I have always disagreed with the way that PADI has run their programs...
N. Cal Diver - Instructor/Sales
July 24, 2004 at 12:18:09
I am a YMCA instructor of 15yrs. I have always disagreed with the way that PADI has run their programs. First let me explain what I had to go through to get where I am. After my certification, I worked with another Y instructor for 1 yr as a Teaching Assistant. Then I worked for another yr with this instructor as an assistant instructor, and then was finally recommended into the instructors program. The bottom line is during all of this time co-teaching with a full instructor, I gained valuable experience in handleing both students and an emergency situations. Money for YMCA was not (unlike PADI) the y's main concern. The y's main concern was than they turn out QUALIFIED INSTRUCTORS, who not only learned thier skills and qualifications from books, but from being initiated and mentored into the instructor position.
Sadly, when choosing a class, many students do not understand that the PADI person who will be taking them underwater (the person who will be responsible for your if an emergency should arrise) may not have suffieient experience to handle it. With PADI, experience is not an issue, if you want to move up the ranks, grab a book, pay your money and away you go.
By the way, I teach Scuba here in Northern calif. We have kelp, low vis, cold water..requiring a full wet suit and hood and plenty of surge to deal with. I have had to deal with many of the resort certified divers on west coast boats, who should not be in the water out here without additional training. However if their c-card shows they are certified, the boat charters let them go.
More divers should ask about the qualifications and diving experience of their instructors, dive masters, etc...
You are responsible for your own safety and should take a more involved roll in it, both in your certification choice and later diving expaditions.
As far as the PADI lower requirements.....sadly it does not surprise me.