Be Distinctive!

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Tips for Preparing a PADI Distinctive Specialty Outline

Teaching your own distinctive specialty course has never been so popular. Since introducing the Dedicated Master Scuba Diver™ rating and PADI Freediver program distinctive specialties, PADI Regional Headquarters are receiving many new distinctive specialty outlines. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when developing a PADI distinctive specialty outline:

  • Take advantage of resources! Go to the Pros’ Site – Distinctive Specialty Course Templates for detailed information. Use the template provided as a guide when creating your outline.
  • Set learning objectives and performance requirements, then tell divers what they need to know and what they will do. Beyond information consistent to every dive, what learning objectives and performance requirements specifically relate to the distinctive course? Provide adequate information in the knowledge development section to educate the student diver in the subject matter and fulfill the learning objectives. Also provide sufficient information and descriptions of how to meet the performance requirements of the dives.
  • Stay standards-consistent. Follow ratios and supervision requirements from General Standards and Procedures for confined and open water sessions.
  • It’s all about the diving. Most outlines will be approved only if there are two to four required open water dives. Although there are a few distinctive specialties that may qualify for only one dive (for example, Pumpkin Carving, Easter Egg Collection and other unique specialty programs), and a few with no dives, the point of specialty diver courses is to introduce people to new areas of diving and increase their dive experience under supervision.
  • Identify why you qualify to teach. When you complete the Specialty Course Instructor Application (No. 10180), you must document your background and experience in the course subject matter on page three. Examples include your level of familiarity with a specific site (for example, logged dives on a specific wreck) or an educational background coupled with dive experience in the specific subject matter (for example, underwater archaeology or coral reef research).

EFR® Distinctive Specialties

You can submit an Emergency First Response distinctive specialty outline as well. Use the EFR dedicated application and specialty template for these subjects.

Freediver Distinctive Specialties

See related resources for the PADI Freediver program on the Pros’ Site and download the PADI Freediver Distinctive Specialty Course Application (No. 10338).

Take time to review PADI standardized specialty outlines for information on ratios, minimum age requirements, supervision, maximum depth limits and minimum dives required to meet performance requirements. This will help guide you in drafting this information for your course. If you need additional guidance on writing your distinctive specialty, please contact a Regional Training Consultant at your PADI Regional Headquarters.

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