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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone got some basic formulas for charging for instruction in a club environment. I am reviewing the procedure within my club and want something fairly sensible.

Is flat charging a possibility, or is basic mileage best. Entrance charge to the dive venue etc.

Any ideas.

Thanks

Gary
 

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When i was out with instructors form my club i paid their entrance fee and i drove them up there and back. Generally bought them a coffee and sandwich too just seems like good manners to me.
 

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You have to be very careful doing this sort of thing to stay "amateur". Payment or payment-in-kind can all be a dodgy area.

Our club is simple, nobody gets anything.

It costs us £2 a week to use the pool the same as anyone else if we're teaching. We pay our own boat fee or site entrance, own fills and so on.

Fuel, food, fills and entrance i reckon it costs me about £30 a day to teach someone in NDAC and more than that on club boats.
Last week, 1 x OD trainee. Fuel to/from the boats £20. Club boat fee £15, fills £7, food and drink £10 so over £50 expense to train someone for a day in the sea.

We looked at methods of reimbursing but couldn't find anything really acceptable, 100% legal or that the club could afford. Used to be a system where the club pays for someones ITC courses in return for agreeing to put X number of hours in but that was very hard to enforce or keep track of so got scrapped.
 

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From my old club (the only one I know any detail about):

- Inland entry fees paid by club if the reason for them going there is significantly for teaching (ie they don't get free if they do watch someone do a DSMB when they were there anyway)

- Diving from club boat when teaching a dive is paid by club

- Diving from hardboats while teaching isn't usually done, and not subsidised unless the entire trip was organised around taking a lot of trainees, etc. Again, doing a DSMB on the end of a normal dive, or getting them to lead or something wouldn't really count. Just sensible really.

- Air fills for training dives paid for (although usually use club compressor)

- Mileage (again, only if the main reason is training) is paid for at a fixed rate, not determined by the club

- Errrrr.... any other costs incurred mainly or wholly for training would be considered. No hard and fast rules really, common sense approach worked for the three years I was there at least. The club wasn't abused, we paid enough that instructors didn't feel exploited, and everyone seemed happy - never any arguments about how much people got, etc. Flexibility is definitely the key - don't exclude things just because they never occured to you when you sat down and made the rules.

David
 

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When I was taught I did the driving, paid for the entrance fees and bought the coffee butty's etc. Just like Sparky said, done more for manners and a good will gesture really.
At the end of the day the instructors are good enough to give their time up to take us out, as they weren't doing it for money it was the least I could do really.
 

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As soon as an instructor recieves any 'reward' for instructing, which could be an entry fee, a boat fee, petrol, an air fill, TBH, just about anything that costs money, they could be dabbling in what could be described as a commercial operation. They could then find themselves at the mercy of HSE regulations. This would then mean that they need a safety diver and surface cover as well as all the paperwork that goes along with it.

Take care... it is a dangerous, litigious world we live in
:frown:
 

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Its no big deal as long as the expenses dont ever go into profit.

We work to a ratio of 1:2 and so each student will pay for half of Instuctor
entry. Advanced bookings at Horsea make that a fiver and 1 free in 4 at
Vobster make that £7.50. Again working to 1:2 add an Instuctor cylinder
each and the most a student pays is + £10.50 at Vobster (£8 Horsea).

So a student day out all in at Horsea will be £24 and the same at Vobster £31.50.

Depending whats happening we can even use dregs of gas, so that student
pays even less.

The instructor pays for own food, travel, accommodation etc. and never
breaks even.

It's a cheap and workable solution with very defined parameters.
Everybody is happy with it. :teeth:

PS: If you are wondering what happens if there is ever 1:1, then the club bails
out the individual, so regardless of numbers, the above are max cost.
 

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As soon as an instructor recieves any 'reward' for instructing, which could be an entry fee, a boat fee, petrol, an air fill, TBH, just about anything that costs money, they could be dabbling in what could be described as a commercial operation. They could then find themselves at the mercy of HSE regulations. This would then mean that they need a safety diver and surface cover as well as all the paperwork that goes along with it.
Not sticking within the realms of incurred-expenses, like those I outlined. HSE have confirmed that they aren't interested in BSAC clubs (or any other agency come to that) reimbursing expenses that instructors incur while teaching. That is VERY different to being paid for their time, inconvenience, etc.

