Following Scuba Schools International’s big announcements at this year’s DEMA show in Las Vegas, we caught up with their UK Manager Richard Corner to ask him to tell us more about the training agency’s rebranding, ‘Digital Learning, Real Diving’, and their new Open Water Diver Programme.
Scubaverse: There were some big announcements from SSI at DEMA 2014 last month; let’s start by talking about the rebranding. What motivated SSI to give its brand a facelift?
RC: The SSI purchase by HEAD was seen as a major stepping stone in both brands’ histories, so we decided to give the logo a change to set the new company apart from the old. The entire organisation was getting a ‘facelift’ so it seemed right to give the logo a ‘facelift’ at the same time. Once the logo change had been confirmed the design of the new logo was aimed at making it easier to read and more modern looking, but at the same time keeping it recognisable with the old. In addition we wanted some similarity to the mares logo (fonts and colours), so the two become recognised and associated with each other.
Scubaverse: You launched ‘Digital Learning, Real Diving’ at this year’s DEMA Show. What is it?
RC: In a nutshell ‘Digital Learning, Real Diving’ is the launch campaign of our new digital programme which goes live in January. We wanted to make a lot of noise about the development of this extra content as this is a new direction for digital tools in the diving industry.
Scubaverse: What sets ‘Digital Learning, Real Diving’ apart from the digital programmes the other training agencies are offering?
RC: Digital courses are not new, and most other training agencies have some kind of digital offer; in fact SSI have had digital options for a number of years. But like most other agencies the current SSI online training doesn’t include most of the nice features you would normally expect from a recently developed and purposefully designed app. This new digital programme is unlike anything seen in the diving industry to date. The manual has been completely redesigned to work as a digital tool with integrated videos. In addition, the app is not just designed as an extra marketing tool for our dealers; it is also an awesome tool for divers, as it will give you one of the best digital log books developed to date, keep all your training records in one place and enable the student to communicate with their instructor directly through the app. The app will scale to fit any device, can be used on and offline and works with Android and Apple. By the end of 2015 we will have all courses and all languages available.
Scubaverse: SSI also launched a new Open Water Diver programme at DEMA – what’s new about the course?
RC: The new SSI Open Water Diver programme is based on an “Integrated Learning System”. Measures of testing are strategically placed throughout the program to assess the quality of new divers experiences. The program links physics and physiology to why and how equipment plays an important role in a new diver’s comfort and confidence underwater – it’s REALDIVING! It also deals with the reason why you go diving — to have fun! You’ll find the course clear, concise, and enjoyable. Customers will look forward to each section as they take their first step toward becoming a well-trained SSI diver and their lifetime of adventure. With the evolution of digital learning, SSI has effectively mastered the uses of technology to strengthen the learning experience, anytime and anywhere. The new Open Water Diver program is comprehensive, with first rate videos, illustrations, animations and photos to stimulate the learning experience.
Scubaverse: Richard, many thanks.
RC: Thank you, and Merry Christmas!
SSI Launch ‘Digital Learning, Real Diving’ next month. To learn more, visit www.divessi.com.