The RAID Way™ in action
Compared to some of the original diver certification agencies (the dive industry’s granny and grandpa companies), RAID is a relative newcomer with a little more than a seven-year history. However, in that time we’ve earned a reputation for delivering quality instruction, respecting student safety above the almighty dollar, and delivering excellent customer service. All this while providing an innovative and inclusive learning environment, and providing our members with rock-solid support.
We call this ‘bringing positive change to the dive industry’ because investing more time in instructor/student interactions, and paying attention to a student’s in-water comfort and skills, translates into happy divers who keep diving.
Our organisation (Dive RAID International) is diver owned and operated. We’re not a faceless corporation: RAID is about our customers and teaching them to enjoy scuba and freediving while respecting the marine environment… and them
As part of our business ethos, RAID is an active member of several organizations which serve as “industry watchdogs.” These act in a sort of supervisory role when it comes to training standards. Being a member of WRSTC, a regional RSTCs, ISO, EUF, et al. means our courses meet and exceed certain minimum standards. And our training practices, certification levels, and course content is well above average. Working to a higher benchmark helps to protect our students, as well as the excellent professionals who teach for us.
There are more than 100 training agencies in the world but the vast majority of diving certs (scuba and freediving) are issued by “the Big Seven:” BSAC, CMAS, NAUI, PADI, RAID, SDI/TDI, and SSI. And for the most part, this group are the backbone of the scuba diving industry, and make up the core membership of those watchdog organisations.
One thing that the Big Seven agree upon is that we recognize each other’s certifications. That’s one of the benefits of membership and a sort of quid pro quo for the fees we all pay to be members. This means that a diver who’s earned a e-Card from XYZ agency, can dive with a dive operator or shop that’s affiliated with ABC agency.
At the agency headquarters level, there is a true understanding of this respectful agreement and in day-to-day operations, the training department at one agency might speak to the folks in the training department of a “rival” agency several times a month. We get along because there’s strength and stability behind this level of cooperation.
However, there are dive operators, dive shops, resorts, freelance instructors, even live-abords who determine to NOT follow the rules and break that arrangement. They insist that whatever agency logo they have on their door is the only one that’s any good and they refuse to recognize any other. RAID sees this as a false dichotomy: false logic. We respect choice, and we respect attention to safety and compliance regardless of agency affiliation.
Of course, we understand that dive shops and instructors may have personal reasons for showing a bias, and they are free to conduct business however they wish. But we will continue to suggest to our growing network of RAID dive centres, outstanding professionals, and business partners that, respecting our sister agencies certifications is good business, and boosts the reputation of the whole industry in the consumer’s eyes.
Stay safe and dive often!