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Some views would be interesting - if you have RD, 5 specialities and the requisite number of dives, is this cert worthwhile (either in UK or abroad) or a total waste of money?
 

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Grumbler-chief in Residence
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You do get lots of nice shiney badges to sew on you undersuit and look really cool.

ALternativly, do the Dive Master course, despite being a bit drawn out there is some real information in there.

Andrew
 

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Just about finished DM - pretty much only the kit exchange and skill circuit to do - but was just wondering whether to get this ticket too?
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Gary Jeffries @ Jan. 28 2004,08:55)]Just about finished DM - pretty much only the kit exchange and skill circuit to do - but was just wondering whether to get this ticket too?
Depends on how much a badge means to you.

IIRC MSD requires no exam or extra training over what you already have.

It's just a way for an agency to extort some more money from divers.

IMO it is worthless.

YMMV

Rob.
 

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<font color='#000080'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Gary Jeffries @ Jan. 28 2004,08:55)]just wondering whether to get this ticket too?
well that's pretty much all it is, a ticket.

if i wanted to develop my experience in certain areas, great, i'd do so.

if i felt the best way to do that was PADI specialty courses, then i'd do it that way (although in most cases i wouldn't, i'd just dive with people who had experience in that area and learn from them)

but i wouldn't pay the extra for the PIC, just so i got a badge saying 'master scuba diver'.

it wouldn't let me actually do any more, and most people looking would probably just think "fine, she's done 5 specialties.... so?"

my opinion anyway  
 

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<font color='#000080'>Complete waste of time. You don't need this badge, and you don't really need the specialties. I can see the value of deep, drysuit and nitrox. All the others are just a joke. A wreck diving specialty? What?

Spend your money on getting out on the boats with YD guys, or with some other experienced divers, who you will learn more from in an afternoon than a PADI course reading out of a book. You've only got to have done 12 drysuit dives to teach a drysuit course, for pete's sake!
 

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<font color='#000080'>I think the value of this really depends who you do the specialities with and why.  If you are with a good instructor who does the course professionally and thoroughly then it could be worthwhile, how much is then up to you and especially if you don't want to "go pro".  A great deal depends on your approach, if you just want an MSD and pick the easiest 5 specialities in order to get the badge then that's one thing but if you do specialities to extend/enhance your knowledge of diving and you you only claim the MSD as by-product then this should mean more to you.
I know in a lot of PADI schools you will only learn as part of prescribed courses and it is very difficult to get any additional experience outside the curriculum if they do not have a club as well, so there is no alternative to racking up specialities.
Unfortunately it is also a prime opportunity for a rip off, I used to be with a school where chief instructor would more or less sell them to anyone who was willing to pay, on the basis of "claiming" previous dives and filling in the knowledge reviews, this is the sort of thing that devalues any qualification.
Needless to say I am no longer a part of that outfit.
 

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It's just a badge-collecter's qualification, in my opinion. I did the Divemaster course, although I had no intention of working as a divemaster, just because it seemed to me to be the only way to advance as a diver within the PADI system. I did some specialty courses but soon ran out of ones that I thought were meaningful. I thought the DM course was excellent. I'm told NAUI do a special Master Scuba Diver course, so that their qualification does mean something, but I don't think you have NAUI in the UK.
 

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A total waste of time and money in my opinion.  If you want to learn something with PADI do the DM course.

I had a diver turn up a dive centre I worked at who had learned to dive in Thailand and was an MSD with only 30 dives to her name including specialities in boat, multi-level and my own favourite reef diver.  

Cheers

Simon
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I had a diver turn up a dive centre I worked at who had learned to dive in Thailand and was an MSD with only 30 dives to her name including specialities in boat, multi-level and my own favourite reef diver.
something's wrong there then, as you need 50 logged dives for the MSD qualification.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]something's wrong there then, as you need 50 logged dives for the MSD qualification.
This was several years ago and PADI standards may have changed since, I no longer pay the PADI $$ so am not up on the current standards.

I can remember making a point of checking her log book when she said she had learned to dive in Thailand as at the time this area was known for churning out some truly sh1te divers.  Which she in fact turned out to be.
 

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All pretty much as I expected. I went the DM route, but was asked the question by some OW students.

Although I didn't say as much to the students, my view is that, as a cert, it seems to have limited credibility...... ie send your kelloggs tokens and get a shiny new cert card. By contrast, I've also spoken to a number of DMs and Instructors who also carry the MSD card so they're not bothered by people when they're pleasure diving.

I don't know any non-pro with this cert, so its hard to judge how it is seen in the (overseas, for example) dive community. From the comments on here, "not v well" is the answer!
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Digger @ Jan. 28 2004,10:27)]A wreck diving specialty? What?

