Your first step as a diving professional is as a PADI Divemaster. “Divemaster” The title itself seems pretty awesome, doesn’t it? What does it mean? What do you have to do to become a Divemaster? Let’s take a look at the program requirements and what you’ll do to become a PADI Divemaster.
First, there are some prerequisites.
- PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent)
- Rescue Diver (or equivalent)
- Forty (40) logged dives (these can be training dives)
- At least 18 years of age
- Have current CPR & First Aid training (within 24 months)
- Be medically cleared to dive by a physician
To certify as a divemaster, you’ll need to:
- complete the Knowledge Development sessions
- create an Emergency Assistance Plan
- complete the waterskills exercises
- complete a rescue assessment
- complete a diving skills assessment
- complete a set of divemaster-conducted programs workshops
- complete a set of practical assessments
- complete a set of practical application skills
Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? It is! There is a lot to do and this isn’t something you just knock out in a weekend. Now for the details.
Knowledge development includes a good amount of reading, watching videos and instructor-led discussions. Here are some of the topics:
- Role & Characteristics of a Divemaster
- Supervising certified divers
- Assisting with students in training
- Dive Theory (Physics, Physiology, Equipment, RDP, General Dive Skills & the environment)
- Divemaster-conducted programs
- Risk management
- Business of Diving
- Your Diving Career
As a diving professional, you’re a key part of the diving industry. You need to understand more than just how to schlep tanks and set up gear.
Beyond the academics, there is a lot of practical work to be done in the PADI Divemaster course:
- Starting with water skills, you need to show that you are physically ready for the job by demonstrating that you can swim, both with and without fins, tread water, tow an unresponsive diver and solve problems.
- You’ll review and practice rescue skills from your PADI Rescue Diver course. Remember, if you’re in a position where you’re responsible for other divers, you need to be ready to help them out.
- You’ll demonstrate them demonstration-quality. Slow and deliberate, showing all of the details so you could demonstrate the skills to new divers. This is also important because as a PADI Divemaster you’ll be able to conduct SCUBA Tune-ups, review sessions for certified divers. Occasionally, certified divers forget how to do things after a period of not diving. You need to be able to show them how to do the skills in a clear, controlled manner.
You’ll work on several practical skills, things that you can definitely use as a certified PADI Divemaster:
- Mapping a dive site
- Setting up a dive site
- Dive briefing
- Search & Recovery scenario (it’s amazing how often things go missing)
- Deep Diving scenario
If you’ve completed the Deep Diver and/or Search & Recovery Specialties, they can count towards the requirements.
There are some workshops, so you can practice skills you’ll need for the programs you’ll be authorized to teach:
- Skin Diving workshop
- Scuba Review workshop
- Discover Scuba workshop
- Discover Local Diving workshop
Then there are some practical assessments, where you will (optimally) work with actual divers:
- Open Water students in confined water
- Open Water students in open water
- Continuing education students in open water
- Certified divers in open water
Throughout all of the program, your professionalism will also be evaluated. How you behave. How you behave towards students and certified divers. Your behavior towards the instructional staff. This is an essential part to becoming a divemaster, since you don’t want to alienate your future customers.
All-in-all, the PADI Divemaster program is pretty intense and requires a lot of work, but it definitely prepares you to enter the world of being a PADI Professional.