Plan a Rescue Diver Workshop

PADI Rescue Diver

Written by John Kinsella 

The Rescue Diver course is consistently described as one of the most challenging and yet rewarding courses in the entire PADI system of diver education. Capitalize on what divers love about the PADI Rescue Diver Course and seriously consider hosting an annual (or more frequent) Rescue Diver Workshop. Here are five reasons why this is a great idea:

  1. It’s a powerful way to highlight your business and your place in the local community. A Rescue Diver Workshop is about as close as diving is ever going to get to a spectator sport. The sight of divers sprinting across the beach, plunging into the water and dragging a “victim” out while administering mouth to mouth never fails to get attention. Lots of orange gear helps too. Just make absolutely sure you have clearly visible signage explaining that this is an exercise, and, double absolutely, make sure you let the local emergency services know what you’re doing.
  1. It’s a great way to get to know, and get known by, local emergency services. Consider inviting these experts to participate; emergency services practice regularly too. And if there’s anything that elevates the spectacle of a coordinated diver rescue to the next level, it’s a demonstration helicopter airlift. You might be surprised at the reception you receive if you simply ask politely.
  1. It’s a great way to promote continuing education. Invite everybody. Among other things, a rescue diver workshop is a great excuse for a day out. And having Open Water Divers about can really add to scenario realism if you get them involved. I have yet to meet one who didn’t delight in being used as a victim, in spite of all the inhaled water.
  1. It’s one of the best ways to keep skills current. Hopefully, you don’t practice rescues too often in the real world. This is the perfect opportunity to keep skills current, update certifications (There will, naturally, be a concurrent EFR course). This applies to divers, and professionals, at all levels. Make a point of encouraging full staff participation, reaching out to divers who haven’t been active in a while and basically letting everyone you can know about the event. It’s not hard to keep them busy.
  1. Why not? You’re doing the work already (every time you run a Rescue Diver Course) and it doesn’t take much to turn the Rescue Diver Scenarios (an integral part of that course) into the focus of a Rescue Diver Workshop. It’s a no brainer to integrate the two.

Plan a Rescue Diver Workshop today, there’s really no reason not to.

PADI’s World-Class Business Support and Service Results in Record Membership Numbers

29Mar17_bebestbepadi_02

When dive businesses consider joining the PADI® family, they discover a variety of benefits including the ability to increase course profit, leverage best-in-class business support, and access unparalleled customer service. Combined with the power of the PADI brand bolstered by 50 years of dive training excellence, plus a dedication to aquatic conservation and advocacy, and it’s easy to see why so many dive centers and resorts choose PADI for long-term business success. In fact, more dive centers and resorts joined PADI in 2016 than any other year, with retail and resort membership now exceeding 6400 members globally.

PADI Dive Centers and Resorts use the PADI System of diver education to offer quality educational programs and dive experiences. What results is that when customers visit PADI’s Dive Shop Locator, the stores they see are authorized PADI facilities and not just pins on a map.

Jim Copeland of Copeland’s, Inc., a PADI Dive Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, switched his store to PADI from another training agency. “I was pleased with PADI’s high training standards; I haven’t trained so hard since I first started my dive shop in 1958!” he says about PADI’s onboarding process. “It was a very difficult decision to cross over to PADI, but I don’t regret it. Everyone at PADI has been awesome, especially our PADI Regional Training Consultant, Kristina Leadbeater – she is absolutely priceless.”

PADI’s exemplary customer service is a member benefit that receives continuous accolades. Ian Sutherland of 3 Fathoms Scuba, Ltd., a PADI Dive Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, echoes Copeland’s praise for the PADI team. “I’ve never had a single complaint with PADI’s customer service in the two years since I joined,” he says. Having joined PADI after leaving another training agency, Sutherland is particularly appreciative of the organization’s responsiveness to his needs and the close communication maintained with him. “Debbie Parker, my Certifications Coordinator, is absolutely exemplary in the way she deals with members!” he adds.

