Information about My Freediving Instructor

How it works

How it works


For students

Finding the right instructor and course for you

Our platform is designed to be as intuitive as possible for the students.
 
  • Are you a complete beginner looking for an experienced instructor offering courses close by? 
  • Are you looking for someone who can speak your own language and who would be particularly good at solving your equalization issue? 
  • Or maybe you're an advanced freediver already looking for a great coach to improve your performance at the discipline of your choice? 
→  You’ll be able to find exactly what you want through our website. 
 
To do so you can either (1) use the search tool on the upper left side of the homepage, either by type of course or by location, (2) use the filters on the left side or (3) use the "Map" located right under the cover picture. This third option will let you find an instructor in your area.


Highest standards of safety - at all times

Your safety as a student is our priority. On our site you will only find instructors certified by the most trusted freediving agencies in the world. Before publishing any course listing, all instructors were asked to provide (1) their professional documents, i.e. instructor ID or instructor certification ; (2) a valid First Aid, CPR, and O2 provider certification as well as (3) a professional liability insurance. We also facilitate access to freediving insurance for students

In order to guarantee the highest standards of safety are met at all times, and not only at the date of the publication of the course listing, you will find at the end of each of them the following: "Safety standards guarantee", followed either by a link, by the mention "Please see course listing images", or "Established freediving center". 

Through either of them, you have the guarantee that the instructor's documents mentioned above are valid on the day of your course (the instructor has a recent First Aid, CPR, and O2 certificate for instance, and his/her insurance policy is also valid). As a result, you are guaranteed to be in safe hands! Also, because we chose a modern verification process in which you also play a role and that doesn't require us to set up a back office or hire extra people, our platform is able to offer very low fees (5%) to instructors who want to appear on our website, which results in My Freediving Instructor providing you a with a greater number of qualified instructors to choose from, at an interesting price for you

Lastly, as some freediving federations have lower requirements to become an instructor, we have an additional, in-house standard, of 40m in the discipline of Constant Weight so that optimal satefy conditions for you can be guaranteed.  This depth has to be proven either by the level of the certification (Level 2 Instructor with some federations), or by a recorded performance in competition. This requirement only applies to independent instructors, not established centers.


Reviews

In order to add useful information for the students, all instructors are given the ability when they enlist to upload images in their course listings containing print screens of reviews left by their former students. All such reviews are sent to us with a link leading to the original review on TripAdvisor, or on the Google or Facebook company page of their center or former center and were verified by us before publication. We also made sure they were not misleading (as in: not the one good review among many bad ones). After your course, your instructor and yourself will be able to exchange a mutual review of each other.


Communication with the instructor and booking 

Once you find the instructor or course you were looking for, you can either reach him/her by clicking on the "Contact" button, or you can directly select "Schedule a course with your instructor" if your decision is made. 

You will be charged only if your instructor accepts the transaction, which needs to happen within 3 days, if he/she declines or does not respond, no charge is made.

Paying through a PayPal account (instead of by credit card) is optional but we strongly recommended it. It is entirely free and you’ll get PayPal Buyer Protection on your course booking, in case anything (highly) unlikely were to happen, such as a group course being sold as a private one, or a 3-day program that would end after one day. If that ever happens please reach out to us. We cannot play any part in the PayPal transaction and their protection would fully cover you anyway,  but we truly want to be informed if you were given misleading or deceitful information while booking a course.

Here is more information about their services if you're not familiar with them:

 

Mission of our marketplace and transactions

Aside from sharing the passion of freediving and making it easier for instructors to live off their work, this marketplace was developed to finance the programs of the Apnea Green Organization, our non-profit environmental organization that acts to protect marine resources and to benefit local communities in the Philippines

In order to achieve those goals in the long run, it is important that payments be processed through the marketplaceThe present marketplace is built on trust, and will only work if everyone plays in the same teamIn an exceptional case, our donation page can be used, either by your instructor or by you, in which case your instructor will give you a 5% discount on the price of the course. Please note that you would not be entitled to PayPal Buyer Protection in that case. In such a case our mutual review system would also not be available.

