Breaches of PADI Standards reported
Its really rare to hear of or see just disregard to standards and this situation demonstrates a bad / hard situation that a Divemaster has got themselves into and has asked our opinion on, we have removed the identifying dive centre / locations and names and hope you never experience such disregard for PADI standards and lack of common sense in your dive career.
[Concerned Potential IDC Student] Hi IDC Guide I am hoping you maybe able to help me out or at least point me in the right direction im in a bit of a dilema with regards to my instructor training. Bear with me its a bit long winded but hopefully you’ll see my problem.
Having previously helped out as a Divemaster with [dive centre and location removed] for a year or so had a fair amount of experience with pool and open water teaching sessions. This was in 2009/2010 so things/rules may have changed since then if whats happening over here is now standard practice then no problems but if so i must have missed a few training bulletins.
Just started here in [country removed] doing the same thing prior to going for my IDC etc. On first open water course, the instructor stayed on the boat and 2 divers on 1st open water dive, 2 divers on 3rd open water dive went in water with a full time divemaster leading the group and myself bringing up the rear. At no point was there any skills conducted other than the students clearing their masks themselves due to poor fitting. The same thing happened on the 2nd dive (2nd & 4th OW dives). The 2nd dive was in 80m+ of water with viz about 15m. No skills conducted or divers evaluated.
During the week I then attended a pool session with 2 students on their 1st pool session. This session was being conducted by the recently qualified full time divemaster with no experience other than that gained in last 6 months from OW to DM all at same dive centre. Through i believe no fault of her own she is teaching OW students pool sessions. Without being too negative i dont believe that her skills are up to the standard to be teaching never mind that she shouldn’t be teaching by herself in the first place. A lot of the skills were skipped or briefly mentioned but not demonstrated. eg BWRAF as far as she is concerned or been taught the B is for belt and buckles, when i pulled her aside afterwards and mentioned BCD she’d never heard of that standing for the B.
The local dive shop is the only one in the area with just the one instructor and the 2 previously mentioned DM’s. So i cant go anywhere else for my training. The instructor is also a great guy, runs some fantastic dive trips all over [Country name removed] and really looks after me as customer, (free air fills from the day i moved here etc) so i dont want to get on wrong side of him or alienate him. He was until last year or so SSI instructor and had been SSI all his life until crossing over to PADI. Which i dont know if they have different rules regarding instructional duties. He talks the talk and is very friendly and well in with the PADI reps etc.
When i attempted to broach the subject of lack of skills on the OW dives he said they did conduct them i just didnt see them, nudge nudge wink wink. Any idea where i can go with this or what my options if any are?
[IDC Guide] This a very serious and dangerous situation (never mind a complete disregard to PADI standards). Regardless of the situation and how nice the Instructor is and how easy things are for you personally, why not try to imagine the situation if one of the students passes the open water then gets in trouble in their first dive and gets injured / killed due to the lack of knowledge / skills – you need to be true to your own gut feeling and tell them that they are making a massive mistake by cutting corners / breaking regulations in training and perhaps consider talking to the dive centre owner / manager and / or PADI – I would be happy to report this for you and have a direct line of official / unofficial communication with PADI if you want me to take this out of your hands and get it sorted quickly and easily. I find the depth of 80m reported to be unbelievable and even if they are at half of that depth you should demand changes and get someone to knock some sense into the PADI instructor / divemasters before someone is seriously injured or worse.
On further review of this I think that there is no other option but to report the Instructor to the dive centre and PADI immediately to ensure he or she doesnt hurt anyone with their bad knowledge or disregard to safety standards / PADI standards.
[Concerned Potential IDC Student] Thanks for getting back to me on this, the pool session this week was cancelled but the shop is hoping to to get out for a shore dive this weekend. If they do and i go out with them i’ll see how they run things and who takes the students out and what they do on their dives etc see if things run a bit more by the book (though i do have my doubts). Planning to have a chat with the instructor/operator this weekend about other diving matters so will raise my concerns about the level of supervision he currently employs aswell.
If things pan out as the previous days diving then i will have to seriously look at my options on best way to progress and may well look at getting back in touch again with you if thats ok to see where i should go with it.
Here is the reply from PADI …………..
[PADI Quality Management] Thank you for your email. This is to confirm that Quality Management at PADI Asia Pacific has received your email. We appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention. If you could please ask your friend to forward all information to us directly for eg Name of Dive Centre, Name of Instructors, dates of incidents etc and PADI will review this as early as possible.
PADI vigorously guards its reputation for quality, because once a good reputation is lost, it is difficult to regain. By informing us of this situation, you help us maintain the high standards for which PADI and its members are known.