Professional Level eNewsletter


New Course Descriptions

New Course Descriptions and Live Standards and Procedures Posted Online for Public View

In a day where consumers like to educate themselves online before talking to anyone prior to making decisions on a possible purchase, International Training wanted to ensure that your potential customers felt like they have as many questions answered regarding the courses offered and thus enabling them to make a decision on the spot – regardless of the location or time of day.

As a result, International Training has recently revamped the course descriptions posted on the website to better inform your potential students of available courses and drive them directly to your facility. The course descriptions now include the “who, what, where, why and how” for every mainstream course offered in the SDI/TDI/ERDI curriculum.

Anyone can access the course descriptions by going through the following steps –

get certified

  1. Go to
  2. Select the drop down menu in the top left hand section of the page for SDI, TDI, or ERDI.
  3. Select “Get Certified”

The following page will list the agency specific flow chart with live links included to direct you to a page outlining the details of the selected course. All you have to do is click the course to find out more information…

sdi flowchart


The end of each course description includes links to search for a facility, sign up for eLearning (if available for that course), the current standards and procedures for the course, as well as a list of relevant articles on our blog page.

related articles

The goal for the new course descriptions is to better inform potential students and generate more interest in courses offered at your dive center, while giving them direct access to your store information and even the ability to sign up directly for eLearning courses. If you have any questions about the new course descriptions, or have any ideas on what we can do to improve this section, please feel free to contact your regional representative with your feedback.


What is Marketing?

by Mark Powell:
throwback imageGood marketing is key to the success of any business. Most people would readily agree with this statement but it is surprising how much variation there is in what people think of as “marketing.” Before you read any further I want you to take a few seconds to think about what you understand of this term, “marketing.”

I would imagine that you thought this question would be relatively easy; after all, everyone knows what marketing is, right? In reality, it is one of those terms that everyone recognizes, but finds very hard to define. You can also try asking friends, colleagues, customers and staff the same question and see what responses they give. The answers will probably include some mixture of advertising, selling, customer needs, value, strategy, positioning or promotions.

Part of the reason for the range of answers is that marketing has changed over the years, and many people have definitions that come from different stages in it’s evolution.

In the 1950’s and 60’s, there was not a huge variety or availability of products. Put simply, customers bought the products that were available, and so marketing was associated with selling. We can call this the Marketing=Selling period. Marketing involved selling the products that a company made. As a result, marketing was a sales support function involving advertising the product to the consumer, setting a competitive price and having effective salespeople.

In the 1970’s and early 80’s, a wider proliferation of products, increased technology and competition from countries such as Japan, Taiwan and Korea changed the way customers looked at products. This required a more sophisticated approach to marketing with more focus on effective promotions and market research. During this period, marketing communications developed as a way to better get the message to the customer. Sales techniques became more sophisticated and this led to a phase referred to as the Marketing=Selling+ period.

In the late 1980’s and into the early 90’s, the focus shifted from products that the company was producing to products that the customer wanted to buy. This led to a major shift in the way marketing was viewed, and more market-focused companies, rather than product-focused. Rather than trying to convince the customer they wanted to buy the products that had been developed by the company, marketing was used to help design products that would appeal to customers. We can refer to this as the Marketing=Accepted Philosophy approach.

In the 1990’s and into 2000, this approach was developed further so that marketing influenced not just the product development process, but the whole approach of the company. In this way, marketing became one of the key tools for strategic planning. Companies were driven by the requirements of the market and specifically by meeting the needs of customers. The aim was to develop a superior value proposition for the customer by focusing not just on the product, but also on the service provided to the customer and the image of the company. This is known as the Marketing=Driving Philosophy period.

marketing evolution

So it is no wonder that marketing has many meanings to different people. It has been used to in very different ways; from a slightly more sophisticated way to sell products, to the driving philosophy of a company’s strategy. Your answer to the question, “what is marketing?” asked at the start of this article will give an indication as to which period of marketing you are thinking of.

