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What would your ideal training agency look like?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by ScubaWithTurk, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai UAE
    "We" teach positioning Skills to DM, as part of their modules for assisting in the pool etc. We expect helicopter turns and back kick. While we're not pushing GUE or Tech standards, it's unacceptable for a DM (or Instructor) to not be able to position themselves around the students in the pool/CW (or indeed OW) using their hands. Not only does is set a poor example, the DM/Instructor is not in control of their position.

    I agree dive count is largely meaningless, and also setting a target can be difficult. Being able to dive warm (ish) water year round, means I can reach an annual dive count that may take someone just on vacation or cold water with a off season many years to achieve

    I've also learnt that dive count has little to do with the ability to teach, and communicate dive concepts and theory etc.

    Personally I'd prefer if there were an entrance test, which comprises of the current water skills (swim tests) but also has certain buoyancy and trim criteria.

    The student has to reach a certain level of ability prior to starting the course, rather than having to spend part of the course getting to that standard. In reality the Student needs to prove they are ready to start the course, rather than paying money as an entry
    RainPilot and NothingClever like this.
  2. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
    Some thoughts:

    Is it a good thing or a wasteful, but money making marketing scheme that each agency sells it's own version of the essentially same literature to a particular class ) e-format or printed?

    Is it good or bad the the instructor and or shop paid for the job also is the one who decides the student fulfilled the requirements and earns the cert. card?
    Would you feel more or less comfortable driving on the road if all other drivers got their driver's license that way?
    Well OK, other divers don't necessarily kill you if you don't let them, but... well just as food for thought...

    Is the quality control in instruction pretty much out the door by the instructor being the person who decides who passes? If not, how so?
  3. Scuba Scott

    Scuba Scott Instructor, Scuba ScubaBoard Supporter

    If that is a major concern for you and getting paired with a bad diver would ruin your vacation I would suggest hiring a local DM as your personal buddy and guide.
    The extra cost is small when you consider the alternative.
    BlueTrin likes this.
  4. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
    In the old club-based model, the examiner was NOT of the same club which was organizing the course.
    He was coming from another town, and was usually very severe.
    This was the main reason causing only 1/3 of the class to get certified.
    Furthermore, the examiner did not only examine the students, but also the instructors and divemasters. After the exam session, he was filing a report on the course organization, and if he had seen some problem or error in the behaviour of instructors or in the course management, the report could cause severe consequences for the club, to the point of not being authorized to make other courses.
    Instructors were mandated to follow periodic re-training and re-evaluation courses, for staying up to date with the technical and didactic evolution. There was no annual fee to pay for remaining instructor, but one had to follow these courses and to perform a full medical assessment each year.
  5. NothingClever

    NothingClever ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
    Good advice, Scuba Scott. To be honest, my nature would be to partner with the guy or gal to help him out with positive coaching skills. If he’s hard-headed, then I’d talk to the DM about a buddy swap. I wouldn’t let it ruin my vacation; I try to be more durable than that. Like most everybody here, I scan the boat and try to identify who I might have to save and who I think can save me.
  6. NothingClever

    NothingClever ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
    Well, it was mentioned before but in a different way. You might go back and read Diving Dubai’s post where he opined “Going Pro should have a higher bar. Having passed an Into to Tech type course, and decent audit-able dive experience rather than a dive count which can easily be attained by "tea bagging".
  7. NothingClever

    NothingClever ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
    We can spend a lot of time haranguing the instructors of the world and while some of them deserve sharp correction, @Diving Dubai brought up a point I think is germane to @ScubaWithTurk ‘s intent with this thread.

    For all the instructors, how can the instructional side of the recreational SCUBA industry inculcate the student/trainee with a higher level of personal responsibility?

    I ask this question because a great instructor can be misrepresented by an irresponsible and reckless diver who doesn’t uphold the standards he was taught while in the course.

    I suspect a lot of it comes down to how one (the student/trainee) was raised, their values and sense of pride in developing skills, meeting and surpassing the standards and general accountability to others.

    But are there improvements the ideal training agency could make to address this aspect?
    chillyinCanada and ScubaWithTurk like this.
  8. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    @Angelo Farina posted model reminds me a lot of my first 3 years of training/diving. Our class was heavy on theory so we understood the why as well as the how. A lot of pool time with classroom and pool time on the same nights, then only pool time the last few weeks.
    There were 4 OW dives 2 from a boat.

    After I was certified one of my 2 instructors asked me if I'd like to join a dive club. I did and within the 2nd year I was planning and doing dives that I had only wished I could do. The club members were a mix of ex-Navy and former commercial divers, instructors and other local divers of varying experience, all more than mine. I couldn't pay what the education I got was worth, there wasn't even much in the way dues, $20.00 a year in 1969. One of the local guys had a 40' fishing boat that he took us out on. We split the fuel and food among ourselves and the owner of course ate and drank free. It was really the best 3 years of diving of my 51 years of diving and at 16 years old it was a formative experience that to this day I still draw on/from. I understand it was a unique experience that may not be possible today.
    ScubaWithTurk and Angelo Farina like this.
  9. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
    You described mostly the same experience I had here in Italy in years 1975-1980.
    The members of the local club became some of my dearest friend for the whole life, and what I learned at 16-20 years old created my character for all my life. Add to this that I had this experience together with my girlfriend, who later became my wife. This bounded us together for the whole life.
    I am not sure that this cannot be replicated today, these clubs exists also now, and they are doing the same.
    This summer I was on the same boat as three tech divers from Club Sommozzatori Arezzo, and they described the activity of their club exactly similar to what you and I experienced 40 years ago.
    AfterDark, BlueTrin and NothingClever like this.
  10. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    I think an entrance exam is a good idea, as well as increasing the qualifying dive count.

    Both pool and ocean dives, as well as written an verbal. Say $100 for the pool, and, if he passes, another $150 for the rest to cover the materials and instructors time. My numbers are arbitrary, and could be adjusted to reflect cost.

    The instructor and agency are paid so their revenue stream is not as disrupted by slowing down the stream of DMCs.

    AfterDark likes this.

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