Well, here we are in the UK, and the weather has turned. Unless you are very brave, working or simply don’t feel the cold, open water diving is over. As qualified divers, we will either continue practising our skills in the swimming pool, or if we are lucky, we will go somewhere nice and warm and do some diving. There really is nothing better than jetting off to dive somewhere warm with blue sea to make you feel good about the world again.
But what about if you want to learn to dive?
Well, the simple answer is the PADI Open Water Referral course. You will do all the academic work and all the swimming pool training here with us just like you would if you did the Open Water Complete course. The difference is that you will then go and finish the four required dives somewhere abroad to get your qualification.
What are the pros of doing the PADI Open Water Referral Course?
The first one is the weather does not stop play. Winter will not prevent you from starting your course.
Secondly, if you know you are going on holiday somewhere warm, then you can start your training here which is great because when you get to your next dive centre, you should be feeling confident and competent about completing it.
Another reason is that you get the classroom and pool training out the way, saving yourself up to three days of your holiday. Do you really want to spend two or three days of your holiday studying?
Furthermore, it can be a perfect solution for some individuals and children. This is because the inland dive sites of the UK might be a bit of a challenge for some people, and warm, blue water that is full of fish can be a bit more manageable.
The referral training is valid for 12 months. You can start and finish all the swimming pool and classroom work and then have a year to do the dives. Which means that you can learn here, wait for the weather to get better and then complete later on.
Finally, it is really easy to do. It is a simple process between you and the dive centre. It is now even easier with the PADI eLearning system as everything is online. The referring dive centre updates the system and the next dive centre simply completes the process.
Are there any cons?
The only obvious con is that you don’t get the continuity of doing all your training with one dive centre. Generally speaking though, this is not usually a problem as the PADI course structure is the same all over the world.
So, in conclusion, the PADI Open Water Referral course is an excellent option because it is flexible, gives you options and most importantly, get you started.