The new PADI Open Water diver course from an Instructors perspective

The new PADI Open Water diver course from an Instructors perspective

As some of you may know, PADI has announced the introduction of a new or rather extended version of the Open Water diver course, now it can be taught using dive computers and the RDP Table or eRDPML becomes optional if you opt teaching the Open Water diver course with a dive computer although you can teach both the computer and either or both versions of the RDP tables.

There’s a brand new computer book that you need for teaching the course this way;
Open Water Computer option with manual (PADI AP catalogue #’s to be announced later)
– OR –
Open Water Computer option with Multimedia Disc (PADI AP catalogue #’s to be announced later)

Table with instructions a la carte (PADI AP catalogue #’s to be announced later)

Currently there are no plans to integrate the computer option into eLearning.

PADI will print a new exam in late 2009 or early 2010. For now there is an errata (free download from the homepage of The most current PADI Open Water exam has a revision date of 2008.

Exciting for an instructor is that there will be a new revised version of the Prescriptive Lesson Guides, this product has undergone drastic changes and will be released towards the end of this year.

There will no new Open Water diver course Instructor Guide, however, PADI will release a completely new (streamlined) instructor manual in 2010. Instructors who renew before the end of 2009 will receive a CD version of the new instructor manual for free with their first quarter 2010 Undersea Journal in the USA.

You can find more information on teaching the computer option if you reference the third quarter 2009 training bulletin.

Good to know is that the Open Water diver manual and DVD have not changed.

PADI Standards require all Open Water students to own a copy of the Open Water Manual. Computer students must complete knowledge reviews 1-3 from the OW manual, but are not required to complete 4 and 5. In lieu of knowledge reviews 4-5 from the Open Water manual, the computer student completes two knowledge reviews from the How to Use and Choose Dive Computers manual. Answers to these knowledge reviews can be downloaded from the PADI Pros site.

What is the Dive Simulator?

The Dive Simulator is a generic dive computer used to illustrate some of the topics discussed in the How to Use and Choose Dive Computers manual. The simulator is a free download (access information can be found in the Computers manual). Students are not required to use the Dive Simulator.

How does PADI address variety of dive computers on the market (and differences in dive planning calculations)?

The How to Use and Choose Dive Computers manual discusses general computer use and refers students to their users manual for specific details. Please look in this article which includes sample pages. Quiz and exam questions are worded to address general computer usage rather than specific scenarios.

All in all an exciting new development in the Open Water diver course and a perfect way for you as an instructor to get your Open Water student accustomed to dive computers at the earliest possible stages.

All information from this post comes from this very useful PADI USA North Western blog, thanks for the info!


7 thoughts on “The new PADI Open Water diver course from an Instructors perspective

  1. Hi Camille,

    Very useful information. This makes things clearer than the current Under Sea Journal.

    If you are teaching the "old" RDP nothing really changes until the new exam is released. Regardless if you use computers or RDP versions all courses should then use the new exam upon its release? Did I get this right?

    Thank you for this really helpful post.


  2. Hi Camille!

    Thanks for the "shout out." I think you have one of the best IDC news blogs running!

    To further elaborate on Steve's question:

    Yes, you only need to download the exam errata if teaching the new computer version of the Open Water course.

    Also, yes, when we release the new exam (end of 2009, early 2010 maybe) then everyone will need to update.

    We have more big news to come…
    (DSD program changes, Public Safety Diver, changes to our Tec program).

    I know it takes a bit for the actual products to make it across the ocean but PADI is trying really hard to launch things worldwide at the same time (when possible).

    If you're interested in the latest and greatest: sign up for email or RSS updates to our PADI Americas blog.

  3. Hey Camille

    Thanks a lot for this information.
    I'll be soon back to teaching – Inch Allah – now that my little princess is almost 5 months & I really miss diving & teaching.

    Take care

  4. Wow, even PADI America is reading your Blog.

    I imagine it is only a matter of time when the OW manuals will be changed to integrate the "How to Use and Choose Dive Computers" manual. Is this in the works?

    If you survey instructors, I wonder how many will teach both.

    I just hope not to get stuck with manuals out of date.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *