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PADI IRRA  |  Dive Centers  |  Resort Centers  |  Gold Palm IDC Center

PADI IRRA

The PADI International Resort and Retailer Associations (IRRA) manage PADI’s Dive Center, Resort, Educational Facility and Recreational Facility programs. By establishing instructional and business standards, PADI helps members maintain a high standard of safety and quality of service for dive consumers. The main difference (in my own words!) between a member of the Retailer Association (Dive Center, 5 Star Dive Center and 5 Star IDC Center) and a member of the International Resort Association (Resort Center, Gold Palm Resort Center and Gold Palm IDC Center) is that the a Dive Center is a retail dive store, mainly servicing the local diver and a Resort Center is often located in a tourist resort, mainly servicing the travelling diver.  Worldwide there are almost 3,000 dive operators which are members of the IRRA. Whether you´re a snorkeler, a diver or want to become a diver, it´s a good idea to look for a Dive Center that is affiliated with PADI. The higher the membership qualification, the higher the standards the Dive Center has to comply with and the more services it offers to the customer. Following, are brief descriptions of the PADI Retailer Association (PRA) and the PADI International Resort Association (PIRA) and of their various membership qualifications. The information on this page is by no means complete, it´s merely to give you an idea of all the different distinctions that the various PADI Centers use. For more information contact your PADI Dive Center or Instructor or go to the PADI Website at: www.padi.com Click here to go to the PADI Website

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PADI Educational MaterialsPADI Retailer Association

The PADI Retailer Association has two primary membership levels and two additional classifications that signify varying levels of commitment to offering PADI diver education, dive equipment sales, service and dive experiences. A PADI Dive Center is a retail dive store that meets membership standards regarding dive education, equipment sales, service and experience opportunities. PADI Dive Centers may qualify for additional recognition awards by offering exceptional service in the following categories:

  • diver education programs

  • community service

  • environmental activities

A PADI 5 Star Dive Center is a progressive, professional retail dive store that has not only earned all the individual recognition awards, but also maintains high service levels and standards for excellence in dive retailing. PADI 5 Star Dive Centers that also qualify to offer PADI Instructor-level training are classified as PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centers (5 Star IDCs). PADI 5 Star IDCs that conduct additional instructor-level training and meet requirements for assisting dive leaders in reaching their educational and professional goals may qualify for the PADI 5 Star Career Development Center (CDC) rating.

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Dive Trips are offered at Resort CentersPADI International Resort Association

The PADI International Resort Association has two membership levels – PIRA Member and Gold Palm Resort, with one additional classification – Gold Palm Instructor Development Center (Gold Palm IDC). Dive operations may qualify for the PIRA Member level in one of three classifications, either as a Resort Dive Operator, Dive Boat or a Recreational Facility. A PIRA Resort Dive Operator is a member that offers a variety of recreational scuba diving or snorkeling tours, instruction and services. A PIRA Dive Boat is a member that offers recreational scuba diving or snorkeling tours or instruction from a boat (a Live Aboard for example). A PIRA Recreational Facility operates a facility containing a body of water (lake, quarry, etc.) that is used by recreational divers and snorkelers and other recreational scuba diving businesses. The Gold Palm Resort membership rating identifies Resort Members that excel in providing a combination of quality dive education, experiences and services, including accommodation packages, to traveling divers. A Gold Palm Resort offers divers a variety of dive programs to enhance their dive adventures while actively promoting the benefits of environmental awareness. The Gold Palm Instructor Development Center (Gold Palm IDC) rating denotes a Gold Palm Resort that also offers PADI Instructor-level training. Gold Palm IDC Centers provide traveling divers with the opportunity to continue their PADI education at any level including instructor development programs and continuing education courses for dive professionals.

For the requirements to qualify for and maintain the various PADI Resort Center levels go to: requirementsPlease click here to go to "requirements"

 

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PADI IRRA  |  Dive Centers  |  Resort Centers  |  Gold Palm IDC Center

PADI Dive Centers

PADI Dive Center

A PADI Dive Center is a professional business that engages in the retail sale of recreational scuba diving equipment, dive instruction and dive services. PADI Dive Centers have demonstrated a commitment to PADI education by offering PADI certification courses and experience programs. Other services offered to the public by a PADI Dive Center include recreational scuba equipment rental and repair, compressed air, recreational scuba diving or snorkeling activities, and travel opportunities.

