Outstanding Contribution to Instructor Development

Outstanding Contribution to Instructor Development


ADA received an award from PADI Asia Pacific recently for “Recognition Of Outstanding Contribution To Instructor Development” for 2014.

Thomas Knedlik, Director of Training for PADI Asia Pacific and Johnny Chew, our PADI Regional Manager, both came down to Singapore and presented the surprise award during our ADA Appreciation Night 2015, where we acknowledge the outstanding contributions of our dive professionals and other dive industry players.


Outstanding contribution to PADI instructor development


ADA’s CEO Jacki Ng, and COO Ricky Koh were on-hand to accept the award, on behalf of ADA and the entire IDC Team, including PADI Platinum Course Director Richard Mei, myself and all of the staff that make the IDC happen. Without all your great work, we would not have been able to get to where we are now, so our thanks go out to you!

And we would also like to thank PADI Asia Pacific for their continued support in Singapore, without which our progress in Instructor Development would not have been possible. And special thanks to Thomas and Johnny for coming down and presenting the various awards to our instructors for our App night, thank you and we hope you had fun!

ADA Outstanding Contribution 2014
ADA Outstanding Contribution 2014





New EFR Instructor Trainers – EFRITs!


Yesterday, the EFR Instructor Trainer Course was held in Singapore at ADA, conducted by Trainer and PADI Examiner Rob Scammell. In this course, the candidates will be able to teach people to become EFR Instructors! Which is good news for everyone in Singapore; More trainers, more instructors, more emergency Responders!

Congratulations to them all and especially to ADA’s three new EFRI Trainers, or EFRITS (pronounced eff-rits) as Andrew likes to say, Ephraim Ang, Hu Lunchi and Andrew Wong.
I bet you can’t wait to get teaching EFRI in 2016 right? 🙂

MV Nautica – 2 Years Party

Nautica 2 years birthday
Nautica 2 years birthday

We marked the second year that MV Nautica has been running in Singapore with the MV Nautica Birthday Party in October. Thanks to all the boat crew and dive crew that have made all our trips and events successful. It has been an interesting and fruitful 2 years and we will continue to learn and improve as we go.

This year, apart from the party, Eugene has designed another collectible:

Nautica 2 Year Birthday T-shirt
Nautica 2 Year Birthday T-shirt

We hope all the attendees enjoy the commemorative T-Shirt to mark this milestone, and those of you that missed out on that, come join us on trips on MV Nautica, or learn more about Liveaboard Management in our business training.

PADI ReActivate- Common Questions

PADI ReActivate

If you have been to PADI website or read the training bulletins and Undersea Journals, you should have already come across PADI’s new ReActivate Program. It is essentially the new and updated version of the Scuba Review. If you have not completed a PADI IDC lately, you may not have actually encountered the complete PADI ReActivate yet, so here are the answers to a couple of the most commonly asked questions about it.

What is PADI ReActivate?

The PADI ReActivate Program is a semi replacement for the Scuba Review and it consists of 2 parts.

1. A fully Digital Knowledge Review – Online for Computers, or the Interactive Reactivate Touch for tablets or mobile devices.

2. In-water Skills – Much like a scuba review except now, they are more tailored to the diver’s needs, by conducting an interview with the diver to evaluate how comfortable the diver is, as well as to discuss what skills and techniques they want to practise.

The skills that must be conducted are:

  • Mask removal and replacement
  • Neutral buoyancy and hover
  • Emergency weight drop
  • Alternate air source ascent, with the diver acting as both donor and receiver
  • Any other skills the diver would like to practice, or the dive professional feels they should

Upon completion of the PADI ReActivate Program, we can issue a replacement certification card that shows the original certification date plus the new ReActivate Date.

Is the PADI Scuba Review no longer Valid?

No, it is still valid as a PADI Program for now, just that it is no longer in the Instructor Manual. It is meant to replace in Scuba Review in all ways, except that:

The PADI ReActivate minumum age is 13
This is due to child protection laws in the USA regarding the internet.

So hang on to your Instructor Manual 2014, the Scuba Review is still perfectly valid and in fact necessary for refreshing the skills of divers below the age of 13, until further notice.

ReActivate Thru Date
ReActivate Thru
What does ReActivate Thru Date Mean?

This date is more of a reminder to diver that basic knowledge and skills deteriorate over time so if they have dived in some time, they should consider taking a continuing education course to brush up their skills with a PADI Pro, or even take ReActivate again. PADI Certification Cards DO NOT EXPIRE.

