Pro Tip – PADI® Membership Renewal

Don’t forget to mark your calendars!

PADI Professional Membership Renewal occurs every November and here’s  a few tips on how to save the most for 2019:

  • Lowest Renewal Rate – To secure the best annual renewal rate, enroll in Automatic Membership Renewal on the PADI Pros’ Site before 6 November 2018. You can find this feature on the My Account page or by using the Renewal button located on the Homepage.
  • Convenient and Cost Effective – You may renew your membership online by logging onto the PADI Pros’ Site and navigating to the Online Membership Renewal option under the My Account tab. Online Renewal provides you the ability to renew one year at a time and to enroll in Automatic Renewal for future years.
  • The Pen and Paper Method – Renewing with a paper form is still an option but why waste the paper and the time. If you are not enrolled in auto renewal or have not renewed online, a paper renewal form will be mailed to you prior to the renewal deadline. This method will cost you more than the online methods, so strongly consider saving money and time with automatic renewal.

Don’t waste time worrying about annual membership renewals. Enroll in 2019 PADI Automatic Membership Renewal now by accessing My Account page on the PADI Pros Site.

5 Tips for PADI Divemasters Looking to Become Instructors

Written by Guy Corsellis, PADI Regional Training Consultant for East Thailand

I recently received recognition for 20 years as a PADI Professional – a proud moment for me. Now, as a PADI Regional Training Consultant, I look back at two decades in the industry and am grateful for the journey I have been on. It has been a passion that becomes a wonderful career.

Prior to this role, as a Course Director, most of my career has been focused on instructor level training, which brings me to my question – have you thought about becoming a PADI Instructor?

Getting this ticket truly allows you to travel the world and meet some incredible industry colleagues. It is still the dream job for young and/or innovative people. If you feel comfortable helping others, if you love the ocean as much as I do and if you’re ready to be a student for life, you will have a bright future as a PADI Instructor.

Once you have decided to take this step, please allow me to share of few tips on how to become successful.

  1. Remain humble and stay positive. Being positive and optimistic and smiling by default, will motivate and inspire others around you. You will touch the lives of so many as a PADI Instructor, so make sure it’s a positive memory you leave them with. Be more than a role model – be a mentor. Remember, that the PADI system of diver education is student-centered. So display proper attitude at all times and leave your ego at the door.
  2. Persevere and expand your knowledge. Stay updated on new diving techniques, advancements in technology and equipment changes. Continue your own education and be a student yourself. That will help you understand how your students may feel under your tuition. Consider enrolling in programs that make you a stronger ambassador to the underwater environment. Divers today want to learn from those who care about something bigger than themselves.
  3. Be punctual, organized and adaptable. People depend on your choices. You are there to show our future divers proper attitude. Arrive early for classroom or confined sessions. Make sure everything is set up and ready to go when your divers arrive. Accept that logistics in your PADI Dive Centre do change and are dependent on many factors. Dive Center owners need flexible instructors that know how to adapt to unexpected situations or when under pressure.
  4. Be sociable and available. It is important to spend time with your diver students. Not just in a classroom or in the water, but during surface intervals and breaks. Remember that sociable and professional often go hand in hand (more on professionalism later). Take and make the time to have lunch with your divers. Your body and brain need food to perform at an optimum. Lunch with your students is the perfect moment in time to share experiences with your divers and become friends. At the end of the day don’t run home when the clock strikes 5:00pm, take the time to debrief and listen to your student’s needs.
  5. Be professional. You will be judged against expectations and standards. Your image and competence is important. Respect your students and pay attention to how you communicate with them. Be committed, courteous and supportive. We all learn differently, so listen to their needs.

I strongly believe that these few tips will help you to have a long and successful career. If you’re currently a part-time Divemaster, it may be a challenge for you to leave behind another career that you’re attached too. I made the choice to become a full time Instructor some time ago and never regretted it. Change is positive.

With the right attitude becoming a PADI Instructor will be a life changing event. Get out there and visit a PADI IDC or CDC near youand earn the most sought-after credential in the diving industry.

Best of success!

View the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor landing page for more information and to research your next steps.

PADI Pro, Rocio Gajon, Sets Out to Save Our Ocean Planet – One Diver at a Time

PADI IDC Staff Instructor and AmbassaDiverTM Rocio Gajon shares her personal strategy for protecting our ocean planet and tells how her fellow PADI Professionals can do their part by capturing new customers – and keeping their divers diving.

PADI: When did you start diving?

Rocio: When I was 16 years old, I visited family on the coast of Baja California. The Mexican government had recently established Cabo Pulmo as a National Marine Reserve Park and many of the sons of former fisherman were becoming Divemasters so they could participate in protecting the ocean and beaches. They took me scuba diving and I was like, “This is it! This is for me!”

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PADI: How did you come to be so passionate about ocean conservation?