“PADI has always considered outstanding customer service paramount,” says Drew Richardson, PADI Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer. “In a time where other businesses appear to be cutting back on customer service, PADI Regional Headquarters are expanding to deliver prescriptive business support tailored to meet members’ needs. For example, PADI’s Regional Business Support Teams include a Territory Director, who is focused on the needs of a specific geographical area, plus a dedicated Regional Manager and Regional Training Consultant. Together, this team delivers proven diver acquisition and retention tools customized for each market to provide prescriptive business support to PADI Dive Centers and Resorts.” Each PADI Regional Business Support Team also includes a Marketing Consultant and Customer Relations staff member. Together, the teams strive to deliver turnkey business solutions and concierge-level support to PADI Members.

Profitability is always on every dive business owner’s mind, which is why PADI dedicates extensive resources to developing business education programs. Many of these programs are free to PADI Members, including a wide offering of Business of Diving webinars, both live and recorded at the PADI Pros’ Site. For more in-depth business training, members turn to PADI Business Academy. “I’ve attended four PADI Business Academy programs,” says Matt Bolton, General Manager of Crystal Dive Resort in Koh Tao, Thailand. “The PADI team does an absolutely fantastic job – organized, informative, and fun, combined with lots of member-focused, one-on-one consultations.”

So, what does unparalleled training standards, superior customer service and in-depth business support result in? According to Copeland, it’s higher profits. “We definitely make more money with PADI!” he says.

Be Best. Be PADI – The Way the World Learns to Dive®

PADI Brings Diving to the World for Its Members

The PADI team is always hard at work spreading the word of diving to encourage more consumers to discover the dive lifestyle through PADI Dive Centers and Resorts. Dedicated public relations and marketing specialists are in constant contact with the media, promoting the life-changing opportunities and adventures diving offers, as well as showcasing just how easy it is to get started. The result? PADI reached more than two billion consumers globally through media outreach and advertising placements during 2016; this exposure has an equivalent media value – the dollar amount the exposure would cost if purchased – exceeding US $7 million.

22Mar17 PADI Media Reach Graphic

“PADI is continuously reaching out to both divers and nondivers, representing diving in the most beneficial way to encourage more people to immerse themselves in this amazing sport,” says Kristin Valette, PADI Worldwide Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer.

The PADI media team is already at it again in 2017, promoting diving opportunities around the globe to grow the dive industry, while sharing the transformational experiences diving offers and creating more environmental advocates to help protect our oceans. Today, prominent media look to PADI as the leading authority in diving, yielding feature article placements in media outlets such as: The New York Times, TravelChannel.com, USAToday.com, cntraveler.com, HuffingtonPost.com, and MensFitness.com. Most recently, PADI secured this coverage on Forbes.com (29,704,584 visitors per month) touting 10 must see dive destinations in 2017.

In addition to ongoing media outreach, the PADI team connects with divers via PADI’s online network, fostering the global dive community united by a shared passion for adventure and love for the oceans. PADI’s social media fan base continues to gain in popularity, currently with more than 1.6 million Facebook fans, 86,400 Twitter followers, 22,500 YouTube subscribers and 470,000 ScubaEarthlings. “Social media buzz is important because word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective techniques for influencing people’s behavior,” says Valette. “PADI Divers tend to become PADI ambassadors, and through their experiences others are encouraged to dive in and explore. Their stories represent the heart of diving and we want to help amplify their messages to the world.”

As the PADI team charges forward into 2017, the focus is not only on attracting new divers to the sport, but also in inspiring divers of every level to become advocates for the ocean and its inhabitants, the global scuba community and, ultimately, the future of the planet. It is with this fundamental vision and commitment to not only be best in the world, but also best for the world that PADI remains the leading authority in diver education.

Be Best. Be PADI – The Way the World Learns to Dive®

Ways to Boost Your Scuba Career Using Social Media

Billions of people around the world use social media every day – including hiring managers at dive shops, liveaboard operators, and all the big names in the dive industry. Learn how to optimize your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to land that dream job in scuba.

We’ll get to profile tips in a moment; the first step is to assess the scene. Social media gives job-seekers important insights into a company’s culture and values. Before you can transform your profile into that of an ideal job candidate, it’s important to know what sort of person a company wants to hire.

