The Internet Isn’t Perfect

Back in August, SDI announced they now offer Divemaster online. Although I have grown up on and thoroughly enjoy the Internet, I have to stop to ponder how much online interaction is too much.


As an instructor who has trained and certified quite a few Divemasters (and heck, was even one myself for a while), I would be concerned about quality. I’m not questioning SDI’s quality standards, I have seen that they provide excellent training, but I would be concerned about my SCUBA diving program quality.

When I was at a higher volume location, I saw distinct differences between the three main programs at the same SCUBA center. This can only be attributed to the individual instructors who trained their staff. Now, the Divemasters could mix amongst programs, but there were definitely nuances to each program that could only be learned by assisting with that lead instructor.


I learned to respect my PADI Course Director when I came to my Divemaster class unprepared. Once. I had my commitment challenged. It was tough love. But I became a better Divemaster and a better Instructor because of it. Had I completed the knowledge portion online, I may not have that same level of respect for my instructor.

Sean Harrison, VP Training and Member Services for SDI claims, “Often, the instructor who is best suited to develop dive leaders is the one person who has the least time available.” I can see this being true for a young program, but an instructor who is suited to develop dive leaders should also be committed to developing them.

When I took over my college program, I only had a couple of Divemasters. It was hard work running the other classes and work with Divemasters, but in the end, I had great Divemasters who promoted my classes who built the program which justified them becoming SCUBA Instructors… You get the idea.

If you’re an SDI Instructor, have you started anyone in the online Divemaster program? If so, how is it going?

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