This history lesson in the development of marketing might be very interesting from an academic point of view, but how is it important to a scuba diving instructor or dive centre owner?

The fact is, the diving industry has gone though a very similar process. At the start of our industry, diving instruction and products were very rare and were desperately sought out by those who wanted to become scuba divers. Scuba diving was new, innovative and exciting. Customers were desperate to buy the product, and so the only marketing required was to make sure the eager customer knew where you were. This is the equivalent of the Marketing=Selling period. As the number of instructors and products increased, and professional agencies developed well structured programs, it became more important to differentiate yourself from other instructors, centres and products. During this phase, the Marketing=Selling+ approach worked well.

As scuba diving became more established, and other adventurous pastimes became more popular, instructors, dive centres and scuba equipment manufacturers had to focus more on identifying and meeting the customer’s needs. More tailored programmes were introduced, as well as a range of equipment to suit different needs. This shows how the industry had moved into the Marketing=Accepted Philosophy period.

Today many divers are also regular mountain bikers, skiers and social activists, as well as family members and business people with time and financial commitments. Providing a service that suits and appeals to these customers is a much bigger challenge than in the past, and one that can only be achieved by adopting a Marketing=Driving Philosophy approach. If your view of marketing is stuck in one of the previous periods, then your business is at risk from the competitor down the street who is offering what the customers really want, presented in a way that appeals to them, and structured in a way that is consistent with their other commitments. On the other hand, if you adopt a Marketing=Driving Philosophy approach you can develop and grow a strong business which matches the requirements of your customers. This approach will also allow you to adapt to their changing demands and to the social, technological and political factors that affect the diving industry.

Mark Powell is a SDI/TDI Instructor Trainer, consultant to the diving industry and the author of Deco For Divers. Prior to becoming employed full time in the diving industry, Mark was a visiting lecturer at the London School of Business and Management after serving in a range of international sales and marketing management roles.


The Current State of SEO

by Darren Pace
SEO focusBringing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy into the New Year means getting familiar with fresh tactics that engage your audience and turn them from interested consumers, into paying customers. In 2015, SEO is about creating a complete experience that draws attention and makes your business stand out from competitors. Keep your focus on these three key areas to turbo-charge your SEO in the coming year.

Content is (Still) King

It’s a mantra that’s been repeated over and over, and it’s not going away in 2015: content is king. Good content reigns supreme when it comes to SEO, and to create the kind of content that brings in customers, you have to know who those customers are. Do research on your target audience. Ask questions like:

  • How old are your prospective customers?
  • What is their average income?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are their wants and needs in relation to the products and services you offer?

Answering these questions gives you the framework for creating content that connects with the people who are most likely to purchase what your business has to offer. It’s not about creating content that you think is interesting, but rather providing blog posts, social media updates and onsite content that caters directly to the persona of your ideal customer.

Knowing where your customers are and what drives them to your website is essential to content delivery. If most of your audience is on Twitter and you’re focusing on Facebook, you’re going to miss out on opportunities. Do research to discover what links and search terms are bringing the highest amounts of traffic to your site and focus your SEO efforts accordingly.

Certain types of content are always popular, and you can use these to get started with your own content creation:

  • Addressing trending topics on social media
  • Discussing current industry news and trends
  • Repurposing old content in new formats
  • Year-end compilations or “best of” lists

The overall key to good content is to focus on quality and relevancy over quantity. Giving consumers a few pieces of well-crafted content is always better than cranking out generic updates to fulfill an imagined quota.

It’s All About User Experience

In today’s interactive Internet landscape, your company is more than just a company. It’s a living, breathing entity with its own personality and a total experience to offer customers from the moment they click through to your website to the moment they decide to make a purchase. Consumers expect that the brands they interact with online will provide an atmosphere that’s consistent from one platform to another. That means you have to focus on offering the same experience across the board from website to blog to social media.

