What kind of dive education do you want?

This is one question I pose to my students when they ask me about the differences between diver training agencies, and why fees vary between dive centres purportedly offering the same course.

Your answer probably depends, in part, on why you decided to pick up scuba diving in the first place.

But I’m not talking about diving specialties that you can delve into after completing your open water diving course.

I’m talking about your learning process and outcome.

As an extreme sport, scuba diving is inherently dangerous. After all, humans are not designed to survive underwater, and external conditions can greatly impact the safety of a dive.

That said, scuba diving can and should be done safely. A good dive education is the starting point.

Education can lead to various outcomes:

  • Intellectually knowing something
  • Understanding how things work
  • Copying an action without understanding
  • Knowing and doing something well so that it becomes second nature

Personally, I believe that we ought to get to that last stage in terms of our diving ability. To be specific, a diver should at least get the basics—buoyancy, positioning and body position—right. It’s difficult to progress if you aren’t completely at ease in the water!

A committed dive instructor will work towards ensuring that you have a sound theoretical understanding and good practical proficiency. With guidance, practice and experience, you will improve your scuba diving skills and comfort level.

So do think about it: What kind of dive education do you want? A healthy attitude towards dive education—both on the part of the learner and instructor—definitely makes better and safer divers.

Leon Boey is a GUE, HSA and PADI instructor based in Singapore and Bali. He runs the dive education centre Livingseas in Singapore, Bali and Jakarta. Diving since 2005, he first fell in love with wrecks. He enjoys all sorts of diving, and loves being surrounded by fish.
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