Should I refuse Diving Services to a Diver when it is beyond the Reactivate Thru Date?

No, PADI Certification Cards DO NOT EXPIRE.

You can use this as a tool to access diver readiness along with the normal logbook and certification card checks and asking the diver directly about their recent dive activity.

3 things I never forget on Dive Trips!

This blog post has been lurking in the corner of my mind for some time and what better day to post it then on Women's Dive Day.

I am going to tell you about 3 things that have made my life as female dive professional much easier.

Going for a dive trip not only entails diving, but also jumping off boats and jetties, snorkeling, freediving, beach volley ball, surfing, sun tanning, swimming, running, dancing, catching and cartwheeling, and hey, it is not uncommon for wardrobe malfunctions to occur.

What can can the lazy but active girl wear?



Crossback Bikini Top
If you tie lines, you will see that this is indeed a superior design in terms of strength and slippage.

It is has less points of failure (one knot only) and the turn changes the direction of the force required to hold your top up from vertical against to gravity, to horizontal. Love it.secure

Never flash your boobs accidentally to your students again!
So not professional. hahaha

Don't you just hate it when you dive trip coincides with your period.

I get asked questions about this issue by students all the time.

Can I still dive?
Does having your period stop you doing other activities?

Can I wear a pad?
Yes, if you fancy feeling like wearing a waterlogged diaper.

Will seawater get in via the tampon string?
Sorta, not really.

If I just let it flow, will people be able to see my menstrual blood?
Call the police, it will be a murder scene! No, not really, don't be paranoid.

Will I attract sharks?
I wish.

You can't wear a pad, you don't want to chum the waters, and you don't want to die of Toxic Shock Syndrome either.

Meet the

Menstrual Cup

This is the BOMB!

I went on a quest to cut disposables and plastics from my life and I discovered the menstrual cup. If you care about the environment at all, you should invest in one of these. It's

Reusable - Not Disposable.
Silicon - Not plastic with chemicals.
Safe - TSS not a big concern

It's also great for lazy girls, like me.
Just put it in and leave it in all day, perfect!
Read here for more.

And finally, I always have
Menstrual Cop

There is always someone that loses their hair tie on a trip, having spare is part of everyday life for me.

Hairband And the flat wide ones are really great as hairbands, curbing the post-dive frizzle! Because I personally find bandannas a bit of hassle.

Apart from keep your hair at bay, I have used elastic bands in the following situations:

  • As spare snorkel keepers
  • As a spare octopus holders
  • Spare Bungees for cameras
  • Spare fin strap
  • Deep Dive Props - showing how colour disappears for Advanced Courses
  • A Quick SPG Holder
  • Line for knot-tying
  • Small Object - Search and Recovery
  • Small Object - Search and Recovery

And the list goes on...
Very useful.

That's it for today - be well, earthlings!

What is a Platinum Course Director?

2015 Platinum Course Director Richard Mei

Our Course Director Richard Mei was awarded the Platinum status again by PADI, and CD Jacki Ng, the Silver Status for their work in teaching PADI Professionals in 2014.

In the world of PADI Professionals, there are few achievements higher and it is something that we actively monitor and strive towards in ADA. As divers are looking around for a place to complete their PADI IDC, they will most likely come across this term “Platinum Course Director”. Now, what is that all about?

PADI Frequent Trainer Award

PADI recognizes dive centres, resorts and individual instructors who are the most active in the industry, the ones who are very impactful in shaping the next generations of divers though frequent trainer awards. For Instructors there are Elite Awards and other awards of excellence in customer service and professionalism. For PADI Instructor Development Centres, there are various types including the PADI CDC or Career Development Centre, and for PADI Course Directors, they have annual certificates of excellence from Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Only Course Directors who are renewed and have no verified quality assurance complaints for the review or award year can earn the Awards.

Here is an overview on what the Course Director Frequent Trainer Certificates of Excellence are awarded.

Silver Course Director Ranking
  • Authorise 10 or more DM/AI/OWSI/IDCSI certifications.
  • Authorise 20-49 Instructor level certifications.
  • Have a 50% instructor level continuing education ratio.
Gold Course Director Ranking
  • Authorise 20 or more DM/AI/OWSI/IDCSI certifications.
  • Authorise 50-99 instructor level certifications.
  • Have a 60% instructor level continuing education ratio.
Platinum Course Director Ranking
  • Authorise 30 or more DM/AI/OWSI and/or IDCSI certifications.
  • Authorise 100 or more instructor level certifications.
    Have a 70% instructor level continuing education ratio.

