Over the past year I have had the privilege to work for PADI helping to run the Launch Programs for the PADI Rebreather Instructor and IT and Tec CCR Instructor and IT courses.
These programs have been spread as far and wide as USA, Australia, Sweden, Thailand, UK, Philippines, Egypt and Germany. Each has been great fun and a wonderful opportunity to meet PADI members I would probably not have done otherwise and to work with staff from each PADI Office. The courses have been really well received with all the participants thoroughly enjoying the courses, saying that they had learned a lot but also admitting they were hard work!
Although the courses differ depending on the level, each course involves candidates in giving Knowledge Development presentations, doing a Waterskills Assessment, teaching Practical Applications, Confined and Open Water presentations. We also had the chance do so some real diving and share our experience during the simulated Course Assists.
Some of the candidates said they felt as nervous as their IE when giving the presentations (I think I would have done too) but the programs were designed with development rather than assessment as the goal. So although, of course, we had to make sure that all the candidates were up to speed, we always made time to work with each person to help them achieve their goals, rather than just assessing them.
For me the most rewarding part was how many candidates told us how much they had learned in the short space of the course and how well prepared they felt to go out and deliver what is a really excellent set of PADI courses.
The programs have undoubtedly been a success as can be seen by the number of candidates who are now actively teaching both the Rebreather and Tec CCR courses.
The PADI Launch Programs are nearly at an end but if you want to learn more about becoming a Rebreather or Tec CCR Instructor or IT you can contact your PADI office. I am still busy running Instructor courses and there is some information about these on my blog (www.eau2.wordpress.com) for anyone ready to take the (silent) plunge.
Martin Robson has been teaching rebreathers since the 1990s and is one of the most experienced and well respected Tec I.Ts in the world. He was chosen by PADI to be a Technical Field Consultants and help PADI develop the Rebreather and Tec CCR courses and then asked to conduct launch programs in conjunction with PADI to teach the first wave of Rebreather and Tec CCR Instructors and Trainers. Martin runs http://www.eau2.com/ .