Meet new scuba divers, maintain a virtual dive log, participate in our forum, share underwater photos, research dive sites and more. Members login here.

Commercialization of certifications -- the problem?
Joe60 - 6/04/2007 7:34 PM
Category: Training
Replies: 7

I am a very expeienced diver. Certified in 1962 and have 2000+ dives (I stopped counting 20 years ago). I believe PADI and other certifying agencies bear some responsibility for diving accidents. The agencies appear more concerned with revenue generation than issuing meaningful certifications. Master Diver at 50 Dives? Instructor at what 100 dives? Come on PADI. Maybe I`m a slow learner, but at fifty dives I was no where near a "master diver." and at 100 I certainly did not have the skill set to teach diving, regardless of my training. Diving inherently has a degree of significant risk. The risk can be minimized by serious training from experienced divers. Initial certifications, such as PADI`s Open Water, are too easily given. There should be more to initial traing than a set of basic skills. Mental attitude, is at least as important as the skills and can only be imnparted by experienced divers, not divers with 50 or 100 dives.
DalelynnSims - 6/05/2007 2:11 PM
you said "There should be more to initial training than a set of basic skills. Mental attitude, is at least as important as the skills and can only be imparted by experienced divers, not divers with 50 or 100 dives." It is the market. As an instructor I agree that it takes all that and a passion to see people succeed successfully and more important safely. Its hard to convince a perspective Scuba student of this when they can go down the street and get the same card for the $99 special. Some need to revisit the reason for introducing others to the wonders of the aquatic world. They also must acknowledge that sometimes the right answer is `this is not for you`.

My .02cf worth

Take care and Best Fishes!! `•.¸¸.•´¯`•.¸>
froggiepatrol - 6/07/2007 8:14 AM
I don`t beleive that "Commercialization" is the problem. I`ve only been certified for a year and my biggest complaint was that I felt like I was rushed thru my certification. Price is a big deal to the individual that is looking to get into scuba diving, certainly. But if more people were being made aware before signing up and during training that this is a danergous sport that you must respect things might be different. When you have a select few individuals that are not teaching properly and cert. individuals that are not ready it leads to deaths. Please understand I`m not saying that all instructors are like this, or operate in this manner. But it does lead one to question is the instructor not somewhat to blame in this deaths of new divers as well as the diver themselves.
DalelynnSims - 6/08/2007 7:18 AM
Agree and I never want my name on a card of an individual who does not understand the risk and know I have done all I can do to help them mitigate them. Not sure I could continue if a student of mine was lost. I feel I would have failed them somehow. That said how many perspective students shop around for this type of information vs. the $99 Scuba Special and indeed are rushed through the process?


Take care and Best Fishes!! `•.¸¸.•´¯`•.¸>
sktlloyd3 - 9/04/2007 7:51 PM
Joe: Agree and disagree. Agree in that some centers will give meaningless certifications. However, this is not true of all instructors and all centers. For instance, I am currently a PADA divemaster and had to complete an internship for an entire year with my certifying intructor which included working with students from all levels of classes as well as dive experience and theory. While working with open water students, the instructor I worked with refused to sign off anyone until they fully mastered the skills. Some dropped out and some continued and as long as the individual student was committed to learning, they could keep coming back until they mastered the skill regardless of class schedule. I`ve seen some go through several class groups before finally succeeding.
DiverParamedic - 11/11/2007 5:21 AM
I`m going to agree and disagree. As a PADI DM with 224 dives under my belt, I agree that 60 dives to become a DM and 100 to become an instructor is way to few. I`m still learning on every dive I go on. I do believe that some agencies push more on having fun then learning the skills; HOWEVER, the instructor is signing them off. The instructor I work with won`t sign someone off unless they have mastered the skill. If I tell him, the student isn`t doing well, he watchs that student a little closer, and if necessary tells them, they need a few more dives under their belt. So a big part is placed on the instructors and dive masters. Another is the student, and why are they learning to dive. I see several spouses that want to learn to dive just so they can spend time with the husband or wife. They usually have problems, and don`t really want to do dive. They are being pressured. When I see this, both the instructor I work with and I get the two together and have a long talk with them. Sometimes it works and sometimes, it doesn`t. But I do agree that you need more than 60 dives to be a DM and 100 to be an instructor.
ScubaDubaDo - 11/23/2007 2:01 PM
I think there are a variety of issues here. The commercialization plays a role as it encourages people lacking in the necessary skill sets to earn a cert that may be out of their level. There is also the issue of the instructor, who has the responsibility of denying a person of a cert if they are not comfortable that the individual truly has the skills necessary for that level. I have personally seen several instructors who have refused to sign off on a student (I applaud them for this). The third issue is the individual diver (student). It is my responsibility as a diver, and student, to recognize that I may not be ready for a certain level. I have 70 dives as of today...I am focused on earning my DM cert...I know that I do not yet have the skills that I believe a DM should have going into that level. Although I am very comfortable in the water and diving at a variety of depths and at varying conditions, I am not yet ready for a level of professional diver. Call me silly, old fashioned, naive, or uncertain of my own abilities, but I know that I have work to do on my air consumption and buoyancy...which to me are essential pieces that she be solid at a professional level. I guess though, if an instructor only has 100 dives and a limited skill set, then they are going to allow weaker and less skilled divers through in these courses. Although we live in a largely litigious society, perhaps the instructor should be held liable for a period of time after the student has been certified. As much as I can`t stand passing the blame, if the instructor is held accountable for who they sign off on, perhaps they will be more careful on who they pass through...This of course is not to mean that the new, inept instructor they passed should be waived of responsibility...