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CMAS 1* standards

Discussion in 'CMAS AMERICAS' started by LiquidGuru, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. LiquidGuru

    LiquidGuru Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ambon, Maluku, Indonesia
    22
    19
    3
    I run a small dive shop in Malaysia and have been a PADI instructor for 10 years. Recently we have been in contact with two divers who are coming from France. Their original plan was to take the pool and theory in France (with PADI), then do their referral dives here.

    I have just had an email from them stating that they have, in fact, been certified CMAS 1* divers, but have not had any open water dives at all, and have done all their training in a shallow pool (max 4m). Their instructor told them they were really good, so issued them their cert.

    After questioning whether this was possible or even a good idea, their instructor sent me the following reply :-

    "I'm ******, the french diving instructor (CMAS 2* instructor and PADI instructor) of ***** and ******. I have certified them because we have in France - despite the PADI systeme - the possibility certifying divers without any open water experience. Conversely, they have to dive 4 times in open water within the next 9 months after certification to validate it. Please also note that they have a "right" to dive down to h limit in France is 20m (+5m in case of good conditions, to be decided by the local dive responsible).

    As **** and ***** have successfully passed the final exam (theory and practice), There is no reason (unless security is concerned) to limit their dives : I'm sure that you will check their capabilities during a first (roughtly) 10 m max deep dive.

    Hoping this helps. Anyway, please don't hesitate to contact me for further details."


    Now what worries me the most is the line "Conversely, they have to dive 4 times in open water within the next 9 months after certification to validate it"...does this mean that until they have done their 4 open water dives their cert is not valid? Does their four dives have to be with an instructor, or can they just do the four dives.

    Other things that worry me is their 'right' to dive to 20m plus with no open water training.

    From a liability point of view this concerns me.

    Are there any CMAS instructors who can clarify this for me?

    Many thanks
     
  2. Web Monkey

    Web Monkey Omniheurist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location:
    6,921
    16
    0
    I found the requirements here:
    http://www.cmasamericas.com/Assets/CMAS%20Standards/CMAS%20ONE%20STAR%20DIVER.pdf

    It looks like a very nice OW curriculum and it's a shame PADI and SSI don't have the same.

    From reading the document, it appears that it works exactly like normal certification, that the students can not dive on their own before being certified, and they're not certified until they complete all the OW requirements and are signed off by an instructor.

    I don't see anything that would let the student dive without being certified and I also don't see any sort of referral program information on their website. It appears that only a CMAS instructor can certify a CMAS diver and that they really can't do anything with you, including their cert dives.

    CMAS most certainly has a better answer than I do, but their website seems to be pretty clear on the issue.

    Terry




     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2008
  3. LiquidGuru

    LiquidGuru Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ambon, Maluku, Indonesia
    22
    19
    3
    Thanks for your reply Web Monkey.

    I believe that CMAS can be licensed for your country, and you can then tailor the requirements to your needs. I think the standards and requirements in France are different to the States.

    What concerns me about the students' certifying instructors email (and he has already certified them) are these comments:-

    " I have certified them because we have in France - despite the PADI systeme - the possibility certifying divers without any open water experience."
    - so he has certified them

    "Conversely, they have to dive 4 times in open water within the next 9 months after certification to validate it." - which seems to say that they still need to do four dives

    "Please also note that they have a "right" to dive down to h limit in France is 20m (+5m in case of good conditions, to be decided by the local dive responsible)."
    - because he has given them a full CMAS 1 start cert, without them doing any open water dives

    I'm worried, that if any accident happened to the divers here, are they actually certified or not?, even though they already have their CMAS 1 star card. I think the instructor has 'sold' them a 'full' course, but has been less than truthful. Unless, of course, this is how CMAS in France works.

    I have written to CMAS France, but, surprise surprise, have received no reply
     
  4. inka

    inka Barracuda

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Lima- Peru
    277
    74
    28
    Hi,
    I am CMAS 1*; did 1 dive in pool + 4 dives in open water, so this is how it works normaly, but you have to imagine that, for some people who don' t live close to the sea ( PARIS for example) you can do your training in pool, and validate your 1* once you dive in open water with another CMAS instructor ( can be another CMAS instructor than the one you had because of the location) and it seems to be the same for PADI.
    Regarding the depth, yes you can dive 20 m + 5m if your diving instructor thinks so,for my part, did a 20m dive, for my second class dive, so there is no reason why they should not do that.
    Regards
     
  5. LiquidGuru

    LiquidGuru Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ambon, Maluku, Indonesia
    22
    19
    3
    Thanks inka,

    That is how I understand it. And that is my problem. I am not a CMAS instructor, their instructor seems to be saying that they have done everything they need to do and they can dive straight away to 20+ metres, with a DM if that's what I have available.