You can very easily browse through the website of Apnea Green or read the Terms of use of the present platform to know exactly what your money will allow us to do.


Final Word

Lastly, we want to hear from you! Let us know how your freediving experience went and how your instructor was. Follow us on social media or leave us a review, and if you have any idea or suggestion that would help us improve our solution, let us know!   

You can hit this contact tab or reach any of us directly.
 
That’s it, have fun and dive safe! 
 
 

***

 

For instructors

The marketing of courses on our platform is strictly reserved for professional freediving instructors who are certified by recognized federations and are under active status. Safety is our main concern and we want to make sure that the students who book a freediving course through our platform are in good hands. Any recreational course has to be taught following the standards of your federation and shouldn’t in any case lead your students to go past the point at which they feel safe and comfortable.  

Requirements:

  • Be an active instructor under one of the following federations: AIDA, Apnea Academy, Apnea Total, CMAS, FII, Molchanovs, PADI, PFI, RAID, SSI.
  • Be able to comfortably reach 40m* in the discipline of Constant Weight, as proven either by the level of the instructor certification (Instructor Level 2 with some federations), or by a recorded performance in competition.
  • Valid First Aid, CPR and O2 certificate
  • Legal liability insurance

*We are aware that this performance requirement is higher than what is asked by some federations for their first professional level. Yet we firmly believe it will guarantee higher conditions of safety for the students learning to freedive through our platformThis requirement only applies to independent instructors, not established centers.



Course listings 

Once you sign up on our platform, you can edit your course listing(s) through the "+ Offer your courses" tab and click on “Publish listing” to see them appear online once they're validated. Please try to provide a final version of them directly, as any edit would take a course listing offline, and would have to be validated by us to be (re)published. 

Please provide students with one listing per course (for instance one listing for an AIDA 1 course and another listing for an AIDA 2 course), as well as one listing per language (so four listings in total if you want to offer AIDA 1 and 2 in English and Spanish for example). This ensures the students can browse through clear course offers and can use the filters in an optimal manner.
 
Please take the time to edit the best listing(s) possible: on the "Detailed description" section, you can use the "markdown" tool to edit the layout of your content. Try to showcase a few photos of you teaching so that students have a good idea of what to expect. You can also add videos if you want the student to have a more lively idea of your course content. In any case, do not provide any misleading information, the description of the course has to be a genuine description of the course your student(s) will receive.  

The minimum price of a course listing is set at 25usd. Should you advertise the same courses on your own website or social media, we ask you to do so at the same price as on this platform.

Please note that no unsupervised training session, or "no-limit" type of activity can be offered through our platform. 


Highest standards of safety

In order to guarantee the quality of the courses and that the highest standards of safety are met at all times for the courses sold through our platform, we ask you to provide the following in each of your course listings: 

  • AIDA / Apnea Academy or instructors from other agencies that would provide the service have the ability to copy/paste a direct link to their profile page on their respective federation's website. You can do so by selecting "Direct link" to the "Safety standards guarantee" choice, and copying the link in the "Direct link if applicable" box.

  • If your federation doesn't provide that option, or if you don't want to add the link, we ask you to upload (1) your instructor card or certification as the last image of each of your listings, as well as (2) your valid First Aid, CPR & O2 certification and (3) your professional liability insurance. You can use one image per document, or copy/paste them into one single image.
 
  • Established freediving centers can select the third option, provided all their instructors are at all times in possession of a valid First Aid, CPR & O2 certification, and are covered by a legal liability insurance.

We realize it can be seen as inconvenient, but we had to make a choice between convenience and safety, and chose for the latter. If you have concerns about your privacy or if you don't want your full details to be visible for all, please erase your family name or other personal details on the documents and upload both versions so we can verify them, only the edited version will be published.


