UNETHICAL DIVE COMPANIES AND FREELANCE INSTRUCTORS
SINGAPORE DIVING INDUSTRY
Diving industry in the past 30 years have evolved alot. The days that we had only 2 to 3 dive centres serving the entire scuba diving community has grown into a mature diving community of scuba divers. In Singapore diving community, we have more established dive centres providing a wide range of diving equipment, full range of recreational scuba diving courses, and a complete servicing department handling all your equipment repairs and servicing needs.
During the intense growth of divers in 2008, along with the growth, we saw more and more dive instructors with no shop operating independently, home based dive business, by-appointment only dive business, companies offering travel packages without a valid Singapore Tourism Board (STB) license or of recent, we realize companies were using the expired or invalid licenses.
There were also expelled instructors and dive shops from one agency jumping to another agency. For those signing up for diving courses, this is a list of expelled PADI Professionals, PADI Dive Centres that have their license revoke/expelled and individuals that have been suspended by PADI.
Dive Centres in Singapore
Freelance Teaching Instructors
Number of Licensed Operator
Number of Dive Business operating regular hours
HOW TO CHOOSE A RELIABLE DIVE CENTRE
As the needs for consumers changes, the attitude and professionalism of diving professionals should change in order to meet the demand of the current trend and habits of scuba divers in Singapore. We have put together a simple guide for new divers or event existing divers. This is our own checklist on how we improve ourselves, so as one of more established dive centres, we know we are constantly improving ourselves.
RELIABILITY OF A DIVE CENTRE
Ask your self the following questions. If you have NO to most of it, it would be wise to find yourself a new dive centre.
Do they maintain regular working hours and stay open on weekends.
Most Singapore scuba divers are working professionals. Any businesses catering to working adults should have a late closing working hours in order to serve them. And for working professionals in a cosmopolitan city like Singapore, working late nights is a very common scene. Opening on weekends will allow Singapore scuba divers to make any form of scuba diving inquiries. Do you really want to “make an appointment” everytime you have an inquiry or wish to purchase an item?
Maintaining regular hours show the commitment of a dive centre to their business. The operation cost of any businesses spreading over the weekend is significantly more expensive. However, a sound and reputable dive business would have already cater for that.
Are they able to provide an entire range of services, including scuba diving courses, licensed to sell dive travels and packages, scuba rental and scuba servicing.
Scuba diving business is all about dive courses and traveling to Tioman, a very popular belief by most dive businesses here in Singapore.
However, for many years, we have not seen the progress of most dive businesses here in Singapore except for a few of us. A cosmopolitan city based dive centre should be able to provide more than just scuba dive courses.
A very common thing we hear in our stores is from divers making their purchases after a really bad experience of using ill-maintained rental dive equipment. They were placed under the impression that making investment of dive equipment is hardly necessary. Over 2 decades of operating a PADI 5 Star IDC, traveling all over the world for diving, we have seen some really bad dive equipment, that should not even be place on the rental shelves.
Another common remark we have encountered is when errant dive instructors passing irresponsible remark such as all dive equipment is the same. A common misconception is when divers are “brainwashed” thinking that a balance and non-balance regulators are the same thing. They are not!
Check the integrity of the instructors or the business. Scuba diving business should not be exempted from traditional business model and neither should they be operated as a "passion".
My passion is in diving and having fun is what we do best.
A very common marketing statement by Singapore Dive Centres
Visit 10 different dive centres and all of them says that diving is their passion and having fun is very important.
Orpheus Dive begs to differ on that. Hence, we designed a slogan “Your Passion is in Diving, Diving is a Business to us“.
We do not MIX our passion while we are conducting our business. We often asked ourselves how we want to be treated as a customer (diver) and this is how we should treat them.
For instant, many smaller dive operations have to rent their diving equipment from third parties. And when the dive gear is not performing to expected, they brush it off by saying, it is not our fault but the fault of company XYZ. This should not be the case and this is common situation here in Singapore.
“Oh, I am running this business as a passion, hence I do not want to waste money and time operating it as a business. And I also do not need licenses and permits.”
Another excuse we often encountered
If a dive professional or dive business owner can attempt to operate without a business license, they will also be able to do the unimaginable. And neither is it an excuse for freelance operators and instructors to conduct courses without proper logistics support regardless how experience they are. We have freelance instructors working with us because they care for their divers and because they are well aware that we are a fully licensed operator and with good quality rental equipment that are serviced every 6 months and cared for after each use.