Diver Survey, October 2008

In the October issue of Dive Log, the monthly eNewsletter sent out to graduates of Scuba Diving International and Technical Diving International courses, we included an invitation to complete an online survey. These people are your customers and so we thought you would be interested in what they have to say about themselves and about SDI and TDI.

First of all, we designed the survey to be short and to the point, and we had two specific goals in mind for the data we hoped the survey would collect for us. First we wanted to find out if the readers of Dive Log were active divers, and we wanted to know if continuing education was part of their plans for the coming year. We also wanted to know what percentage of them had taken an SDI online eLearning course and what they thought of it.

Responses were good, much better than we expected since there was no incentive for respondents to complete the survey. In fact the percentage of invitees who completed all eight questions was above the average expected in this type of survey, and the data was collected over a period of 14 days. The invitation to take part was distributed to associate members of SDI and TDI with registered addresses in Canada or the USA. Responses were anonymous and we feel offer good insight to the views of our audience (your customers). In case you are interested in these things the margin of error in our results is approximately plus or minus five percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The questions asked were as follows.

1. Please tell us your highest current certification level. If your particular certification is not shown precisely, pick one that you feel is close

2. Please tell us how often you dive… use your habits during the twelve months.           

3 Please tell us the type of dive you most commonly take part in. If there are two choices that are equally relevant, please choose the one you enjoy most.

4. Please tell us which course is in your future plans.

5. Please give us an idea of when you plan to take an SDI or TDI course.                

6. Please tell us how often you visit Scuba Diving International and Technical Diving International’s website.

7. Please tell us how you feel about our online eLearning courses.                    

8. Please take a few moments to tell us what courses or programs you would like to see added to or changed in the SDI, TDI curriculum.


And here are some of the results and our interpretation of them.

We expected a fair cross-section of experience levels with a weighting towards open water divers. The results told a different story. Only slightly more than 10 percent of Dive Log readers are Open Water divers or Open Water divers with some specialties. More than one quarter are Advanced Adventure through Rescue Divers. More than 30 percent are technical divers with only 5.45 percent trained in CCR.

As one would expect, since the audience were all certified divers, we asked them about additional courses. What surprised us a little was that more than 80 percent said they were going to take some sort of Continuing Ed Dive course within the next 12 months… more than half of those (40 percent of the total) said that course was planned for the next one to two months.

That’s a lot of opportunity to teach! The courses garnering the most interest were SDI Specialties and TDI Advanced Nitrox or Decompression Procedures with SDI Leadership a close second. TDI Divemaster, SDI Nitrox and Intro-to-Tech were the next most popular. We leave you to draw your own conclusions on this information, but if there is something on this list you are not pushing in your store, you are missing potential sales from the majority of your graduates. If continuing education is not a large part of your marketing, it should be.

Our readers, your customers, are active divers. Almost 22 percent told us they dive every week, and almost 40 percent dive at least once a month!

We asked what type of diving they participated in… from the social point of view. Close to 37 percent dive with their local dive shop or club. Do you have a “dive team” centered in your store? 

Almost 48 percent travel to dive with a regular buddy. Are you promoting dive trips and dive vacations?

Online eLearning received good press. Of the total respondents who had taken an online course (we did not specify open water or SDI Specialties), which was about 15 percent, four out of five of them told us they would recommend the course and online eLearning to a friend or family member. That means an 80 percent approval rating for online training. You are promoting online eLearning aren’t you?

Not all the comments we collected were positive. A few Dive Log readers asked us why we do not have MORE online courses! One complained about the price of an Extended Range class, but admitted we have nothing to do with setting course prices. And we were asked to provide more Tshirt designs and Tees cut for women. All constructive suggestions that we will react to.

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