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Tips on How to excel in your Instructor Development course:


The PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) is the gateway to becoming a PADI Instructor, as it builds on all the skills and knowledge you’ve learned up to that point. The IDC is a fun course, especially when making friends with other candidates working toward a common goal, but it is also hard work. “IDCs are always challenging, because you’re learning a lot of new information and giving presentations while being evaluated,” says Kelly Rockwood, a PADI Course Director and Instructor Examiner, as well as a Training Consultant for PADI Americas. So how do you have a safe, enjoyable and successful IDC? “Overall, be as prepared as possible before the IDC starts,” she says. As a guide, you can follow these seven tips..

  • TIP 1: Familiarize yourself with all the materials in the IDC Crew-Pak. Start by organizing all the materials; arrange the slates by course so you can easily locate them; and make sure you have all the student manuals. Familiarize yourself with the PADI Instructor Manual, so that when you take the standards and procedures exam in the IE you can do so confi dently. Rockwood also suggests getting materials that aren’t part of the IDC Crew-Pak, such as Project AWARE’s AWARE: Our World Our Water manual (downloadable for free on projectaware. org) organized early.
  • TIP 2: Bridge the gap between divemaster-level dive theory knowledge and instructorlevel dive theory knowledge. Dive Theory Online is a must, because it covers everything you’ll need to know in the IDC and IE, including sections on physics, physiology, equipment, the Recreational Dive Planner, diving environments and dive skills. The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving is essential, as is the Diving Knowledge Workbook.
  • TIP 3: Review, practice and polish demonstration skills. For knowledge development presentations, review the course presentation notes (such as the “Open Water Diver Course Presentation Notes” found on the PADI Pros’ Site [Training Essentials/ Curriculum/Diver Training/Open Water]. Polish your inwater techniques by viewing 24 teaching-quality skills – the exact ones performed in the IDC – in the Divemaster Skills section found on the PADI Divemaster Video (product No. 70844).
  • TIP 4: Refine rescue skills to demonstration quality. Some people take the rescue course and never have to use those skills again. Unfortunately, that means those skills might have eroded. Practice rescue techniques so that you’ll have the confidence to perform them properly at the IDC.
  • TIP 5: Come early to class.
    This goes beyond just arriving on time. Rockwood recommends being prepared for whatever activities are scheduled for the day. You’ll want to think and plan ahead. If you’re scheduled to give a knowledge development presentation on Wednesday but confined water demonstrations are three days earlier, prepare and practice for the confined water demonstrations first.
  • TIP 6: Start building a “toy box” for the IDC, IE, and post- IE teaching opportunities. Using nondiving teaching aids is a great way to get higher scores in your presentations. For Rockwood, this can be anything from a sponge to demonstrate the eff ects of nitrogen loading, to an eye dropper to show how gas is compressed, or a fun item like a toy diver to show proper streamlining position. “If you use your lesson guides, the manual, actual equipment and a nondiving teaching aid, that can be the diff erence between a ‘3’ and a ‘5’ for that grading area,” says Rockwood.
  • TIP 7: Pay attention to other candidates’ presentations. There are a few reasons for this, says Rockwood. First, you’d expect the same courtesy from your “students” when giving your presentation. Second, you may glean presentation ideas – speaking style, nondiving teaching aids, etc. – from another candidate to use in either your IE presentations, or when you’re finally an instructor. And finally, you’ll be able to learn from the constructive criticism IDC staff members give to fellow candidates aft er their presentations are finished.


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