Bad Diving Instructors – How to Recognise and Avoid Them
Putting care and thought into finding a decent diving instructor can be the same as shopping for new shoes, it should be the right fit. For newbies, in particular, settling for a poor teacher could put you off scuba diving forever. So, how can we spot a bad diving instructor?
For most cases, the dive schools are not entirely to blame. The issue doesn’t lie with major professional diving organizations like PADI, SSI, RAID or other training organizations. These large organizations ensure the highest standards of quality and safety are practiced in each school. The problem stems from the individual dive instructor and their work ethics or competences.
Ignoring basic rules and regulations
A good diving school doesn’t automatically equate to good employees, even though it should help guarantee the quality of training. There are still some instructors as individuals who bend and break the organization’s standards and deviate from basic safety rules. Instead of abiding by the set regulations, they act upon issues however they please.
Therefore, it may be vital that you know your own diving course standards.
On all diving courses, you will need to learn and perform certain tasks and skills in order to complete your diving certificate. For example, you need to complete the theory sections from your diving manual, perform certain diving skills in the pool or in confined open water and you will also need to perform diving skills during open water dives. All organizations should have a list of performance requirements that ensures the highest quality of safety for you to complete the process smoothly and within your comfort zone.
A classic bad instructor will try to skip some these requirements to save time or avoid the tedious bit and jump straight into action. Do some research and educate yourself on the standards and performance requirements of your diving course and check if your Dive Instructor is actually ticking them off.
A bad diving instructor is a bad leader
You can quickly discern a bad instructor to a good one by how they treat their Divemasters or fellow Dive Instructors. Team work is important in diving as dive pros rely on each other for safety, convenience and also fun!
Poor diving skills and environmental awareness
Some instructors may be great on land but inadequate underwater. It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t possess the skills and ability to become a qualified instructor, they just show lack of care and attention when it comes to the environment and wellbeing of their students.
A bad instructor will have students performing diving skills in a dangerous area (e.g. areas with no clear ascent), might rush through skills or not give you enough time to get comfortable. Environmental awareness and care is also important in diving, someone who has little care for the environment, the reef or their students’ buoyancy is obviously not a great role-model!
The dive industry (much like others) is not perfect. With a countless number of dive schools to choose from, it’s best to do your research beforehand and be extra cautious.