In November 2010 PADI announced the new PADI Divemaster course, however the new materials were not available in Indonesia until July 2011. Since then, Two Fish Divers have taught the new course to about 10 students in Bunaken & Lembeh, and we think that the new DM course is a great improvement.
What Has Changed
In summary, PADI have toughened the prerequisites, increased in-water training by 50%, and completely overhauled the dive theory part of the Divemaster Theory.
Slightly Tougher Prerequisites
Candidates must now have 40 logged dives to start the DM course (used to be 20). They will therefore get more out of their course by being more experienced divers before the course begins.
Additionally, the Deep Diver and Search & Recovery Diver specialty courses are highly recommended. Candidates with these specialty ratings can drop these two Practical Application Skills (see below), however we prefer to cover these anyway to make sure that candidates have up-to-date training.
Increased In-water Training
One of the biggest changes come in the water where PADI has increased the amount of in-water training by 50% including:
- Divemaster-conducted Program workshops: one workshop for each course Divemasters are authorized to conduct – Scuba Review, Skin Diver & snorkeling, Discover Scuba Diving (confined & additional open water dive), Discover Local Diving
- Practical Application Skills: 1. dive site set-up and management; 2. mapping project (unchanged); 3. dive briefing; 4. search and recovery scenario*; 5. deep dive scenario*
* A specialty diver certification in this area may fulfill this skill requirement at the instructor’s discretion.
- Practical Assessments: assisting instructors with open water students; assisting instructors with continuing education students; and leading certified divers.
These workshops and assessments give the candidates the training and experience they need in order to carry out their functions after certification.
Overhaul of Dive Theory
Overall, the Divemaster Theory emphasizes the supervisory and leadership aspects of being a Divemaster. It has not changed much under the new DM course except that there is now a greater focus on awareness of the environment.
However, the dive theory part of the Divemaster Theory (physics, physiology, etc) has undergone an overhaul.
Under the old DM course, the most intense part of the course was the dive theory as candidates did the same dive theory as an instructor. Under the new DM course, the dive theory is now an “intermediate step” between whats required for the Rescue Diver and that required for an instructor. The dive theory is now a review of the theory from the prerequisite courses (OW, AOW and Rescue), and this is what it should be!
What about the exams? Now there are 2 exams, and they are written in less-technical language to “better assess comprehension of all the knowledge development topics”.
Divemaster Course Online
This was introduced at the same time as the new DM course. It is a great alternative to using the PADI Divemaster manual and DVD. It means that you can do all your DM Theory before you get to us in Bunaken or Lembeh, and more time can be spent on the skill development and practical applications.
Note that the DM exam is not included in the online program as its designed to be administered by us when you are here.
Revised PADI Divemaster Materials
The biggest change has been with the PADI Divemaster Manual itself, which increased from 200 to 300 pages. PADI says it “includes new course information and functions as an additional study tool for the DM exam. Each chapter now includes a case study based on real scenarios that illustrate sound judgement and other leadership skills.”
The Divemaster DVD also gets an upgrade, with new footage, plus video of the 20 scuba skills to “demonstration quality”.
Other revised material include the Divemaster slates that were revised to match the course content.
We think that the new format of the PADI Divemaster Course is alot more fun since candidates spend alot more time on the dive boats. If you are interested, there are a number of options to choose from, have a look at the the PADI Divemaster options with Two Fish Divers for more information.
Hope to see you in Bunaken or Lembeh!