Rocio: I grew up in La Paz, Mexico, on the Sea of Cortez. Many people who reside there cannot swim and are actually afraid of the ocean. But not me! Ever since I was a little girl, I was curious about all of those magical moving shapes and colors under the water’s surface. From the first time I put on a little mask and snorkel, my mom couldn’t get me out of the water.

However, there came a time when the magical creatures I had enjoyed so much in childhood began to disappear from the sea, and I was compelled to do something about it.

PADI: Why did you move from PADI diver to PADI Divemaster?

Rocio: I wanted to be able to teach children to scuba dive so they could know what was under the waves and be motivated to protect the life there. This desire came to the forefront when I was 17 years old and I got hired to work at PADI’s Five Star Dive Center, The Cortez Club in La Paz, Mexico, on the coast of the Sea of Cortez. The store commissioned me to run their Kids’ Club program. I taught kids to swim and snorkel. We also did a lot of Project AWARE® activities, such as runs and beach clean-ups. I loved every minute of it!

I became a PADI Divemaster because I wanted to take a more active role in turning these kids into scuba divers — so I could say, “Let’s go see all the marine animals we’ve been talking about!” Also, the dive shop offered PADI Discover Scuba® Diving events – and I really wanted to participate! So I got my PADI Divemaster rating.

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PADI: What precipitated your move up to PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI)?

Rocio: Nine years ago, I came to the United States and landed a job at a sporting goods retailer in Southern California called Sports Chalet. I was originally hired as a Sales Associate, but soon I was working there as a Divemaster on the weekends, too, conducting PADI Discover Scuba® Diving events and helping with dive classes. Becoming a PADI Instructor was the logical next step for me, because I want to pass my knowledge on to other people — and I cannot take on conservation alone! By teaching people to dive, I show them what there is to protect, so they will love it and want to protect it too.

The Course Director for my IDC was Graham Hufford – and he was instrumental my success. Because English was my second language, I had to study twice as hard as the other candidates. Nevertheless, I refused to take the course in Spanish because I was going to be teaching it in English. Graham was so supportive; he spent extra time making sure I understood everything. He also encouraged me and never gave up on me.

PADI: Why did you become an IDC Staff Instructor?

Rocio: I had already been promoted to Scuba Department Manager at Sports Chalet and I had a lot of instructors working under my supervision. I felt I needed this extra knowledge to be an effective coach for them.

Also, whenever we conducted an IDC, I noticed there was a crew of people at the back of the room to coach the candidates. I asked, “Who are they?” and the answer was, “IDC Staff Instructors”. I saw my future pass before my eyes: I instantly knew that I wanted to be one, too – to help people become scuba instructors.

 

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Advice for PADI Pros

PADI: Do you have any advice for PADI Pros on how to encourage people to try diving?

Rocio: The best way to encourage others to dive is to be a diver. Never lose your spirit. Continue learning and sharing your knowledge. Remember, when you find the job you love, you’ll never ‘work’ again.

PADI: How can PADI Pros motivate their student divers to keep diving / take continuing education courses?

Rocio: Praise them for their achievements – never let an achievement go unnoticed. Also, point them in the direction that suits them best, whether that is to continue as recreational divers or to become PADI Pros.

PADI: Do you have any suggestions for how to be successful as PADI Divemaster?

Rocio: Learn a lot, dive a lot and share a lot – and continue your professional education. Remember, it is your unique style and experience that will make you a great instructor.

PADI: Do you have any suggestions for how to be successful as PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor?

Rocio: Always remember the day you started diving. Empathize with students’ fears and help them overcome them through knowledge, practice and patience!

PADI: How can PADI Instructors and Course Directors motivate their Divemasters to continue on to Open Water Scuba Instructor?

Rocio:  Remind them that this is not just about diving! It is about the future of our planet and conservation of our oceans – because the more people who see what we see in the aquatic realm, the more awareness is spread. The sooner we make people aware, the sooner we can change the world!

PADI: What does “My PADI” mean to you?

Rocio: My PADI means structure – functional, reliable, enduring structure. I have a passion for diving and I can talk about it all day, but PADI gives me the structure I need to convert my enthusiasm into something other people can use to meet their personal goals, and then brag about it –  ‘I got my PADI certification!’

My PADI means I can inspire others to explore the oceans.

My PADI means living the scuba life of my dreams!

To learn more about Rocio, visit the My PADI website.

Spreadsheet Improves Student Divers’ Air Consumption

Con-Ed; Grenada

By John Kinsella

What hasn’t been said about air consumption? It’s one of the first questions non-divers ask. (How many times have you answered the infamous “How long does your oxygen last, mister” question?) It’s a nearly mandatory post-dive topic thereafter. There are many articles written on the subject. There are thousands of blogs, vlogs and calculators devoted to it. If you delve into air consumption theory and calculations, things quickly start to get a bit complex. If you look at the subject from both a metric and imperial point of view, even the way fundamental baseline measurements are made change. It’s enough to make the less mathematically inclined run for cover.

