The New Safety Standards of MSDA version 2024

Diving evolves with time, and new certifications have been created to meet the expectations of recreational divers, commercial entities, educational institutions, and authorities. 

New techniques such as freediving, long associated with spearfishing, which has now become a legitimate sport in its own right, have also been included in the New Safety Standards courses version 2024.
At the AGM of March 2024, the assembly took note of the modifications/corrections made to the courses for the various diving levels.

Some redundant exercises that were repeated at each level and weighed down the training have been removed or improved to lighten, simplify, and give students more opportunities to acquire new techniques specific to the current level.

Divers at a certain level should already have mastered the techniques taught during their training before applying for advanced training. Therefore, it is not necessary, as is the case in the current 2012 version of the standards, to repeat the same technical exercises at each level.

With the progression of studies and new knowledge about diving:

1) Some exercises putting the student in a dangerous situation have been eliminated, and it is now forbidden to ask students to perform these exercises.

2) New techniques have been included in certain levels.

3) New courses and approaches have been included in certain levels of divers and instructors.

4) New certifications (Scientific Diver Certification & Freediving Certification) have been included in the Safety Standards 2024.

Further information on these new elements will be sent to you separately from this newsletter.

The MSDA rejects the new PADI standards in Mauritius.

The Technical Committee has taken note of PADI’s new policy, which no longer accepts the registration of centers that provide training from other organizations, including CMAS/MSDA, SSI, and others. PADI allows certified PADI instructors to conduct courses individually, which implies that these instructors can conduct courses without going through a registered facility.

The technical committee of MSDA rejects such an abusive and dangerous policy from PADI.
The Technical Committee is willing to go to court if necessary to have this directive from PADI revoked on Mauritian soil for the following reasons:

1) When PADI approached schools in Mauritius to join its network, there was never a condition that these centers would exclusively offer 100% PADI courses, except for those who voluntarily wished to become a 5-star PADI center.

2) The centers that affiliated with PADI invested time and money in training their instructors to meet PADI standards.

3) With PADI’s new directive, centers that wish to remain registered with PADI will have to either terminate or pay for the retraining and conversion of their instructors from other organizations to PADI.

4) Initially, PADI never notified the centers that registered with them that in the future they would have to make this choice.

5) Mauritius being a country where there is a policy to provide equal opportunities to everyone, PADI wants to impose a monopoly that does not give equal opportunities to other organizations and the national federation MSDA to evolve peacefully within the Mauritian diving schools affiliated with PADI.

6) MSDA considers that PADI’s allowing instructors to certify divers without going through a registered center is dangerous, leaving the door open to safety lapses and allowing these instructors to divert clients away from dive centers.

For these reasons, the technical committee of MSDA has contacted PADI, which now wants to negotiate directly with PADI schools in Mauritius.

Since MSDA represents its members, who are also diving operators registered with various diving organizations including PADI, MSDA must take a stand and protect the diving centers in Mauritius and Rodrigues subjected to this abusive directive from PADI.

Hugues Vitry
President of the Technical Committee
Mauritian Scuba Diving Association