From the PADI Divemaster perspective there is a workshop incorporated into the training program. It can be a little bit confusing as on the Divemaster paperwork it is written as “scuba review” but with the standards it is stated as the ReActivate. So what are the differences that you need to understand when working on your Divemaster program?
The traditional scuba review consists of an academic session followed by a confined water session. The academic session is conducted using a knowledge review or quiz of your choice. This can be either the open water elearning review, the scuba tune up guidebook (so outdated IMHO) or the open water mini quizzes. On completion, provided the student gets 75% you can head to the pool. With the traditional scuba review you would complete the 20 skills from the open water program. For someone refreshing after a while you may find that they remember a lot of the skills which is why I would direct them toward the ReActivate program. The other great use of the scuba review is for someone upgrading to the open water from the scuba diver. Also a referral, for example some one completed their pool and academics a while ago and are now going to complete the open water dives. You must remember though, that someone who is not completely open water certified yet, must have the review completed by an active PADI scuba instructor.
So the first part of the ReActivate is downloading the application from PADI online. This is a review of all open water skills. It is a great application that you can download onto your ipad or tablet and then you can review in your own time all of the knowledge for diving. It includes some great videos of the skills as well so you really get the chance to refresh on everything. All aspects of scuba dive theory is covered and as it is a digital program you can keep it on your device and then it will stay updated.
Once you (or the student) have completed the ReActivate program, and you have given then the quick review academic quiz, it’s then pool session time. The difference between this and the scuba review is that this is a prescriptive teaching session. So, you would then conduct an interview of the student who has completed the online program. Ask questions like, when were they last diving, what conditions, how was their experience? Then you would run through the online section and ask them what they would like to cover. If they feel confident with a lot of the skills you don’t need to cover them. Check the instructor manual and you will see that there a handful of mandatory skills including alternate air source, mask clearing and buoyancy but the rest are covered as much as they student feels they need to. As the divemaster or instructor you then conduct the pool session using role model demonstrations and on completion, process the students new PIC card under the ReActivate code. All done. So, as mentioned, it is very much a focus on what they want to cover.
So in summary, Scuba review, book academics, all 20 open water skills and the ReActivate, online digital program, prescriptively teach the skills.
Have fun teaching it and I hope this helped you with the differences and what each one is useful for!