So what does that mean?

Having a Platinum Course Director means that you can learn from someone who has extensive knowledge and experience with the PADI IDC Program and other dive professional courses. Generally, that is a good thing because you can draw upon their wide range of understanding of the nuances in terms, PADI Standards, the IE Process, assignments, and life as an instructor in general.

Richard Mei and Monica Choo

I for one, am thankful to have Richard around because not only is he like THE MANASTONE of the PADI System (just being near him keeps me sharp) but we have great discussions about the intent of Standards and peculiarities we encounter in the IDC Process and he is a constant source of humourous anecdotes and outrageous soundbites.

So that’s it in a nutshell.
Congratulations again to Richard and Jacki.

Silver Course Director Jacki Ng

PADI Seahorse Specialty Instructor Training

PADI Seahorse Specialty

PADI Seahorse Instructor Training

Almost as soon as I came back from my PADI CDTC in March this year, I certified my first instructors-level candidates as PADI Seahorse Distinctive Specialty Instructors, in a series of training sessions in Singapore, as well as one in Jakarta.

It felt right, doing this amalgamation of things that preoccupy me; Observation of Nature, Conservation and Education. Also because the next generations are going to be more environmentally minded, interested in, and care deeply for these issues as they become more apparent in the coming decades.

Experts say we entering the sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history, and humans are to blame.
Our greed and unsustainable consumption of all things, is destroying the planet, and everything with it. And we need to start the change within, first understanding the situation and then taking personal responsibility, if we are to overcome it.

So – Why Seahorses?

Seahorses are recognizable and unique ambassadors for the threats that face many marine creatures, such as habitat loss and overfishing. They have interesting behaviour and special biology, but we also do not know enough about them. And they are being fished in the millions yearly, mainly for consumption. We can use peoples natural curiosity of these interesting animals to lead them to the broader issues that are affecting the marine environment and its inhabitants.

PADI Seahorse Specialty Course – What is it about?

This is actually an non-diving Distinctive Specialty with optional Open Water dives. You can teach this course for people that are interested in learning about Seahorses biology, how to identify them and what threats they face. Also, the main point of the Course is to get divers involved in Reporting their seahorse sightings on iSeahorse. This is a citizen science program, getting people involved in seahorse research in an extremely useful way!

What is involved in the PADI Seahorse Specialty Instructor Training.

We do it in one evening session of about 3.5 hours. And you will learn the following.

  • Structure of the Course
  • Materials and tools available to you
  • Presentations on Seahorse Morphology, Biology, Habitat, Threats and Surveying Methods
  • Presentation on Identifying Seahorses – We do the 9 large species in South East Asia
  • Seahorse Identification and Survey Methods Workshop
  • So if you are a PADI Instructor and are interested to teach this course, just <a href="/contact/"reach out to Asia Dive Academy, it would be my pleasure to get more Seahorse Instructors out there.

    How to Become a PADI Course Director

    How to become a course director

    The PADI Course Director rating is the highest instructor rating in the PADI System for recreational diving. To become a Course Director, you will need to attend and complete the PADI Course Director Training Course (PADI CDTC) 2 times a year. One in Kota Kinaubalu, Malaysia, the other in Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic. Recently there has been a third CDTC held in China conducted in Mandarin.

    During the PADI Course Director Training Course, you will learn how to conduct PADI Instructor Development programs and gain experience in developing dive educators. Upon completion, as a Course Director, you will find yourself among the most influential in the dive industry. You will serve as a role model for many, especially the instructors you will train. And also because you play such a pivitol role in influencing the attitudes and abilities of the next generation of instructors, you will find that the things you do or say have a multiplying effect.



    PADI Course Director Training Course Requirements

    To apply for a PADI Course Director Training Course, you must:

    1. Be a Master Instructor.

    2. Be an EFR Instructor Trainer.

    3. Be certified as an upgraded and renewed PADI IDC Staff Instructor.

    4. Have within the prior 12 month:

    A. No verified Quality Assurance complaints filed with PADI.

    B. Conducted all certifications of each level of diver training consistent
    with PADI philosophy and as outlined in the PADI Instructor Manual &
    PADI Course Director Manual. Any modification of the courses outlined in
    the PADI Instructor Manual & PADI Course Director Manual must have
    been approved by PADI.

