Always make sure your
diving instructor is PADI certified.
1. How Long Does The Certification Course Last?
Scuba certification is performance based, meaning there is no
set amount of hours required for completion. You move from one
level to the next during the course at your own pace. You will
find that most PADI certification courses advertised are based
around an estimated 3 day time frame for completion. For the
average person, however, this may not be enough time. 4 days
for certification is a much more realistic goal.
2. How Much Does The Certification
Lowball prices are designed for 2 reasons.... to attract your
attention, and to get you in the door. The hidden charges for
the course, such as books and equipment rental, are conveniently
never advertised. Look for an all inclusive certification course
experience. Remember, in the end, you always get what you pay
3. Are References Available
From The Most Recent Students?
Always ask for phone or E-mail references from the most recent
certification students who have just completed the course. Don't
settle for written quotes that are years old and taken from
some database of generic customer comments. If a lame excuse
or noncommittal answer is given, take your business elsewhere.
A quality dive operation that has nothing to hide will be happy
to provide such references.
4. Who Is The Instructor?
5. How Long Have They Been An Instructor?
6. How Many People Have They Certified?
7. How Many Certification Courses Have They Taught?
Good instructors, who have an extensive resume of experience
teaching scuba certification courses, are extremely hard to
find. Dive shops have a notoriously high turnover ratio of scuba
instructors to staff. Many of the ones who are there are recent
hires, and have very little real world experience. They also
work long hours for very little money, generally getting paid
by the activity, not by the hour. Insist on someone who has
certified at least 25 people, and has been teaching a minimum
of one year.
8. Is The Instructor First Aid/CPR
In order to become a PADI instructor, one must complete the
Rescue Diver certification. PADI requires current CPR/First
Aid training for one to receive Rescue Diver certification.
Most instructors are also First Aid/CPR Instructors.
9. Will The Course Be Taught
Using Rotating Instructors?
This is a common practice some dive operations use where one
instructor "Team Teaches" the course with another,
exposing you to differing personalities and teaching methods
that will only confuse you. Unless you are doing a referral
certification, where you are starting and finishing your course
in different locations, steer clear.
10. Will Both Instructor And
Student Use Similar Equipment Setups During The Course?
When both instructor and student are using the same brand of
scuba gear, and have similarly designed equipment configurations,
it allows students to learn faster and easier, both in and out
of the water, during the certification course.
11. Will The Course Incorporate
A Giant RDP Table Into The Academic Sessions?
Learning how to use the dive tables is perhaps the toughest
academic challenge a student faces during the certification
course. A quality dive operation will have available a giant
version of the standard dive table, allowing students to more
easily master this important academic information.
12. Can I Get A Student Discount
After Getting Certified?
Any reputable dive operation should give you a generous student
discount towards future diving activities and/or equipment purchases
you make from them, in appreciation for taking their certification