Forever Improving the Diver


The Story of the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) begins with a shared vision of what quality Scuba Training should be; a commitment to ‘Dive Safety Through Education.’


NAUI embraces and encourages innovation and dynamic approaches while incorporating academic freedom to adapt and meet the specific needs of a student. The water is challenging; therefore, training must be challenging.


The NAUI difference offers a clear path to Leadership through a series of featured Recreational Diver courses; all while incorporating rescue at the entry-level and beyond.  Often, I hear NAUI needs more members; followed up by; “Why would I want to create new leaders all I would be doing is creating competition for my business?”


As NAUI Instructors we are obligated to a Credo following a Code of Ethics dedicated to commitments. One of these commitments is to the profession –


NAUI Instructors recognize that the quality of their services influences the attitudes of other water users, the public in general, and governmental bodies. The NAUI Instructor pledges to:

  • Raise professional standards.
  • Improve instructor services.
  • Encourage qualified and interested persons to pursue the profession.
  • Contribute actively to the support, planning, and programs of the Association.


For the most part in the Scuba industry, professionals focus teaching on entry level participants as they still must purchase gear. But what about the commitment to the profession to grow and teach continuing education and leadership? Over the years I have had many conversations, in my opinion, it boils down to a comfort zone. We focus so much on training entry level; we lose confidence in our ability to teach leadership. Training leaders is the easiest course to teach as you are already working with experienced divers.




In a conversation with a NAUI Veteran Instructor Tom Hemphill #2491 the concept came up, wouldn’t it be great to have an area where NAUI Instructors can come and collaborate on teaching leadership, share ideas?


The next several months we will dedicate a section ‘Forever Improving the Diver.’ A place where we, NAUI Members, can gather and provide educational tips on bringing divers to the next level of their journey.


The next portion of this article was provided by Tom Hemphill, NAUI Veteran Instructor and mentor to so many scuba industry professionals. Hopefully, it will provide insight into the importance of teaching leadership through NAUI.


Are you a new NAUI Instructor?

You are authorized to teach leadership courses. Many NAUI members feel that one of the very first things a new NAUI Instructor should do is train their team in Rescue, Master Diver, and Assistant Instructor.


Are you a veteran NAUI Instructor and ready to move up and teach the future leaders of NAUI?

Don’t retire from teaching. Share your experience and expertise while helping NAUI grow. You’ve gained a lot of experience and you have a lot to offer by training new leadership candidates.  Teaching leadership programs is a natural extension for the experienced NAUI Instructor.


Are you working with a NAUI retail Affiliate, or are you the owner of the business?

How does teaching leadership benefit the retailer?  First, for a person to become a NAUI Leader they must invest a lot of time and money to take more classes, buy more equipment and go on dive trips.  They become a much more valuable customer and are active as new student recruiters. Part of leadership training is learning how to recruit students for entry-level classes.  These leadership students become great recruiters for the dive store classes which constitutes a sales force for the store. Some stores may choose to reward leadership students that bring in new customers.  It’s a WIN–WIN arrangement.


When you are training NAUI Leadership students, one of the common assignments is tasking your students with speaking to groups about diving. It may be a young group of students in elementary school where your students can plant seeds with the kids regarding careers and other adventures in diving. Presentations can be made at high schools and colleges featuring organizations that use divers on many projects related to science, technology, and preservation of the oceans.


One unique feature of NAUI Leadership is the focus on being a true teacher and public speaker. Trained NAUI Leaders will often use their teaching and public speaking skills to advance in other careers. This is another benefit of NAUI Leadership training.


You may find that when teaching NAUI Leadership courses you will be in communication with other NAUI Instructors in your region where you may participate in a network system of team teaching. You will learn more and your students will be able to learn from other NAUI Instructors as well.




As we move forward with this series of ‘Forever Improving the Diver’ I would encourage you to provide your tips to and/or


I look forward to seeing you all out on the water.


Angelo Fiore,
NAUI VP Sales & Marketing

Let’s Keep Grinding Forward