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Lou, the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages...

Marvin S - Instructor/Dive Center Staff
July 10, 2005 at 05:11:56

Glad things worked out for you Lou but I think your anecdote about using the course as a referral misses the mark.

One bad thing about the stripped down certification is that many people will stop there just as you repeated DSD for 24 years every time you wanted to go diving.  When people decide they don't want to spend more money on the full course because they don't go diving very often, and PADI endorses that attitude by certifying them, diver safety is compromised. For dive professionals, supervising divers with widely differing skill levels was already a difficult problem before the marketing guys at PADI rolled out the Scuba Diver course.  Now, it's worse.

In your case, the PADI Scuba Diver course worked like the Open Water referral system in which a diver starts the course someplace and finishes it someplace else.  That concept relies on multiple dive shops and multiple instructors.  On paper it looks fine, but the reality is that PADI's dive shop network lacks uniformity and quality control. There are good instructors and bad ones, good dive shop owners and bad ones who will sell anything that makes money. Everybody pretty much agrees on that.  So if the first PADI instructor at the resort or wherever didn't get it done, or the student forgot everything, PADI's system completely breaks down.

That's why we stopped accepting referrals, don't offer PADI Scuba Diver and don't accept it as a valid certification to go diving.  When someone walks in the door to "get a C-Card", we don't start giggling about how much fun diving is.  We explain the risks up-front and ask them if they are willing to make a serious commitment to learning to dive safely.  If not, we show them the door.

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