My PADI IDC review
After completing the PADI IDC at Oceans Unlimited I can safely say that in every aspect I’ve been incredibly happy here. Choosing where to do your IDC is a big thing, you take into account so many aspects like cost, location, diving conditions whether it’s warm water or cold water etc etc. There’s a lot to it, I was lucky enough to complete my PADI Divemaster here in March and April so I had seen an IDC in action and knew I liked the look of it. The staff here are fab, there’s someone from every walk of life, which just means that everyone has their own approach to teaching, meaning you pick up on so many styles and ideas. The benefit of completing your IDC here is that you don’t have to worry about all the confusing paperwork everything is taken care of for you, the scheduling, the mock exams the actual IE transportation to and from the exam, it’s all in their hands.
The PADI IDC here in Quepos is around 10 – 14 days, which is actually more time than most places offer, somewhere I looked at (for about 5 minutes) had a 4 day IDC which isn’t enough time to cover everything you need to know for the exam and to be able to complete it successfully. It’s more than enough time to get everything down to a pat, you have so much practice that by the time you walk into the exam room or head out to the ocean to do your practicals for your IE you’re just thinking the whole time: “Oh yeah, I’ve got this.” And with a 100% pass rate for the IDC that I was on, I would say that everyone shares that mentality. Don’t get me wrong the IE and IDC is not easy, there’s a lot of hard work involved and you’re learning a lot of new things and concepts. Speaking for myself; I am very new to the diving world, so I am 100% still in the process of learning, and even after passing my exams I still am learning every day.
What the PADI IDC involves
What the PADI IDC involves is preparing your for teaching in the real world as well as preparing you for the 5 aspects of the IE itself, you have the theory work, the skills circuit, the pool presentations, the classroom presentations and then the open water presentations. So to explain a bit more, the IE itself is the Instructors Exam, and the IDC is the Instructors Development Course, so this is where you fine tune your skills and practice everything you’ll need for the exams. I really enjoyed having a small group on my course, it felt as though there were enough people there which meant that you had others to bounce ideas off of but not so big that you feel like you get left behind, the IDC students are still very much the core focus of the shop and the instructors.
We’re lucky enough here to have 2 Course Directors (which is the top of the PADI professional ladder), Georgia King who is our Course Director and JT Timney who was certified in the Dominican Republic in 2017, Course Directors are the people in charge of running the IDCs. There are many other instructors here that all help you along the way, whether it’s the recently certified ones that are all about getting the certs to get their MSDT’s (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) which is 100% the phase that I am in right now. That’s another thing that’s really good about getting certified here, the MSDT classes are free all you need to do is pay the PADI fees for each specialty you choose (there’s 5 in total) and the training is all done out of the kindness of Georgia’s heart, so that means that by the time you walk away after the internship you earn your MSDT rating if that’s what you choose to do. (The ins and outs of all the terminology about ratings and the PADI Professional Ladder are all explained on the Go Pro Costa Rica website).
I won’t lie, there were tears (all of them from me, everyone else was cool and calm and collected but the thing I’m best at is stressing so…) and it really is learning a whole new skillset which can be a bit stressful and also frustrating when it’s not understood first time around, but with practice and perseverance you get there.
My top PADI IDC tips
DO NOT STRESS TOO MUCH, trust me it only makes things ten times harder than it needs to be and the chances are you know exactly what you’re doing it’s just about having the confidence to go ahead and do it!
E-Learning should be done before the IDC starts, it’s not a pre-requisite but it really makes your life that much easier that you’re not having to worry about 8 millions things ON TOP of E-Learning
Work hard play hard; burning out is easy to do, especially when you’re in a classroom 10 hours a day trying to retain all of this new and “weird” information, so make sure that you have outlets whatever that may be, also, everyone else on the course will be feeling the same way… (who says the bar isn’t the perfect revision spot?!)
When it gets hard, remind yourself why you’re doing it. Whether it’s because you love diving and want to share the love with the rest of the world, or whether you want to try something different and have the opportunity to travel to new places, when the going gets tough, get going.