The Marine Studies department at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic has been recognised by Padi (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) Asia Pacific as a centre of excellence making an outstanding contribution to dive instructor training.
The IDC (Instructor Development Course) is a second year elective for students on the Diploma in Marine Studies and the programme's tutors are responsible for teaching between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of the country's dive instructors.
Marine Studies students taking dive instructing complete an intensive course that finishes with a three-day exam.
The external examiners are brought in from Padi Australia to ensure a high standard and an unbiased examination.
Academic staff member Daniel Sharp was thrilled to receive the award and was proud of the standards achieved by this year's students.
"This year was our best pass rate ever with everyone passing the pool, classroom teaching presentations and the open water examination_a first in my ten years of running and teaching this programme,'' Mr Sharp said.
"Overall the examiners were very impressed and since their job is to fly around the bottom part of the world examining students, that is a pretty good reflection of our students.''