A tour of the "Certification Room" where the C-cards are issued was impressive. Approximately 3000+ cards are printed and prepared for mailing world wide daily. PIC cards submitted electronically make up 70%, while the remaining 30% are still paper PIC cards. The paper PICs received in the mail must be scanned into the system. A small percentage of these still get manually entered. This decrease in paper earned PADI a WRAP award for reducing their environmental footprint.
All professional level cards are manually processed. Cards for every PADI office except Japan are printed here at PADI Americas, then bulk shipped to the appropriate regional office for local mailing. We got to ogle at the Wall of Fame where duplicate cards of some celebrities are posted… Yes, Homer Simpson is a diver (or is that D' oh-ver?) who is in the company of Sting, Penelope Cruz, Garth Brooks, and more.
Next to the mail room is PADI’s print shop. Here PADI produces all printed documents and promotional materials, excluding bound text books. Got a special event in your area and need PADI special materials? Contact your PADI representative to see how they can help you.
The warehouse is directly in the center of the building. It's two stories high with all of the training materials in most of the languages used by all of the PADI Americas. The folks in shipping are all committed to getting every single order shipped out in the promised time frame, even if it comes in just minutes before closing time for miraculous overnight delivery. So, next time you open a box of PADI materials, thank those folks racing around pulling your order no matter how large or small and ensuring it is correct.
PADI has a film studio, a film editing and production facility, and an audio room. Many of the training videos are filmed on-site in the pool. By the way, the pool has a full dive locker, tanks, and fill station.
We met the webinar guru Roger Josselyn. The PADI Business of Diving Webinar subjects vary and are informative and timely. These are offered every few weeks and are archived for future viewing on the PADI Pros website.
The PADI Travel Network have teamed with Caradonna Travel where this synergy is benefitting members with better negotiated travel rates and more diving locales. This space that used to be filled with PADI Travel consultants now has a display dive shop.
Are you a school teacher? PADI has a complete school curriculum aptly named “Life on the Ocean Planet” that has been approved by many school districts. If you are interested in more information whether you are a PADI member or not, ask a PADI Rep.
The Training Department is always available for consultation on any issue as is the Quality Department which ensures that PADI standards are uniformly met worldwide.
PADI corporate culture is fun and keeps their staff engaged with frequent activities like those on this board, ping pong, and pool table in the break room. The facility also includes a full fitness center, gym, and locker rooms. Of course they also get to swim in the lovely Olympic size pool. Year after year, they are voted one of the top ten best companies to work for in Orange County, California.
Most impressive is the longevity of all the helpful and friendly folks at PADI. They truly enjoy their jobs and it shows in their smiles and you can hear it in their voices.
I would like to thank Janelle and Theresa for not only showing us around, but for spending so much time explaining in depth how each area or program at PADI works. Thanks to Adrianne for helping me fill in the names in this article. After seeing them in action, it’s easy to see why PADI is the way the world learns to dive!
The one most common quote we heard through out the different conversations with PADI staff members was, JFK’s “A rising tide, lifts all boats.” The competition isn’t other certification agencies or dive destinations or local shops; we are all together competing for a bigger share of the adventure sports market.
You can view more photos from our tour here:
PADI Americas HQ Tour - - ScubaBoard Gallery
PADI TecXplor Day 2012 - - ScubaBoard Gallery