The equivalent PIRA membership level would be a Resort Center.

 

PADI 5 Star Dive Center

The PADI 5 Star Dive Center membership level is awarded, on an annual basis, to progressive PADI Dive Centers that excel in providing dive consumers with a full range of diver education programs, equipment selection, and experience opportunities and that actively promote aquatic environmental awareness. A PADI 5 Star Dive Center is active in its community presenting a professional image consistent with, or better than, the norm of the marketplace. These dive centers embrace the PADI System of diver education and are committed to providing customers with quality products, services and experiences.

The equivalent PIRA membership level would be a Gold Palm Resort Center.

 

PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center

A PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center (5 Star IDC) is a dive center that not only meets all 5 Star Dive Center standards, but also offers PADI Instructor level training. A PADI 5 Star IDC offers dive consumers programs to fulfill their educational goals from entry-level training up through instructor-level certifications.

The equivalent PIRA membership level would be a Gold Palm IDC Center.

 

PADI Carreer Development Center LogoPADI 5 Star Career Development Center

A PADI 5 Star Career Development Center (CDC) is a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center (5 Star IDC) that meets all PADI 5 Star IDC requirements and also offers additional professional development training. Because of the services offered, PADI 5 Star CDCs are places where candidates receive training to prepare them for careers in the dive industry. PADI Divers, members, and the dive industry at large all benefit from the PADI 5 Star CDC’s commitment to professional development and excellence.

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PADI IRRA  |  Dive Centers  |  Resort Centers  |  Gold Palm IDC Center

PADI Resort Centers

PADI Resort Center

A Resort Center  is a business that specifically caters to recreational scuba divers and snorkelers. A Resort Dive Operator offers activities such as recreational scuba and snorkeling instruction, Discover Scuba Diving experiences, guided dives and snorkeling excursions from the shore or a boat, and dive equipment rentals. Other services offered may include dive equipment sales, as well as various watersport activities. Resort Dive Operators are located in resort areas and may be directly affiliated with hotels and resorts that offer accommodations to the traveling diver.

The equivalent PRA membership level would be a PADI Dive Center.

For the requirements to qualify for and maintain the PADI Resort Center level go to: requirementsPlease click here to go to "requirements"

 

PADI Gold Palm Resort

The PIRA Gold Palm Resort membership level is awarded to progressive PIRA Members that excel in providing quality services to traveling divers. A PIRA Gold Palm Resort presents a professional image and actively promotes the benefits of recreational scuba diving and snorkeling, dive travel and environmental awareness. A PIRA Gold Palm Resort not only adheres to PADI educational standards, but conducts PADI programs as outlined in the PADI Instructor Manual using all appropriate materials for each course. A PIRA Gold Palm Resort considers customer satisfaction, dive experience, education, safety, and environmental awareness as important aspects of diver training programs.

The equivalent PRA membership level would be a PADI 5 Star Dive Center.

For the requirements to qualify for and maintain the PADI Gold Palm Center level go to: requirementsPlease click here to go to "requirements"

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PADI Gold Palm Instructor Development Center

A PIRA Gold Palm Instructor Development Center (like Hurricane Divers) is a PIRA Resort that not only meets all Gold Palm Resort standards, but also offers PADI Instructor-level training. PIRA Gold Palm IDCs offer PADI training exclusively and conduct programs as recommended by PADI. Having a PADI Course Director on staff indicates the Gold Palm IDC’s commitment to offering the complete PADI System of diver education including instructor development programs and continuing education opportunities to dive professionals.

The equivalent PRA membership level would be a PADI 5 Star IDC Center.

For the requirements to qualify for and maintain the PADI Resort Center level go to: requirementsPlease click here to go to "requirements"

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PADI IRRA  |  Dive Centers  |  Resort Centers  |  Gold Palm IDC Center

Requirements

Following is a summary of prerequisites and requirements for PIRA Members, they are only slightly different from those for PRA Members.  A PADI Gold Palm IDC Center like Hurricane Divers have to comply with all the prerequisites and requirements you see below.

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To qualify for and maintain membership in the PADI International Resort Association, a resort dive operation must:

  • As a Resort Dive Operator, have as a business activity snorkeling or recreational scuba diving instruction or tours, along with the rental of snorkeling or recreational scuba diving equipment.