Research Potential Employers

Take a deep dive into the online profiles of companies you’d like to work for (and their staff when possible). Don’t Like or Follow these businesses just yet – especially if your personal profile hasn’t been “tuned” for hiring managers.

Write down a few things about the company: its values, their gear / courses /  products, and notes about the staff if possible. Maybe the manager likes the same football team you do, or the owner loves horror movies. Knowing these things can give you an edge over another job candidate with similar skills.

Speaking of skills: think about your diving and non-diving experience and how you might help the business grow. For example: if the shop isn’t very active on social media and you love shooting photos and video, that’s a big plus. Or maybe the business doesn’t currently cater to families, but you have experience managing a kids’ camp.

Next, head over to the Employment Board on the PADI Pros’ Site. See what jobs are available, what skills employers are looking for, and who your competition is. You may find the best place for inspiration is the PADI Pros Looking for Employment section. Take lots of notes, because the next step is to create / edit your own profile.

PADI pros job board
 

Tune-Up Your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is essentially your online CV / resume. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, create one! Approximately 95% of hiring managers search for candidates on LinkedIn and 93% use it to vet potential hires before they interview.

When filling out the Summary and Experience sections, refer to your notes about what companies are looking for in an employee. Use the same language when possible. Imagine one of those employers reading your profile and thinking, “this is exactly the person we’re looking for!”

Ask for Endorsements from previous employers and co-workers. When logged in to your profile, visit this page. LinkedIn allows you to message to up three people from your network and ask for a recommendation. In the message copy, ask them to write about one or two specific skills related to the scuba job you’re seeking. This will help your friend know what to write about and make your profile more attractive to employers.

PADI Pros should stay up to date on their linkedin profiles

When your LinkedIn profile is complete, add a link to it in to your email signature. Speaking of which: if your email is party247@gmail.com consider creating a more professional email address where employers can contact you. Which leads us to our next topic…

Facebook: Go Public and Keep it Clean

Hiring managers increasingly check out the Facebook profiles of potential hires, so be sure yours is ready for inspection. If you have a gated profile, open it up or start making more public posts. Facebook is a one of the best ways to showcase what a fun and loveable person you are.

First, go through your profile and remove anything you wouldn’t want your mom, a police officer, or a judge to see. Remove anything overtly political, and correct any spelling or grammar mistakes.
Post public pics and video of you doing the things you’d like potential employers to know about. For example:
– If you speak Chinese, post pics of yourself with smiling Chinese diving students.

– Upload a pic or video of you driving a boat.

– Post a video of you using the company’s products, or servicing the equipment they carry.

shutterstock_202264417

Even if you’re camera shy, it’s important to put yourself out there. When employers start to see your face regularly, maybe even hear from you on video, they get to know you. Imagine yourself in a hiring manager’s shoes: would you rather hire a stranger or a friend?

Okay, what if you don’t have any special skills? What if you’re new to diving industry or looking to land your first job ever.

– Take classes to grow your skill set: equipment repair, photography, video editing, etc.-
– Practice shooting photos and video at local dive sites
– Post about common interests you share with staff: football, cats, Game of Thrones, etc.
– Volunteer: organize a beach clean-up, throw a Bubblemaker birthday party

Engage


Now that your profile showcases your ideal self, follow companies you’d like to work for and perhaps their staff. Start by ‘liking’ the company’s posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and leaving thoughtful comments. When appropriate, establish yourself as a scuba guru by ID-ing a fish, sharing feedback about equipment, or the best time to visit XYZ dive site. Don’t make your first engagement, “hey, are you guys hiring?”

If your job search is more global in nature, try LinkedIn Groups to connect with potential employers. There are half a dozen groups related to PADI, PADI Members and PADI Instructors*.  With LinkedIn groups you can also post discussion topics in addition to commenting. * None of these groups are run by PADI.

When you do decide to “pop the question,” ensure you’re using the right channel. For example: sending a direct message to PADI asking, “are you hiring?” doesn’t make a good first impression (we post job openings at PADI on our website with clear directions on how to apply).