But leaving all that aside, there’s one easy thing an instructor I know does to help his student divers reduce their air consumption. He simply keeps a spreadsheet with the start and finish air pressure for every student on every dive (He also tracks names, contact info, training dives, certs and so on). With a simple formula, he can track an individual diver’s air consumption in bar (he works in a metric region) over the course of all their training dives. Admittedly, there are tons of details this approach ignores (in particular cylinder capacity) but in a way that’s the whole point. Helping divers manage their air consumption doesn’t have to be complex.

More than anything, it’s the simple act of asking divers for the information that prompts the insightful post-dive conversations. The spreadsheet is readily accessible on the instructor’s mobile device. A quick comparison of a diver’s current to previous air consumption provides a talking point: “I see you used a lot less air on this dive, why do you think that’s the case?” The discussions lead to opportunities to explain some of the finer details and methods for more advanced gas management strategies (and this in turn is a great way to promote related Con Ed such as Enriched Air Diver, Sidemount, Tec and Rebreather courses).

As the old adage goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Here’s a simple, interesting and effective way to help divers do both.

Do you use any other methods to help your divers manage their air consumption? Share in the comments.

The Power of the Personal Touch

By John Kinsella

Grooming divemaster and instructor candidates starts early and demands a personal touch.

It was a life-changing phone call. Commander Jim Williams was on the line from California; heady stuff for an 18 year old from Dublin, Ireland in the early 1980s. I had responded to an ad in Skin Diver magazine with a letter of inquiry about PADI Instructor training in San Diego a couple of weeks previously and this was the follow up. Cmdr. Williams was affable and a great listener (a great salesman!) and by the end of the call he had convinced me (easy) and my mother (not easy) that I should immediately book a flight and enroll in the College’s next 10-week instructor development program.

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I did. And that phone call marked not only the beginning of a career as a PADI Instructor, but also a lifelong friendship. The world’s a different place now; sending a letter or returning a form to request further information seems absolutely ridiculous. But the power of the personal touch, Jim’s picking up the phone and taking a genuine interest, remains exactly the same. And it’s still an extremely effective way to make friends and fill leadership-level courses.

Face to face, it’s often as easy as taking a moment to privately compliment and encourage a particularly keen student diver. It’s amazing how often you can tell, even during an entry-level course, who’s going to get seriously involved in diving. Taking a real interest in that person’s success and clearly mapping out the continuing education opportunities is always well received and rewarded.

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When you can’t see the person you’re talking to, there’s nothing more important than follow up to turn anonymous inquiries into PADI Pros. The medium makes no difference (other than keeping expectations of a swift response high!). Whether it’s a contact form from a website, an email, a tweet or a post, or even an old-fashioned phone call, take every contact personally. Make absolutely sure that you (or your staff) make the time to get to know (remember to listen and not spew off set sales spiels) the person behind the ping. Time and again when you look at the compliments sent in about PADI Members, happy customers highlight speedy response to requests for information.

The strategy works on a larger scale too. Personalized emails generally outperform anonymous ones. In one A/B test, an inbound marketing company sent out a promotion to two similar market segments. One group got an email from the company; the other got an email from a specific person who worked at the company. The actual email content was exactly the same. Guess which had the best response?

At this level, when dealing with someone about to commit serious time and money in becoming a pro, get personal and take the time to get to know who you’re talking to. Your new friends, divemasters and instructors will thank you.

Difference Between Master Scuba Diver Trainer and Master Instructor

Master Scuba Diver Trainer: Just What it Says on the Tin | Master Instructor: Elite, Experienced Dive Professional

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By John Kinsella

As a PADI professional, you’ve likely had more than a couple of conversations about “mastery.” As a diver, you demonstrated mastery of the skills required for the various courses you took. Now you help others master those same skills in your role as an instructor or instructional assistant. Mastery is a key component in a performance-based system of education. You know it’s not something to be taken lightly, and it’s no accident that the word also appears in two instructor ratings: PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and PADI Master Instructor.

The first of these, Master Scuba Diver Trainers, as the name implies, have the qualifications and experience needed to train PADI Master Scuba Divers: the ultimate recreational diver rating. This is a reasonable and attainable short-term goal for all newly qualified PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors.

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MSDTs are Open Water Scuba Instructors with five or more specialty instructor ratings and at least 25 diver certifications. This rating helps them stand out as instructors who take continuing education seriously, looks great on a CV and it’s a prerequisite for IDC Staff Instructor and many TecRec instructor ratings.

PADI Master Instructor is arguably the most respected dive instructor credential in the world. It takes commitment, drive and experience to earn the rating, making it a worthy long-term goal.

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MIs have extensive experience with the entire PADI System of Diver education. They have been PADI Instructors for at least two years and have issued 150 or more certifications for a variety of levels. They use the entire PADI System, including all appropriate PADI training materials. They are IDC Staff Instructors (qualified to assist on Instructor Development Courses and certify PADI Assistant Instructors) who actively support the PADI organization.

In short, PADI Master Instructors are elite scuba diving educators who, through dedication and hard work, have become de facto dive industry leaders. Their next stop? Course Director, but more about that later…