The trick to creating a consistently positive customer experience is making your audience feel like you understand them as individuals. Gone are the days when faceless mass mailings brought in business. Today’s marketing landscape demands engagement through content that directly addresses the needs, wants and concerns of consumers. The atmosphere you provide through your website and social media posts should be friendly, fun and interactive with the goal of making the buying process as easy as possible.

Another essential piece of the puzzle is a solid understanding of what content and which advertising methods perform best on different platforms. The post that drove tons of traffic from your blog would be too long for Facebook, and the Twitter update that created so many conversions likely won’t work the same way on Pinterest. Get familiar with the platforms your customers are using and tailor content accordingly to draw the maximum amount of attention.

Of course, none of this matters if you don’t also offer great customer service. You can do everything right with SEO, but without providing the support your customers need, you’re going to lose out.

More Conversions Mean More Business

Conversion rates are closely tied with content creation. As you develop your 2015 SEO strategy, take a good look at your analytics for all content. Note which posts and updates generated the most interest and kept visitors on your site the longest. Also look at the search terms that people used to find those posts. Armed with this information, you’ll know more about what types of content to create going forward

Part of your strategy for generating conversions should focus on optimizing old posts for keywords, cleaning up calls-to-action and adding relevant links to make those posts work for you. After all, if you already have high-performing content, it makes sense to use that to your advantage. By updating this content to include current high-performing keywords, you can draw fresh traffic and increase your base of potential customers.

Remember that modern search behavior is much different from that in the past. Today’s users are on desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones and are using a variety of search terms to find what they want. Specific questions are becoming more common, necessitating a targeted approach if you want to draw relevant traffic that generates conversions.

The content you optimize for conversions should be pertinent to various stages of the buying process. Some will help visitors learn more about your products and services so that they can compare with your competitors and see why your business has the better offering. Other content is useful for spreading brand awareness and connecting with customers through your brand experience. Finally, you should always include content that influences the final purchasing decision with clear information and strong calls-to-action that make customers feel as though your company is the best choice to meet their needs.

With SEO evolving beyond onsite tactics such as putting keywords in title tags and creating a hierarchy of headers, it’s critical that you know where to focus your efforts in the coming year. Knowing and understanding your audience will help you create the experience they’re looking for and show them that your company can meet their needs. Focus on these key areas to improve your online presence and see an increase in return on investment (ROI) throughout 2015.

International Training is offering a Free Website Audit for our active facilities.

So, what is a Website audit? A website audit is a careful look at your website’s existing online presence in order to make sure that it’s set up to perform well. Our in-house marketing team will examine your website and provide you with a document outlining what needs to be done. We will explain the actions we list and why they are important. This document can be handed off to a development or content team to be implemented easily.

Submit your site for a FREE Website Audit

First Name:

Last Name:



Member #:

Website URL:

List your challenges with your online presence:


A Letter from Brian: Thank You for Your Support

DEMA boothGreetings everyone,

I would like to give everyone my best wishes as we near the end of the year and the upcoming holidays. I would also like to thank everyone for their support with regard to my personal letter to the industry. Though I knew it would most likely cause some discomfort in raising certain issues regarding the state of our industry, I was very humbled and surprised by all the positive feedback that I received via email, phone calls and at DEMA by both, members and non-members alike.

I want to extend a sincere thank you to our members for being there for us, supporting us and being an advocate of the organization. It was fantastic to see so many old friends and new friends at DEMA attending our seminars and participating in our updates. As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated, understanding that you are in the field, feeling the heart beat of this industry every day.

Our theme this year is, “Welcome Home”. It is important to us to have the relationship with you that you expect from your training organization; a place to feel welcomed, helpful to your needs and protected. We hope as you worked with us throughout the year… you felt and will continue to feel, at home.

Thank you,
Brian Carney –


Marketing Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

by Mark Powell:
##One of the most important techniques in marketing is the concept of segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP). These three tools allow businesses to identify their most likely customers and tailor messages to these customers in order to increase their chances of offering the right product to the right customer.

