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PADI Open Water Referral

Students who choose to use the PADI Open Water Diver Referral course can start a scuba certification at home and then finish the open water training at a different location.

This guide explains how to refer the training sections for many PADI courses to another Scuba Instructor or resort, such as when taking a diving vacation abroad.

How Do Scuba Referrals Work in Thailand?

For many, scuba diving is a world-wide activity that provides them with opportunities to support local dive shops.

Even better, the PADI Referrals facility means you can avoid studying in a classroom during the time you spend on holiday.

Simply put, being able to complete knowledge development in advance means you have more time to enjoy the fun part - diving underwater.

This part is important:

The twelve (12) month PADI Open Water Referral period starts when a PADI Instructor signs and dates an existing scuba training record.

What could be better than studying PADI Scuba Online Courses in the comfort of your own home and then joining a friendly team of dive professionals at 'Private Scuba in Thailand' to finish the certification.

Note: Check out the Thailand Holiday Guide for detailed information explaining why Southeast Asian countries are superb destinations for scuba diving vacations.

The 3 Phases for Becoming a Certified Diver

Phase 1. Knowledge Development

The PADI Open Water Diver Course contains an important theory part that you need to complete. Even so, you get to choose between learning in a classroom or at your own pace through PADI eLearning™ Programs.

Phase 2. Confined Water Training

You'll always remember the first time you go underwater wearing scuba equipment. Usually, you will practice using the gear in a swimming pool until you get comfortable with the new experience.

The confined water practice sessions help you learn all the basic scuba diving skills. Several 'mini dives' will help to assess your abilities and increase your confidence level.

Phase 3. Open Water Dives

You should enjoy the open water diving part the most. You will make four (4) scuba training dives in an open water environment. In most cases, the 'unrestricted water' conditions refers to bodies of water such as an ocean, a lake, or a flooded freshwater quarry.

Having the PADI Open Water Diver certification means you can go scuba diving with another certified diver (e.g. a good dive buddy). Thus, you would not need to have in-water supervision from a scuba diving professional.

Note: The PADI Scuba Diver Certification Course is a shorter version than having the full diving licence, which may save you time and money.

Price for PADI® Open Water Referral Course in Pattaya 9,900 THB*

FAQ about PADI® Open Water Diver Referral

How Long is the PADI Referral Program?

The open water referral stays valid for a period of up to twelve (12) months. But, you may benefit more by completing the training soon after finishing the theory and confined water sessions.

You may run out of time and be unable to complete the program before you travel. If so, ask a local PADI Instructor to fill out an official student referral form. They will check which dive skills you completed along with the relevant dates.

Note: No matter where you travel to, you can hand over the student referral form to any PADI Instructor and restart the program.

Can I Practice before Diving in the Ocean?

The short answer is yes! When you get to the receiving dive shop they should review your scuba skills in a confined water environment (e.g. a swimming pool). Doing so gives you a good opportunity to express your concerns if you don't feel comfortable.

What's the Difference between PADI eLearning and a Referral?

You can start the knowledge development online with elearning. Thus, this part uses the same process for referrals as well as for times when you complete courses at the same location.

Choosing this option is popular with families who want to learn to dive together. So, all the family can study as a group in the comfort of their own home.

Studying the traditional way in a classroom (e.g. with a book and a DVD) may be a better option for singles and anyone who is learning about scuba diving with a friend.

Should I Contact the Dive Shop in Advance?

There are several reasons why contacting the 'certifying store' ahead of your arrival is a good idea. Some of the advantages include being able to confirm:

  • Availability for your preferred schedule.
  • Extra charges for making boat dives (where applicable).
  • Price to complete the course (including training and certification fees).
  • What rental gear you may need (e.g. for PADI Specialty Courses).

The dive shop may request you to provide them with medical clearance from a doctor. If so, take a copy of the document sign-off by the doctor to the referring dive center.

What are the Medical Requirements for Scuba Diving?

A certain level of well-being and general fitness is needed to carry out scuba activities. Thus, you may need to get written approval from a physician before you go diving.

You can download the online version of the Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire to check if your current medical status will require a physician's approval.

Note: You should not ask dive staff (e.g. divemasters, instructors) for medical advice and clearance to go diving. Instead, you can contact the Divers Alert Network (DAN) if you have questions about your medical fitness to dive.

Related Information and Help Guides

Note: The short PADI video [3:09 seconds] outlines what to expect when you try scuba diving for the first time. Click here to contact Private Scuba Divers in Thailand.

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