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More seriously I do agree with the general drift of this article. First off ,I am not speaking from direct experience of the training itself but from having dived with some who are PADI. The level of training that seems to be provided for basic certification is enough to get people into the water, stimulate an interest that may lead further and, cynically maybe, sell some kit.
With the time invested there cannot be anything more than the very basics taught with no time for what ifs and drills to cover anything more than the most simplistic scenarios.  This seems to be more the case with nice warm sunny resorts than in the UK.
There are obviously instructors who teach beyond the basics but it is scarey.
I don't know what the solution is - I would not advocate the return to learning at the knee of the master for a year before seeing the sea as in old BSAC days but the quick fix, push button buy the mega kit route is not enough either.    :eek:uttahere:
 

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ooo--eer, dodgy territory this, Padi Versus .....

I've never done any PADI courses but I almost left my bsac Uni branch to go over to PADI because of certain aspects of "club mentality" and the lack of a CMAS 3* equivalent for anything except BSAC AD.  Mind, that would have been going in at level to start a DM course, mostly to get the CMAS 3* in order to qualify for certain scientific dive sites.

In restrospect I wish I'd used that Govt. funded learning scheme from last year (now defunct due to too much fraud) to do the DM course, just to know more about PADI methods.

I think PADI do a reasonable job to get people into the water quickly and maintain/build up interest, BSAC have IMHO in the past been a victim of their own excessive training regime, sure its good quality training and does produce some very safety conscious divers, but so so many fall by the wayside before getting into the water.However, they seem to be trying to rectify that these days.

Having said that, my old BSAC  club has never lost a trainee via fatalites, something which can't be said about the  PADI training program of the biggest of our LDS's (1 instructor with 2 trainees at the Falls of Lora, not a combination I would have taken on at any salary).

If I have one criticism about Padi methods it is the use of the word Advanced in AOW  :jpshakehead: The amount of times I met a student at the Freshers Fayre wanting to join the club
Me: "You a qualified diver?"
Them: "Yeah...Advanced diver", looking pretty self satisfied (this usually having been done in Thailand or Oz
Me: "OK, we can cross you over to BSAC Club (now Ocean) diver, that's our entry level qualification"
Them: "But my card says I'm advanced ...." :cry:
(cue whiney face pulling and hurt felings, and they say boys don't cry...:rolleyes:  )

This somewhat false sense of achievment is a real problem, as IME it tends to breed a certain resistance to real skill development.
Just my thoughts (as Jerry Barret says)
Chee-az
Steve
 

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The trouble with lots of training and practice is you lose so many natural abilities. I used to be unsinkable without 36lb ballast and I could drain a 12litre in 20 min at 6m. The 1st time I tried a dry suit I got so much squeeze my legs were sore for a week.  The 2nd time I put plenty of air in the feet and I surfaced feet first and coudn't turn myself upright, I have tried to do that a few times since without success but I have never been able to figure out why. Its funny how quickly you lose the ability. I am still fair at yo-yo buoyancy control, bottom bashing, kicking up loads of silt, mask and reg knocking, hide and seek and leading magical mystery tours.  
P.S. Anyone got a quality 2nd hand russian tri-mix re-breather?      
 

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As a PADI OWSI I would agree that Scuba Diver is a pretty pointless qualification other than for 'promoting an interest' - you may as well go on and do the last part of the academics and water skil (which is a bit less than 'half the course' as stated in the article.

I'm not going to get drawn into a PADI/BSAC training debate - much! - suffice to say that I've seen both sides of the coin. I've produced PADI O/W divers in the UK and dived a couple of weeks later in Malta where the Instructor/DM has not believed that they are on their 1st dives after training because they have been so good in the water and with kit. I've trained with BSAC Dive Leaders who have been so far up their own backsides that they didn't belive they needed to complete Divemaster training (which is more in depth and not equivelent). I've heard BSAC dive leaders say they thought they were well trained and knew it all until they did PADI DM/OWSI courses and learnt so much more. I've seen BSAC Instructor candidates so unfit and frankly crapping it in a reasonable swell/hailstorm and having to be dragged crying onto a boat when, next to them, PADI Adv types are hapily bobbing about in the water next to them perfectly in control. And I've seen PADI instructors teaching OWs dressed in twinset and shades !

So it all comes down to individuals and the training they get from instructors (same old story) but don't knock the PADI system which is perfectly safe and a proven training system. Yes it has faults but what doesn't??

Sorry, bit of a rant that .. glad it's off my chest, won't happen again !!!! :soapbox:

Dive safe all

Paul
 

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I agree with the gist of the article. However, I must point out to those of you who are less familiar with PADI's training system that the Scuba Diver course is NOT the normal entry level course. In fact, I know no school that teaches the Scuba Diver course. The normal entry level course is Open Water (OW) and most schools do their best to get students to continue with the Advanced Open water (AOW) course more or less immediately after that. An AOW diver is not an experienced or higly qualified diver but should have the basic skills required to dive safely to depths up to 30 m.
Personally, I see no reason for introducing the Scuba Diver course and the fact that, at least outside the USA, few schools teach it shows that that is the general view inside the "PADI family". Finally, I would point out that whatever BSAC divers may think or believe about PADI, many of us on this forum and the great majority of divers in the world learnt to dive with PADI. I've dived quite a lot with BSAC divers and I don't believe I'm either a better or worse diver than they are, so let's not turn this into a PADI vs BSAC thing. It's the Scuba Diver course we're supposed to be discussing.
 

