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NAUI AI vs. Divemaster

Discussion in 'Going Pro' started by zzRONIzz, May 30, 2019.

  1. zzRONIzz

    zzRONIzz Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Galveston, TX
    I am a certified NAUI Divemaster and am doing an internship for a dive shop. They are insisting that I need to take the Assistant Instructor course. I don't have the certification as my main dive program at my university (minor in diving) doesn't offer it, instead offering Divemaster, and described the certification as "pointless" as DMs are certified to do more than AIs (guide vs. just assist instructor in class). NAUI S&P manual supports this statement. The diveshop insists that AI is more important because it focuses on classroom teaching despite divemaster having the same requirements by NAUI standards in that reguard. The dive shop doesn't want to train me as an instructor as their main dive instructor won't have his instructor trainer until Fall, after my internship ends, and the course director (owner-operator) on site is too busy to teach classes. Would taking this course be of any use? It seems kinda like a waste of time when I could be getting more hands on experience in other areas, like actually assisting in a class or working on dive technician training. The diveshop says that the two

    Should I try and get the dive shop i'm interning for to teach an ITP and get an IQP done afterward? My university said that they only certify instructors if they are going to be attending grad school and can stay to work for at least two years, but this includes the entirety of course not just the IQP. How long and how difficult would the ITP/IQP process be?

    Is getting AI after Divemaster a waste of time and funds?

    Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Micheal

    Micheal NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    For the Record I am never taken or seen an AI course. Everyone I have ever talked with said it is Waste of time and money. ITC teaches you how to Teach. You prepare and give lectures daily. You do not have to do ITC with your intern shop, you can go anywhere in the world.

    As a DM, the biggest stress for me was keeping track of all the students during OW dives. By the time I got to ITC, I had zero issues keeping 6-8 people together and watching out for their safety.

    An AI can not lead dives.

    Are you a Certified DM? Did you complete NAUI FIT?

    The biggest help for me preparing for ITC was the NAUI Master Course (best course I have ever taken, PADI, NAUI or SSI). As a DM you have access to the Course material for OW-DM courses. Download this and review the PowerPoints. Then practice giving the classes to your dog or Mirror. This way you know the material, inside and out. Then at ITC, they fine tune you for the NAUI Way.

    ITP/IQP process ??????
  3. zzRONIzz

    zzRONIzz Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Galveston, TX
    Yes, I have been certified NAUI Divemaster for 6 months and have completed the NAUI FIT course prior to taking the divemaster course.

    According to the NAUI S&P manual, the divemaster course covers all of the required portions for certification that the AI does but has extra requirements for certification. I'm kinda confused why the diveshop would want me to get a certification under the one I already have. They claimed that the AI course was more teaching intensive, which isn't supported by the NAUI S&P manual as the requirements for presentations were the same.

    "The ITC may be presented in two phases. If done so, Phase one, called an Instructor Training Program (ITP), contains all developmental training except for the final evaluations. During an ITP, candidate practice performances must be evaluated by at least two qualified evaluators. The ITP can be conducted in many formats, ranging in length from a week to an internship over an extended period. The second or final phase of an ITC so organized is called the Instructor Qualification Program (IQP), during which a NAUI Course Director must be in residence and all final evaluations will be made."- NAUI 2019 S&P pg. 233
  4. victorzamora

    victorzamora Solo Diver

    Is the dive shop you're talking to a PADI or a NAUI shop? PADI and NAUI have different definitions for AI vs DM, and seem to have opposing definitions regarding which is higher. Roughly speaking:
    MichaelMc likes this.
  5. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    slight clarification on what @victorzamora posted
    PADI's progression
    I.e. an AI can act as a DM, and an instructor can act as either
    NAUI's progression
    I.e. a DM can act as an AI.

    With PADI the first step of leadership is DM. With NAUI the first step of leadership is AI. NAUI's thought process is that an AI is always operating with an instructor present, then a DM is the first step of "independence" but only with certified divers. I personally think this makes more sense, but Victor and I have had a lot of discussions about it and have agreed to disagree.

    The progression is different with NAUI than with everyone else which seems to be your issue with the dive shop who doesn't want to understand that.

