Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The PADI Divemaster course

The PADI Divemaster course

This course is the first step in becoming a dive professional in the PADI system. Have a look here http://www.idcthailand.net/divemaster.html in my website.

In general this we conduct this course over 6 weeks and it's part of an internship where you get assigned to one of our Instructors and he/she will be your mentor for those 6 weeks.

It's a very comprehensive course and you'll learn a lot about diving in general but also about how to organise and lead dives with certified divers, how to assist Instructor in confined- and open water, how to perform skills so the people you demonstrate for can clearly see what you're doing, how to make underwater maps, how to deal with stress, you need to pass 4 waterskills and stamina parts, you need to perform another rescue assessment and last but not least, you need to pass 8 Divemaster exams out of which 5 will come back later if you decide to participate in an IDC/IE (Instructor Development Course http://www.idcthailand.net/idccourse.html and a PADI Instructor Exam http://www.idcthailand.net/inexam.html).

You need 20 logged dives in order to be able to start the PADI Divemaster course and before you can apply to PADI for your Divemaster status, you need at least 60 logged dives.
If you participate in our 6 week internship, we guarantee that you will finish with 60 logged dives.

You also will be assessed on professionalism with topics like your level of active, positive participation during training sessions or Assessment of the candidate's general understanding of the role of a Divemaster.

All this may sound like a lot and it is! That's why we schedule 6 weeks where you get to work with real students and accompany your instructor out on the boat(s) or in the pool.
If you have a good instructor, you'll learn more than is just in the books or the manuals. He/she can teach you how to tie certain knots (bowline, sheet bend and two half hitches) or he may go a bit deeper into certain aspects of diving, like underwater navigation. This brings up a good point, that it would help you during your Divemaster training if you take up some specialty training, for a Divemaster courses like Underwater Navigation http://www.idcthailand.net/navigation.html, AWARE Fish Identification http://www.idcthailand.net/fishid.html and Peak Performance Buoyancy http://www.idcthailand.net/ppb.html come to mind. These Specialty courses will help you to become more proficient in said fields.

Furthermore it's a lot of fun being involved in and seeing how a dive operation is run and functions. It's also great to be on the water, the days that you go out diving are unforgettable. I still remember a lot of details of my Divemaster course almost 10 years ago by now which I did on Koh Phi Phi. The movie "The Beach", starring Leonardo DiCaprio was just being shot when I did my course!

The Divemaster course is also a portal and first step for becoming a PADI Instructor http://www.idcthailand.net/idccourse.html and a lot of our Divemaster Trainees actually are completing a package where they start at any level, from Open Water Diver http://www.idcthailand.net/openwater.html, Advanced Open Water Diver http://www.idcthailand.net/advancedopenwater.html and Rescue Diver http://www.idcthailand.net/rescuediver.html and their Divemaster course is just a step towards becoming a PADI Instructor.

For some people with a lot of dive experience and lots of logged dives, the 6 week option may be a bit too much and time consuming. For them the Practical Training exercise option may be the way to go. In this case, the Divemaster course can be conducted in as little as 10 days or two weeks. It takes a lot of preparation and the right mind set to complete the course in such a short time frame though.

As a Divemaster you're required to own some PADI manuals, amongst others you will need the Divemaster manual and answer 12 Knowledge reviews which you can find inside this Manual.
There are the Divemaster slates, very useful assets that will help you to get through your dive briefings.
The PADI Encyclopedia of Diving, a beautiful reference book on many subjects related to diving and to the Divemaster and IDC courses.
The Diving Knowledge Workbook, this book will help you with your 5 exams, it covers the Physics, Physiology, RDP, General Skills & Environment and Equipment topics.
Furthermore you will need all three versions of the PADI RDP's, the Table, the Wheel and the eRDP and you will need to know how they work, all three of them!

Once you're a Divemaster, the real fun starts and once you find a job, you'll find yourself diving almost every day! At least, this is how the job works out in Thailand, most of the time. You'll be leading certified divers and have to put in place all the things that you learned during your course!

Right, this is a general overview of the Divemaster course, but I sure can understand if some of you out there may have some questions about this or if you're interested in becoming a Divemaster let me know as well.

Let me know about it, you can leave a comment and I'll answer your question(s) or start a new topic about your question(s).

That's all for now folks, stay tuned,
Camille

4 comments:

Steve said...

Greetings all future Divemaster Trainees,

I thought posting my experiences after my first week into the divemaster
training course would be interesting for those thinking about going pro. For
me, it's like being in summer camp for adults. I am enjoying the diving and
challenges accompanying becoming a DM.
I plan on completing the DM course by mid July and taking the IDC/IE in July
08. SIDS does give you a lot of flexibility with regard to scheduling. As a
school teacher this works really well for me.

Every scuba instructor I've talked to regarding the DMT course has always
said the same thing to me; it all depends on the instructor you're paired
with. I could not agree more. There currently three instructors, all of
which are very good. I am teamed up with Geoff. The pace has been timed to
meet what myself and another DMT can handle. We have been working hard on
skills and getting the academics out of the way while business is slow.
Training with Geoff thus far has been fantastic. You learn so much that goes
far beyond the course requirements.

If you haven't heard about the equipment exchange (AKA stress test) you are
in for a surprise. After going through this you will be fearless with regard
to the 20 open water skills required. Everything else will seem like a
breeze:)

Tomorrow we are scheduled to complete the mapping exercise on the Chaweng
house reef. Going through the training with two others DMTs makes it even
more fun. I could not imagine going through the training as the only
candidate.

Camille Lemmens said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the input. It seems that you're enjoying yourself and I'm looking forward to your new adventures.

Anonymous said...

Camille,

Absolutely! I enjoyed my stay on Samui very much. I had a fantastic time and finished in just under a month. I would have liked to have spent the whole summer, but my wife unexpectedly needed to see our dentist in Bangkok. The instructors were very accommodating in helping me finish a bit earlier so we could head back to BKK. I also want to thank fellow DMT Ivo for allowing me to take his place for my last confined water session.

I work at an international school and will be running a dive club as part of our extracurricular activities program with an OWSI next school year. Becoming a divemaster will add much to program and allows me to share safe diving with students. I plan on assisting with OW courses and already look forward towards the challenge of the IDC/IE next July. Your scheduling works perfect with my job.

I am seriously thinking about taking off a year of teaching secondary school and venturing into teaching scuba full time sometime after I complete the IE. Maybe you can find an opening for me at SIDS?

Thanks again for the physics help and chats on scubaboard.

Warm regards,

Steve
Divemaster (as of 07-12-07)

Camille Lemmens said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the update and the thumbs up. I'm glad to hear that the course went well and that you enjoyed it.

Look forward seeing you again in next years IDC and good luck with your dive club!