PADI encourages every diver to continually improve their skills and abilities. It’s in everyone’s interest to have better divers that take more care of their environment, that are safer, more knowledgeable and capable of diving the better dive sites.
Not everyone wants to go down the route of being a PADI professional but for those of us that do, there is a clear route to improve our skills and develop as instructors.
As an IDC Staff Instructor, part of my training was how to assist a Course Director on an Instructor Development Course (IDC).

I love assisting on IDCs. I love the mentoring role, taking an Instructor Candidate – someone who wants to learn, and guiding them. Giving them as much as I can from my experience, building their confidence, helping them to improve their skills both as a diver and as a teacher, and setting them off on a path along which they will gain their own experience and hopefully one day will feel able to give some of that back to future Instructor Candidates.

I find that a good analogy for the role is that of being a Divemaster for a Course Director. A good Divemaster will anticipate problems and try to resolve them before they happen, or ensure that the Instructor is aware of them. When they are assisting an Instructor on a course they are able to work with students that are having difficulty, giving them extra practice. They co-ordinate logistics, and they are often the first person that a student goes to with a problem as they are – and should be – more approachable. Ultimately it’s the Instructor (or Course Director on an IDC) that is responsible for the schedule, ensuring that training standards have been met, and for the overall conduct of the course, but the Divemaster (IDC Staff Instructor) helps to make it happen.
I love learning. I want to be the best that I can at everything that I do, and I can only do that by continuous practice and making sure that I take every opportunity to learn something new.

PADI Continuing Education Chart
IDC Candidates
I’ve ‘staffed’ IDCs with two different Course Directors, Thien and Camille – both with very different teaching styles, and I learn something new from each of them every time I work with them. Everyone has different learning styles and you need Instructors and Course Directors with different teaching styles to cater to those different needs.
IDC Candidates


The Instructor Development Course (IDC) teaches you how to deliver PADI training courses in the classroom (Knowledge Development), as well as in Confined Water and Open Water.

The Course Director and Staff Instructors deliver a series of presentations and then the instructor candidates get several days of practice both in the classroom, the pool, and the sea. Their dive skills are evaluated and brought up to demonstration standards, their rescue skills are also evaluated and brought up to demonstration standards, and finally they have to pass both dive theory and standards exams.

IDC Classroom
IDC Candidates in the pool

EFR Instructor Training

As part of their IDC all candidates learn how to become Emergency First Response (EFR) Instructors. Along with the serious side, this is a bit of light relief from an otherwise challenging course, as it gives candidates a chance to practice bandaging, CPR and role-playing victims which is always good fun.

The Instructor Exam (IE)

Once they have reached the required standard they are put forward to the PADI Instructor Exam (IE).
This 4-part exam by a PADI Examiner is a check that the candidates have reached the required standard, and that the Course Director / Staff Instructors have done their job properly.

While candidates must pass the IE in order to teach, the emphasis of a good IDC is as much about real-life teaching once the IE is over as it is about getting through the exam. Course Directors and Staff Instructors bring their years of teaching experience into the classroom, and often continue to act as mentors for a long time after.

If you are interested in becoming a PADI Instructor, would like to refresh your skills before starting an IDC, or are thinking about taking the first step as a PADI professional then please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.