SEO (what you want to do to be found on Google)

This marketplace is available in English, simplified Chinese, French and Italian. It will shortly be available in traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Spanish. The following applies to all these languages, and you can edit several listings for the same courses if you want to target students who will not use English on search engines.

Our platform has been developed using SEO (search engine optimization) best practices, and is designed to have its homepage, as well as its individual course listings, rank high on Google.

For that to work best, the following guidelines should be followed. Any user of a search engine will then be likely to find you, and your pool of prospective students will not be restricted to those who use the platform directly to search for a course or an instructor / center. 

For information, these guidelines were edited in collaboration with Neil Patel's consulting firm and are up to date for Google optimization in June 2020.   

1. The keywords "freediving", "course" as well as the name of the federation (ex. "AIDA") should be in the title of your listings, as well as in the description of your courses. The same goes for your city and country.

→ For example, a good title could be: "Molchanovs Wave 1 Freediving Course in Nice, France".

→ With some courses, the official name contains "Freediver" (and not "Freediving"), such as "AIDA 4 Master Freediver". If you choose not to use "Freediving" in the title because you prefer to use the official name, make sure to use "Freediving" a few times around the description.

2. The number of characters in the main title is limited to 65 (spaces included), so that it is visible in its entirety on Google. You might have to compose with that and neglect some keywords accordingly in the title. As a rule, the country is usually less important than the other keywords.

3. Your course listings should have a few headings in the description too. 

It is good to have a couple of secondary or even third headings in the detailed description of your courses. The title is the main one (it's technically the "H1 tag"). 

Here are a few examples of secondary titles, that can be used inside the description:

a) ##A Freediving Course for Beginners in Sicily

b) ##An Experienced Instructor and Competitor

  b.1) ###A Freediving Instructor with 30 Years of Experience 

  b.2) ###An Experienced Competitor and Coach

c) ##A Great Place to Learn to Freedive in the Philippines

d) ##One of the Most Beautiful Islands to Freedive in Asia 

→ Your can add "##" in front of your secondary titles, and "###" in front of the third titles (b.1 & b.2 in the example), so that Google understands your listing more easily.

4. The main – and secondary titles – should basically match what you believe prospective students might google.

5. Use some bullet points/list format, for example:

The course consists of:

- two theory sessions
- one breathing and relaxation session
- two confined water sessions (usually in the swimming pool)
- three open water sessions
- one exam to take at the end

6. The keywords ("freediving" ; "course" ; "name of the federation" ; "city" and "country" should be used across the titles, and in the detailed description itself. It must be done in a natural way, as it would otherwise be counterproductive.

7. You can use bold to emphasize the keywords.

8. Your course listing should be long enough: a minimum of 300 words per page is recommended, 600-700 is optimal.

9. Lastly, it should not be a simple copy/paste of something found online, as it would get picked up by Google and the visibility would be lowered.


All this will probably take you some time to edit optimized course listings, but if you do follow the guidelines, you are likely to rank among the first results on Google in your area within a month, and setting up your own website for the same results would certainly take you (much) more time than that, trust us! :-)

You can make your own opinion about the importance of optimized content with the following Google searches:
- Molchanovs Online Instructor Crossover
- AIDA 4 Master Freediver in Dahab
- Freediving Course in Westfjords, Iceland
- Or any other listing that was published at least 3 weeks ago and followed those guidelines.


Moving around

If you move around you can edit the location on your listings to reflect your new city / country. You can also decide to close your listing(s) for a while, if you want them to stop appearing on the platform. You’ll be able to have them published again by clicking on "reopen listing". 


Mission of our marketplace and transactions

We have developed this marketplace to make it easier for instructors to live off their passion by connecting them to students wherever they go, make freediving affordable and safe for as many students as possible, and fund the programs of Apnea Green, our non-profit environmental organization that acts to protect marine resources and to benefit to local communities in the Philippines.  
Please play along with the game and objectives of our platform. If we want it to continue over time, to the benefit of all its users and for us to keep Apnea Green afloat, payments have to be processed through the platform. We chose to ask for a low commission (5%) on the courses sold, in order for all parties to benefit from it, as well as to let students and instructors communicate with each other without restriction, but it only works if everyone plays on the same teamIn an exceptional case, our donation page can be used, either by you or by your student, in which case he/she would be entitled to a 5% discount on the price of the course. In such a case our mutual review system would not be available. 