Segmentation is the process of splitting up a huge group of all possible customers into meaningful sub groups. Segmentation is often done on demographic lines such as age, gender, income levels, family size, home address or work address. For example, a business may split its customers into male and female customers or into customers that are in their teens, 20-30, 30-40, 40-50 and over 50. Alternatively, a business may distinguish between customers that live within 10 miles of their store and those that live more than 10 miles from the store. In addition to these objective demographic categories, segmentation can also be carried out on a more subjective level, such as life stage, personality or behavioural characteristics. For example, life stages might include single, married with no kids, married with young children, etc. Although there is a correlation with age it is not fixed. For example a married couple in their forties may have no children, one young child or two teenage children. The key point of segmentation is to pick segmentation criteria that are relevant to the product or service you are offering.

Once you have chosen your segmentation criteria, the next step is to select various segmentation groups to target. For example in the video games market, age and gender are commonly used for segmentation. Early targeting strategies focused on males in their teens and early twenties. As a result games were developed that appealed to this target group. However, as the industry developed it was realized that there were other potential target groups. Older customers from both genders were targeted for a completely new genre of games involving brain training and female customers in their 30s and 40s were targeted for games such as the Sims and Farmville. By the use of suitable segmentation criteria, the games industry was able to hugely increase its potential market. It is only by the use of segmentation and targeting that this was possible. If they had tried to offer the same product to all groups they would have failed to expand beyond their initial market, however by realising that there were different segmentation groups the industry could offer a more suitable product to each of those groups.

This third stage is known as positioning. This involves offering a product that suits the target group and communicating with that target group in a suitable manner. In the video game example, positioning started with offering a radically different product to each target group. In other cases the same or very similar products can be positioned very differently by means of packaging and advertising. A good example of this is Diet Coke and Coke Zero. What is the difference between these two products? There are some minor differences in the recipe but ultimately they are almost identical in terms of the actual product. The real difference is that Diet Coke is aimed at women and Coke Zero is aimed at men. As a result, the product packaging for the two is very different and if you have ever seen a Diet Coke advert it is obvious that it is aimed at women while Coke Zero adverts are clearly aimed at younger men. In this way Coke can position their product specifically for the relevant target markets. Trying to come up with an advert that appealed to both men and women would be much less effective overall.

Positioning your scuba diving courses will also depend on your target group. One target group may prefer online training while another may prefer the face to face approach. One group may be attracted by action and adventure while another may be worried about the risks involved. One group may be interested in marine life and the environment while another may be more interested in exploring wrecks. One group may be interested in diving in far flung exotic places, while another maybe more interested in being able to train locally without the need to travel away from home. By coming up with an appropriate set of target groups you can put together a set of offerings that appeal to those target groups.

As well as product specification and product imagery, positioning can also affect your choice of advertising medium. National TV advertising on a major channel can have a huge reach but is a very expensive and an inefficient method of reaching a specific target group. If your target market lives within 10 miles of your dive centre then local advertising will be much more cost effective than national advertising. If you are targeting new divers, diving magazines or online forums are not the right place to look for those customers. However, if you are targeting experienced divers who are looking to get into technical diving then they are much more appropriate. If you are targeting inexperienced divers who want to gain more experience then your open water students over the last few years are the best starting point.

Segmentation, targeting and positioning is not a magic bullet but if used correctly it can help any business owner identify likely groups of potential customers and help you think about how best to position your offering to those customers.


We are Family

by Jeff Bozanic:
##We all do what we do for the same reasons. We love the ocean. We love being underwater. We love the fish, the coral, the lobsters, the magical life that could be from another planet. We love exploring. And we love sharing our passions with others, opening a door for them to experience the same joys and delights that we do. So why do we fight so much?

Very few of us became dive instructors to become rich. As if that ever happens! Something else drives us. Usually it is a personal addiction… a love of the underwater environment that we cannot satisfy, a love we feel so deeply we have to open the door for others, revealing the same mysteries that motivate us.

