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Difficulties getting C-Cards

Discussion in 'Q and A for Scuba Certification Agencies' started by banthony, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. banthony

    banthony Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: US
    8
    0
    1
    I'm a PADI Divemaster and have been for over 30 years. I help out a BSA Venture Crew getting the crew members certified in diving.

    My son and daughter joined the BSA Venture Crew in 2016. They completed the classroom/pool work in Oct 2016 and we were scheduled to do a live aboard (Cayman Aggressor) to complete the Open Water Dives. The first charter got cancelled and reschedule for 2017. Both teenagers completed their open water dives in Dec 2017 via the PADI instructor onboard. He filled out his open water portion of the PADI certification and mailed this form along with the SDI referral form into PADI. Unfortunately, we never received any c-cards.

    When I inquired about this from PADI, I was told it was not their policy to issue c-cards without completing the entire PADI course. (classroom/pool sessions) Have completed via a SDI instructor did not meet their standards. I contacted SDI next. They stated that my children have completed the classroom/pool session, but have not completed the open water checkout dives.

    So here we are in 2018 still listening to these two agencies tell me that my children have not completed a SCUBA open water course. What options are available to fix this situation? The referral form clearly states that any certified instructor can complete the referral. The aggressor fleet is well known for completing open water dives. The paperwork clearly shows they completed both parts of the open water training. The whole your instructor for the open water dives was with the wrong certification agency (SDI) seems stupid. Likewise, we don't accept PADI instructors (SDI) also seems wrong.

    I'm looking for suggestions on how to obtain these c-cards without "rinsing and repeating" the entire open water course for $1200.
     
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    24,451
    15,228
    113
    PADI and SDI do indeed use two different systems for referrals, but the instructor should have been well aware of the requirements and been able to do what was necessary to make it work. It's not like the information is hidden or that this is the first time it has happened. The instructor could have done it either the PADI way (leading to a PADI certification) or the SDI was (leading to a SDI certification),
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
    Hoyden likes this.
  3. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    24,451
    15,228
    113
    This is just to provide more details for my post above.

    PADI believes that it is important that the certifying instructor (and thus the certifying agency) be the one who observes the diver doing the dives that essentially are the final exam in the course, the dives in which the students demonstrate they have the required skills. When a student comes to them from another agency, they have a well-defined process for taking the student's initial work and completing the process of making that student a PADI diver. The instructor should know the process and be able to follow it.

    Most other agencies believe the certifying instructor (and thus certifying agency) should be the one who does the initial training, with the instructor who supervises the OW dives just completing that task. Although PADI does not like that system, it allows its instructors to use it if they wish. The process for doing so is also well defined.

    It sounds as if the instructor who supervised the open water dives did not follow either well-defined process, so neither agency is able to process the certification.
     
  4. banthony

    banthony Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: US
    8
    0
    1
    I could not agree more. But I still don't know how to resolve this. I would like to take my children on another charter and another BSA trip to SeaBase, but until I get the c-card mess figured out I'm stuck. It also appears that this is a recurring problem. Surely, there is some kind of answer other than "rinse and repeat."
     
  5. banthony

    banthony Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: US
    8
    0
    1

    That is all fine and good if your state has good open water sites. Many students don't get excited about swimming around in a cold, murky lakes/quarries. The dive sites in the Caymans seem to offer much more than inland lakes and quarries. After 30 years of diving, It disturbs me that the different agencies still don't have their act together about doing open water referrals in the Caymans.
     
  6. caydiver

    caydiver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cayman Islands
    198
    115
    43
    Can you get in touch with the instructor? Do you have his/her Instructor Number. Otherwise who did you pay for the course through? I believe the op has a share of responsibility in helping you. I am not an instructor but when we have guests doing referrals from different agencies I make sure it is all doable by talking to the Instructor who heads up that side if the team. If we had someone who certified through us but the Instructor didn’t complete the paperwork and was unreachable, I would feel responsible to sort it out. At the very least the op should have the student file that lists everything they had accomplished. We keep student files for 7 years. Not sure what the official timeframe is but they should certainly have it after so little time. Follow the money!!!
     
  7. banthony

    banthony Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: US
    8
    0
    1
    Here is the timeline:

    28 Oct 2016 we completed classroom/pool sessions.
    23 Dec 2017 we completed the open water checkout dives. Dec 2016 charter was cancelled.
    13 March 2018 we received notice from PADI that no c card would be issued
    25 June 2018 we received notice that SDI that no c card would be issued
    06 August 2018 - our local dive shop said they could not help. It is a problem between SDI and PADI, they completed the classroom/pool training and fill out the referral paperwork.

    I've spent $1200 dollars to certify both children. Aggressor states the PADI instructor has rotated to the Pacific and is out of contact. They will attempt to contact some agent in Micronesia. I'm guessing the instructor has moved on and they don't have a forwarding address or records for students he has certified. Aggressor states they provided the open water check out dives and filed the correct paperwork with PADI. The local instructor states he cannot sign anything other than the classroom/pool form. He did not travel with us to the Cayman's.

    So again, we have completed all the training requested in the recommended manner. Completed all certification forms and still don't have c-cards. Clearly, the local dive shop cannot control what these certifying agencies are doing, but forking over another $1200 to repeat all training seems a bit silly. All parties are saying there is no middle ground.
     
  8. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    1,955
    1,091
    113
    For PADI, isn’t there a 12 month window after your confined water dives in which you have to complete your check out dives? Looks like that may also be a factor why PADI won’t issue your c-cards - you’ve passed the 12-months. Not familiar with SDI so don’t know their rules on that.
     
  9. divezonescuba

    divezonescuba Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, Texas
    981
    182
    43
    Yes, there is a 12 month training expiration standard. Every time something is done, the time resets. The only exception is when an instructor who was involved with the earlier training is also involved in the later training after the 12 month period and they assess the interval as not being an issue. So even if the op did the classes thru a PADI shop, it still would not qualify.

    The PADI instructor was operating in violation of certification standards in multiple ways and should have advised the OP that they would have to start completely over.

    If you paid the aggressor fleet for the referral, I think they owe you money.

    I would also be tempted to file a quality management report with PADI against the instructor so that he does not do this with anyone else.

    There was an instructor in the Caribbean who was issuing ow cents to students who had not completed the ow course. PADI shut down that operation. So the quality management process actually can work.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
    Dogbowl and tridacna like this.
  10. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    1,955
    1,091
    113
    Oh, wait...from what I recall from my last Aggressor trip (April 2018), Aggressor is an SSI establishment. The plot thickens.

    Maybe it’s boat specific...
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018

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