In your terms, none of those those things you listed are a reward, because if they weren't teaching they wouldn't be incurring those expenses. That is why our rules tend to emphasise that we only pay expenses when the diving is wholly or mostly being done for training purposes.

If you look around the BSAC website (bsac.org) somewhere there's a statement which explains HSE's position on expenses.

David
 

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You have to be very careful doing this sort of thing to stay "amateur". Payment or payment-in-kind can all be a dodgy area.

Our club is simple, nobody gets anything.

It costs us £2 a week to use the pool the same as anyone else if we're teaching. We pay our own boat fee or site entrance, own fills and so on.

Fuel, food, fills and entrance i reckon it costs me about £30 a day to teach someone in NDAC and more than that on club boats.
Last week, 1 x OD trainee. Fuel to/from the boats £20. Club boat fee £15, fills £7, food and drink £10 so over £50 expense to train someone for a day in the sea.

We looked at methods of reimbursing but couldn't find anything really acceptable, 100% legal or that the club could afford. Used to be a system where the club pays for someones ITC courses in return for agreeing to put X number of hours in but that was very hard to enforce or keep track of so got scrapped.
That system seems very unfair and I am surprised that you have any instructors that are willing to take trainees in if they are going to be out of pocket by such an amount.
Our club pays for instructors admission into quarries which is receipted and this is deducted from their membership renewal.
 

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When I've been working for BSAC we can claim certain expenses ie food, fuel, gas etc and I'm sure the HSE aren't concerned with that. I'm sure teaching diving on this basis has never pushed me into profit in fact it's more like sitting in the bath and tearing up fivers. Ah well...
 

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This is a thing that's given me pause for thought i'm much in debt to the instructors taking time to teach me and would like to repay the favour at some point down the line the ideal thing would be to teach students myself in later years. However i don't think i have the attitude for teaching but i hate taking and not putting back so what i do has yet to be decided.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You have to be very careful doing this sort of thing to stay "amateur". Payment or payment-in-kind can all be a dodgy area.

Our club is simple, nobody gets anything.

It costs us £2 a week to use the pool the same as anyone else if we're teaching. We pay our own boat fee or site entrance, own fills and so on.

Fuel, food, fills and entrance i reckon it costs me about £30 a day to teach someone in NDAC and more than that on club boats.
Last week, 1 x OD trainee. Fuel to/from the boats £20. Club boat fee £15, fills £7, food and drink £10 so over £50 expense to train someone for a day in the sea.

We looked at methods of reimbursing but couldn't find anything really acceptable, 100% legal or that the club could afford. Used to be a system where the club pays for someones ITC courses in return for agreeing to put X number of hours in but that was very hard to enforce or keep track of so got scrapped.
I am surprised that your club has that stance. I do not want to do anything that pushes us towards an amibigous area, ie reward. But I do want to establish reasonably fair expenses. Your clubs seem a little unfair.

But I must say already our instructors do not pay in the pool if they are instructing.

If it is costing you £30 to train someone for a day then you must put limits on how many days you actually instruct. Or you may be very rich and not too bothered. We dont do too much training on the RIBs, unless its something like a boat handling SDC which will be charged on Cost. (But not usually witht he instructors expenses)

If it is a club expense ie charge for using a RIB then that is easy to drop.

Personally I want to do more training but I cant afford to, hence the reason for asking about expenses.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That system seems very unfair and I am surprised that you have any instructors that are willing to take trainees in if they are going to be out of pocket by such an amount.
Our club pays for instructors admission into quarries which is receipted and this is deducted from their membership renewal.
That sounds like your club is covering the expenses cost and could be seen as unfair on those members that are not/or have already trained.

Gary
 

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That sounds like your club is covering the expenses cost and could be seen as unfair on those members that are not/or have already trained.

Gary
Yep got to agree with that, unless .................

We dont have any premium for new members, so the Instructors expenses
are paid on the day/dive by those using there services.

