What’s the difference? Consider this observation from a discussion on scubaboard.com:
“I took the PADI deep course a few years ago from what I consider to be a very good PADI instructor. He taught the course to standards and a little above but in all honesty looking back now from my own view as an instructor and someone who has taken a bit of tech training the course was not thorough enough.
There was a great deal of info lacking in it. Not enough time is spent on equipment configuration and selection of the gear and why. Emergency deco procedures are IMO glossed over and the hazards of going into deco and the hazards of deep diving itself not emphasized enough. Actual deep diving should promote some anxiety and in some cases enough that that certain divers will just reconsider the whole idea and not do it. Emergency deco procedures should be part of any deep dive and planned for as back up. The problem is that the instructor may not have a good idea of just what those procedures and tables are. When choosing a deep instructor ask them what tables they follow for an emergency deco event. If they say the RDP guidelines -
DiveWell’s PSAI staff are all experienced deep or “technical” divers. Using PSAI’s Sport Deep course curriculum and the experience of the ORIGINAL extended range certification agency we cover these typical weaknesses in basic agency deep programs. DiveWell’s deep diving students learn equipment selection, configuration, dive planning and execution from the agency that founded “technical” diving education, including the proper execution of emergency decompression. Despite the fact that this should never be necessary if you, to quote PSAI founder Hal Watts, “Plan your dive and dive your plan.”