Posted by JRM on September 05, 2000 at 17:09:04:
I have heard a lot of talk about how the major organizations are "selling out" in favor of greater market share. Having just been through the PADI OW, AOW and enjoying some of the PADI specialties training, I'm very curious to hear some concrete examples of this. I don't doubt that people are being passed who shouldn't, but has anyone ever taken a Red Cross (or any other for that matter) CPR or CFAS class and seen what goes down? Now that is frightening.
So, all you folk out there. Since we seem to have no lack of opinion, what are your criteria for OW cert? Where are the big agencies blowing it, and how do you feel it can be rectified?
There currently aren't any required certifications for technical climbing, and I think it is more dangerous (can be) than SCUBA. So why should anyone require formal training for any hobby? (OK, that's a devil's advocate question, but still an interesting point).
I think that the PADI classes I have taken have been a good investment. It's a chance to try diving in different conditions for the first time under the direct supervision of a good instructor. Since a lot of the old timers round here aren't real interested in dragging us new folk along, it's really the only "safe and sane" way I see to try some new things I'm not brave (read stupid) enough to try on my own.
My class was small, and my instructor first rate, so I'm not sure exactly where the gripe lies. Two people who couldn't handle the claustrophobia (sp?) didn't pass the class.
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