet. Here are a couple of famous figures in history.
  • During the Hundred Years War between England and France, the most effective military leader on both sides in the early years was Edward of Woodstock, often called the Black Prince. He led the vanguard in the initial fighting in the important Battle of Crécy, winning a critical victory. He was then 16 years old.
  • The Marquis de Lafayette was made an officer in the French army at the age of 13. He came to America to join the revolution, and he was made a major general in the colonial forces at age 19. The forces under his command played a key role in the decisive Battle of Yorktown.
Those things don't happen today, but they show that historically we expected more of people in their teens than we do today.

Probably because most people didn't live too long past 40.

Besides my inherent snarkiness I think the Junior DM is spot on for fostering more interest in the career aspects of diving and generally a good thing.

I had a 20 year old DM in Malaysia a few years back and I only resented him for being stunningly handsome and French.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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Probably because most people didn't live too long past 40.

Besides my inherent snarkiness I think the Junior DM is spot on for fostering more interest in the career aspects of diving and generally a good thing.

I had a 20 year old DM in Malaysia a few years back and I only resented him for being stunningly handsome and French.
Well Phillip II left Alexander in charge at the age of 16 to go fight a war.

Of course, how many teenagers have Aristotle as a private tutor?

Life, education, expectations were entirely different in the past.

But, there are some teenagers who are truly exceptional and are more than capable to fulfill the roles specified in the program.
 
OP
wnissen

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As a former high school teacher, I am amused at the very general belief among the masses that people in their young teens are incapable of doing anything of value. I taught many who were of very sharp intellect and ability, far beyond many of the adults I meet. Here are a couple of famous figures in history.
  • During the Hundred Years War between England and France, the most effective military leader on both sides in the early years was Edward of Woodstock, often called the Black Prince. He led the vanguard in the initial fighting in the important Battle of Crécy, winning a critical victory. He was then 16 years old.
  • The Marquis de Lafayette was made an officer in the French army at the age of 13. He came to America to join the revolution, and he was made a major general in the colonial forces at age 19. The forces under his command played a key role in the decisive Battle of Yorktown.
Those things don't happen today, but they show that historically we expected more of people in their teens than we do today, and they showed they were capable of meeting those expectations.
This is completely off-topic, but I wonder if they shouldn't have made a musical about the Marquis de Lafayette. He did everything you said, but also came to the U.S. not knowing the language, and as an illegal emigrant. Yes, emigrant. The king had forbidden him to leave but he snuck out anyway!

To get back on track, I do feel like there is a struggle to balance the opportunities for young people with the aptitude to develop skills, and for people being guided on a dive to be assured that they are being assisted by someone with the experience to assist them if things go sideways. While the Jr. certification doesn't allow someone to lead a dive, it sounds like they could re-certify quickly (possibly in less than a day?) and become a full DM on their 18th birthday with only 40 dives. I would not choose to have such a person accompany me. Part of that is the PADI standards for DMs being (in my mind) very loose, but there is also an aspect of maturity that comes up when a young person is receiving training. Don't get me wrong, I am going on a backpacking trip miles from any road with a bunch of scouts this summer, I know as well as anyone that they can rise to the occasion. I wish PADI in this case had chosen to create a program that emphasized dive skills as well as leadership, but not on a professional track.
 
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