PFI and NAUI
An exciting alliance and a lot of opportunity for instructors!
As announced at DEMA show in November, PFI and NAUI have entered into an alliance through which PFI is the official and exclusive educational system provider for NAUI instructors who wish to become qualified to teach freediving. This alliance represents significant opportunities for PFI instructors to increase their visibility and course load and reaffirms that your PFI credentials are respected as "best in class".
First, a little background. As you are no doubt aware, freediving has exploded in popularity in recent years and has become the fastest growing water sport by leaps and bounds.
This trend has not gone unnoticed by SCUBA agencies, who find their own demographic base aging, and who are seeking new ways to retain members and remain relevant. Several agencies in the past year, with no significant experience in our sport, created their own standards so their instructors could teach freediving. NAUI, on the other hand, recognized that if they wanted to offer the highest quality instruction to their instructors and students, they would have to seek out the true experts in the field. After months of research, NAUI reached out to PFI and PFI alone. We began talks aimed at forming a win-win alliance between our two organizations--one that would ensure the high standards of both PFI and NAUI, and one that would benefit both our memberships.
We have now finalized the alliance and are calendaring dates to provide the training to NAUI members who wish to teach freediving. We'll do a Pros-only Webinar in the coming weeks to explain in detail and answer any questions you may have, but here are the basics:
Unlike with some other agencies' newly-minted freedive programs, where if you take a freedive course, you are now authorized to teach a freedive course, NAUI sought to maintain PFI's rigorous standards for its own instructors.
In order for a NAUI instructor to to be certified to teach freediving, they need to go through PFI's course ladder just as any other PFI student. This starts with them gaining proficiency through an Intermediate course. Once INT-certified, NAUI instructors, who have already undergone NAUI's own general teaching requirements to become SCUBA instructors, may enroll in a PFI Crossover Workshop which combines the Safety Supervisor, Assistant Instructor and Instructor Exam courses into one course similar to our existing Professional Package. These 6 day courses require candidates to pass the exact same rigorous standards as any other PFI instructor candidate, including the famous and secret stress test (...psst...don't talk about fight club).
This is where opportunity for PFI instructors comes in. NAUI instructors who wish to offer freediving must first take a PFI certified INT course. If you'd like to increase your course and student load, now is the time to upgrade your certification to INT Instructor, as we'll be offering more courses to meet the demand.
There are a number of other benefits to PFI Pros that we can discuss in the Webinar, including classroom and pool space at NAUI facilities worldwide and other cost savings, and we realize that some of you may have questions and concerns about how this alliance will affect you. We certainly understand and respect that and want to assure you that we are confident this alliance will benefit our sport, our students, and our PFI Pro members, both in the short term and also in the long run.
This alliance is just that---an alliance between two organizations who believe in safety and eduction and the maintenance of the highest standards.
PFI is, and will always remain, independent and uncompromising. With your continued dedication and professionalism, we'll remain the best in the biz. Thanks to each of you for your support!