Professional Association of Diving Instructors

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Professional Association of Diving Instructors
Logo of PADI.svg
AbbreviationPADI
MottoThe Way the World Learns to Dive
Formation1966
HeadquartersRancho Santa Margarita, California, United States
Region served
International
Membership
More than 137,000 dive professionals, 6,600 dive centers and resorts
LeaderDrew Richardson
Parent organization
PADI Worldwide Corp.[1]
AffiliationsDSAT
Project AWARE
Emergency First Response
Current Publishing
Websitewww.padi.com

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is a [2] recreational diving membership and diver training organization founded in 1966 by John Cronin and Ralph Erickson.[2] Cronin was originally a NAUI instructor who decided to form his own organization with Erickson, and to break diver training down into several modular courses instead of the single universal course then prevalent.[3]

PADI courses range from entry level to relatively advanced recreational diver certification, several specialized diving skills courses, usually connected with specific equipment or conditions, some diving related informational courses and a range of recreational diving instructor certifications. They also offer various technical diving courses. As of January 2019, PADI is reported to have issued 27 million scuba certifications.[4]


Ownership History[edit]

In 1966, PADI was founded by John Cronin and Ralph Erickson[2]. On 9 August 2012, Lincolnshire Management and Providence Equity Partners jointly acquired PADI from Seidler Equity Partners[5]. In 2015, Providence Equity Partners acquired majority stake of PADI from Lincolnshire Management. In 2017, PADI was sold by Providence Equity Partners LLC [6] and acquired by Altas Partners And Florac[7].

Membership[edit]

In 2019, PADI reported it had a membership of over 137,000 professional members and 6,600 dive centers, and had awarded more than 27,000,000 diving certifications internationally. PADI operates in 186 countries and territories.[4] Membership is heavily weighted toward males, but in 2016, the organization experienced a growth of 1.1% in female certifications. Women accounted for 37.2% of all certifications during 2016. The organization hosts Women's Dive Day events across the globe in an effort to increase awareness of women divers.[8]

Training system[edit]

PADI courses are performance-based diver training programs,[clarification needed] and at the introductory level emphasize practical knowledge, safety and motor skills. The basics of diving physics and physiology are introduced during entry level programs. The details of these concepts are left for later courses when they are necessary for the required competences of the specific training. These practices fall within current modern learning philosophies and receive regular updates via peer review.[9][10]

The PADI training system is composed of modules with standardized learning objectives divided into theory and practical skills development. Each module is a stand-alone course for which certification is provided to the participant on successful completion of the course. Theory is mainly conveyed by way of self-study using books or digital training using PADI eLearning.[11] All study options are supplemented with video and, in most cases, live instruction to help the participant visualize what they have read.[12] Confirmation of the student diver's level of mastery in standardized knowledge review sessions is carried out by a scuba instructor. The instructor utilizes both written tests and live observation during actual dives to verify a student's knowledge and skills. Practical skills are obtained through confined water training (pools or relatively shallow water) and performance evaluations in open water.

Dive Experiences[edit]

  • Discover Scuba Diving – An introductory diving experience under the direct supervision of an instructor in controlled conditions.[13]
  • PADI Seal Team (Age 8 and above)[14]
  • PADI Bubble Maker (Age 8 and above)[15]
  • Skin Diver (Snorkeling)[16]
  • Discover Rebreather – An introductory confined water experience using a recreational or technical rebreather under the direct supervision of a PADI Rebreather or Tec CCR Instructor.[17]
  • Discover Tec – An introductory confined water experience using technical backmount or sidemount equipment.[18]

Certification Levels[edit]

  • Junior Scuba Diver (Age 10 to 14)[19]
  • Scuba Diver – subset of the PADI Open Water Diver course, must dive under the direct supervision of a PADI Professional[20]
  • Junior Open Water Diver[21] (Age 10 to 14)[19]
  • Open Water Diver[21]
  • Adventure Diver – exposure to three elective scuba experiences.[22]
  • Advanced Open Water Diver – expanded scuba skills through "adventure" dive experience: a "deep" dive (18–30m), an underwater navigation dive and three electives from a large choice.[23]
  • Rescue Diver [10] – Basic skills in stress management, self rescue and buddy rescue for recreational diving.
  • Master Scuba Diver – recognition of selected set of certifications and experience: Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, 5 elective specialties and 50 logged dives.[24]

Recreational specialty courses

Workplace programs[edit]

PADI offers a speciality program called Public Safety Diver for divers who are either employed in or serve as volunteers in the public safety diving sector principally within the United States.[47]

First aid programs[edit]

PADI via its subsidiary, Emergency First Response, Corp, distributes the following programs in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid for both divers and non-divers:[48]

  • Primary Care (CPR)
  • Secondary Care (First Aid)
  • Care for Children
  • Region-specific workplaces courses for countries including Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.[49][50]

Contributions, accreditations, recognitions and affiliations[edit]

PADI courses are recognized, recommended and cited by a variety of institutions and organizations throughout the world for both recreational diving and vocational training.

