In the past the dive professionals network, had a few times instigated #NameShame campaigns. And recently after a spike in reports received we decided to reinstate the dive pro blacklist project. The first case we shared incidentally went viral and shocked the asian diving community, but also divers and our members worldwide.
In 6 hours time we had the 'culprits'... links, names and evidence provided largely by our community of professionals. An amazing example of how our community of professionals should, and can act when witnessing behavior unbecoming of a professional diver.
An amazing response which resulted finally the arrest by local authorities of 4 persons involved (we heard one is out on bail).
Due to the high spirits and volume of response (the video was viewed 343,000 times and reached over 810,000 people and counting) we got, I was able to identify the following flaws and facts in our current system.
- Professionals are hesitant to report incidents to their area representative or authorities, for fear of complications or in some cases even reprisals.
- Generally there is this belief that reporting someone, amounts to a waste of time.
- In many areas there are no set legal framework by the authorities for this type of infractions.
- Diving Educational Companies and organizations do not cooperate, nor exchange information regarding quality assurance reports. This loophole enables rotten apples in our industry to thrive for decades.
- There is no universal code of conduct for professional divers or recreational divers set in place.
- Diving Educational companies and most organizations have no quality assurance procedure in place to reprimand recreational divers.
- Some case were mentioned were reports had been delivered and the association in question, just brush it off with a standard message...thereafter there is usually no follow up on the case.
- Seemingly behavior like this seems to be a regular ocurrence in some areas, and the local professionals are helpless.
This leads me to the following conclusions:
- A universal code of conduct needs to be ratified for both professional and recreational divers in the training and exploration sector.
- All organizations delivering pro diver credentials must endorse and let their members sign this as part of their membership agreement.
- A council of pro diver elders needs to be created who can rule with experience, wisdom and detachment over submitted black list cases.
- Organizations and companies active in the delivery of pro diver credentials should deliver reports of their quality monitoring activities for statistical usage.
- The above said companies and organizations should also communicate all punitive measures against their members to a universal blacklist.
- A comprehensive, democratic and fair procedure should be put in place, so as to ensure maximum efficiency, effect and respect from both divers and professionals.
The following is a steps proposal towards setting up the above said procedure:
- A confidential incident report is filed via this link
- Evidence gets shared to our network to identify the individual if necessary to uncover their identity
- After identification evidence material is gathered, community is informed and thanked.
Names of the parties involved are not to be released.
- A comprehensive report about the parties involved, is to be sent to relevant parties and local authorities.
A copy of the report is made public on our website (involved parties are not identifiable)
click this link for an example
- Parties involved have 7 working days to acknowledge receipt of the report
- 15 days to respond officially or update us on their preliminary findings.
- When a party has been penalized, the said party will be mentioned on the blacklist (accessible only to pro diver members - or by written request) for as long as their penalty is in effect.
- If our actions are not met with adequate results another strategy will be devised, which could result in us sponsoring a local legal procedure against the defendant, but also to the certifying body which is not cooperating.
- As a last resort only, if all else fails then a public social media #NameShame campaign can and will be instigated.
So now how do we go ahead with this topic, from a virtual world into reality?
We propose the following process:
A committee is formed to start working on these universal rules (should take no time at all), the above said procedure is fine tuned.
When the pro members have ratified this proposal we go over into a public and private vote.
Last but not least we inform all pro diver credential delivering companies and organizations of our new rules and ensure their participation.