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What would your ideal training agency look like?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by ScubaWithTurk, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. JasmineNeedsGills

    JasmineNeedsGills Contributor

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    This thread is getting seriously interesting. I'd like to think some people at PADI, BSAC, CMAS et al are following this, because there's some very sensible suggestions and opinions flowing here.

    Yep. It's difficult to ask people to give up a glorious day out on the Manacles or something to sit on the bottom of the municipal pool with a newbie. It can always be "sold" as way to build good instructor experience and develop yourself down that path, or appealing to peoples passion for their club, but yep... it's a difficult one.

    I have no idea how ledgers work (guessing it's like how dive tables work?) but totally agree with the need to reduce theroy instructor workload. I work in IT, so the lack of E-learning resources with BSAC just screams out at me for modernisation. Despite this, I'm quite old fashioned myself and *like* having the books, so I wouldn't advocate for removing printed material entirely, but rather that it should be integrated with the digital platform for presenting some of the lectures, for self-testing, revision, formal assessment, with the book as a strong reference base that is easy to come back to as you progress. As you say, hopefully this could make it more appealing for commercial outdits to offer BSAC courses, and also hopefully make OD instruction more apealing to club instructors, if they didn't have to spent so much time doing dry theory.

    There's no reason why we couldn't have a regional instructor do an intereactive livestream for some of the theroy material for, say, all the clubs in their region. This wouldn't be technologically difficult - there's cloud packages for this, so instructors and students could simply do it through a web portal on their own devices. This could be used for workshops as well, which would be a nice perk for retaining existing members.

    BSAC have been making fairly big changes to their IT platforms of late though, so hopefully something like this isn't beyond the realms of possibility, provided they can keep up the momentum.

    *nods* Yep the club culture can be great.... or absolutely toxic. When the rot starts to set in, you get those few who pitch in to do everything then you just get resentment and burn-out ("What's the point? No one else gives a ****"). One part of the basic induction really should be on ethos. "This is a club. We all volunteer because we love the sport. The club is only what you make of it, so get involved!"

    I know it's dark but this literally made me laugh out loud. That was kind of on my mind when I wanted to get back in the water and was debating doing PADI OW... Always have a good Q card photo, it might be on the DAN website one day, right along with "Jasmin is believed to have stupided herself to death in ideal conditions at 6 metres, having just got her newest Underwater Unicorn Hunting speciality" (For the record, I failed.)

    Absolutely. I got involved on the committee from the get-go. Partially to give something back, partially to get experience and insight, and partially because it's fun and a chance see more of the people I'm diving with and build friendships. Again, make the club diving ethos part of the basic training so people "get" how it works, particularly if they're coming in from a commercial organisation - you can't just rock up to the boat and expect everything to be done for you.
     
  2. JasmineNeedsGills

    JasmineNeedsGills Contributor

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    For PADI this would totally make sense. For this, more clearly differentiting OW (keeping it simple as poss) while making AOW more SD-alike would be sensible, esp. since AOW (from what I understand) is a weak link in the PADI system (it doesn't equate to BSAC SD or CMAS 2*). For BSAC, it's probably a bit academic since (present company excepted!) no one ever does a BSAC club dive to experience warm water and colourful tropical fish... unless it's at the aquarium :p
     
  3. NothingClever

    NothingClever ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
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    All my local oppressive cousins have been celebrating the resumption of flights from Blighty to Egypt. Time to stock up on sunscreen.
     
  4. KenGordon

    KenGordon Rebreather Pilot

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    People, especially on here, get quite offended when you tell them OW (or indeed OD) is not a sufficient qualification for proper diving.

    But those people are not generally dying, so what is the problem?

    Follow the money. Who makes more money by monitoring and auditing? Are they injuring people at a high enough rate to scare insurance companies? The trouble is that a badly trained diver is generally quite separated from the company/person doing the instruction. How often is an injury traced back to whoever trained the injured person? A fuss is made when someone dies on a course, but later?