United States[edit]

PADI courses are recommended for college credit by ACE.[51]

Since 2009, PADI and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have maintained a mutual support partnership.[52]

PADI is a member of the United States Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC).[53]

Other countries[edit]

In Canada, PADI sponsors the Scouts Canada Scuba Program.[54]

Recognitions and equivalencies has been established between PADI and Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques,[55] the Colombian Navy,[56] and Fédération Française d'Études et de Sports Sous-Marins (FFESSM).[57] PADI is also a registered training organisation in Australia.[50] As of 2012, PADI rescue diver and divemaster programs are included on the United Kingdom's Health and Safety Executive list of approved diving qualifications.[58]

Those PADI courses aligning with standards published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for ‘Recreational diving services’ were audited by the European Underwater Federation (EUF) Certification Body in 2004 and 2009, and were certified at both times as complying with these standards.[59]

PADI is a member of the following member councils of the World Recreational Scuba Training Councilthe RSTC Canada, the RSTC Europe and the C-Card Council (Japan).[53][60][61][62]

Citations in professional literature[edit]

PADI’s instructional methodology is cited in EDUCAUSE’s 2012 book, Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies regarding badges as “a symbol or indicator of an accomplishment, skill, quality, or interest. From the Boy and Girl Scouts to PADI diving instruction, to the more recently popular geolocation game Foursquare, badges have been successfully used to set goals, motivate behaviors, represent achievements, and communicate success in many contexts.” [63]

PADI’s environmental emphasis is cited in the 2007 book, New Frontiers in Marine Tourism, in its section, Dive Tourism, Sustainable Tourism and Social Responsibility: A Growing Agenda – Environmental management and education: the case of PADI, (Chapter Seven). “PADI, as well as other diver certification organisations and individual businesses, has put significant resources into conservation and developed public awareness programmes”.[64]

New Frontiers in Marine Tourism also cites in the section entitled Student Scholarships and Social Responsibility: A Growing Agenda for PADI, that “The PADI Scholarship programme … is a good example of the way that various disparate parts of an industry, each with limited resources, can pool their efforts to help more people from developing countries to enter the diving profession… PADI recognises that good relations with the involvement of local people is essential both to business development and to environmental protection. The scholarship scheme makes entry into the dive business more possible for some students who have the backing of their dive centre.”[64]

PADI Travel[edit]

In 2018, PADI launched PADI Travel, an online dive travel resource and booking platform for dive resort and liveaboard packages.[65]

Criticism[edit]

In 2006, PADI was severely criticized by a Coroner's court in the United Kingdom for providing what experts regarded as short and insufficient training.[66] Although PADI training standards differ from those formerly prevalent in the United Kingdom under the BSAC system, PADI training standards are consistent with World Recreational Scuba Training Council standards.[67]

Project AWARE[edit]

In 1989, PADI founded Project AWARE to help conserve underwater environments[68]. In 1992, Project AWARE Foundation became a registered nonprofit organization with an environmental mission and purpose[69]. PADI continues to partner with Project AWARE, supporting the organization with in-kind services, donations through its processes and connection to the PADI network of divers, dive professionals and dive centers[70]. Project AWARE information has been integrated in most courses and divers are offered the chance to exchange their normal certification card for an AWARE-certification card by making a donation to the program when sending in their application for a new certification.[71]

Affiliate companies[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Company Overview of PADI Worldwide Corp". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b c DAN News (2003-07-17). "PADI CEO & Co-Founder John Cronin Dies at Age 74". Divers Alert Network. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
  3. ^ Tillman, Tom. "The history of PADI". Scuba America Historical Foundation. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
  4. ^ a b "PADI Statistics". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Lincolnshire Management Acquires Padi Americas". mergr.com. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  6. ^ "Providence Equity Sells Scuba Certifier PADI for $700 Million". wsj.com. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  7. ^ "Padi Americas, Private Equity Backed Company, (2017-06-28)". mergr.com. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  8. ^ "PADI Women Scuba Diving Update". FirstRead.Me. 2017-06-27. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
  9. ^ a b Richardson, D & Shreeves, K (1996). "The PADI Enriched Air Diver course and DSAT oxygen exposure limits". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal. 26 (3). ISSN 0813-1988. OCLC 16986801. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  10. ^ a b Richardson, D & Shreeves, K (1998). "The PADI approach to diver rescue training". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal. 28 (2). ISSN 0813-1988. OCLC 16986801. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
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  12. ^ "A Guide To PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Certification Courses".
  13. ^ "Discover Scuba Diving". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  14. ^ "Youth Scuba Diving Programs". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  15. ^ "Youth Scuba Diving Programs". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
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  18. ^ "Discover Tec Program". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  19. ^ a b "Scuba Diving Lessons for Kids". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
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  27. ^ "Project AWARE – Fish Identification Course". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
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  29. ^ "Cavern Diver". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
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  31. ^ "Digital Underwater Photographer Course". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  32. ^ "Diver Propulsion Vehicle Course". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  33. ^ "Drift Diver Course". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  34. ^ "Dry suit diver course". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  35. ^ "Equipment specialist course". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
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  37. ^ "Multilevel diver course". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
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  39. ^ "Night diver course". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  40. ^ "Peak Performance Buoyancy Course". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  41. ^ Richardson, D; Menduno, M; Shreeves, K. (eds). (1996). "Proceedings of Rebreather Forum 2.0". Diving Science and Technology Workshop.: 286. Retrieved 2008-08-20.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  42. ^ Staff. "Search and Recovery Diver". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  43. ^ "Underwater Naturalist Course". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  44. ^ "Underwater navigator course". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  45. ^ "Underwater Videographer". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  46. ^ "Wreck Diver". Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
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  53. ^ a b "United States Agencies". WRSTC. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
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  67. ^ "ANSI Accredited Standards Developers listing" (pdf). American National Standards Institute. p. 150. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  68. ^ "History and Achievements". www.projectaware.org. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  69. ^ "History and Achievements". www.projectaware.org. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  70. ^ "Partners". www.projectaware.org. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  71. ^ "Project Aware". Retrieved 6 October 2016.
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External links[edit]