We choose different paths to accomplish this, some choose SDI, some opt for PADI, others NAUI, or IANTD, or SSI, or NACD, or any of the other myriad of acronyms that serve the same function – providing opportunity to follow the same dreams. Most of us fell into these pathways by chance, introduced by a mentor or friend, or an instructor randomly stumbled across. But these same agencies also differentiate us from one another. I believe these barriers to be false, harmful, and often hurtful. We don’t need them.

There is nothing wrong with having different educational organizations. Healthy communities grow by having differing characteristics, different manners of competing and approaching life. Difference is good. But a successful community still works together, improving all in the community by laboring together.

We work in a very small industry. We want to succeed, to make a little money while we satisfy our need to spend time appreciating the underwater world with which we are all enthralled. And yet we spend most of our time bickering, fighting amongst each other, trying to steal business and market share from each other. In many ways, we act like a dysfunctional family, siblings fighting with each other. Often family members fight not because they are so very different, but because they are so similar. I believe we are acting the same way.

There is a much larger world out there. A world full of prospective customers… no, a world full of people who have never visited the watery world we inhabit. A world full of souls who have dipped their toes in the water, maybe having gotten certified, but have never spent enough time to become sufficiently skilled and comfortable enough to truly enjoy their experience. Instead, they ski, or paddle, or climb, or cycle, or jump out of perfectly good airplanes. We need those people.

Instead of infighting, we should be working together. We should be supporting each other, helping each other to the best of our abilities. If we grow our community, then we all have more to share. We all win.

How do we accomplish this? It is different for everyone. I do it by offering my experience and knowledge to multiple agencies. My goal is not to promote one group so they succeed at the expense of another. My goal is to improve our community for everyone, making it a better and safer place for all. Not everyone agrees with the way I think or the methods I feel work best, but I do what I can to share ideas and foster an environment in which we all learn, improve, and grow.

Someone else might do it by jointly offering introductory programs with other instructors; a combined effort to attract a broader audience of interested folks who can be shared to improve everyone’s lot.

We need to become more creative… not in developing more ways to steal from each other, but in developing more ways to help each other. Every time you badmouth another instructor, or another dive store or instructional agency, you hurt us all. We need to learn to work together more effectively. That is your challenge. Help us learn to help each other. Help us learn to grow together. Develop new ideas… forge new alliances… tear down old walls and prejudices.

For some, teaching scuba is a short term adventure. A summer spent in the Caribbean, a few years traveling the planet, seeing the best that our oceans have to offer, an adventure in life that provides opportunity to indulge in our obsession. For many of us reaching out to others is a lifelong commitment, a way to justify our existence, to continue living immersed in the waters of life. We need to remember that despite minor differences, at heart we are all the same. We are family. Let’s do our best to make it a functional family. Let’s work together to make our surroundings better for all.


Letter by Brian

An Open Letter of Personal Perspective to the Diving Industry

Brian Carney
President of SDI/TDI/ERDI

Brian CarneyI have spent the better part of the last 25 years of my life working in the diving industry. It has been my consuming passion including everything from working at an aquarium as a diver, to teaching a University diving program, to being part of the Executive management team of a manufacturer, and now my current position as President and CEO of SDI/TDI/ERDI. Over this period of time I have thoroughly enjoyed working with people from all over the world, and training others to experience breathing underwater for the first time. This is the reason I decided to make a commitment to a career in this industry.

Through my experiences, and as I have assumed more and more responsibility, I have observed a lot of evolution, innovation, and industry trends. Due to these responsibilities and my position within an international training agency, I feel it is my duty to bring to light some of the things that have recently occurred in this industry. They remain closeted and buried in confidentiality protocols that are detrimental to our collective business models and to the overall growth of diving. Those of you who have worked with me over the years know I prefer to talk about positive things. I believe that if I cast aspersions at my competitors, I set the wrong example of how people in this industry should work. Those who know me will tell you, I expect this of all the people I work with… professional respect and a duty to advance the industry as a whole. I personally feel there is no place for disparagement in this industry.

