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How many CMAS certified out there in US ?

Discussion in 'CMAS AMERICAS' started by trappist, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. OceanEd

    OceanEd Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Melbourne, Fl
    114
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    Uncleavi:

    I was the Instructor Trainer for the Israeli Diving Federation (FUAI) a number of years ago and crossed over all their instructorst to PADI and then to NAUI. It is a great place to learn to dive.
     
  2. CMAS One

    CMAS One Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Clearwater, FL
    57
    2
    0
    You are slightly miss informed. CMAS does not have "equivalencies" with PADI just an agreement to recognize their training. You still have to undergo skill evaluations and then add the training you would be missing from PADI to bring you up to CMAS Standards. We do work with dive shops and the number is slowly growing as is CMAS in America. You have to remember that CMAS is structured intirely differntly than PADI and we do not have the big business financial structure that they do. This means that we can only grow at a slower rate. We will succeed in the long run however (remember the tortoise and the hare) the public is beginning to understand that diving does require a more comprehensive level of training than that being provided by the US agencies. We do not want the badge collectors or people who are not serious about diving as a life-long activity. CMAS is here after 50 years of neglect of the Technical Committee (training) the original representative body, the Underwater Society of America, has only been active with the sports committee primarily concerned with underwater hockey and spearfishing competitions. CMAS AMERICAS was formed ar the request of the past President of the CMAS Technical Committee Walter Tichey to represent CMAS training in the US, Carribean and areas not represented by a Federation in their home country. Any question about the coverage of CMAS in the World can be answered by visiting www.cmas.org.

    Frank
    CMAS One
     
  3. CMAS One

    CMAS One Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Clearwater, FL
    57
    2
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    bjjman - Again there is no "equivalency" to any other agency were you merely get handed a card from CMAS. The YMCA program was suppose to include CMAS training as part of their program in order to issue the card but they did not fulfill that requirement and just gave them out for money. Their program no longer exists so that practice fortunately has now terminated. SEI is a new group started by some of the old guard YMCA Instructors but it has no relationship with CMAS and since it is attempting to be an "International" agency (the reason YMCA teamed with CMAS to begin with) it cannot create the relationship as Federations are restricted to their home countries or specific geographic boundries. CMAS is recognized worldwide and is now slowly growing in the US. People are starting to recognize that the standards are superior to US based agencies and that the training provides a more thourough and complete knowledge of diving which results in a deeper appreciation and enjoyment of the sport. Hope this helps.

    Frank
    CMAS ONE
     
  4. CMAS One

    CMAS One Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Clearwater, FL
    57
    2
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    Trey - German is one of our top Cave Instructors and teaches in one of the best places to learn cave diving. We also have several in Florida as well. Enjoy your diving.

    Frank
    CMAS ONE
     
  5. OceanEd

    OceanEd Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Melbourne, Fl
    114
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    0
    Frank:

    I am glad to hear that someone is taking over the guiding principles of CMAS in the USA beside the Underwater Society of America. I applaud that and wish you all the best in what you a re doing.

    I worked with CMAS in France and held many meetings with them in regards to PADI and CMAS. I even hold a 3 Star CMAS Instructor card. I also worked with their CMAS members in the different countries in Europe and elsewhere. I agree completely that CMAS and PADI are structured completely differently. I tried for years to work out some sort of equivalency with CMAS in France until I learned some facts that made me realize it was not possible to do so. Correct me if you think I am wrong.

    Each country has one diving organization, usually the government sponsored amateur federation in that country, who represent CMAS and give out the CMAS certifications in that country. What I found so confusing was that there is no one single standard for what a one star or two star or three star diver had to do to get the CMAS certification. In each country it was the national federation who decided what was required to complete the training and it could be completely different in each country.

    An example would be the BSAC in England. At the time I was trying to do all this, BSAC had no requirement that the divers should be trained by instructors. Anyone in their clubs could teach someone if they came to the club one night or if noone wanted to conduct the training they would send them away. Other countries had their own ideas and rules that they followed. I am not saying this is wrong, I am just saying that to me CMAS is an umbrella organization under which individual member diving organizations in each country set their own rules for what has to be done to get a CMAS certification. There was absolute no (at that time) standard set of training rules that all the countries followed. Maybe that has changed today, I don't know, I know it was true in the 70's, 80', and part of the 90's until I retired from PADI.

