PADI eLearning Performance Improvements

This June, PADI partnered with Akamai, a global leader in content and media distribution, to turbo charge the PADI eLearning® experience with cutting-edge server technology. People the world over have become increasingly accustomed to fast, high-quality, online experiences, and it’s vital that the dive industry continues to stand out in this ultra-competitive landscape.

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Akamai works with companies (including Apple, Verizon, Sony, Disney and Yahoo) who distribute massive amounts of content globally. Their vast network comprises 216,000 servers housed in data centers spread throughout 120 countries around the world. Somewhere in the region of eighty-five percent of the world’s Internet users are within a single network hop of an Akamai server.

They will host PADI eLearning courses in a local data center, which means that divers in London, Sydney or Hong Kong won’t have to wait for a US-based server, they’ll pull content locally. This dramatically speeds up eLearning course performance. Some users could potentially see a several hundred percent improvement in speed. The most notable improvement will be video load time.

This technology is deployed in the background and is now fully propagated around the world; you will experience the improvement immediately on login to any eLearning course.

More improvements are in store later this year when PADI will upgrade the Learning Management System (LMS) that powers eLearning. This will enable features such as mobile-first responsive design, which fully supports mobile devices, phones and tablets, including iOS devices which are currently only supported by the Touch product line. This upgrade supports larger video resolutions so that divers using eLearning products on a desktop or laptop computer can size video all the way up to full screen in most cases.  In addition, reduced file sizes will make PADI digital products load faster on mobile networks, and later in 2017, courses will run even when devices are not connected to the internet.

PADI eLearning courses will migrate to the new platform from late 2016 throughout 2017. Keep an eye out for details closer to the launch and make sure to let your divers (and potential divers) know about the state of the art learning experiences that await them.

Is Freediver Right for You?

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By now you’ve likely heard about the PADI Freediver™ program; there’s a bunch of information out there (especially in the first quarter 2016 The Undersea Journal® and, of course, on PADI.com). Some PADI Pros have taken to it like ducks to water, while others may be a bit hesitant about leaping in and still have questions.

For those in the latter camp, here are a couple of big reasons to consider, if not leaping, then at least sticking a toe into freediving waters.

First, it’s fun. You almost certainly already enjoy casual freediving and the freedom of diving without scuba. While you probably have above-average freediving skills, you may not be interested in intense competition or breaking records. Perfect. Taking the PADI Freediver course is an obvious first step and a great way to fine tune your skills while taking a good look at the program and its support materials from a professional’s perspective.

You can do just that, and a whole lot more, on 19 November at DEMA Show 2016. There’ll be a half-day special event covering the PADI Basic Freediver course with role-model knowledge development and confined water sessions. The course also includes PADI Freediver Touch™ and certification as a PADI Basic Freediver; you can complete the two open water sessions later to become a PADI Freediver. PADI staff will also answer any remaining questions you may have at the event. Sign up by 3 November so you have time to read through and study the learning materials. No special freediving equipment required – just regular fins, mask and snorkel.

Not able to make it to DEMA? You can do something similar at a PADI Freediver Center near you.

After the course you’ll be equipped to decide whether or not to upgrade your skills to the PADI Advanced Freediver or Master Freediver levels, and later become a PADI Freediver Instructor.

Which brings up the second big reason to get serious about freediving: It’s one of the fastest-growing dive-industry segments and PADI Freediver courses provide you with new business opportunities and a pipeline to younger customers. If you have any doubts about this, take a moment to read some of the articles in this year’s issues of The Undersea Journal, in which PADI Members already in the freediving business share some of their unique insights.

There’s probably no need by now to mention any of the myriad other freediving benefits – such as personal fitness, the ease of just grabbing your gear and going or the fact that you can sneak right up on the shiest of aquatic animals. (But we went ahead and mentioned them anyway!) It’s time to hold your breath.

Introducing the New PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Program

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The revised PADI Advanced Open Water Diver program launches this September, and while the changes are significant, the essence of the course remains untouched. Think of it as a shiny new car, but one that’s the same model as your old familiar vehicle. Three goals drove the revision.