  • Comply with local laws regarding business licensure.

  • As a Resort Dive Operator, be located in an area where accommodations and an open water dive site for divers/snorkelers are available locally.

  • As a Resort Dive Operator, be a professional operation with established, advertised, and consistent operational hours. Have a documented Emergency Response Plan and/or an Emergency Response Team available at all times during the operating season for facility users.

  • Comply with local laws governing vessels for hire.

  • Conduct PADI certification courses, PADI Discover experiences or other PADI programs through a Teaching Status PADI Instructor, on an ongoing basis throughout the operating season.

  • Ensure that all PADI certification courses and experience programs offered are conducted using methods consistent with PADI Standards and philosophy as outlined in the PADI Instructor Manual. If recreational scuba diving instruction is offered, open water training completions for referred PADI student divers must also be offered.

  • Ensure any non PADI certification courses and experience programs offered are conducted by a teaching status scuba instructor from a recognized certification organization.

  • Set of Scuba GearIf PADI certification courses or experience programs are offered, provide dive equipment for students, and PADI Discover program participants, to use or rent. Each scuba unit used during training must be equipped as outlined in the PADI Instructor Manual.

  • Provide compressed air service if recreational scuba diving instruction or tours are offered. The compressed air must be analyzed quarterly and records must be maintained. The compressed air must meet local scuba diving air quality and testing standards.

  • Agree to sell, rent or provide compressed air for scuba purposes, only to certified divers or student divers in training under a professional instructor, unless prohibited by local law. If enriched air services are offered, provide enriched air only to divers certified in its use or student divers in training under an enriched air qualified instructor.

  • Maintain and inspect all rented or provided scuba cylinders and valves in accordance with local laws governing scuba cylinder maintenance.

  • Maintain all rental snorkeling and recreational scuba equipment according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

  • As a Resort Dive Operator, provide recreational scuba diving equipment repair and maintenance services, if recreational scuba diving instruction or tours are offered.

  • Require proof of recreational scuba certification by all divers participating in non-instructional recreational scuba dives.

  • Ensure that a certified divemaster, assistant instructor, or scuba instructor is present and supervising all snorkeling or recreational scuba diving tours.

  • Incorporate aquatic environmental awareness into snorkeling or recreational scuba diving activities.

  • Ensure that an Incident Report Form is submitted to PADI any time a diving incident is witnessed by the staff or if a staff member is involved in an incident, as outlined in the PADI Instructor Manual.

  • Provide dive briefings that include site orientation and characteristics, communications, emergency procedures and general safety considerations. If boat dives are offered, briefings must include a boat orientation outlining safety procedures and boat safety equipment.

  • Have a first aid kit available anytime supervised snorkeling or recreational scuba diving tours or boat charters are offered, and have an oxygen unit (unless prohibited by local law) available during all supervised recreational scuba diving tours or boat charters.

  • Ensure that all dive boats, owned or operated, comply with local laws regarding boat safety equipment on vessels for hire. If no local law exists, all dive boats must have at least one fire extinguisher, one personal flotation device (PFD) for every passenger, and a flare or emergency signaling device.

  • Ensure all dive boats owned, operated or chartered have in place and follow appropriate diver/passenger accountability procedures.

  • Have displayed on the boat and in other appropriate prominent places, a copy of the PADI Safe Diving Practices Statement of Understanding and have a Recreational Dive Planner available for dive planning.

  • Display a dive flag/diver-down flag any time boat passengers are in the water.

  • If night dives are conducted from a boat, the boat must be equipped with, and display on the surface, at least one bright white light visible from all directions while divers are in the water.

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To qualify for and maintain the PIRA Gold Palm Resort rating, a PIRA or PRA Member must:

  • Have been a renewed PIRA or PRA Member for at least six months with no verified PADI Quality Assurance violations for that period and no open quality assurance inquiries in progress.

  • Have been established as a resort dive operation for at least 12 months.

  • Continue to meet all PIRA Member prerequisites and membership requirements, either Resort Dive Operator or Dive Boat standards.

  • Have accommodations available as part of an advertised package. Accommodations must offer comfort and convenience to customers, and be appropriate for the local area.

  • Have compressed air analyzed quarterly. The compressed air must meet or exceed all local laws regarding scuba diving air.

