What really is an "Advanced Open Water" diver?

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JW59

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As a PADI MSDT Instructor I teach PADI's AOW certification. This means that someone fresh out of OW class (4 open water dives) can do 5 more open water dives for a total of 9 open water dives and have a certification card that declares that they are an "Advanced Open Water" diver. I am sure that my fellow instructors will agree that this individual is not truly an advanced open water diver.

I am working on a presentation around this question so any opinions of what truly constitutes an Advanced Open Water diver will be appreciated! I have my own opinions of course but would love to hear from the ScubaBoard crowd.

Thanks for your input!
 

VikingDives

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As a PADI MSDT Instructor I teach PADI's AOW certification. This means that someone fresh out of OW class (4 open water dives) can do 5 more open water dives for a total of 9 open water dives and have a certification card that declares that they are an "Advanced Open Water" diver. I am sure that my fellow instructors will agree that this individual is not truly an advanced open water diver.

I am working on a presentation around this question so any opinions of what truly constitutes an Advanced Open Water diver will be appreciated! I have my own opinions of course but would love to hear from the ScubaBoard crowd.

Thanks for your input!

I usually tell my students that the industry would have them believe that after open water, they are fully qualified divers, but that's just marketing. In truth, they are qualified to dive on shallow dives, while guided by a dive professional. AOW is the minimum training necessary to be fully qualified. I also use an analogy, open water training is like driver's ed. When you went on your first drive, you were probably really intimidated by freeway driving, but you were ok on side roads - that's the conclusion of open water training. If you want to get on the freeway, you can go drive around on your own and gain experience. Eventually, you'll have the experience necessary to get on the freeway. The other choice is to take a class that will get you there faster.

I try to emphasize that I've taught them everything they know, not everything I know... FWIW, I do things a little different than a lot of others. I do mostly SDI instruction these days, and I omit things that would be required in a PADI course (skin diving, and compass swims are two things that come to mind). I'd rather cover things like navigation in depth as opposed to just trying to cram more and more into the course. My students get more of the basics in return.
 

Kimela

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It should mean something - but I humbly (and sadly) submit that it only means you 'put another dollar in' and got a few more dives. :(

I like the idea of OW-1 and OW-2.
 

JW59

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I usually tell my students that the industry would have them believe that after open water, they are fully qualified divers, but that's just marketing. In truth, they are qualified to dive on shallow dives, while guided by a dive professional. AOW is the minimum training necessary to be fully qualified. I also use an analogy, open water training is like driver's ed. When you went on your first drive, you were probably really intimidated by freeway driving, but you were ok on side roads - that's the conclusion of open water training. If you want to get on the freeway, you can go drive around on your own and gain experience. Eventually, you'll have the experience necessary to get on the freeway. The other choice is to take a class that will get you there faster.

I try to emphasize that I've taught them everything they know, not everything I know... FWIW, I do things a little different than a lot of others. I do mostly SDI instruction these days, and I omit things that would be required in a PADI course (skin diving, and compass swims are two things that come to mind). I'd rather cover things like navigation in depth as opposed to just trying to cram more and more into the course. My students get more of the basics in return.

These are good analogies. I start teaching a class of college students this week. I think they'll get the point! Thanks!
 

tursiops

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As a PADI MSDT Instructor I teach PADI's AOW certification. This means that someone fresh out of OW class (4 open water dives) can do 5 more open water dives for a total of 9 open water dives and have a certification card that declares that they are an "Advanced Open Water" diver. I am sure that my fellow instructors will agree that this individual is not truly an advanced open water diver.

I am working on a presentation around this question so any opinions of what truly constitutes an Advanced Open Water diver will be appreciated! I have my own opinions of course but would love to hear from the ScubaBoard crowd.

Thanks for your input!
Please reread at least some of the many threads on this on SB before you rush off and say something you might regret. The point is that the card means advanced beyond OW, NOT that you are now an advanced diver. The name is ancient, and has not changed. Only the misinterpretation of it has evolved. PADI -- who did not invent the name -- explicitly says it just means advanced beyond OW. You are only going to add to the confusion, I fear. Your presentation ought to be about "what is an advanced diver." Trying to build upon a term that already exists, is already well-defined by the training agencies, and is already confusing, serves no one well.

Not that I feel strongly about it, of course.
 

rx7diver

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I usually tell my students that the industry would have them believe that after open water, they are fully qualified divers, but that's just marketing. In truth, they are qualified to dive on shallow dives, while guided by a dive professional.

This really depends on the course. My local univ will begin its Fall Term scuba course tomorrow. When those students complete the course (including their open water check-out), they will be ready to buddy dive completely independently. It's been that way "forever" for students taking this particular course.

rx7diver
 

rick00001967

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it means nothing. just like most certs for most divers. many of us have a long list of certs and are still average divers.
 

Jcp2

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I’m happy to be mediocre.

 
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