PADI IDC (Instructor Development Course)

By Course Director - Bechir Chehab

By Course Director - Bechir Chehab

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If you are passionate for the underwater world and want to live an extraordinary life, why not become a scuba instructor? It’s one of the most rewarding full-time or freelance part-time jobs!

Needless to mention that scuba instructors will surely transform lives and change fear to courage and play a vital role in environmental conservation and very vital element for the continuity of mankind !

Read on to learn how you can have a career, travel the world, and make the most of your time on this ocean planet – as a PADI® Scuba Instructor!

Steps to Become a PADI Instructor:

The PADI IDC (Instructor Development Course) is the most recognized scuba diving instructor course in the world. The majority of the world’s most successful dive instructors gained the knowledge, skills and confidence required to start teaching scuba during their PADI dive instructor course. In post-course surveys, 95% of student divers say they would highly recommend their PADI Instructor.

Step One: Meet the IDC Prerequisites

The first step to becoming a scuba instructor is enrolling in an IDC. To start your dive instructor training you must be at least 18 years old and meet the following requirements:

Be a certified diver for at least six months
Hold a PADI Divemaster certification (or qualifying certification from another recognised organisation)

Have at least 60 logged dives but to be certified you will need to have 100 logged dive
Hold a current CPR and First Aid certification*
Have a medical clearance to scuba dive

  • IDC candidates must have a current (within the last 24 months) Emergency First Response (EFR®) certification or hold a qualifying certification. EFR Instructor certification is required before you can start teaching.

Step Two: Complete the IDC

The PADI IDC has two components: Assistant Instructor (AI) and Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI). You can complete them separately or all in one go.

the main focus of the PADI Instructor Development Course is learning how to teach, not perfecting your skills. By the time you start the IDC, you should already have excellent diving skills and professional-level knowledge of diving equipment, physics, and physiology. In the IDC, you’ll learn how to share your knowledge and experience with others.

During the IDC you’ll learn:

How to give classroom presentations
How to work with students in confined water (a pool or pool-like environment) and open water
PADI’s 4E’s philosophy
Risk management
How to market yourself as an Instructor
By the end of your PADI IDC, you’ll have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to train scuba divers through all of PADI’s core recreational-level courses!

As a specialty instructor you will also be able to teach specialties but after completing the specialty instructor courses for each specialty.

Here’s something most people don’t realize about becoming a scuba instructor: the things you learn in the IDC are helpful in other areas of life at how home and on your professional career, I ve been there!
In the PADI IDC, you’ll learn how to explain complex ideas, give constructive criticism in a positive manner and improve your confidence in public speaking.

How hard is it to become a dive instructor?

Different parts of the IDC will be easy for some and challenging for others. For example, the classroom presentations were easy for me. I’m comfortable speaking in front of people and PADI’s Guide to Teaching outlines everything you need to say. But others in my class were nervous and had a hard time at first. Meanwhile, I stressed out about the rescue exercise while other candidates (with long arms, I might add) completed it effortlessly every time.

It should also be noted that I started my IDC less than 9 months after I became a Divemaster. My skills were pretty sharp however theory was an area of improvement as you don’t get to practice as much as we dive!

Other IDC students hadn’t been active Divemasters for years. For them, the learning curve was a little steeper. The good news is: PADI is known for its high-quality instructional curriculum designed to accommodate students at various levels with different learning styles. It’s one of the main reasons the majority of dive instructors are PADI Instructors. Furthermore, PADI’s Instructor Trainers (known as Course Directors) are some of the dive industry’s most experienced and elite instructors.

Everyone is different and some parts of the IDC will be easy for some and challenging for others.

By choosing PADI, you set yourself up for success.
If it’s been more than a year or two since you became a Divemaster or assisted with classes, tell your Course Director. They might offer an IDC prep course or recommend ways to prepare for the IDC.

Step Three: Pass the Instructor Exam

After successfully completing the IDC, you’ll be eligible to take the PADI Instructor Exam (IE). Instructor Exams are conducted by PADI Examiners, friendly, experienced Course Directors who work for PADI. Examiners follow standardized criteria to ensure instructor candidates have the knowledge and skills to become safe, effective scuba instructors. These independent evaluators ensure the evaluation process is objective, fair, and consistent worldwide.

Basically, you will be evaluated by exactly the way you were evaluated during the IDC, only the face will change!

Once you’re a PADI Instructor, you can apply for jobs on PADI’s international Job Board and enjoy other benefits of PADI Membership or even start working as a freelance with a or few dive centers during your free time.

If you meet all prerequisites, you can complete the PADI IDC in as little as 6 days. Not every IDC Center offers a consecutive day program, so be sure to inquire always.

Prefer to take your time? Many IDC Centers scheduled scuba instructor training over the course of several weekends.

However, the most important thing to remember is that scuba diving is not a time performance course, it’s a skill mastery related, in other words, if we will need to repeat segments or practice more theory, then you Padi course Director will give you the advices and time you need!

It’s also totally fine to become a scuba instructor just so you can teach friends or family members to dive. You don’t have to quit your job and travel the world; but once you’re a scuba instructor, that option is always available!!