First, PADI updated the content. Dive equipment and techniques have changed since the release of the last version of the course and content is updated to reflect this. Now, for example, there are references to electronic compasses in navigation and no references to film in digital underwater imaging. Also, the first dive
 of all standardized PADI Specialty Diver courses, Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris™, and Shark Conservation Specialty courses and the PADI Rebreather Diver course credit as Adventure Dives. This means more dive opportunities no matter what or where you’re teaching.

Second, PADI modernized the instructional products. The instructional tools are now as state-of-the-art as the devices student divers access them from. While a paper manual will still be available, the revised program introduces a new, mobile-friendly PADI Advanced Open Water Diver digital product. All new images and video make these instructional products pop.

AOWDebris_Catalina_0416_033Third, PADI accelerated development of the thinking skills divers acquire through experience to build confident and conservative divers. There’s a new Thinking Like a Diver section that focuses on principles such as gas management, situational awareness and buddy communication. This encourages divers to think about what they’re doing before, during and after every Adventure Dive in the same way more experienced divers do. Consequently, they better understand how to improve their dives and manage risks.

There’s a lot that didn’t change, too. Philosophically, the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course still gives new (and experienced) PADI Open Water Divers the world over continued training and skill development under professional guidance. It’s still focused on introducing specialty diving. The Deep and Underwater Navigation Adventure Dives, plus three other Adventure Dives, are still required for Advanced Open Water Diver certification, and any three Adventure Dives qualify a diver for Adventure Diver.

The revised PADI Advanced Open Water Diver improves on an already great program, is easy and familiar to teach, and offers even more of the exploration, excitement and experiences that divers look for. Take a look at the third quarter 2016 The Undersea Journal, which has several relevant and detailed articles, and make a point of implementing the new program as soon as the materials are available.

PADI EMEA Vacancy: Regional Training Consultant (German Speaking)

emea-staff-may2016We have an opening for a Regional Training Consultant to join PADI EMEA Ltd.

The role will involve educating PADI Members about features and benefits of PADI Products and programs and working closely with the Regional Manager to generate sales of PADI products and services and meet sales targets. Successful applicants will also serve as a direct contact to the public and our membership for training and product support, including assisting members interpretation and understanding of PADI standards, PADI training programmes, philosophy and associated products.

The Regional Training consultant would also play a key part in representing PADI and the impression members will have of the organisation. The role will involve some travel each year to represent PADI in dive shows within the territory and assisting with in-field work as required.

We are looking for a PADI IDC Staff Instructor or higher (Course Director preferred), who can speak fluent German and English as essential and Dutch would also be highly desirable. The right candidate will also need to have good sales experience and be a highly motivated and organised individual with excellent communications skills, phone manner, presentation skills and customer service skills.

If you would like to apply please send an up to date CV and letter to Rachel Landregan or Rene Bos: [email protected]  [email protected]

PADI 50th Anniversary Contest with Prizes from Aqua Lung, GoPro, Suunto and Vivid-Pix

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2016 marks PADI’s 50th Anniversary, and to help us celebrate this landmark event we’re calling on PADI Professionals and divers to share their favourite diving moments from the last 50 years.

Enter a photo, video or story today and you could win one of these incredible prizes: an Aqua Lung CORE Regulator, a GoPro HERO4 package, a Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer, Vivid-Pix photo editing software or a PADI eLearning Gift Pass/Gift Bag.

The contest is open now and will close for entries on 10th July 2016 (23:59 UTC). Winners will be announced on 25th July 2016. Please visit the contest page for full terms and conditions.

Why not share…

  • An incredible marine life encounter
  • A memorable experience with your scuba students
  • How and why you became a PADI Pro

Make sure you get your customers and student divers involved, too! They can share their top underwater memories or simply tell us what being a PADI diver means to them.

Top tip: Why not offer some themed events (like local marine life spotting or photography days) to help your students experience and capture some incredible moments under the surface. Make it easy for everyone to enter the contest by setting up a computer and connection for them to make use of e the post-dive briefings.

Click here to enter via the Contest Page
or
Tag your entries on Twitter or Instagram using #PADI50Years

3 Categories to Enter:

gopro#1 – Share a Photo

A photo says a thousand words. Submit a photo which showcases your favourite diving moment to win a GoPro HERO4 package, PADI eLearning or Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

core-reg#2 – Share a Video

Manage to get your favourite diving moment on film? Let us watch it too! Submit your video to win an Aqua Lung CORE Regulator, PADI eLearning or Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

#3 – Write About it

Didn’t have a camera with you? That’s OK. Write about your favourite diving moment in 150 words or less and win a Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer, PADI eLearning or Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

 

Enter Now!