But eventually a point is reached where I feel compelled to speak out. Because of my personal beliefs, I have recently struggled with the issue of whether or not I should offer personal comment on the recent tactic another training agency has chosen to take towards its instructor members. I believe their actions are damaging to the entire diving industry. After much thought and reflection, I decided that, regardless of which agency I belong to, I have a greater responsibility to the industry as a whole to focus a spotlight on this tactic. Because, if this is the direction we are going, we are in grave trouble.

There is currently a lawsuit underway in federal court in Utah (Tuvell v. Boy Scouts of America, et al., Case 1:12-cv-00128-DB), where a boy lost his life in a PADI Discover Scuba Diving program. Normally, PADI supports its members and vigorously defends litigation. But not this time…

PADI did something strange after the Utah incident: less than two weeks after the accident, without conducting any investigation, without interviewing witnesses or waiting for the authorities to complete their investigation, PADI expelled the instructor, a veteran of the Iraq war, from PADI membership. The agency gave no reason other than that the instructor’s continued membership “was no longer in the best interests of PADI”. When the instructor asked PADI to explain its reasoning or identify which PADI standards he had violated, PADI never even gave him the courtesy of a response.

When the boy’s parents filed litigation, PADI chose to settle the plaintiffs’ case against their organization secretly and attempted to cloak the settlement in confidential agreements. PADI then illegally colluded with the plaintiffs’ attorney to file false pleadings so PADI could remain a party to the case and secretly work against its own member. This was after already settling themselves out of the litigation. When this conduct came to light, PADI was sanctioned by a Federal Judge for its misbehavior. You can access and review this “Document 182” in the case file, which is available to the public at

PADI also took other harmful action in the case. They paid a considerable sum of money to settle the case (the exact amount is noted in the transcript of the April 23, 2014 court hearing where PADI was sanctioned and is also available in the case file on But incredibly, the settlement agreement (that PADI prepared) contains a clause where the parties agreed that PADI’s member was 100% at fault. Then, after the settlement, PADI turned over its instructor member’s incident reports to the plaintiffs without a request or ever informing the member that it was doing so.

These are the reports that all members are required to file as a condition of their PADI Membership Agreement. These are the same risk management documents that say on them: “THIS REPORT IS PREPARED FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIVING LEGAL ADVICE FOR USE IN ANTICIPATED LITIGATION”. In other words, the incident reports are privileged. They are protected from disclosure by both the attorney/client privilege (which belongs to the member instructor) and the attorney work product doctrine (which belongs to both the member and PADI). Then, when the member’s attorney insisted that PADI recall the documents and protect them on the basis of privilege, PADI refused to do so. Remember, PADI had entered into a secret settlement with the plaintiffs that included a collusion clause.

It’s sort of the ultimate example of throwing an instructor under the bus to selfishly protect their own corporate interests and sacrificing the member to take the fall when that instructor had actually followed every applicable PADI standard!

Now, the details of what actually happened during the dive will come out upon completion of the case, but from what is in the public domain now, the instructor followed all required training standards. So, you have to wonder why PADI would so quickly expel one of their members without an investigation and then secretly collude with a plaintiffs’ lawyer to hold the members liable. Well, the reason can only be hypothesized, as PADI has yet to respond to multiple requests in both Federal Court and the court of public opinion. But the answer is pretty clear and obvious to any observer with access to the “behind the scenes” facts.

My reason for writing this open letter to the industry is to shed some light on why PADI engaged in such bizarre behavior in the Utah case. The dive center and instructor being sued in the Utah case carried insurance with Willis Insurance, which is not a member of the PADI endorsed program. So PADI, knowing this was an accident that could generate bad publicity and call into question the safety of its Discover Scuba Diving program, wanted to get out of the case as quickly and as quietly as possible. Because it would not hurt their own endorsed insurance program, PADI chose to simply expel the member and point the finger at him because it wouldn’t cost them anything. This theory is further supported by the fact that PADI’s underwriters filed a related federal lawsuit asking the court to order Willis’ underwriters to pay PADI’s legal fees in the Tuvell case.

