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To Ian: We also don't accept PADI Scuba Diver (and PADI Open Water referrals)...

John B - Instructor/Dive shop employee
October 26, 2004 at 16:12:51

Hi Ian.  We also do not accept PADI Scuba Diver certs and PADI Open Water referrals for the same reason: They arrive with no skills so we have to start all over from the beginning. If we have to go back and do a full Open Water course, we expect to get paid for it.  A similar problem are Advanced course participants who did not learn anything in their Open Water course. Again, we have to go back and start all over with mask clearing, buoyancy control and even equipment assembly.

As I remember, PADI rolled out all of this crap a few years back as part of something they called Essential Change, a failed attempt to MacDonaldize the PADI dive center network.  PADI wants to market the courses like Big Macs as if the customer can go from one PADI dive center to the next and buy exactly the same product.  Start a course at a PADI dive center in Toronto, finish it at another PADI dive center in the Caymans.

The problem is that PADI fails to deliver the quality control it boasts about so it doesn't work.  While the course materials are the same and PADI's marketing is designed to make consumers think one PADI dive center is exactly like another, they are not. As far as I can tell, PADI's Essential Change did nothing except put a lot of very bad divers in the water who damage coral reefs and increase the burden on dive ops to make sure they don't finish the dive in a recompression chamber or worse.

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