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[yet another tech PADI vs TDI thread] question for instructors

Discussion in 'Q and A for Scuba Certification Agencies' started by vovanx, Aug 23, 2018.

I am a technical diving instructor and I teach technical diving thru

  1. PADI

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. TDI

    4 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. other

    3 vote(s)
    37.5%
  1. vovanx

    vovanx Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: pl. Earth
    63
    30
    18
    Browsing scuba-related forums and reading instructor's signatures I came to the conclusion that many instructors who teach recreational diving thru PADI system teach technical diving thru TDI.
    If you are one of them: what made you switch to TDI for tech? What specifically you do not like in PADI TecRec (except the obvious instructor status fees)?
     
  2. Dirty-Dog

    Dirty-Dog Frequently Censored ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pueblo West, CO, USA
    1,986
    1,001
    113
    I"m not an instructor, so take this for what it's worth.
    PADI is a relative newcomer to tech diving training. So I suspect that many of the people you're describing started teaching before PADI tech courses existed.
     
  3. divezonescuba

    divezonescuba Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, Texas
    1,057
    212
    63
    Just PADI / DSAT, never TDI. The PADI / DSAT program has been around for a while longer than most people think. Had a TDI rep tell me that TDI was the PADI of technical diving.

    I think that it is a relatively difficult and expensive process to become a PADI / DSAT instructor. In some cases it is actually easier to be an tec instructor with another agency and then cross over to PADI / DSAT than be all PADI / DSAT.

    For example for a higher level rec course, you take the course yourself, you repeat most of it in the first half of the instructor course whenever you take that, you are tested on teaching problems from an instructors perspective during the second half of the instructor course, and then you have to do a least one course assist which frequently involves teaching one of the entire courses under supervision. If you can’t assist with an actual course, you end up taking another simulated course with an instructor trainer. And of course, you have to have the necessary decompression dives, skills, and test scores. It took me hours to finish the tec deep instructors exam.

    Nothing wrong with that, in fact it’s good practice, but the process of crossing over from somewhere else is not nearly as comprehensive. But, I think if a suitably qualified instructor with another agency had to do all that there would be a lot fewer crossovers.
     
  4. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    2,325
    2,479
    113
    PADI's trimix book taught bass-ackwards procedures. For example, the PADI book I have wants the tail clip of a bottle clipped first. That will be a problem if a diver needs to swim forward to donate gas. Gas reserves might be low when returning to a bottle if the bottle was staged. If divers clip the nose first the bottle will ride nicely forward with just the front bolt snap clipped. If the tail is clipped, it will become a sea anchor.

    I have a GUE Tech 2 background, but I'm not a fan of the culture and I like solo diving. I was a TDI tech instructor before being offered a training director position with PSAI. I resigned as the training director for the Americas for PSAI after 6 years, but I'm still an instructor trainer evaluator with PSAI.
     
  5. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,202
    16,280
    113
    I have no idea what where this is in the PADI trimix class. I have all the materials with me right now.

    When I became a TDI instructor, the instructor trainers said they always clipped the tail first, but I never heard anything like that from PADI.

    I mostly don't see how this attempts to answer the question.
     
  6. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,202
    16,280
    113
    I was a PADI instructor who became a TDI tech instructor. I then switched over to PADI and did both briefly. Then I dropped TDI and went exclusively with PADI. My answer will be as complex as that history.

    As many have noted, in its earlier days, PADI did not do tech itself--it farmed that out to DSAT, a subsidiary. I decided to become a tech instructor just a bit after PADI took over the DSAT program. I live in Colorado, where the tech market is tiny--miniscule, actually. There were no tech instructor training programs I knew of I knew of in my area, and I had never seen a PADI class or even knew a PADI tech instructor. I had gotten my tech instruction (through trimix and cave diver) through several agencies, including TDI, culminating in TDI advanced trimix in Florida. I used TDI for that because I already had some classes from them and could build from those certifications, and I happened to be staying in Florida for a while. I liked the TDI instructor I worked with there, and he had recently become an instructor trainer with his business partner. I was going to be spending two months a few miles from their shop, so that settled it. I became a TDI instructor. It had absolutely nothing to do with any comparison of agency quality.

    So I went back to Colorado to teach TDI classes through Decompression Procedures in that meager market. I got a few students pretty quickly, and they did well getting to that point. But what were they to do then? There were no TDI trimix instructors around, and even though I was an experienced trimix diver, I could not become a trimix instructor because TDI required that I first had to complete a certain number of Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures certifications in order to go on to teach trimix. My students were stuck with no local options. Some went to other locations and other instructors. Others just stopped.

    There is more to it than I have room to explain, but I crossed over to PADI. I could become a PADI trimix instructor by having the required number of dives, demonstrating my skills to an instructor training, passing a written exam, and acting as an intern for a trimix class instead of racking up a certain number of certifications at the lower level. I was able to do all that, and I was then able to take my students all the way through the program through trimix. Since making the switch, I have had many more students than I even envisioned in that pipeline before.

    I later dropped TDI in part because I saw no point in paying the fees to be in two organizations, and the PADI program was doing much more for me. There was another reason I am reluctant to talk about because it will open old wounds, but at the time I dropped, SDI/TDI committed an act that I believed was detrimental to the scuba industry as a whole and that I felt was was wholly unethical.

    Since I have taught both programs, I can compare the two, and what I say will contradict the smug clichés tossed about by people who like to repeat smug clichés without investigating the facts. I find the PADI materials to be much more thorough and understandable. I find their standards to be more rigorous.
     
    ChuckP and maj2 like this.
  7. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    2,325
    2,479
    113
    I answered I teach through "other" and why. I took the poll before I saw the OP was asking PADI instructors why they teach for TDI. Since @Dirty-Dog wasn't crucified for his non-instructor opinion, I figured I'd add my opinion as a non-PADI instructor. I have all the PADI manuals from my TDI instructor who was both. He felt TDI was a better choice because Brett Gilliam was a legit tech guy. He joined TDI from the get go. He retired from teaching and gave me all his books and gear.
     
  8. vovanx

    vovanx Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: pl. Earth
    63
    30
    18
    could you share it via PM please?
     
  9. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,202
    16,280
    113
    I would like to avoid sending out hundreds of PMs.
     
    maj2 likes this.
  10. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    2,325
    2,479
    113
    Did it involve something we abbreviate EN?
     

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