    Obviously we could not work out any "equivalencies" with something that was so nebulous and did not have one set of standards for their training. So instead of dealing with CMAS themselves I started dealing directly with each individual amateur federation to come to an agreement as to what would be an equvalency. The first formal agreement came with the BSAC in England and today we have the same type of equivalency with most of the major diving organizations in the world.

    Let me define "equivalency". I do not mean that someone from BSAC can come to PADI and get the PADI certification of the same level. What it means in every case is that if a diver from another diving organization in the world comes to a PADI instructor and wants to continue his or her training, then the PADI instructor knows how much training the person already has so we will know what is the next highest level they can take and we put them in that class to continue their training.

    So perhaps I was not clear with what I meant by "equivalency". I hope this clarifies the matter. It took countless meetings and literally years to work all this out to every
    organization's satisfaction, but is has been done and we even have a published list to help our instructors.

    I can't count the number of times over the years that I have heard your comments about how the CMAS has a more pure system than PADI with better training. To be honest I don't agree with you at all. I do know that I personally introduced PADI into 28 countries around the world where PADI had never been established and we had no instructors at the time. Each country was dominated by the amateur federation that was the CMAS representative in that country. When I left PADI after more than 15 years of doing that, PADI had well over 50% of all the diver training and certifications in each country. In most of those countries today we are training over 70% to 80% of the divers today. That is a fact. So I would use it to point out that PADI seems to be a very successful system that attracts and retains divers in a way that CMAS is not able to do at present. I honestly hope that your new guidance in the USA will give divers an alternative that they will feel is as good.

    From reading your response I would guess we disagree on whether or not dive shops should be the center of where divers go for their training as well as their equipment needs. I would love to debate this with you at some time if you are willing.

    I look forward to having some meaningful dialogue with you in the future.

    Stephen Metcalf
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  6. Gilldiver

    Gilldiver Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northeast US
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    One could always go into why the BSAC and CMAS split:
    So long, CMAS,it's sad to say goodbye - Divernet

    Politics are wonderful things.

    I don’t think CMAS will ever become a major agency in the US as CMAS usually needs a governmental sponsoring system which the US will never do.

    CMAS may find a nice nitch for themselves just as GUE and TDI are more nitch systems then mainstream.
     
  7. OceanEd

    OceanEd Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Melbourne, Fl
    114
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    I will be honest. I am not completely familiar with the standards that CMAS is using in the USA. You have to remember I lived outside the USA for 20 years, developing PADI and then cruising on my sailboat.

    Like many of the Amateur Federations I have worked with around the world, I think CMAS has very high goals and I commend them for that. It is easier to set standards and have very high goals when you are subsidized by your country's government and you do not have to worry about making money.

    In a meeting I had with the Norwegian Amateur Diving Federation I was actually told that they had no interest in seeing diving grow in Norway. They were happy keeping things the way they were and they didn't want to dirty themselves with making money. I explained that we then had no reason to fight each other because we were very interested in making diving grow in Norway and in making money.

    I think that in the real world, outside of government funding, you have to balance what you would like to do with what actually works and is practical. The divide between the two is many times the divide between CMAS and PADI.
     
  8. ijdod

    ijdod Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Netherlands
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    I get the impression that more than a few national organisations are not all that happy with CMAS, and are only on board to be able to issue their members a recognized c-card.
     
  9. OceanEd

    OceanEd Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Melbourne, Fl
    114
    0
    0
    IJDOD:

    You are correct. CMAS is used as an umbrella organization so that the amateur federations in each country can gain international recognition for the diver training that they have developed in their country. It is all different and there is no one standard.

    The interesting thing is that now that PADI is recognizing these federations individually with an equivalency rating, CMAS is not so important to them. They will stay with CMAS, however, because CMAS controls the Olympic fin swimming events and the amateur federations want to be part of that.
     