Other “DON’Ts” for Applicants on Social Media

Don’t: get tagged in embarrassing pics or post any of yourself.
Don’t: make political statements.
Don’t: have contradicting information in your profiles.
Don’t: include skills in your profile you don’t want to perform.
Don’t: set up a profile on every platform (unless you have time to maintain them all).

If you’re looking for a job in the dive industry, LinkedIn and Facebook are a must. If you can write, setup a blog. If you love shooting photos or video, get active on Instagram or YouTube, and be sure these accounts can be found from your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.

The bottom line: social media is a key part of the hiring process. You can learn a lot about a company you’d like to work for, and they can get to know you. When it comes time for the interview, it won’t be two strangers meeting, it will be two friends.

 

Protect Sharks and Rays with Your Dive Business

Project AWARE®, WWF and The Manta Trust are pleased to release Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism: A Guide to Best Practice, the world’s first-ever guidelines for shark and ray tourism operators. The Guide aims to provide practical, science-based guidance to help tourism operators, NGOs and local communities develop and maintain well managed tourism operations that help conserve shark and ray species, raise awareness for their protection, and benefit local communities.

Unsustainable exploitation of sharks and rays – mainly driven by overfishing – is widespread with one in four shark and ray species now threatened with an increased risk of extinction.

SnRFacebookPost_GNS_MichaelDavey

Yet across the globe, shark and ray tourism is increasing in popularity. Currently, around 400 well-established tourism operations focus on interacting with species of sharks and rays, and it’s estimated that this number could more than double over the next twenty years, generating over $780 million USD in expenditures around the world.

Dr Andy Cornish, WWF says, “Shark and ray focused ecotourism has great potential as a conservation strategy. If properly designed and managed, it can provide alternative direct and indirect economic benefits to local communities and economies. Yet sadly there’s limited practical guidance out there.”

Industry, researchers, authorities and the nonprofit community largely agree that best-practice guidance is urgently needed to ensure that tourism sites are established and operated in a manner that benefits sharks and rays, and local communities, while also inspiring awe, respect and a greater appreciation of the need to conserve these animals.

Project Aware

Isabel Ender, Manta Trust, adds, “Lack of best practice guidance can often leave operators confused about how to assess the impact and improve the sustainability of their operation. We sought advice from scientists and the industry to help bridge that gap and deliver a best practice guide – the first of its kind in the world.”

To support operators seeking to commit to best practice, a full suite of free, downloadable tools is available on all of the organizations’ websites.

Proeject Aware Sharks and Ray conservation

For further information or to download any of the tools visit Project AWARE, WWF and The Manta Trust websites.

Monthly Pro Checklist

Written by John Kinsella

PADI-eLearning

Things can get busy for active PADI Instructors and Divemasters and planning is vital to stay on top of things; a monthly checklist can really help. For a few suggestions on what to check monthly as a dive pro, read on…

  1. PADI Standards and Procedures. Take some time every month to look at upcoming professional dive activities and make sure you have the most current standards and procedures. It’s a condition of membership that you read The Training Bulletin and implement changes and updates to PADI Standards and Procedures every quarter; double-checking that you have the latest information for any upcoming courses once a month just makes sense.
  1. Maintain Equipment. Especially if you’re diving frequently, the temptation is to just do the minimum: Rinse, check and store. Every month take a bit of extra time and get thorough. On your BCD for example, disassemble, inspect and clean any user serviceable OPVs and inflator mechanisms (always check the manufacturer’s recommendations). Wash the BCD carefully and consider putting something inside to clean the bladder. The general consensus is to use something such as Milton or Steramine 1G, but there’s a passionate online lobby for mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite or laundry soap. Follow the advice of the manufacturer. Take a similar approach with your other equipment.
  1. Research or read something. It’s important for dive professionals to stay up to speed with industry developments, and there’s a seemingly never-ending supply of interesting stuff cropping up all the time. Set aside some time to read the Undersea Journal, Surface Interval, the PADI Training Bulletin, this blog, and other resources. A recent Navy Experimental Diving Unit study, for example, refutes the “helium penalty” (an industry legacy belief, built in to many decompression algorithms, that using helium in a breathing gas mix dictates longer decompression). Seems that’s not actually the case. If you’re more into conservation than tec diving, check out the ongoing research trials into coral reef restoration at MOTE Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Florida. It’s a great example of proactive efforts to mitigate coral reef decline by taking “brood stock” coral from sites of reef impact damage (think ship grounding), fragmenting the coral and growing each fragment to transplantable size under optimal conditions. The point is to stay current on industry developments that interest you and help position you as a current professional. And write a little bit about what you just read, it’s likely just the kind of content your clients crave.