Our monthly costs in terms of software and hosting services for this marketplace are not cheap, not to mention the lawyer, bookkeeper, mayor’s permit, tax expenses and everything else that we have to pay in order to continue running this platform as a legitimate non-profit organization. Nevertheless, we chose to let students and instructors communicate freely without processing any payment first, in order to build trust between you and them and put the students' experience first, but this only works if everyone plays along. 

You can browse through Apnea Green's website or read the Terms of use of the present platform to know exactly what you money will make possible


PayPal seller protection and fees 

If you’re a new seller on PayPal you’ll have to configure an account with them. With new seller accounts PayPal can decide to put the money you receive on hold for up to 21 days, unless you meet some of their requirements before that. You can click on the link to see what we received when testing the platform, we had no particular problem going through the process by following their steps (by processing a few transactions and marking the orders as completed on the student's side).  

When a transaction is processed, PayPal will also charge its sellers a fee, usually between 2 and 4% depending on your country or bank, and provide you in exchange with their seller protection services. Please note that we are not engaged in the actual transaction between you and your student, nor in the course itself. Though both parties are provided with PayPal protection, we strongly encourage you to favor an amicable solution should any issue arise (booking cancelled, unhappy student and so on). Please note that for any course that would not match the description you made of it in any significant way, your students might introduce a dispute through PayPal and be fully reimbursed.

Important / phishing attempts: an email can appear as coming from "ser‎vi‎ce@intl.p‎ay‎‎pal.c‎om", but still be a fraudulent email address. Please be aware that these practices are getting more and more common and make sure to duly check the address.

For more information on PayPal, please read:


Social media 

For those of you who use LinkedIn for your online resume, we have created a company page, you can follow or use to flesh out your LinkedIn profile. We will accept any recommendation invite from instructors who receive good reviews from their students. 

We also have a Facebook page that will be used for general-purpose communication (if there's anything important we'll send you an email). Don't hesitate to follow us or leave us a review.

 

#ConservationFreedivers

Over time, our objective is to introduce an additional feature to this platform, for instructors who have a track record of dedicating themselves to working for the protection of the environment and/or to the benefit of local communities. An additional filter will be added by then to the homepage ("Conservation Freediver") to enable them to process transactions outside of our payment system if they want to. For more information, or if you think you might fit the criteria, please read this page. One of the objectives of the network is to scale up safety and freediving training for spearfishers or set up swimming courses for kids, by giving the instructors additional incentives do so. 


Help us improve our marketplace

If you want us to add a new course that you might teach, another federation on the list, a language that's not there yet, or even edit our filters in case you break the current world records (the filters are set according to them), please let us know! Our objective is to continuously improve the platform, so we want to hear from you. Please note that we reserve the right not to make our services available for certain courses or federations, should we consider the highest safety standards for students cannot be met. At the moment, we have mostly added federations and courses we felt confident met those standards. Any federation or course left aside should not be seen as carrying any hazard, the current choice was made from the knowledge we have and the research we made on these federations and courses. 

If there is any professional translator among you (English to either German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese or Spanish for now) who wish to help us make the site available in his/her language, please reach out to us

If you also happen to be a professional underwater photographer or a mermaid instructor, please contact Elaina, we might have something for you soon.

If you wish to make our solution available more easily to your instructors, please reach us and/or feel free to use our logo.


Final word

Thank you for bearing with us through the long text :-)

Whether you decide to offer your courses through this platform or not, feel free to use it to find professional dive buddies wherever you go or just connect with other freedivers, by simply using the filter "I am looking for instructor dive buddies". 


That’s it, have fun and dive safe!