  10. CMAS One

    CMAS One Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Clearwater, FL
    57
    2
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    Guys - The entire CMAS system is not government sponsored. To understand CMAS you have to understand its beginning and structure. Back in the early 1950's diver training was basically individual divers passing it on to one another. Most of these "Instructors" were former military divers from the various Navies’ of the world (the beginning of high standards). Eventually these folks joined clubs because that is what folks did back then TV was new and the Internet was non-existent. People actually got out and participated in the activities and spread the fun to others. Well it became apparent to Captain Cousteau after a couple of brushes with death himself that formalized training was important and uniform standards would be best. Thus he steered the formation starting with the 15 major countries involved in diver training at the time and all others were encouraged to join as well. Unfortunately it was first come first served became the representative body of CMAS more on this later. The idea was that these countries' representatives would become Federations making up the Confederation (world body). And because there was such a broad range of activities in diving there would be Three Committees each overseeing a different major aspect of the sport i.e. Sports - Competitions (breath holding, U/W Hockey, Spearfishing etc) Scientific - U/W Scientific work and Technical - Diver Training. Each of these committees operates separately developing and refining their own standards for their areas of interest.

    The reason for the non-profit was most of the club instructors taught for free only receiving free diving access and air for their efforts. The Technical Committee hammered out a set of Consensus Standards (Sound familiar RSTC) that would be used as a worldwide minimum standard which the individual Federations could use as is or exceed (reason for the variety). The reason some of the Federations have Government sponsorship is that they liked the idea and CMAS's organization and choose them as their national representative body thus the government financial support. Examples are France, Italy, Israel and Greece where all divers must meet the Local Federations standard to be able to dive. You are right this will never happen here but it might have had UWSA been interested in the Technical aspect as opposed to the Sport Committee activities. Thus CMAS training All but disappeared in favor of a very poor "equivalency" system that got passed around from one US agency to another. Well in the late 1990's CMAS was becoming unhappy with this representation in the US and decided to try a different approach that was to form a new Federation in the US that centered on Training and in 2005 CMAS AMERICAS was formed. It was put forth and discussed extensively in the 2 years of talks 2003 to 2005 regarding the need for a hybrid CMAS structure here as the European style Club Structure no longer existed in the US and profit would be involved to be able to attract Instructors and Dive Shops into the system to which they agreed. Some folks in CMAS do not like that but they have to accept reality and believe me if you look closely at some of them they are making money just under the guise of Not-For-Profit. Just like some of the US agencies did ad do.
    You cannot survive in this market without making some profit to fuel the fire and attract good people. The difference is that profit is not the primary goal - the highest quality education is the primary goal- if you make some money along the way there is nothing wrong with that. Profit is not the dirty word it is the practices that are used to gain that profit that are at fault and cause the watering down of standards and thus diver safety.

    The disenchantment with CMAS is only occurring in the Sport Committee's subset of Underwater Hockey. Since we are not concerned with that activity I do not follow the details but know that that is the problem area. As near as I can figure from what I have heard is that it is like the old "well if you do not want to do what I want I will take my ball and go home" only in this case it is take my Federation and go start a new League. So do not make the mistake of counting out CMAS just because one of the family members is quarreling with the others. This has been going on since 2003.

    Now the problem of first come first appointed representative held CMAS back in becoming universally the diver training organization because some Federations had interests only in competitive sports so the training was either poorly coordinated or not done at all.

    But here we are and although growth is slow due to lack of government or big sponsor money we are here to stay and will be the quality alternative to the status-quo organizations. If you would like to join in the grass roots development of CMAS AMERICAS please email me at frank@cmasamericas.com - subject line - Grass Roots Info. Hope this explains things a bit better and let's you understand were we are going.

    If you would to join the grass roots movement here in the States or non represented Caribbean ( your country is independent not a territory of a European government) please drop me an email frank@cmasamericas.com use the title line - Grass Roots CA.
    Let's hope this is a new decade of growth for the diving industry and that the trend of new divers and instructors continues to be seeking out the best available training programs.

    Cheers,

    Frank
    CMAS ONE
     

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