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Question 1: Are all students taught the same way?
Question 2: I want to get certified right away, how fast can I go diving?
Question 3: How are courses typically structured?
Question 4: Will my certification expire / Do I need to renew at some point?
Question 5: I don't own any dive equipment, can I rent for my course?
Question 6: How are course costs broken down?
Question 7: What if I pay for a course but can't complete it for some reason?
Do you have any other questions?
Every person learns differently and individual schedules vary widely. PDC understands this, and has the academic freedom to meet the needs of each student to help them achieve the standards. PDC will work personally with you to set up and develop a course to meet your learning needs and fit your schedule. We will help you complete each phase of the course in your time, and be available to help you succeed every step of the way.
PDC courses are not watered-down nor easy. But that doesn't mean our training is impossible or too difficult for you either. To grow the best, you have to challenge people to rise to the occasion, to thrive outside their comfort zones, and we accomplish this by teaching, coaching, mentoring, and guiding to the needs of each student, while continuously challenging them to grow. From over-learning knowledge to skills progression, from challenging environments to positive and constructive feedback, when you complete a PDC course, you will find your comfort in the water increase, your knowledge and skills driving you to learn more, and diving highly enjoyable.
Challenge yourself in training, and enjoy diving with ease thereafter, because exceeding the standard is "The Standard".
Section 1: Academics
Section 2: Practical Instruction
Academics consist of online learning, quizzes, and your final exam. This phase is completed entirely at your pace. You can complete your academics in your free time, however you like, and help will be readily available as needed.
Formal instruction is used to supplement academics. Its purpose is to help students better understand theory and practical application of diving KSA's, to help clarify concepts and answer questions, and to mentor students by offering better insights into the world of diving. Formal instruction will take place throughout a course, and may be in a classroom, at the pool, or even beach or pier-side.
You don't have to be the greatest swimmer, but you do need to know how to swim. You have to be able to prove you are comfortable and can survive in the water. No way around it, some courses will require a swim test. Additionally, some courses will even require learning and applying some basic and intermediate Skin-Diving skills and rescue skills. Yes, even the Basic Course. For continuing education courses, leadership courses, and the like, an evaluation dive is a requirement. Assessment will be made to determine a students current knowledge and skill levels in order to understand how best to help you succeed.
Before you can start diving in the open ocean, you first need to learn to dive safely in a puddle. Confined-Water or Contained-Water training always starts in a shallow water location (like a pool or a shallow and contained body of water), before moving on to applying learned skills and procedures in deeper water.
Finally, after skills are learned and demonstrated safely and effectively in a controlled environment, we put them to the test in open waters, where new skills are introduced, and courses become increasingly challenging with each dive. Typically, each dive includes a specific agenda, learned, practiced, and tested skills, mentorship and guidance to improve those skills, and an After-Action Review (AAR) to discuss the dive afterwards. Your final dive of the course is your "Certification Dive", where you will be directly responsible for putting it all together and evaluated objectively.
All courses have a required minimum number of dives that must be completed satisfactory to earn certification. Unlike other agencies out there, yes, you can fail a course with PDC. You are not guaranteed to get a certification just because you pay to take a course. Certifications are earned. However, PDC will not give up on you so long as you are willing to train and motivated to succeed. If, for some reason, you can not pass a skill or your course, fail to demonstrate Confidence, Competence, Capability, and Safety, or fail to meet standards, PDC will continue to work with you, mentor and guide you, and help to build you up in every way possible to pass and earn your certification.
So NEVER QUIT! Because we will not quit on you.
Once certified, your certification is good for life, valid internationally anywhere you travel, and well-earned. Remember, however, that it is only the beginning. After certification from each course, it is paramount to get back in the water as much as possible to continue your progression, practice and hone your skills, and master what you learned. This is where PDC staff change roles from being a teacher to a mentor. All former students are highly encouraged to join PDC in diving either informally or on scheduled trips and events, where diving and growth as a diver are a never-ending process.
However, if you complete a course, yet do not dive and put your skills to practice for a long period of time (6-months, a year, multiple years, etc.), it is highly advisable to take a Refresher Course to get current before attempting to dive on your own once again.
For entry level courses (OWSD and AOWSD), PDC will supply the equipment you need to complete your course (unless you already own your own, which must meet all safety requirements). For all other courses, if you do not already have your own dive gear, or access to equipment, PDC will either provide or help you acquire the gear you need, and/or even help you obtain your own personal equipment all together. All PDC rental equipment is typically new, well-maintained, and serviced by a certified technician.
Some students choose to buy all of their own gear, or some of it, before or after their course. If that is you, PDC will gladly help you acquire the best gear for the best prices to meet your needs and your budget.
Some students are not ready to buy their own gear, and need to rent instead. Here too, PDC will work with each student to help them acquire what they need.
Each course has an administrative cost and operational costs (facility fees, dive tickets, cylinder rental, equipment rental, etc.) that must be paid to facilitate the course. These have all been included as a "complete" or "total" cost for the entire course, start to finish. Unless otherwise noted by the course or the instructor, the cost for each course is all-inclusive for the course requirements and intended schedule.
Unless otherwise stated or agreed upon by your instructor, payment for all courses is only good up until six months after the course enrollment date. Additionally, course costs only cover the intended course schedule. If any student fails to complete a course within the scheduled period of time, any additional training requirements will be billed per session until the student passes. PDC will make all efforts to ensure student success, and will work with all students to help them achieve and exceed standards. So long as any student is willing to train, PDC will help them grow and succeed.
Military members, DoD civilians, and contractors, who pay for a course, but are deployed or sent TDY / TAD on orders before or during their course date will have their seat reserved upon their return. Additionally, for these individuals, and their dependents, if PCS'ed to another duty station before or during the timeframe of their course, please maintain communication with us and PDC will transfer your course to the nearest NAUI instructor proximate to your new duty station for free upon arrival.
If any student becomes ill or suffers from a medical condition that precludes them from training before or during the time of their course, their seat will be reserved upon a medical authority's determination they are fit for SCUBA diving activities.
If, for any other reason, you can not complete your course within six months from date of enrollment, you will need to re-enroll for the course.
Please feel free to reach out to us any time via the Contact page.
Are you ready to begin a course?
Please click on the course on the training page you're interested in (or use the menu bar), review the information on the course page, download and fill out the medical form just before the contact form, and fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page. Be sure to ask any questions and let us know if you have any concerns. You can enroll in any course immediately and complete your academics and exams at your own pace, then schedule the practical side of your training for a later date that works for you. Once you are ready, hit send, and we will reach out to talk to you shortly to help you get started.