Okay, so firstly I want to apologize as this took a little while to get this together. After finishing the PADI divemaster requirements information I promised I would get this one out “soon” and that has stretched into a few months, but hey…better later than never?
Idea behind this is to give you a better understanding of the whole PADI instructor program. For those of you who are looking at taking things a step further and becoming a PADI scuba diving instructor I hope this proves to be some help to you.
So first up, before your even get started, you need to start planning and preparing as much as possible for the course. The more you prepare, the more you can actually enjoy the whole process. No, really, you can actually have a really fun time during you PADI instructor course (IDC)! As a prerequisite, you need to have your divemaster course completed, this can be with PADI or with any other scuba certification agency. You need to have 100 dives under your belt, as well as a dive medical signed off by a doctor. You need to make sure you have all of your divemaster materials including the instructor manual, eRDPml and RDP. If you are missing anything then this can be obtained from your local dive shop. During your divemaster training (unless completed over 2 years ago) you should have been provided with a personal copy of all of these materials so make sure yours are up to date.
One of the biggest stress points for the PADI IDC is the dive theory sections. That is the physics, physiology, equipment, RDP and dive skills section. During the IDC we don’t actually teach any of this. Yes. really! Depending on where you attend the IDC the staff can give you as much help as they choose, but it is not part of the curriculum, you are expected to know this theory on reaching you instructor exam. During our IDC here in Costa Rica, we are great advocates for the independent study option, and all candidates get the diving knowledge workbook to start practicing and working on this theory in plenty of time. At the back of the book there is an instructor exam study guide to really help you pin point all of the sections you need to cover. We offer an IDC theory prep session before the official scuba instructor course gets underway so any issues or queries that have arisen during the independent study can be addressed. For example, nothing beats actually working with dive equipment compared to reading how a first stage works. Take one apart and you’ll understand that concept so much quicker! Dive theory exams have to be passed during the IDC as well as the instructor exam. Difference is though, that during the PADI IDC you have 100 questions during 90 minutes, and with the IE it is only 60 questions, plus everything is multiple choice. You are given constants with the physics exam, plus you can have a calculator and your tables. If you fail anything during the IDC you will have plenty of time to recover that subject and make sure you have a clear understanding before the IE. This is one of the reasons I like to get the theory exams completed in the first couple of days during the IDC so you have plenty of time and less stress to get it covered. Now bear in mind, while this is going on, you are also covering the rest of the PADI IDC, which I will start breaking down in the next chapter….
to be continued….