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Is my SSI instructor qualified for certain speciality course?

Discussion in 'SSI: Scuba Schools International' started by Kresna, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Kresna

    Kresna Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
    Hi, my first post here...

    I just recently received my SSI C-card for AOWD. It is written on the card 4 Specialty Course: Deep, Night, Wreck, Wave Tide & Current. Then I go through divessi.com web and my profile, pic and info was there. I think my instructor submitted those info.

    Just curious, i ran a check for my instructor profile and found out that wreck and current is not listed in his program, though he is qualified for Rescue, Nitrox, Divemaster, Specialty Instructor, DiveCon Specialist, DiveCon Specialist Instructor, and many more. He also held few awards like Gold, Platinum etc.

    I dont have any doubt at all about my instructor capability. He is a great teacher, very good knowledge, did a great job during the course, answer most of my questions in class, informal discussion and under water. Eventhough both specialties is not listed but he did teach a lot of things about those two and beyond the books.

    When I applied actually it was for Advance Adventure. Frankly, I hadnt known and confused about the difference between AA and AOWD (and PADI vs SSi terms) before. I just said that I want to upgrade my OW cert from PADI, in case i want to go pro. Then I learnt in class, practice in pool and open water for those 4 specialty plus navigation and perfect buoyancy, a bit of Nitrox, Science, equipment tech, and a bit of few more.

    After so many dives together, he offered to upgrade from AA to AOWD and asked me what specialties i wanted to appear in my card. I choose those 4 and dropped Nav and PB. I understand that with AA the card will be written "First Specialy Dive In" with 5 Specialties instead of "Specialty Course" with 4 Specialties. I logged around 31 or 32 when i began and ended up with 60 dives on my card, so I dove about 30 dives and it took around 1.5 month on and off. We had done more than 3 open water dives for each specialty.

    Back to my question, any problem with this, e.g if I want to go for further training or pro or crossover program? Is this a normal practice? Most of the classes were done informally at anytime we can meet. We just sat together. He talked, I listened, then Q&A and further discussions. Later or next day practice at pool. Then next weekend practice at open water. Sort of like this for several weeks.

    Again, I dont want to disgrace my instructor. Even now i still have informal discussion about further training and topics. And I still think that he is awesome, more than whatever title or c-card he had collected.


    PS: just because i never had a course for boat dive (nor i certified for this), am i qualified to dive from the boat? I only logged 3 dives from the shore and the rest 50s dives were from the boat (including my first dive) from the big LOB to very small outrigger one.
  2. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    Yes you can dive from a boat. Boat diver is one of those courses that separates you from your money more than anything. Listen to the Captain, First Mate, Dm or Guide. Boat diving should have been talked about in your OW class. Don't waste money learning how to stand up, jump in the water, then climb back out and sit down. Not much more to it. At least not enough to pay for a course and piece of plastic to say you opened your wallet again.
  3. MikeMarlow

    MikeMarlow Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Annapolis, MD
    If the specialties appeared on your card, your instructor is certified to teach them. The system for ordering cards won't let an instructor order cards they aren't certified to teach.

  4. eponym

    eponym Master Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Oregon, USA
    Good post, very interesting read.

    One possible answer to your question is:

    If you look up an Instructor using the Diver Verification tool on the SSI website (name and birthdate), what you see are only the certifications he or she has earned with SSI. An instructor can qualify to teach a specialty without holding that specialty rating him/herself. For example, I can teach Night/Limited Visibilty but I never took the course myself as a student. Some instructors qualify for specialties based on past experience, some by co-teaching, some cross over from other agencies.

    Enjoy those waters!
  5. jscott099

    jscott099 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Branford, FL
    I think there is some misunderstanding here. Note that for SSI, AOW is simply a recognition of 24 dives and the diver has received training in 4 specialties. The certifying instructor need not have been the instructor who supplied the training for those 4 specialties. The specialties do not even necessarily have to have been provided by SSI (they could have been PADI for example). Thus, it would not be unusual that your AOW sign off was from an instructor who did not teach those specialties.

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