    Maybe the ploy needs to be like going after oil companies for global warming. My reef has been trashed by rubbish divers, you train 80% of divers so time for compensation...
     
    Schwob likes this.
  5. ScubaWithTurk

    ScubaWithTurk Bubble Blowing Buddha

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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    I find it hard to believe that you find GUE to be the perfect agency. I don’t feel like any agency is perfect. They all have flaws in one form or another.

    As an example, the cost to take a GUE course for a new diver is ridiculous and rather than making diving inclusive, it does the opposite.

    Somewhere between PADI and GUE is an ideal agency that ticks all the boxes.

    I love RAID but I dislike that an instructor has to be associated with a dive center. It takes away the ability to be a truly independent instructor. Now it is supposed to provide checks and balances as it relates to adherence to standards. An instructor signs off that the student did the skills. The student also signs that all skills were accomplished. Then the dive center has to check boxes saying the standards were followed and they certify the diver.

    In theory it is great but in reality, if you only have one RAID center near you and you happen to not get along with them, you are pretty much up the creek minus the paddle.
     
    markmud and chillyinCanada like this.
  6. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Not to mention that the shop wasn't in the water with the instructor and student, so they're actually signing off on something that they didn't see. They've signed off on faith only. Is there some insurance reasoning for this or what?
     
    markmud likes this.
  7. ScubaWithTurk

    ScubaWithTurk Bubble Blowing Buddha

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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    I am not a RAID instructor or dive center so I could be wrong about what the DC needs ti check off to issue the cert. I do know what the student and instructors need to tick off though.

    No idea of why they do it other than there is at least one other agency that makes an instructor tied to a center who then does the final cert check off.
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  8. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
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    The further this discussion goes, the more it seems to prove that the current system does work (for the most part)

    It's a valid point. For the most part training is fit for purpose. In that it meets the of divers (for the most part)

    As Ken rightly pointed out, the PADI/SSI et al OW cert meets the needs of the average diver, who dives only occasionally on vacation.

    In effect its the equivalent to a hack and bash golfer, content with renting gear, playing a 9 hole Par 3 then going to the pub afterwards.

    Yes the "Scuba police" might look down on these people, but they're being introduced to the sport and providing much needed revenue.

    The commercial organisations model falls apart as people rise up through the tiers

    We can agree that AoW is badly names, and in reality noting more than experience dives under the guidance of an instruct (similar to the Post OWD qualification experience dives in BSAC. As diver rise further through the tiers the system fails them further, because they are convinced that they are better divers because they gain say Rescue. Whereas in reality their core skills aren't being improved and refined.

    So in my view the commercial model could improve it's main stream Con Ed courses, as well as adding additional tiers so that divers can if they chose, have qualification road map to aspire toward without needing to "Go Pro"

    I personally wold re Model AoW - possibly more inline with Sports diver, perhaps without the Deco aspect I'd prefer some improvement in skills and abilities for 30m diving - however as people progress upwards then I'd insist on basic deco training (lose deep and replace it with a Tec 40 style course)

    Meanwhile there are other courses and agencies that offer alternatives (RAID, GUE) etc, for those with the desire, time and money) to take a longer more in depth course for the outset.

    However I'd expect the mainstream agencies higher certs to converge towards or equal the GUE/RAID skill standards as the diver progresses farther up the tiers
     
  9. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I thought that AOW's name had been changed from Advanced to Adventures?

    Back in the day, I was certified to 130', nowadays it's only 100', is that correct?
     
  10. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
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    AoW is still current and yes max depth IN TRAINING is 30m 100' (the same as OW is Max Depth in training 18m/60'

    Adventure diver is a subset, requiring only 3 adventure dives

    By Contrast BSAC is OWD 20m For sports diver post certification you then make 3 depth progression dives 25, 30 & 35m So my interpretation (not a BSAC instructor just ex Student, is that Cert doesn't automatically give you depth progression

    Certainly in the Dive leader section (DM) it clearly says Optional Post Qual dives to 40m, 45 & 50m only conducted after award of certification

    @KenGordon should clarify
     

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