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Vacancy: PADI EMEA Dutch & German Speaking Customer Service Consultant

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PADI EMEA have an opening for a Dutch & German speaking Customer Service Consultant to join our team.  Based in the UK Bristol office the role involves supporting our members and the territory hubs to deliver and exceptional level of Customer Service and achieve goals, including responding to customer general and technical queries by phone and email and processing membership applications.

We are looking for customer focused applicants with experience of working in a busy customer service and particularly using the telephone and good communication skills. Essential language requirements are fluent Dutch, German and English, additional European languages would also be an advantage.

If you are interested and would like more details please contact:
[email protected]
[email protected]

Take The 2016 Elite Instructor myPADI Challenge!

EIC-BlogHeader1200x500Were you a PADI Elite Instructor in 2015? If so, get ready for a little friendly competition!

Take the 2016 Elite Instructor myPADI Challenge from 1st July to 31st October 2016 and be in with a chance to win 2017 PADI Membership Renewal plus recognition in Undersea Journal, on PADI Social Media sites, the PADI Pros’ Site and (where possible) in local diving media. You’ll also win a personalised PADI Jacket and get featured coverage in the myPADI campaign.

What’s more, the individual Elite Instructor with the overall highest conversion rate during the Elite Instructor myPADI Challenge will also win a Suunto D6i dive computer.

How does it work?

To ensure a level playing field, you’ll be competing against others in your 2015 Elite Instructor category (50, 100, 150, 200 and 300 certifications), and the 2015 Elite Instructors showing the largest percentage growth in certifications (compared to the same time frame last year) will win. It’s as simple as that!

How do I apply?

You don’t need to take any action to enter or apply because PADI will track your growth for you! You’ll even be able to keep track of your progress via the PADI Pros’ Site throughout the campaign.

Click here for the Full Contest Rules

Now, get certifying and good luck!

5 Tips for Pros: How to Maintain Your Scuba Gear Properly

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As a PADI Professional, your scuba gear is exposed to heavy use – much more than the average recreational diver. Three or five dives a day teaching students or guiding certified divers will quickly leave their mark, and you’ll notice your diving equipment ageing much quicker than usual.

Of course, you can help to counteract this wear and tear with proper maintenance of your dive equipment, allowing you to get the best results from your gear despite the high strain.

Above all you shouldn’t forget that you always have a role model function as a PADI Pro, and your scuba gear in particular should always be exemplary: clean, well maintained and fully functional. This way you show your students and other divers that you’re a conscientious diving professional, and demonstrate the importance of well-maintained diving gear.

Here are 5 tips on properly caring for your scuba equipment:

#1 – Rinse your diving equipment thoroughly after every dive

It doesn’t matter if you’re diving in fresh or salt water; clean your scuba gear with clean water after every dive. This will help to remove dirt and other contaminants like micro-organisms or stinging particles from coral or jellyfish. It also helps to prevent the unwanted formation of salt crystal build-up after open water dives in the ocean.

#2 – Dry your diving equipment after every dive

neoprene-careSure, it can difficult as a PADI Pro to do this if you use your diving equipment multiple times during the day. But in between your dives, try to dry out your gear as well as you can. When dive gear is kept damp (especially when stored), bacteria or fungi can quickly develop and spread, which not only damages your diving equipment but can also trigger infections and irritations to your skin.

To dry your scuba gear hang it up outside, ideally in a dry and breezy place but not directly in blazing sunshine. Sunlight can cause faster ageing of materials and can make neoprene and rubber parts brittle.

scuba-equipment#3 – Check any moving parts regularly for dirt and defects

At least once a day, you should make sure that all moving parts on your diving equipment (such as buckles on your BCD, inflator buttons, regulator purge buttons etc.) are clean and working properly. That way you’ll be reassured that there are no dirt, sand or salt crystals stuck in your diving gear that might cause a malfunction during a dive.