PADI’s underwriters continued to be involved in this case for another year in collusion with the plaintiffs’ after PADI settled their own liability in the Tuvell case. They also never disclosed to the Federal Judge that PADI had settled the underlying case. In other words, PADI was trying to have Willis pay its lawyers’ fees for colluding with a plaintiffs’ attorney to hold Willis’s insured parties liable.

You are most likely asking yourself, why I am drafting this notice and defending a PADI instructor who had a fatality during one of his courses. It is because I believe that one of the biggest dive training agencies in the world has an obligation to lead in a positive way so the whole industry can benefit. In years past, this type of behavior — lying in court and colluding with plaintiffs — was frowned upon by everyone. Not to mention being illegal. As a matter of fact, PADI has famously chastised and ridiculed attorneys and expert witnesses, who used to work on their own behalf for defense litigation, but now do other work with plaintiffs as well. Are you beginning to see the absurd context of all this? By this reasoning, it’s perfectly fine for PADI themselves to collude with plaintiffs to “sand bag” their own instructor member and conspire against his defense… while simultaneously condemning all others for doing plaintiffs work of any kind.

To see PADI take this step should be of great concern… for not just every dive instructor in the industry, but also every dive store owner, manufacturer, and media person, because now you have to worry whether you can trust PADI at all. You have to ask yourself, “Will PADI do the same to me if it serves their interests? Am I the next victim going under the bus?”

I have never worked against any instructor… regardless of the agency they belong to and the fact that they might be competitors. Rather I have chosen to advocate for them when they are in a time of need. From my perspective as a training agency president and active diving industry businessman, PADI’s action was irresponsible, secretly self-serving, and reeks of a big corporation attempting to sacrifice their own member who had acted completely within their standards of conduct. Such actions are beneath contempt and not in the best interests of the diving industry as a whole.

I conclude this letter by saying, I recommend and urge every dive professional in the industry to ask the organizations they are working with to put in writing that if you follow their standards, you will be supported by the organization you teach with. SDI/TDI/ERDI will be happy to do this regardless of the insurance carrier you use and I challenge all the training agencies to do the same. How can we work as instructors in the industry for organizations if we can’t trust them to provide vigorous defense when accidents happen and standards are followed? Are the standards there only to protect and enable the agency in blaming the instructor no matter what happens?

If the above criteria as cited is true (and it is accurate and verifiable), then the diving industry has fallen to a shameful level and further contributes to undermining our collective interests and the overall business model for the sport of diving.

I regret having to write this letter… deeply so. And I know some will chastise and ridicule me for bringing this to light, but it would be irresponsible of me not to make this a discussion we all need to have. How long will it be before we destroy this industry from within? I love diving and all the segments that the industry is made of. It is too bad some of the people in this industry do not share the same passion that I do in protecting it. I would welcome an open discussion with anyone including heads of training organizations, manufacturers, and other industry professionals.

It is time for everyone in this industry to act responsibly and work together. And if a manufacturer, training agency or other dive professional chooses not to… spend your money elsewhere. Because sometimes at the end of the day, the only way that change will occur is how you spend your money. You literally can take that to the bank.

It’s all about ethics in the end. You decide what path you think should be taken. For me, it’s clear and based on common sense. And it’s the right thing to do.

Brian Carney –

For more information on the ongoing litigation and to verify the above references, go to and follow Tuvell v. Boy Scouts of America, et al., Case 1:12-cv-00128-DB, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Utah.

2015 Member Renewal

Dear Member,

On behalf of everyone at SDI, TDI and ERDI, we thank you for your loyal support in 2014.

Over the past two decades, our members have helped guide us through the different innovations that have reshaped the scuba industry. You have provided us with the information needed to always think outside the box … and we have listened.