shutterstock_290304659

  1. Data analytics. This sounds a bit scarier than it really is. As dive professionals, communication is key and the vast majority of us use various social media in both a personal and professional context. It’s always nice to know how effective your communications are. Digital media makes that possible like never before. If you have anything to do with a website, make a point of regularly generating reports on traffic and visitor behavior and relate these to business performance. Do the same with social media. There are a bunch of tools out there, many of them free, which will provide you with a staggering amount of useful information. How useful would it be, for example, to know what time of day your Twitter followers are most active? Getting in the habit of devoting an hour or two each month to learn a bit about relevant data analytics can really help you succeed. It’s also a great way to make sure you’re communicating frequently and effectively.

Do your bit to double check your personal checklist this month.

Elevating Purpose: PADI’s Four Pillars of Change

Over the past 50 years, PADI® has become a global network of dive centers, resorts and professional members who do a lot more than teach diving, sell dive equipment and run dive trips. PADI Members transform lives every day. Together, we have certified millions of divers, ambassadors and protectors of our water planet.

And our water planet needs every diver, ambassador and protector it can get. Eight million tons of plastic enter the oceans every year. There’s so much plastic that we use terms such as “plastic soup” to describe the vast accumulations. Elevated temperatures and ocean acidification have effectively destroyed 20 percent of the world’s coral reefs. Overfishing is rampant. Some shark species are on the brink of extinction, their numbers reduced by as much as 80 percent – the loss of these apex predators would throw entire ecosystems out of balance.

Collectively, PADI must commit to acting as a force for good in the world. By connecting divers with the PADI family and empowering them to take action on issues relevant to our industry, we can become an even more powerful catalyst for change. If we can engage divers around the world more effectively locally, global change is inevitable.

14_HopeCards_revised-1024x576

This is why PADI’s Four Pillars of Change launched in 2016. These four initiatives accentuate our deeper purpose:

9_OceanHealth-768x432

OCEAN HEALTH: Support global efforts for a healthy ocean. Partner with Project AWARE to remove marine debris and forge partnerships to establish Marine Protected Areas around the world.

10_MarineAnimals-768x432

MARINE ANIMAL PROTECTION: Protect marine life biodiversity. Support Project AWARE® and other organizations that work to enact legislation, educate the public and fight shark finning and overfishing.

11_PeopleCommunity-768x432

PEOPLE AND COMMUNITY: Do more to help build dive infrastructure and support training local people to foster sustainability. Educate and support local communities to cultivate the protection mindset necessary for ocean health and marine animal protection.

12_HealingWellness-768x432

HEALTH AND WELLNESS: As we help heal the world externally, we heal internally as well. In diving, many people have found hope for their futures. Stories of triumph over adversity, illness and hardships testify to diving’s healing power. Share the incredible stories about personal transformation so others may benefit.

These powerful messages resonate with people all over the world. People want to be involved with entities that make a tangible difference, but they have to know about them first, so it’s vital to get the message out. Take a look at your current communication plan and incorporate these initiatives in ways that fit with your particular local needs and opportunities. You’re likely already doing this, but making it a priority to let people know about this shared commitment is a powerful way to grow the base of divers, ambassadors and protectors our water plant depends on.

There’s no better day to highlight your commitment to the Four Pillars of Change than 22 April 2017, Earth Day. Since 1970, Earth Day has focused on environmental issues and given voice to an emerging global consciousness. Now, 47 years later, Earth Day continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion and motivate people to action. It’s a perfect opportunity to let your local community know about your efforts on behalf of the environment, and it’s just the type of news that’s likely to get picked up by local media.