    C. Exclusively used the PADI System of diver education, including the
    various diver manuals, videos, DVDs, CD-ROMs, quizzes, exams,
    instructor guides, lesson guides and Recreational Dive Planner.

    D. Issued only PADI certifications to students completing PADI Diver
    training courses.

    5. Have completed the PADI System, Standards and Procedures Examination
    with a score of 85% or higher at an IE by registering with PADI. This must be
    done within one year of the CDTC Application due date.

    6. Have completed the Diving Theory Examination with a score of 83% or higher
    in each of the five topics (Physics, Physiology, RDP, Equipment and Skills &
    Environment) at an IE by registering with PADI or by completing Dive Theory
    Online with the appropriate scores. This must be done within one year of the
    CDTC Application due date.

    7. Have staffing experience of at least two complete IDCs or combination of two
    AI and two OWSI programs or one AI, one OWSI and one full IDC after
    certification as an IDC Staff Instructor since the introduction of the current IDC

    8. Have experience working with a PADI Resort & Retail Association Member.

    9. Have organized or led
    a) one Project AWARE Dive Against Debris Cleanup,
    b) setup a My Ocean Profile
    c) promoted the AWARE C-Card to your student divers
    d) organized or led at least one more Project AWARE activity or event
    such as Cleanup, Coral Watch, Whale Shark Project, installation or maintenance
    of mooring systems, AWARE Kids programs, fund raising, etc. within the past
    three years.

    Note: Meeting the four prerequisites above (a, b, c & d) is the minimum
    requirement for applying for the CDTC. Additional credit will be awarded for
    additional activities.

    10. Meet the minimum experience requirement of 250 logged dives.

    No application will be accepted unless all requirements have been met.

    The PADI Examiner – How to Become One

    PADI Instructor Exams Singapore

    What is a PADI Examiner?

    You will come across PADI Examiners at PADI Instructor Examinations or PADI IEs. A PADI Examiners main function is to facilitate the IE by providing the candidates with a an optimally conducive environment for evaluation, sometimes directing the activities of support personnel too. Their main goal is to fairly and objectively evaluate the teaching ability, knowledge, watermanship, skills and attitude of instructor candidates and judge whether or not they are ready to become PADI Instructors.

    A PADI Examiner is not a certification above Course Director, it is a Job Title, they are employees of PADI.

    PADI Examiners Requirements

    If you want to become a PADI Examiner, you will first need to be employed by PADI. And at the minimum, you will need to be an experienced PADI Course Director and as a bonus, speak more than one language.

    All PADI Examiner wannabes will need to undergo 2 weeks of training, which includes theory and practicals, with PADI worldwide followed by staff 3 IEs under the supervision of an experienced examiner.

    To keep current, all PADI Examiners are required to meet every six months or more for updates, evaluation training and further training. Also, there is and International yearly meeting, usually held pre-DEMA, which Examiners will need to attend.

    There are currently 93 Examiners worldwide and every PADI Office has Examiners on staff to cover their region, so usually the same examiners will be seen in one area. However once in a while, they will be assigned to IEs outside their region if necessary.

    ADA is now 100% AWARE

    100% AWARE Partner

    100% AWARE Partner
    100% AWARE Partner

    We partnered with Project AWARE this week to join their growing number of 100% AWARE Partners who put ocean protection at the heart of their business.

    Every month ADA will make a regular donation to PROJECT AWARE, a global non-profit, to protect the underwater world.

    It also means all our student divers will receive a Project AWARE limited edition card when they complete a PADI course with us. It is time give back to the ocean, which our entire dive business relies on. Hopefully every time our divers look at their cards, they are reminded to give back too.

    What does it really mean?

    Project AWARE, a global non-profit backed by PADI, does great work - focusing mainly on 2 big marine issues:

    1. Protecting Sharks and Rays

    By pushing for the closing of loopholes in regulations and strengthening shark finning or trade bans, together, we can have a great impact on international regulatory bodies. See the success of CITES 2013, this is one of the best reasons to support Project AWARE together.

    2. Tackling Marine Debris

    It's there, our junk in the sea. Project AWARE divers are rising to the marine debris challenge by taking local action and supporting the policy change necessary to prevent and reduce rubbish entering our ocean.

    So look out for the new cards and activities coming up, as well as Project AWARE/PADI Specialties we will be offering in 2015.