This is nothing new for PADI...
Chip - NAUI/PADI/YMCA Instructor
May 5, 2003 at 09:41:56
I've been a certified Instructor since April 1981. Mine was a YMCA institute. As a result, I was able to qualify for PADI Instructor certificiation by quite literally filling out a one page form and making out a check.
Let's face it, making courses shorter, creating more customers for equipment manufacturers has ALWAYS been PADI's forte. And they have the DEMA support to prove it.
I have witnessed an erosion in training over the last 20 years. Then, a certificaiton course was a full 10 sessions, the first 4 of which were strictly watermanship skills, like swimming, snorkeling, kicking, surface dives, towing an injured/exhausted diver, you name it. Is today's student the equal, in water skills, of the freshly certified student of 20 years ago? Certainly not. Does that make the graduate of this new course a danger to him/herself?
That truly depends, on where they dive, with whom, and under what conditions. Putting a non-diver into a swimming pool on scuba is not considered dangerous - as long as they have told about the dangers of breath holding. Simliarly, these "Scuba Quickie" certs will have to be impressed with what they DON'T know so as not to become a dnager to themselves.