Getting certified quickly is the best way for you to save money
There are notable objections and concerns expressed about the practicality of doing 2 days worth of in-water training for Open Water Diver Course versus doing it in a span of 3 to 4 days. Doing what seems to be a quick training may in fact offer you all the opportunity to dive confidently without the direct supervision of a dive professional after earning the certification.
What is in-water training?
In-water training includes confined water dives, open water dives, and water surface skills such as diver towing drills, navigation, swimming and skin diving. As most open water training curriculum from major training agencies, the knowledge development is usually done ahead of time. You can’t put knowledge in application unless you have already learned it. Now with the advent of technology, classroom/instructor-led teaching is becoming very rare and obsolete these days as they tend to overwhelm students with new and uncommon information in a short time.
2 days of in-water training is not only possible, it has always been the practice of most training agencies in the last 20 years. In the previous years, students only have access to the course manuals on site, days before the in-water training starts. The introduction of digital product suites made everything convenient.
Why is 2 days better than 3 or 4?
Your time is valuable and your money deserves value in return. Your resources should not be wasted sitting in the classroom reading the manual, watching the course videos and answering the knowledge review portion after the end of each chapter. You are better off doing something worth while. That day is one less day of accommodation you need to spend on. You, as a new diver, could use an extra day of post certification dives and put the training into practical use and gain more experience instead. Who wants to sit in a classroom anyway?
The key to delivering successful and effective course depends mostly on the student-instructor ratio, the students’ ability to demonstrate the minimum performance requirement for the course, and the experience of the instructors who handle the course. An effective open water diver course that is properly planned, thoroughly conducted and professionally delivered should not take more than 2 days.
If your open water training requires more than 2 days then that is a cause for concern! Chances are, your instructor is not efficient enough to conduct the course, or your class has too many students, or a slow learning student in the mix slowing you and the entire class down. Slow learners must be isolated and taught separately as that class could certainly extend an extra day of remedial training. Downgrading the certification to just Scuba Diver rating is also an option. A Scuba Diver certification is a subset of Open Water Diver course, and may be upgraded to Open Water Diver rating in the future. More about subset courses and its benefits in a different article.
Important things to consider
At face value, cheap offers can be tricky. They can be more expensive if they drag longer. Once you factor in the value of your time, your additional days of accommodation, and missed opportunities to enjoy your vacation, it adds up to the cost.
Major reason for divers to discontinue diving after certification is the lack of confidence. You should be wise enough to consider safety, quality of training, and post certification experience opportunities as your most important consideration. You don’t want to spend all that money, go through 2 days of training, and not be confident about your skills as a certified diver!
Become a better diver, spend your time and money where they matter most.