Are you thinking about changing your life style? Having direct contact to nature, meeting people from different countries, having the opportunity to travel and work in amazing destinations ??? It’s a time to challenge yourself and try out new, challenging and fun experiences. Escape from routine! Why not becoming a PADI Professional?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

GoPRO - Divemaster Course: Things you should evaluate before choosing a Divecenter for your Divemaster Course / Internship

If we search on internet for a divemaster course, we will find loads of links to divecenters offering Divemaster Courses & Internships. Some offer courses in record time, other almost free, and still others just take the money and all the rest are “easy bits”. Certainly in the middle of it all we were confused and here comes the great question:
What should i take into consideration in order to choose the right divecenter to do my divemaster course / internship?
This is a very common question and who's out of the market sometimes does not have a parameter to take such an important decision in the best way. So, I will tell you the  things you should evaluate before you choose your divecente:

The instructor's curriculum is one of the main points that you need to evaluate before taking the decision. Imagine yourself doing a course with an instructor who just graduated and have not enough work experience to mentor a new divemaster candidate. What will happen? Hopefully he will just follow course standards, but cannot share any experience.
The Divemaster is perhaps the most important course of his whole diving career. It will be the foundation for all other courses that will follow and the activities you will perform after certified as a PADI PRO. So you need to look at this item very carefully. When evaluating the curriculum of your instructor, check:
·         Instructor Level - The higher the level of best instructor. A higher level means that the instructor has invested in his career. 
·         Number of Specialties that the instructor can teach. The more specialties instructor teaches means more is engaged in diving.
·          Time working as an Instructor - Time working as an instructor is critical! Your instructor is a MSDT Instructor or IDC Staff, but only 2 or 3 months he completed the training level? Check the instructor’s number of certified students and the number of dives - The more, the better. Greater experience, more experienced situations, more guided dives, etc.
But how can i see the instructor's curriculum?
Usually the divecenter’s websites have a summary of 
instructor’s curriculum vitae , but you can also see if the instructor has personal website , you can ask the CV or simply ask him to show you his current dive credentials.


Experience is everything that your instructor has lived beyond teaching dive courses. He's just an instructor in a dive center or he has worked elsewhere or accumulate job positions as, for example, chief operating officer, photographer or manager of the dive center? Did your instructor travelled, dived and most important, WORKED as an instructor in many different countries?
If he only has got the instructor role, it's cool, but maybe he misses a bit of busuness experience and vision of the other side of the diving market. While an instructor who act as dive center manager will provide you tips on career, hiring and a dive center looks to hire a divemaster, because all these things are his responsibility and therefore has a much broader vision.


Infrastructure is as important as the instructor. Imagine you make a divemaster course with a good instructor, but he does not have a classroom or a boat  to go dive with students.
It is essential that the divecenter has got a good infrastructure such as:
·         Classroom well equipped and with a reference library
·         Pool / Confined Water on site
·         Boats
·         Internet access 
·         Busy and diverse Dive Operations  – shore diving, boat diving, reefs, wrecks, drifts, etc.
·         Courses range availability – open , advanced, rescue, specialties, IDCs, etc.
The more dive operations and dive courses they have, the more you will learn !
A simple calculation, you will start your divemaster course with 40 dives and need 60 to finish. Also you will need to participate a 4 Practical Assessments in a full open water course (confined and open water training sessions), certified divers  and some more continuing education course (ex. advanced or rescue or specialty), if the divecenter has only one operation per week, imagine how long will it take you to complete your course.

# 4- EXTRA benefits

Although not common, some divecenters offer some extra curricular workshops during its course. This is important because it will open your horizons and also the doors of the labor market.
The more training and knowledge you have, the better prepared you will be to face the labor market and easier to get work. With workshops you will have the opportunity to learn things other than what is taught in textbooks.
Some important workshops are:
·      Compressor Maintenance and Tank Filling - Techniques to fill diving cylinders and care that must have
·         Equipment Maintenance - How to keep the equipment in good condition
·         Costumer Experience - How to provide the best experience for other divers
Other important items are
·         Accommodation - If the dive center offers accommodation that will reduce the cost of your investment.
·         Internship after the course - The "hands on"  internship experience you gain more experience "running" a dive center on daily basis and ensures differential for future employers.


You must be wondering what COUNTRY has to do with my divemaster course, right? Imagine you live in a large center, which takes traffic and traffic jams and takes hours just to get to the dive center. Not to mention that everything is expensive and nothing is close. To get from the divecenter to the pool where you have classes, you have to go by car or public transport.
On the other hand, imagine the opposite, living in a town where you feel isolated from the world. No internet access, no leisure options, without a bar to have a beer after a day full of classes and dives. The first two days it can even look cool, but you're already in the third and fifth bothered you ever want to run away!
So, the country atmosphere is a very important point . Ideally, you have the middle ground. A place not too big where you can move to walk, that everything is close, where the cost of living is not expensive (after all it is one of the factors that influence more in total cost of your course). Where in your day off you can enjoy a nice beach, a cold beer with the rest of the dive staff or enjoy a movie.

# 6- VALUE ​​COMPARISON:cost x benefits

This is a KEY point!
As I said there at the beginning , each divecenter has its prices and policies, but why the prices differ?
One thing we see quite often in divecenters  that offer very cheap divemaster courses is that NEITHER the training dives NOR all required PADI materials  are included in the price. In those cases what happens is that after you book the course/internship, it begins to appear extra expenses. Worse than that, you will do the course without all required PADI materials, affecting your learning.
Some tips for you to consider prior choosing where you will do your divemaster course:
·         To start your divemaster course, it’s required 40 logged dives. If you do not have yet, usually the value of these dives is not included in the package and there may be a difference, it is a considerable value. Some divecenters exchange those dives for work as a trainee, but remember that you are not a trained divemaster, and therefore you cannot accept role and responsability as a professional level certified assistant.

·         Are you using ALL required PADI materials?
 Divemaster Manual + Instructor Manual with decal hologram + Divemaster slates +  Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving + eRDPML + Diving Knowledge Workbook
·         To finish your divemaster course, it’s required  60 logged dives , ex.: between training dives and internship, you need to make another 20 dives during your course. Make sure that they are included in the course’s price.

The quality of the training is key to a successful career. So do not choose your GoPRO career plan based only on financial matters. Believe me, money spent on your dive education is an investment and not an expense! 
Prior comparing prices between divecenters, take your time to evaluate the dive staff curriculum that will teach your divemaster course and make sure the items and the extra benefits included in your package are the same.  
#gopro #becomeapadipro #padiinstructor #divemasterinternship #divemastercourse #padi #padi50