Profit vs. Non-Profit and Profit vs. Safety


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Posted by Jon on May 08, 2002 at 23:49:23:

In Reply to: What do you think a Non-Profit does? Operate at a loss? posted by Wayne on May 08, 2002 at 10:26:04:

Wayne,

You always seem to make a heck of a lot sense -- how do you do that?

I agree with your post but I think there's an additional factor that comes into play here: safety.

Take, for instance, the airline industry. If an airline is found to be cutting corners in its maintenance program in order to reduce costs and increase profitability, it should be held accountable. Passengers trust the airline will do everything reasonably within its power to ensure the aircraft they board will reach its destination. When profitibility overrides safety, that is not the case.

The same is true of a dive-training agency. New divers have an expectation that the training they receive will provide a decent margin of safety underwater. As you point out, a non-profit organization is just as likely to cut corners in its training program to reduce overhead. Therefore an agency must be judged according to its actions, not solely by its profit or non-profit status.

Now, students certified by PADI (or any other agency) are not dropping like flies, thankfully. And airline disasters are equally infrequent. But it's a question of where you draw the line. How much should an organization do to ensure the safety of its customers? Should an agency require more than the minimum level of training needed to survive a scuba dive and develop divers who are comfortable underwater (as I'm sure many PADI instructors do, even though they make less money)?

Some people look at PADI's actions (the corporation, not its instructors) and see a trend.

Sorry if I'm rambling...

Jon


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