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Dunno really........ thinking about it
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Paul,
dead right it boils down to individuals - it's the misplaced confidence that a paper qualification can give and the expectations of both the holder and those around them.
 

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I've been lucky enough,like others,to see both PADI and BSAC training.The BSAC "training" was just that,it was'nt a quick fix but you had to contend with having your air supply turned off,mask removed,de'kitting etc.before you got anywhere.Then you still had to contend with all that and learn to do emergency ascents etc etc blah blah blah.Now PADI don't(usually)train divers,they "teach"them to a standard.That however is what BSAC does now anyway,I never failed to be amazed by the attitude of many BSAC people who beleive they are indeed a cut above others(particularly PADI).Just who told em'that?
As has been said,it seems now that the agency is to a great degree irrelevant,there are both excellent and dire divers belonging to all agencies.Much of the onus for diver training is in the hands of the individual seeking more..unless they're very lucky.Hence places like this.
Budgy,I put a post on the RB forum recently re.a cheap Russian RB.Don't know if it's of any use!
Regards,Hobby.
P.S. To be fair I've never known anyone do the "Scuba Diver" course either,I'm not sure I've seen it advertised here either,as John says I've always considered the OW/AOW course to be the basic entry level course.

(Edited by Hobby at 12:36 pm on Dec. 11, 2002)
 

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Hello,
I am a CMAS 1*Inst, also did some courses with PADI and TDI. In my opinion either agency you choose is up to the diver to try to learn more and to, if possible dive with more experienced divers, as he/she can learn more and more. Also these forums sometimes help as well, altough you always can find an irresponsabile postins, but even then more experienced and safe minded divers can intervene. In Malta to dive legally you have to be minimum Cmas 2*diver or PADI Adv. Open water diver (sorry I don't know BSAC equivalent..no offence..may be you can tell me as well)and have equivalent buddy, this way you can get local diving permit called C Card. Others may dive only with a qualified Inst.

Regards

Pierre
 

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</span>
[b said:
Quote[/b] ] In Malta to dive legally you have to be minimum Cmas 2*diver or PADI Adv. Open water diver (sorry I don't know BSAC equivalent..no offence..may be you can tell me as well)and have equivalent buddy, this way you can get local diving permit called C Card. Others may dive only with a qualified Inst.
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I agree, its the individual not the agency. In answer to the above, BSAC equivalent of both Padi OW and AOW is Ocean Diver (previously Club Diver, and before that Novice II).  Although BSAC quals aren't really recognised by CMAS these days (long story) in times gone by Novice II was graded as CMA 1* not 2*, and BSAC Dive Leader was only CMAS 2* not 3* like Padi DM, and as most scientific diving demands CMAS 3* or equivalent you can see why I thought of doing my Padi DM as BSACs only 3* qual is Advanced Diver which is not as easy to obtain as DM as it isn't run as a complete course.
Of course all the BSAC stuff has changes quite recently so I'm not really familiar with the new requirements for BSAC AD.
Chee-az
Steve
 

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Simply, "Scuba Diver" is ideal for someone who holidays once or twice a year and wants to dive in nice warm water accompanied  by a PADI professional, DM or above. They dive so infrequently that this Qual is ideal for them.
 

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Can't agree, Phil. They should either learn to dive properly or do something else on holiday. Diving carries too may potential risks to be treated so lightly.
 

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Sorry John, I can rock climb without any training and without any supervision, same for a lot of sports. PADI say you can do the Scuba Diver course which is basic training and dive to a max of 12mts with a PADI professional, if this is done correctly, training and limits,then this I believe is quite acceptable.
 

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I enjoyed reading the article and I think it contained some valid critisim whether I have my BSAC or PADI cap on.
Agree fully as someones already mentioned in practice the qualifications only as good as the Instructor who issued it with any agency.

My quite possibly cynical thoughts when the course came out was that it was another level put in as a money spinner. Let's not forget PADI is a commercial organisation, not a critisism just a a fact. There does seem to be a trend and a commercial pressure to dilute course sections into Resort type qualifications. Fine in the warm waters,Ideal conditions not suited to Stoney and the like.

PADI certainly have the knack of creating those sales opportunities.
 

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I agree entirely,it is a resort qualification! PADI saw a gap in the market and filled it. They really are very clever that way. Whether you love em or hate em you have to take your hat off to em.
 

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I won't harp on about this, Phil, just point out that you can dive without training, too, if you can find someone who'll fill your cylinder. It's not too hard, apparently, as I've met people that have done it.
 
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