Over the course of 2014, we set numerous goals and tasks to help support your business. Here are just a few of them:

    • We have invested heavily in promotional materials to help you fortify the branding of the agency or agencies that you instruct.
    • Over the last 12 months we have focused our attention on SDI-TDI’s global brand, increasing our translations in Spanish, German, and Portuguese.
    • 2014 has also seen our biggest change – the re-launch of our website in HTML, a universal language that allows all systems and devices to access our site. Ordering products, student registration, and all 24 eLearning programs can be accessed from any device, tablet, laptop or PC. This is HUGE!
    • But most of all, we have strived to continue working hard for you to have the best experience and service with your training organization. Whether it is speaking with our Operations, Training, Regional Offices, Sales, or Shipping Department; we pledge to you that our responses will be precise, prompt and friendly. You deserve to work with an agency that looks after your best interest, and treats you right.


These are just a handful of the exciting projects that we have had the privilege to introduce to you in 2014. While others continue to offer you programs with little value – we aim to develop and produce the curriculums that work for you.

We look forward to working with you in 2015. It will be an exciting year and we encourage you to continue to let us know what we can do to assist you with your business and training needs.

Please take this time to renew your membership and start enjoying all the benefits of being an active member with the most trusted and personable dive training agency in the business. If you have already renewed, thank you, no further action is needed.

Brian Carney –

So what do you have to do to take advantage of all of these exciting options? Renew for 2015.
ONLINE Renewal Option:

  1. Go to
  2. Use your username and password
  3. Select your login level (located at the top of the page “Select Login Level”)
  4. Click the “TOOLS” tab
    • Click “MEMBER TOOLS”

PAPER Renewal Option:

    1. Fill out the application and return to us by any of the following methods:
      • Mail to:

International Training
1321 SE Decker Ave,
Stuart, FL 34994


Please note: Members that are outside the Americas, please contact your Regional Office to renew your membership.


SDI in Cancun, Mexico

water cancunLast week SDI-TDI-ERDI’s Executive Vice President Sean Harrison and Vice President of Sales Cris Merz ran the Members Update for 45 Instructors, Dive Masters and sales personnel for Aquaworld in Cancun, Mexico.

Harrison was able to teach their three Instructor Trainers a Scubility course as well as the Gas Blender course while they were in town. “They are excellent instructors. Very professional and excellent divers…and most important, they have a high standard when it comes to teaching. They represent SDI-TDI and Aquaworld very well.” -Sean Harrison

sdi group pic

Merz was able to introduce some of the latest selling techniques and products, translations and standards updates, as well as hands-on tutorials for the new website. “In between meetings, I was even able to dive MUSA: Museo Subacuático de Arte. It was a pretty incredible experience.” -Cris Merz

Aquaworld is one of Mexico’s leading attractions The sightseeing center offers quality tours, diving and fishing charters – servicing the majority of hotels in Cancun, Mayan Riviera and Cozumel. Since forming in 1987, the shop has grown steadily and has become a destination in itself. Today, Aquaworld offers fishing charter trips, Jet Ski jungle tours, scuba diving and snorkeling for all skill levels.


In 2009 a monumental underwater contemporary museum of art named MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) was formed in the waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc. The project now consists of over 500 permanent life-size sculptures and is one of the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial art attractions in the world.

The Museum aims to demonstrate the interaction between art and environmental science, and form part of a complex reef structure for marine life to colonize and inhabit whilst increasing biomass on a grand scale. All of the sculptures are fixed to the seabed and made from specialized materials used to promote coral life. The total installations occupy an area of over 420sq meters of barren substrate and weighs in at over 200 tons.


If you are heading to the Cancun region for a little fun and relaxation, be it alone or with the whole family… be sure to visit our friends at Aquaworld. Whatever you may be looking for as far as water activities go, more than likely, they offer it – right out of your hotel.

Aquaworld is able to assist you with your referrals, Open Water and other specialty courses and if you are looking to become a professional, they have 3 SDI instructor trainers on staff. Contact them today here.


Fall 2014 Instructor Trainer Workshop

On September 22nd through September 29th, 2014 International Training conducted an Instructor Trainer Workshop (ITW) at World Headquarters in Southern Florida. Overall it was a great success and we are excited to share a quick recap with you…