What If there is a joining premium? Then it's still the new training member
paying for expenses via the increased subs. Trouble is that it rewards those
that do more training/grades and can't be seen as being clear cut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yep got to agree with that, unless .................

We dont have any premium for new members, so the Instructors expenses
are paid on the day/dive by those using there services.

What If there is a joining premium? Then it's still the new training member
paying for expenses via the increased subs. Trouble is that it rewards those
that do more training/grades and can't be seen as being clear cut.
We have a new starter premium but none of that goes to the Instructor. Was supposed to be for the club hire of kit etc. And only for the first year. We also had a policy (until this march) of refunding part of the premium. This was to try and stop the one year drop out problem. Didnt really make any difference and was difficult to manage so has now been removed.

I am trying to come up with a suggestion for the committee that will maybe encourage more instructors to turn out. We do quite alot of training and the cost does become a burden after a while. At the moment i am thinking of entrance fee and travel. I am sure instructors can afford to get themselves a cup of tea and a bacon sarnie without breaking the bank.

Thanks

Gary
 

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That system seems very unfair and I am surprised that you have any instructors that are willing to take trainees in if they are going to be out of pocket by such an amount.
Our club pays for instructors admission into quarries which is receipted and this is deducted from their membership renewal.
Nobody has complained about it yet. As for me, this was the system when i trained so i cant complain about it now the situation is reversed.

If the club had to foot the bill it'd be bankrupt. If the trainees had to foot it i suspect they'd dive a lot less frequently and the training would take a very long time. They already have enourmous spending on equipment etc.

Its far from ideal but at least this way everyone knows where they stand and there's no danger of HSE being interested.

Pool costs us £40 a week to rent and we lost money every week on it, typically £15 or more and thats WITH the people using it paying £2. If it were dropped for instructors we'd lose even more each week.

95% of our diving is off the club RIBs but again, offering free to instructors would mean we lose on those too. Petrol, 2 stroke and so on isnt cheap. The dive fund just about breaks even with the current system. Without it, it wouldn't.
 

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That sounds like your club is covering the expenses cost and could be seen as unfair on those members that are not/or have already trained.

Gary
Gary I should have added that the club pays for instructors admission into quarries when they are taking a trainee for open water sessions. Non instructors have never complained about this agreement as we all know, without instructors a club soon stagnates and dies .
Hence maybe why we are having our 50th Club Anniversary Dinner next week.
 

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I am trying to come up with a suggestion for the committee that will maybe encourage more instructors to turn out. We do quite alot of training and the cost does become a burden after a while. At the moment i am thinking of entrance fee and travel. I am sure instructors can afford to get themselves a cup of tea and a bacon sarnie without breaking the bank.
Sounds about fair.

One of the most important things I learnt while running my old club was to keep our instructors happy. Probably applied more to us than most, as we had a large trainee intake every year, several times a year, and so the instructors were often used several times a week, often one evening and one full day at the weekend.

Look at volunteering generally - not that many people do it, in the grand scheme of things. What you're currently doing is not only asking instructors to volunteer to help, but asking them to pay often not-insignificant costs to help you.

Other things to consider - while collecting money directly from the trainees may seem like a good idea, it often isn't. Depending on the trainees, you will often get some who don't have enough money on them, who "forgot their wallet", who forgot to pay, who go home early before money is collected, etc. We found that getting it out of some of the trainees was difficult, and didn't want to burdon the instructors with that. They are doing enough already without having to chase people around trying to get money out of them. Let the instructors deal with the committee, and the committee get the money from the trainees.

But biggest thing is probably, as I said earlier, keep the flexibility in the system. We were often constrained by the University, which we worked around successfully. However, it would have been much easier and much better if we had full flexibility to deal with things ourself, within the club committee. So don't make rigid rules for the sake of it, because people always forget something when they're writing the rules that makes things difficult later.

David


PS - our instructor expenses are paid out of what we charge students for the courses. We charge per-course, rather than an introductory fee or increased membership for everyone, and that course fee includes just about enough to cover instructor expenses (although obviously they vary depending on how many trainees we have per day, etc)
 
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