In the last two years, many scuba lovers and PADI® Pros alike have blown fewer bubbles than usual – myself included. But as 2022 begins, what’s more exciting than the idea of getting back to regular underwater adventures?
Despite running a women’s dive-retreat company, I had let my own status as an active PADI Divemaster lapse when travel was reduced in 2020. But I worked hard on my divemaster rating back in 2013 in Indonesia, and I was thrilled to jump back into dive travel safely in 2021 to destinations like Mexico, French Polynesia, and Egypt. Getting my professional status back to active was an important and exciting step toward returning to normal – or at least a place where I traded sweatpants for a wetsuit more often.
Having never gone through the reactivation process before, I had a few concerns at first. Would I have to go back through the entire divemaster course to regain my rating? Thankfully, not (though on second thought, those were some of the most fun months of my life, so maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad!). Would it be overly expensive or time consuming? Nope and nope – the process was straightforward, and dare I say even fun. It got me focused on my next dive adventure (in my case, a live-aboard my company chartered in the Maldives!).
Why renew and reactivate your PADI Pro status? Even if you only teach or guide occasionally, like me, you may also conclude it’s a worthy investment. Here are a few that swayed me:
Part of the PADI family: I love having the support of the PADI Regional team as well as access to continuing education and risk-management resources – both for myself personally and for my diving business.
Peace of mind: Access to PADI-endorsed insurance programs exclusively available for PADI Pros, which are far superior to any consumer-available comparable product I’ve found (and I’ve done some deep dives on the subject!).
Daydreaming: When my boss is a pain (oh hey, that’s me!) I love browsing the PADI Job Board and fantasizing about a season spent guiding dives in a world-class dive destination. Renewing my PADI Professional membership means gaining access to a world – or should I say, ocean – of employment opportunities.
Onboard? Let’s go!
Step One: Renew
Grab your credit card, because this step is easy – you simply need to pay your dues to renew your PADI membership. Just log in to the PADI Pros’ Site and follow the prompts.
Do you have every household and business bill set to auto-pay? Add this one to the list! To take advantage of early renewal savings in the future, enroll in Automatic Membership Renewal on the My Account page. Less time doing admin, more time bedazzling dive gear – that’s my motto.
Step Two: Activate
Great news – you can put your wallet away. The next step comes at no charge.
The first option, which I took advantage of, is to view a free online Member Update Webinar. You can also take advantage of the update. You’ll review updates on PADI news, products, courses and standards. *
(*Reorientation/retraining requirements will vary depending on how long a membership has lapsed.)
While some portions of the Member Update were unsurprisingly focused on instructors, as a divemaster it was an important refresher for me as well. An overview of the previous year made me proud to be part of such a historic dive community with a deep environmental commitment, while standards and risk management modules were a reminder to double down on safety for our customers always. A programs update got me excited to get more involved personally in the PADI Freediver Program this year – one of many that was covered – and a closing section all but made me run out the door with a regulator set in hand.
My favorite fun fact? The origins and evolution of the Torchbearer PADI logo, which once stood for exploration and now is a symbol of PADI’s advocacy for the ocean.
Step Three: Dive back in!
While you’re on a roll, you will also review any Training Bulletins you may have missed while out-of-status, treat yourself to some PADI Gear to celebrate, and browse the PADI Travel site to start planning your next immersion. Add events like AWARE Week, Women’s Dive Day and local Dive Against Debris® days to your calendar.
It’s good to be back in the PADI family – and once more be a Torchbearer leader for the ocean’s future.
Business Support, 2022 renewal, Divemaster, padi pro renewal, renewalPADI Pros