    To @zzRONIzz, what I would recommend is asking an instructor at your university to just issue you the AI card. There is nothing else that you need to do other than pay the $35 or whatever it is for a card because you already have a "trump card" being a DM. The university is correct in that there is no point in issuing an AI card if they are issuing DM cards, but obviously the dive shop has an issue with it.

    A NAUI ITC is a weird beast, but if you have to pay for training, you may as well pay for the next step up than paying for something you already have.
  6. shurite7

    shurite7 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: MT
    Only you can answer this question. Some dive operators want you have to have the AI rating while others are indifferent. See the next comment.

    This is fairly accurate, but not quite. A better way of putting it is, NAUI's order of training/learning for professional ratings is AI and then DM. For PADI it is DM then AI. Many who teach the NAUI DM course tend to combine the AI material, but skip the AI cert. Part of the reason for this is cost and to a degree, many (whether going through an ITC or IDC) tend to skip over AI and move onto OWI.
  7. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Working toward Cenotes ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    I’m assuming it is NOT a NAUI shop, else they should not be confused.

    Pro level cert reciprocity to act as a certified assistant might be an issue. An old 2015 thread Can A NAUI DM Assist A PADI Class

    Issues might be: do you help on ratios, do you hurt on ratios, do you understand the standards of the shop’s agency on what an AI/DM can do, can you help as if just a non pro (for say a post OW class).

    It may be that their agencies AI class is the easiest way to cross you over so you can participate. Or that they see it as the easiest way to show you how they do things.
  8. zzRONIzz

    zzRONIzz Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Galveston, TX
    The shop i’m interning teaches recreational diving solely through NAUI, as the course director has been with NAUI (member # in the 3500s) for years. Have the AI/DM courses changed in the past 20 years? The instructor I have been working with is newer to NAUI and used to teach with SSI (IIRC). Based on the discussion that I had with the instructor they are wanting all of the interns to be at least to the level of AI so they can help meet ratios, the other three interns have open water or rescue certs, and since I don’t have the certification they want me to take the class when the other interns catch up. I told them that I’m not really interested in doing that but i might try and re-up my FIT certification while they are doing it. Personally, for me I don’t really see the value in wasting the time on the certification when I could be learning other skills (ex: rebuilding regs and gas blending) which are also part of the internship. Would three months be long enough to complete an ITC?

    @tbone1004 That is a fantastic idea, I’ll might try that if the shop is still insistent on me having that certification.
  9. tbone1004

    tbone1004 Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    @zzRONIzz the structure has not changed to my knowledge, however it wouldn't matter since if he's a course director he has to go to regulator updates for standards changes.

    If all they want is for you to be in for ratios, then let's look at the following

    Ratios out of the NAUI S&P

    Non-Certified Students:
    -PLUS -
    NO qualified assistant 8
    1 qualified assistant 10
    2 or more qualified assistants 12
    Certified Students:
    -PLUS -
    NO qualified assistants 10
    1 qualified assistant 16
    2 qualified assistants 20
    3 qualified assistants 22

    So that defines the ratios. Let's now look at the definition of a qualified assistant, also from the S&P

    Qualified Scuba Assistant – An individual who has completed a designated NAUI course and registered
    with NAUI, to include: Instructor, a scuba-qualified Skin Diving Instructor, Training Assistant, Assistant
    Instructor, or Divemaster. Leadership members of other training organizations with corresponding
    ratings also qualify.

    So, if you are an active status NAUI Leader you qualify for the ratios, so what is the definition of a NAUI Leader
    Skin Diving Instructor
    Asst. Instructor
    Instructor Trainer
    Course Director
    Course Director Trainer

    Skin Diving Instructor was covered specifically because you don't actually need to be a scuba diver to be a skin diving instructor, and as you are a Divemaster, you qualify as a leader for ratios.

    so per the S&P, if all they care about is ratios, you count. The grey area that I'm not 100% sure on that very few instructors use is for AI's to actually sign off on some skills during pool sessions. The programs I work with don't issue DM cards, only AI and Instructor cards so I have never actually paid attention to that.
    zzRONIzz likes this.

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