  • In areas where dives are commonly conducted from boats, operate at least one dive boat. All dive boats must be well-maintained and meet local laws/regulations regarding boat operations.

  • Your Dive Boat should have all the Emergency Equipment on boardWhen operating a dive boat, ensure that it is equipped with at least one fire extinguisher, one personal flotation device (PFD) for every passenger, a flare or emergency signaling device, first aid kit, oxygen unit with an adequate supply of oxygen, safety stop equipment, dive flag and drift line with float (if applicable).

  • Ensure that at least one crew member who is trained to operate the boat’s oxygen unit and properly administer oxygen for diving incidents is on board the dive boat when carrying passengers.

  • Ensure that all dive boats owned or operated use permanent mooring buoys at dive sites, when available, and/or practice responsible anchoring techniques.

  • As a PIRA or PRA Member, have issued/registered a total of at least 250 PADI certifications and/or experience program participants.

  • Issue/register at least 150 PADI certifications and/or Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) participants per year.

  • Each year, issue at least 10 PADI certifications beyond the Open Water Diver level, OR ensure that at least 10 percent of the total PADI certifications issued are above the Open Water Diver level – whichever is greater.

  • Ensure that all PADI certification courses and experience programs offered are conducted according to PADI Standards as outlined in the PADI Instructor Manual and all PADI System components are used are designed.

  • Sponsor or conduct at least one program that promotes diver safety per year.

  • Sponsor or conduct at least one program that promotes environmental awareness/Project AWARE per year.

  • Ensure that all dive resorts in a multi-resort operation are current PIRA or PRA Members.

  • Display PADI educational and promotional materials in a prominent location within the resort dive operation/boat. Also display a PIRA Gold Palm Resort decal.

  • Ensure that all rental scuba units/snorkeling equipment are maintained according to manufacturer’s specifications and that each scuba unit is equipped with a submersible pressure gauge, depth gauge, alternate air source and a power inflation device.

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To qualify for and maintain the PIRA Gold Palm IDC rating, a PIRA or PRA Member must:

  • Have been a renewed PIRA Gold Palm Resort (or a PADI 5 Star Dive Center that meets all PIRA Gold Palm Resort prerequisites) for at least six months.

  • Have no verified PADI Quality Assurance violations on file for the previous 12 months and no open quality assurance inquiries in progress.

  • Have on staff (full- or part-time) a renewed PADI Course Director, who is in Teaching status, to conduct all PADI Instructor Development Courses, Instructor Orientation Courses and other PADI Instructor-level training.

  • As a PIRA or PRA Member, have conducted at least one PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, one PADI Rescue Diver course, one PADI Divemaster or Assistant Instructor course, and one PADI Specialty Diver course within the previous 12 months.

  • Properly Equipped ClassroomHave classroom facilities on-site suitable for conducting the knowledge development portion of any dive training program, especially instructor-level programs.

  • Continue to meet all PIRA Resort and PIRA Gold Palm membership requirements.

  • Conduct at least one PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, one PADI Specialty Diver course, one PADI Rescue Diver course, one PADI Divemaster or Assistant Instructor course, and one PADI Instructor level course or program per year. Instructor-level programs may include a PADI IDC, OWSI Program, IDC Staff Instructor course, Instructor-level Specialty course, MFA Instructor course, Status Update or OWSI Upgrade.

  • Adhere to all requirements outlined in the PADI Course Director Manual that apply to conducting IDCs. This includes IDC requirements and administrative procedures, candidate prerequisites, staff requirements and duties, IDC system and curriculum components, and required materials. A PADI Course Director Manual must be available in the Gold Palm IDC to use as a reference.

  • Conduct the IDC Curriculum component – Discover Scuba Diving Workshop – as part of all IDCs offered.

  • Be licensed and/or officially recognized in the area of operation by the appropriate governmental body, where applicable.

  • Ensure that all full-service dive operations in a multi-location operation are current PRA or PIRA Members.

Source: PADI International Resort and Retailer Associations Membership Standards. 

Note: The prerequisites and requirements mentioned above are by no means complete, it´s merely to give you an idea of requirements that the various PADI Resort Centers have to comply with. For more information contact your PADI Dive Center or Instructor or go to the PADI Website at: www.padi.com   

 

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PADI IRRA  |  Dive Centers  |  Resort Centers  |  Gold Palm IDC Center

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