Tuesday, April 16, 2024

PADI 2012 Member Forum held in San Pedro

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PADI Member Forum 2012

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), held the first of what will be a yearly Member Forum on Thursday March 29th at the SunBreeze Hotel Conference room in San Pedro. The meeting started at 7pm and saw the participation of over 65 PADI professionals. The reason for the forum was to help PADI professionals to not only stay up-to-date as a PADI member, but also to provide PADI Pros with tips to enhance their business and educational programs.

Robert Sievens, Regional Manager for PADI Latin America, Course Director and Examiner with PADI spoke of the forum.

“Tonight we are having what we call a PADI Member Forum, a member forum is an opportunity for professionals in Belize, especially here in San Pedro, to come over and listen to the new products that PADI has launched for this calendar year. A portion of our program this evening is on Risk Management and how to lessen risks as you move into diving with your customers and students. We also have a section that will deal with the standards, to make certain that everyone is on par with what they’re doing. As PADI Professionals we have standards within our organization, and our members are supposed to stay within those lines.”

The workshop delved into new products such as ScubaEarth, Project AWARE, Green Star Award, PADI eCard, PADI eLearning, Tec Courses and Marketing Initiatives. Sievens went on to explain;

“One of the new products we’re going to cover is ScubaEarth. It’ll be a great opportunity for all of our dive operators everywhere, worldwide to put themselves on a global map.  Scuba Earth is an interactive website where the dive professionals are going to be the ones that populate that website by putting information about the country that they’re in, the diving opportunities that they have available. So undoubtedly it’ll be a great opportunity for Belizeans to populate the website with information on all the many wonderful dive opportunities there are here; not only along the coast, but also in Turneffe and the Blue Hole, etc., down towards Placencia. People already know that Belize exists as a dive opportunity but I’m sure when they start to see that there are 50, 70, 100 dive locations, dive sites that they could come to, it’ll help to bring more business into the market.”

That is just a little on one of the new products that PADI launched this last calendar year. Another product that I am certain many divers will find to come in very handy is the introduction of an app for your phone that would substitute your dive card, the PADI eCard. With this new product, a lost or damaged PIC card would create a problem no more.

In speaking of his experiences diving in Belize, Sievens stated, “I’ve been to Belize plenty of times. I think it’s great. I think it’s phenomenal and I look forward to help building the market because I want more and more people from other parts of the world to start visiting Belize.”

Elbert Greer, PADI Instructor and Dive shop operator and trainee spoke of the training;

“Well I was really pleased to see that many people were there because in the past and this was an annual event, there’s been 10 or less people that would show up at the meeting, because it would be in Belize City. It’s a PADI Update of all the new rules and regulations that have changed during the course of the year. So, it’s a very important meeting for the folks in the country. Well, there was three sessions, one of them was very important to us here in San Pedro, the Liability Releases and Risk Management. The divers and their forms that they fill out need to be done properly and the guys needed instructions on how to properly fill out the forms to defend themselves if there was an accident.”

The PADi Member Forum and training is done once a year its attendance is a requirement for renewal of PADI Pro licenses. For more information on the products launched and PADI, visit www.padi.com.

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