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When No to Pass a Student

Discussion in 'Going Pro' started by MikadoWu, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. MikadoWu

    MikadoWu Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Hello all,

    Over the last few months I been diving with a lot of new divers. I have also attended a few classes with friends during their OW training. I watched a friend, in my opinion perform horribly in the pool, grotto and River environment. When we where done for the day, the instructor passed him and said, yesterday I would not dive with you, but you did better today, enough for me to think about diving with you.

    Now my friend is retired military, and been in far worse situations in his life then the grotto. He never appeared to panic in the water, he just had zero control of himself on day one. There was no Buoyance control, even on surface floating he keep rolling around. Day 2 was better, but I still saw a lot of Buoyance control issues.

    I befriended the Assistant Instructor during the class and he and I did some spear fishing this weekend. At one point my buddy came up in Convo, and said he I did not think he was close to coming out here. The AI agreed and told me they actually had to rescue my buddy during his last checkout dive.

    I have another co-worker that I have dove with (Controlled Grotto/1 open water), that I also would not dive with in the open water again. The shorter version for this story was I watched him in the grotto and he was dog paddling all around again not a lot of buoyancy control, I never saw him during our OW trip as we had different partners, though I know they bailed on one dive because he could not get down.

    These are 2 cases of friends that I have watched closely, but on the only cases I have seen. Now that I am preparing for my DM Cert and hope to do Instructor next year, I think I am getting a lot more aware of these scenarios.

    For my military buddy, I believe I can help and improve him, we all have had mentors. Since I am not an instructor yet through, is it my place when things are IMO really bad and liability?

    So again, how or where does one draw the line on pass or fail?
  2. guruboy

    guruboy Divemaster ScubaBoard Supporter

    I believe that as the (last to certify) instructor, you are first in line for liability if anything happens to your student.

    So if you're the instructor, you should not pass anyone you're not comfortable with in terms of future liability.

    (This is just one consideration on when not to pass, not the only one)
  3. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    Well, if he's a "friend", then you should call him out! Tell him where the work is needed and offer to assist in getting him in the right course such as buoyancy control....or take him out as a friend one on one and work through the issue(s)
    Steve_C likes this.
  4. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    When I was assisting courses (I did about 15), I saw the odd student who should not pass. Usually it was due to such things as you mentioned. Basically uncomfortable in water, probably due to lack of past experiences in it. Maybe those who saw a sign or ad and decided to try something new out of the blue. I don't believe any of these very few that I witnessed passed, though the occasional one made it to the checkout dives. We're talking here about maybe one out of 10, though quite a few others "passed" the swim tests without any really proper swim stroke.
    Sometimes I wondered what gets into some peoples' minds in taking scuba with such little "water" backround.
  5. japan-diver

    japan-diver Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Okinawa, Japan
    Passing or not passing a student can be tough call for a new instructor. I spend a lot of time teaching my instructor candidates (NAUI CDT) and discussing with them what they think a newly certified diver should look like- we talk about having a very clear picture of this and than comparing your students to this picture. If they do not match or hopefully surpass that picture you do not certify but you also must come up with a training plan or option to explain to the student why they did not pass and how they can get to the point of being certified. All of our students will not be stars some will be awesome some will be average, some will be a bit below average that is the nature of teaching - if all your students are getting 100% your test is too easy. But if you have a very clear picture of what the requirements are in the big picture before you start teaching the choice is generally very easy.
  6. CarcharodonCarcharias

    CarcharodonCarcharias Manta Ray

    How about when a students cannot barely swim? Went diving once with couple of divers that cannot "swim".

    A friend went DM for a trip this past weekend and few leisure divers had him shaking his head. One jumped in the water w/o weight belt (no buddy check). The other ones did not know how to turn the valve on. Most of them required help setting up the equipment before each dive.

    There are a lot of divers in the region that I wondered how the heck in the world did they get certified in the first place. But then again, I am not surprised since dive shops competitions are pretty fierce locally and the locals tend to gravitate towards the path of least resistance. If the words get around that one shop has a pretty tough instructor, I'd imagine the traffic and volume will probably suffer. But with that said, I would like to see a harsher stance on certification.
  7. Murky Waters

    Murky Waters Manta Ray

    Buoyancy control takes some time and/or additional training to master. It took me many, many dives to get the weighting, breathing, and BCD adjustments under control. I was often floating away from things, or using my arms a lot to stop from banging into things. If I remember correctly, this skill is not part of the OW course, and is beyond the scope of the instruction. I recall learning the concept, and getting a working understanding of it at only a very basic level. Some people are quick learners, and others not so much, but we all start at pretty much the same place.
  8. MikadoWu

    MikadoWu Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Thank you.

    That is my Plan, but as I am not yet a Professional Diver, I wanted to inquire on options.

    Thank you for your reply. I do understand the roles of Student -Teacher, I have been a professional teacher for over 15years. I am trying to apply the same process in the classroom and the soccer field in my evaluation of the scuba students. It is the Assessment of the Qualified Scuba Student that I do not understand. I may not have a Clear Picture. Has mention above, these are not students I would have passed. In Japan I would have graded these students at best with a 認 or and American D. This is not someone I would be confident saying go and dive. In using my grading Scale, would you give a C card to a student with these grades?
  9. MikadoWu

    MikadoWu Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Your point is well taken. I guess I need to better understand is what level of Buoyancy control is passable.
  10. wedivebc

    wedivebc CCR Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    I would not pass any student whom I would not feel confident allowing a loved one to dive with.

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