Spend your money on getting out on the boats with YD guys, or with some other experienced divers, who you will learn more from in an afternoon than a PADI course reading out of a book. You've only got to have done 12 drysuit dives to teach a drysuit course, for pete's sake!
<font color='#0000FF'>it may be that you were taught nothing on your wreck course, if you did one, if you didnt i am not sure what you base this comment on, if the course is conducted properly you will have a good base knowledge for wreck diving, i know my students spend a very busy two days and are always very happy with the skills they learn.

As for 12 drysuit dives to become a dry suit instructor, rubbish, first you have to be an instructor, then you have to either do a course with a CD, or prove you have experiance, 20 dives minimum in a dry suit.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]By contrast, I've also spoken to a number of DMs and Instructors who also carry the MSD card so they're not bothered by people when they're pleasure diving.
I find the RD card serves very well for this purpose, in fact it is rare these days for me to own up to any cert level I have bar the TDI ones.

Andrew
 

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<font color='#736AFF'>I found the wreck and night specialities pretty instructive. The drysuit course was thrown in with a major kit purchase.

I have yet to find a real use for some of the other Specialities, they certainly are never asked for abroad. Rescue or DM counts for a lot, as does have a fair number of dives.  

No plans for MSD as now in BSAC and doing the Diver Leader course
 

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The MSD is a nice achievement to aim for if you plan to remain in the recreational side of diving. It's not really a certification (it doesn't allow you to do anything extra) - its more a recognition of merit. Lets not get too bogged down in the number of dives required etc because thats not what the MSD award is about. From PADI's point of view, they are a business and have to generate revenue like any other business. They do that through marketing and, as PADI only really make money from courses, thats what they are marketing. Once PADI have certified an openwater or advanced openwater diver, their revenue streams are vastly reduced (i.e. many divers stop at this level and therefore are no longer contributing to PADI's business). From the client's point of view, many people like combining a little challenge with their diving while on holiday and therefore enjoy doing the next stage and certainly enjoy 'attaining' the highest level they can as recreational divers and that is the MSD. Its not something peculiar to diving either - look at the advanced driving test in England - it doesn't give you anything extra (ok, you might get a few quid off your insurance from some providers) but its really a badge of recognition.

Sorry to be long winded - the answer would be for me that the MSD is a good level to aim at if you feel the above describes you and it is nice to feel you have achieved something by getting it.
 

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Heads,

There is a point here where I am forced to agree with you, if I am honest I have 3 specialities, gained in much the way you describe, done on holiday as a bit of fun. The question at the begining was basically is the MSD qualification going to give you more kudos, the answer is no. But then it was never designed to do that, it is more about personal acheivement than anything else.

What changed it for me was discovering deep wreck diving on Trimix, the things you see when you go deep simply can not be seen elsewhere. This has change my whole outlook on diving, that and meeting a bloke who has the same ambitions and interests as my own, as well as being at the same level as myself.

As always with this hobby, you have paths that you can take, they are personal choice, and I love it.

The MSD course has validity, but it does not impress anybody.

Just an opinion.

Andrew
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (andyp @ Jan. 28 2004,22:50)]The MSD course has validity, but it does not impress anybody.

Just an opinion.

Andrew
<font color='#0000FF'>As a working instructor, both here and abroad, I can assure you that no certifications impress me.

What I mean by that is it shows that the person holding the cert at one time achieved a certain level, the same as passing your driving test. I am far more concerned about the amount, type and frequency of diving done by the diver.

It may be that I am just an old diving tart.

heads you are right on the money with the decription of PADI and its motives.
 

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I agree that MSD is nothing more than a badge of achievement. Nothing wrong in that if that's what you want. I have done 3 specialities, Photo, equipment and nitrox all because I wanted to know more about the subjects. I could see myself doing more. Would I pay for MSD? Probably not.

Bit disconcerted by some of the previous comments suggesting DM and Inst would wish to 'hide' their qualifications so as not to be bothered by other divers. Are we not a friendly bunch, with a common interest? I would hope that if I approached someone more qualified or experienced than me, they would be more than happy to help.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Geoff Milne @ Jan. 29 2004,17:09)]Bit disconcerted by some of the previous comments suggesting DM and Inst would wish to 'hide' their qualifications so as not to be bothered by other divers. Are we not a friendly bunch, with a common interest? I would hope that if I approached someone more qualified or experienced than me, they would be more than happy to help.
Geoff,

If truth be told I am sure every DM/Instructor on here would be more than glad to share his experience or advice if required.

However I do know of quite a few who do not take their pro certs on holiday and stick with a RD cert or similar.

It is not unheard of for a dive outfit to place divers who have limited experience or training with a fellow paying patron who happens to be an instructor or similar.

Obviously a straight "Sorry but I have my own asperations for this dive and would prefer to buddy someone with more experience who has similar asperations" would probably work, but some people just do not like to say "No" when put on the spot and feel obliged to look after the inexperienced buddy they have been placed with.

Not carrying a professional cert can avoid the situation to some degree but it does not mean these are unhelpful, miserable sods.  They are usually also paying customers who want to actually enjoy their diving and meet some personal asperations that they do not normally get when working with students and the like.

Daz
 
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