Just a small correction on the part on the number of hours required for pool lessons. 3 to 6 hours is too little, and minimum time spent in pool should be 12 hours. The number of skills is definitely not 20.
For the benefit of those who are going to sign-up for their open water course soon, i have listed the skills to be learnt for PADI Open Water Confined Water (a.k.a Pool Lessons) below. I do not have the list from other agencies, but there should not defer too much.
Confined Water Dive Performance Requirements
Dive Flexible Skills
• Skin Diving
1. Proper hyperventilation when skin diving.
2. A vertical dive from the surface in water too deep in which to stand (without excessive splashing or arm movement).
3. Clearing and breathing from a snorkel upon ascent.
Open Water Diver Course
• Equipment Preparation and Care —
1. Have student divers assemble and disassemble the scuba unit five times during confi ned water training.
• At least three times by the end of Confined Water Dive 3.
• At least five times before the end of Confined Water Dive 5.
• The last three times with little or no assistance.
2. Have divers streamline and secure equipment for confined water dives.
3. Have student divers demonstrate proper post-dive care of scuba equipment by the end of Confined Water Dive 3.
Dive 1 Performance Requirements
At the surface:
1. Put on and adjust mask, fins, snorkel, BCD, scuba and weights with assistance.
2. Inflate/deflate a BCD using the low pressure inflator.
Underwater in shallow water:
3. Breathe compressed air by breathing naturally, without breath-holding.
4. Clear a regulator using both the exhalation and purge button methods, then resume breathing from it.
5. Recover a regulator from behind the shoulder.
6. Clear a partially flooded mask.
7. Breathe from an alternate air source supplied by another diver for at least 30 seconds.
8. Swim with scuba equipment while maintaining control of both direction and depth. Equalize the ears and mask to accommodate depth changes.
9. Locate and read the submersible pressure gauge and signal whether the air supply is adequate or low based on the gauge’s caution zone.
10. Recognize and demonstrate standard hand signals.
11. Ascend using proper technique.
Dive 2 Performance Requirements
At the surface:
1. Perform the buddy predive safety check.
2. Demonstrate appropriate deep-water entry.
3. Clear a snorkel using the blast method, then resume breathing through it without lifting the face from the water.
4. Exchange snorkel for regulator and regulator for snorkel repeatedly without lifting the face from the water.
5. Swim at least 50 metres/yards while wearing scuba and breathing through a snorkel.
6. Adjust for proper weighting — fl oat at eye level at the surface with no or minimal air in the BCD and while holding a normal breath.
7. Orally inflate a BCD to at least half full in water too deep in which to stand, then fully defl ate it.
8. Remove weights using the quick release mechanism with minimal assistance
9. Remove weights, scuba unit and fi ns (if necessary) in water too deep in which to stand and exit using the most appropriate technique. (Buddy assistance allowed.)
10. Descend using the fi ve-point method.
11. Remove, replace and clear a mask.
12. Breathe without a mask for at least one minute.
13. Disconnect the low pressure hose from the inflator in shallow water (either underwater or at the surface.)
14. Respond to air depletion by signaling “out-of-air” in water too deep in which to stand.
15. Ascend using the five-point method.
Dive 3 Performance Requirements
At the surface:
1. Perform a tired diver tow for 25 metres/yards in water too deep in which to stand.
2. Demonstrate the cramp removal technique for self and buddy (at the surface or underwater.)
3. Use both oral and low-pressure BCD inflation to become neutrally buoyant. Gently rise and fall in a controlled manner, during inhalation and exhalation.
4. Swim at least 10 metres/yards while maintaining neutral buoyancy.
5. Respond to air depletion by signaling “out of air,” and securing and breathing from an alternate air source supplied by a buddy. Continue for at least one minute while swimming.
6. Supply air to another diver using an alternate air source.
7. Breathe effectively from a free-fl owing regulator for at least 30 seconds.
8. Simulate a controlled emergency swimming ascent by swimming horizontally for at least 9 metres/30 feet while emitting a continuous sound.
Dive 4 Performance Requirements
1. Swim without a mask for at least 15 metres/50 feet, then replace and clear the mask.
2. Hover using buoyancy control for at least 30 seconds, without kicking or sculling.
Dive 5 Performance Requirements:
At the surface:
1. Remove, replace, adjust and secure the scuba unit and weight system in water too deep in which to stand, with minimal assistance.
2. Remove, replace, adjust and secure the scuba unit on the bottom in water too deep in which to stand, with minimal assistance.
3. Remove, replace, adjust and secure weight system.
• With weight belt – on the bottom in water too deep in which to stand.
• With weight integrated BCDs (or weight harness systems that require reassembly after weights are removed) – in shallow water.
If my maths dun fail me, it should add up to 42 skills, excluding equipment preparation and care and nope, we are not allowed to merge any skills into one skill to teach and have to teach the skills as it is.
I agree that 3-6 hours in a pool is too short. But i would like to point out that what you have listed are the tasks performance requirements. In any case, the number of basic skills listed by PADI are still 20 (+4 skin diving skills).
1. Equipment Assembly, Adjustment, preparation, donning and disassembly.
2. Predive Safety Check
3. Deep-water entry
4. Bouyancy check at surface
5. Snorkel-requlator/regulator-snorkel exchange
6. Five-point descent
7. Requlator recovery and clearing
8. Mask removal, replacement and clearing
9. Air depletion exercise and alternate air source use (Stationary)
10. Alternate air source-assisted ascent
11. Free-flow regulator breathing
12. Neutral bouyancy
13. Five-point ascent
14. Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent
15. Hover Motionless for 30 seconds
16. Underwater swim without mask
17. Remove and replace weight system underwater
18. Remove and replace scuba unit underwater
19. Remove and replace weight system on surface
20. Remove and replace scuba unit on surface
4 additional skin diving skills:
21. Vertical, head first skin dive
22. Swim at least 15m underwater on a single breath while skin diving
23. Snorkel clear using the blast method after ascending from skin diving
24. Snorkel clear using the displacement method after ascending from skin diving
Source from PADI DM Manual, Instructor Manual and Guide to teaching.