    So it looks like I need to do referral dives with them, and charge them accordingly. I do not believe I can just let them dive with a DM for their first few dives.
     
  6. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,866
    8,551
    113
    I would not allow them to dive with just a DM. I'm a YMCA Instructor and can therefore issue CMAS certs if I choose to get the CMAS Instructor card which is just a matter of paying the card fee. I've checked into their requirements and like what I see. My interpretation is that even though I can issue a referral I cannot issue a card until the OW dives have been done. ARe you even sure that the email is legitimate? I would question any instructor who issues cards when all the requirements have not been met. Also so what if they are "very good" in the pool? You're not taking them in the pool. ALso if you cannot issue CMAS you need to check if you can do their referral dives. And in any case I'd take them in the pool first and if you don't like what you see you can elect to train them or tell them to go sightseeing topside instead. As for how things are done in France I have no idea. Seems like some dangerous shortcuts have been taken though. WHat kind of paperwork will you get? Will PADI back you up if something happens to them?
     
  7. sebach

    sebach Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    122
    16
    18
    French federation (FFESSM) issues Niveau 1 (level 1) /CMAS * cards after theoritical training and exam, and practical training and exam. There is no obligation of actually diving in natural conditions to be certified. However, in such a case, the newly certified as to dive at least 4 times (and log them on logboog or equivalent) during the next 9 months. So these new divers have perfectly valid certifications, but their certifications will lapse if they don't dive soon enough in open water.

    The 4 dives mentioned are not supposed to be training dives, but "normal" dives with a "guide de palanque" (GP), ie a divemaster/ CMAS *** , no need for an instructor. Of course, in France, the GP will take extra care on these first few dives with this kind of newly certified divers, and is quite likely to verify a few things with them on the fist dive (emptying mask, giving air to a buddy with your own regulator, signs, ...). And in lot of places, you actually do these dives before getting your certification.

    So in your case, these divers have definitively a valid certification, and their own diving insurance (but depending on their choice, with a lot of coverage or not). They can, under French law dive up to 20m (+5 m with dive responsible authorization). In a club, they would need to dive with at least a GP (divemaster).


    There is an agreement between Padi and FFESSM saying that divers from one organization can get the card from the other one just by paying the certification card (no training or proficiency check needed ), provided these 4 dives have been done.

    Hope it helps. You're just in the gap not explicitly explained in this agreement.
     
  8. CMAS One

    CMAS One Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Clearwater, FL
    57
    2
    0
    This is a new one on me. The general CMAS standards require that the one star diver complete open water dives. It would seem that this is a violation. I will contact the head of the CMAS technical committee (training) and get back to the group.

    CMAS One
    Frank Toal, President
    CMAS AMERICAS
     
  9. Air One

    Air One Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Normandy-France
    454
    5
    0
    That's a real problem.
    They have certified the french 1st level, but untill they haven't done their 1st OW dives, they shouldn't be cmas*.

    So, you have to consider them as french level 1 ( that doesn't mean anything for you), not as cmas*.

    YES BUT, after the check dive, they will have an OW dive certified, so they will be true cmas* certified divers !
    Amazing isn't it ? :)
     
  10. miketsp

    miketsp Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: São Paulo, Brazil
    3,493
    139
    63
    I'm curious how they met the CESA and air sharing requirements in a 4m max pool?

    "Demonstrate controlled air sharing as both donor and receiver while in a stationary
    position in confined water and at a minimum depth of 15 feet (4.6 m) in open water.
    * • Successfully demonstrate a controlled emergency swimming ascent in both confined
    and open water from a minimum depth of 15 feet (4.6 m).
    * • Demonstrate air sharing as both a donor and a receiver utilizing an alternate air
    source during ascents in confined water and from a minimum depth of 15 feet (4.6m)
    to the surface in open water. (Do not use buddy breathing)"
     

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