#4 – Deep-clean and maintain your diving equipment on a regular basis

In addition to rinsing your kit with clean fresh water after each dive, you should also wash your gear thoroughly at least once a week with a special cleaner designed for dive equipment. This applies not only for neoprene suits, but also for your BCD.

scuba-gear#5 – Store your diving equipment properly

Between dives – and especially if you’re taking some time away from teaching – you should ensure that your gear is stored properly to avoid damage and deformation of the material. Make sure it’s completely dry before packing it away (see #2), don’t stand your fins on the blade-end (as they’ll bend out of shape), and ensure the glass in your diving mask is protected from being scratched.

In addition to these 5 tips, you should always be very careful when carrying and using your diving equipment. Strong impact can easily damage your gear, especially the small components in your BCD and regulator.

PADI’s Equipment Specialist Touch is a great tool to help refresh your memory on maintenance techniques, even as a PADI Professional. It’s also a valuable teaching aid to use with your students to help them learn the importance of caring for their scuba equipment.


christian_huboThis article was written by guest blogger, Christian Hubo. A PADI diving instructor, Christian has enjoyed over 4,000 dives whilst travelling around the world. Above the surface, he’s hiked thousands of kilometers across the natural world. Christian is a freelance web and media designer, underwater photographer, social media and marketing consultant and freelance author. His magazine articles and blog, Feel4Nature, inspires people to follow an independent, individual and eco-conscious lifestyle.

PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa Applauds its 2015 Frequent Trainers

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PADI Course Directors, the highest level of PADI Professional, are much sought after individuals within the diving industry.

Becoming a PADI Course Director is one of the toughest challenges an experienced PADI Professional will face throughout their career.  Many rigorous prerequisites must be met before the aspiring PADI Pro may submit an application to be selected for the Course Director Training Course (CDTC).  While many PADI Pros aspire to taking part in the CDTC and becoming instructor trainers, only the very best are selected.  The CDTC itself is intense, teaching prospective Course Directors everything from how to conduct an Instructor Development Course to how to market and grow their business.  Each candidate is subject to continuous evaluation in the classroom and in the water, and it is not until the final evaluation on the final day that the individual knows whether they have made the grade.

This elite group of PADI professionals is responsible for creating the highest calibre of instructors around the world: PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors.  Course Directors also train PADI Instructors in their continuing professional development to become PADI Speciality Instructors, IDC Staff Instructors, and EFR Instructors.  The responsibility on Course Directors to keep standards high cannot be underestimated and PADI is proud to have the best instructor trainers in the diving industry.

To that end, each year PADI applauds and rewards its most productive Course Directors in the form of the Frequent Trainer Program (FTP).  Dependent on PADI Professional training productivity during the preceding year, PADI awards Course Directors who meet minimum FTP requirements with either Silver, Gold or Platinum status for the current year.

PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa proudly announces its list of 2015 Frequent Trainers.  This select group of Course Directors, from all over the EMEA territory, have been busy creating future PADI Instructors – who will in turn create new PADI divers in 2016.

Join us in congratulating the 2015 Frequent Trainers, and find out more about the CDTC here.

PADI 50th Anniversary Promotions

PADI_50_lightbackgroundThe PADI 50th Anniversary campaign celebrates PADI as yesterday’s trailblazer, today’s leader and tomorrow’s future in the dive industry. This global campaign draws on industry icons and legends to share PADI’s story throughout the evolution of the dive industry over the past 50 years, clearly reinforcing PADI’s position as the authority in recreational diver training now.

The PADI organization will celebrate its golden anniversary throughout 2016 with the following plans currently in place:

  • Additional video testimonials featuring dive industry luminaries – past and present – will be produced and shared via PADI channels.
  • The PADI logo received a special, 50th anniversary treatment and will mark PADI communications throughout 2016.
  • Hosting contests and giveaways focused on the 50th Anniversary across PADI social networks and in certification card mailings.
  • Limited-edition 50th Anniversary certification cards will be issued to all divers earning certifications throughout 2016. Several styles will also be available as replacement cards.
  • PADI’s 25 millionth diver certification, expected to be issued during 2016, will be celebrated via an extensive media push.

All PADI Members are invited to join the celebration. The PADI 50th Anniversary logo and related marketing collateral is available on the PADI Pros’ Site.