18 Feb

How To Choose Your PADI IDC

Choosing where to take your PADI IDC can prove a little daunting at first – there are many places offering the programme, so how exactly do you choose your PADI IDC?  Here’s a few things to consider and questions to ask…


One factor to consider is how experienced is the person who will be teaching your PADI IDC. But what is experience and how is it measured ?  For some people it’s just a case of asking ‘how long have you been a Course Director ?’. But really, it goes a little deeper than this.  Time is a consideration, but it’s also good to know where your Course Director has worked – have they only taught in one location, or do they have experience of teaching PADI courses and skills in different locations with different conditions and logistics ?  Have they taught in cold and warm water ? Have they taught skills on wall dives, or just shallow sandy sites ? It might also be worth checking if the Course Director will be teaching the whole course, or using less experienced IDC Staff Instructors to do the teaching.

Questions to ask:

How long has the Course Director been teaching IDCs ?

When did the Course Director become an Instructor ?

Does the Course Director have the ‘Platinum’ rating ?

Will the Course Director teach the whole IDC ?

Where has the Course Director worked, both as a Course Director and as an Instructor ?

How many students has the Course Director certified – both at recreational and professional levels ?

Instructor Development Award
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It’s important to know what facilities the dive centre that you are considering has.  Do they have a comfortable, air-conditioned classroom ?  Tropical destinations are very popular for PADI IDCs, and you want to make sure you will be comfortable in the classroom as that’s where the majority of course time is spent.  You should also find out where the confined water and open water training will take place.  Does the centre have a pool, and how suitable for training is it ?  If for example the pool is too shallow it would be problematic to teach something like a hover, or five point descent without touching the bottom, where plenty of depth is required.

Questions to ask:

Do you have an air-conditioned classroom ?

Do you have an on-site pool ?

How deep is the pool ?

PADI Instructor Development Skills


Before you sign-up for an IDC, you should also make yourself aware of the time commitment required. In accordance with PADI standards, an IDC can be taught in as little as seven days. Many PADI IDC centres offer course over nine or ten days, however this usually translates to long days in the classroom – sometimes twelve hours.  There is a lot of information to take in during an IDC, plus you have to prepare for the next day after finishing.  It is possible to find extended, more relaxed PADI IDCs where your day will finish around 4pm – giving you plenty of time to prepare your presentations for the next day, eat a good meal and relax a little.  This way you arrive at the Instructor Examination feeling relaxed and confident rather than stressed and tired.  These longer IDC programmes typically include extra workshops and extra presentation practice, rather than just hitting the minimum training requirements set out by PADI.

Questions to ask:

How long is the IDC programme ?

Are there any extra workshops ?

Are any Specialty Instructor ratings included ?

Do you conduct a ‘Mock I.E.’ ?

How many teaching presentations will I deliver ?

What time does each day start and finish ?

PADI IDC lift bag workshop


The location is perhaps the least important of these factors to consider, but it’s still something to think about.  The majority of an IDC is spent in the classroom, but it is nice to be able to go out on a day off and relax underwater with some mantas or sunfish.  Another great way to relax on a day off is to study on a beautiful beach ! Also, after the IDC has finished, you will need to wait a week or so for your paperwork to be processed before you can start teaching.  This is the perfect time to take some Specialty Instructor Training and learn even more.  If this is something you’re considering, think about which Specialties you would like to teach.  If you want to become a Drift Diver Instructor, you need to be somewhere that offers current, if you want to teach the Wreck Diver Specialty, you would need a location with a wreck.  Some places, such as Bali, are very fortunate in that they can offer all this and more. And if you are looking to gain these extra qualifications, find out if the Course Director will be diving with you, or just asking a less experienced IDC Staff Instructor to do these dives instead.

Questions to ask:

Do you offer any free diving before or after the IDC ?

What is the water temperature ?

Do you have wrecks and currents ?

Can I dive on days off ?

What Specialty Instructor ratings can I do with your Course Director ?

If I take Specialty Instructor ratings, will the Course Director be in the water with us ?

PADI IDC, Bali, Indonesia, Asia

If you need any further help deciding where to make the step from PADI Divemaster to PADI Instructor, please feel free to email and ask…


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