In Depth Course Overview: PADI Instructor Development Course at DXDIVERS

So you love to scuba dive and you’re looking to make it more of a focus in your life…

Look no further than the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) at DXDIVERS.

There are so many positives to becoming a certified scuba instructor.

For one, you can teach your friends and family how to scuba dive!

Imagine the bonding and lifelong memories you can make when you teach your loved ones a hobby you can share.

Second, you gain in depth knowledge on scuba diving and how it’s taught from ages 10+...

Even if you have no intention to teach scuba as your profession, having that knowledge makes you a more well-rounded, experienced diver.

Third, you become a leader in an industry you really love!

Imagine when you talk about scuba, you can speak from a position of authority and help others experience the underwater world safely.

Fourth, you get to do something less than 1% of the world has accomplished.

As a scuba instructor, you will be joining an elite group of divers, your type does not settle for the recreational certifications alone…

You like a challenge and you’re ready to take your diving skills to the next level.

Fifth, you love the diving and boating lifestyle and you’re wondering what’s taken you so long to make this decision.

If you’ve been on the fence with the PADI IDC course, I encourage you to keep reading.

Finding Your Why

Whenever you start a new chapter in your life, it’s recommended to reflect before moving forward with your decision.

Understand why you’re choosing this new path.

Become aware of the requirements and what is being asked of you.

Ask yourself why you want to do this.

Having a strong reason why will help you push through when the going gets tough.

And when you’re training to become a PADI scuba instructor, the going will get tough.

It will be demanding.

You may feel nervous, or anxious, or worried that you may not succeed.

Which can cause you to want to give up.

We encourage you to sit with the decision and make sure you know why you’re doing it.

There is no wrong answer or reason.

The reason you choose should be yours and yours alone.

If it’s because you want to start living a life of leisure and fun, growth and reward… we encourage you.

If it’s because you want to make a little extra money on the side doing something fun… we encourage you.

If it’s because you can work in a dive shop and get access to great discounts as a PADI professional… we encourage you and don’t blame you!

Just have a real reason behind why you’re choosing this path.

It will serve you well as you move throughout the course.

Course Requirements

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, shall we?

To start, you must be a certified divemaster.

The minimum age to become an instructor, or divemaster for that matter, is 18 years of age.

This can be with any scuba certifying agency, not just PADI: NAUI, SSI, SDI, CMAS, RAID, TDI, etc.

However, even if you rose through the ranks from open water diver to divemaster in a short time, a requirement for the IDC course is being a certified scuba diver for at least 6 months.

You will also need at least 60 logged dives to begin the course, with at least 100 logged dives before you take the instructor examination (IE).

Additionally, you will need to have an Emergency First Response Primary & Secondary Care certification, completed within the past 24 months.

Last but not least, a medical statement with a sign-off from a physician within the last 12 months.

This medical statement will be provided to you when you sign up for your IDC with us.

Don’t worry, we will make sure you have all necessary documents and paperwork finished ahead of time!

And something to keep in mind…

The instructor development course (IDC) is an intensive week-long (7 day) course, during which you will be spending 8-10 hour days for the entirety of the course.

More on what you’ll be doing during those 7 days in the next section.

What You’ll Learn

The instructor development course (IDC) at DXDIVERS is designed to prepare you to teach others how to scuba, sharpen their skills as they continue education, and help you pass the instructor examination (IE) with flying colors.

We understand the amount of time, money, and commitment you have made to pursue your instructor rating and we don’t take that lightly.

That said, you will spend your 7 day IDC week doing classroom presentations, pool skills demonstrations, open water skill simulations, and evaluating each other on said skills.

PADI’s approach to courses is conservative, always erring on the side of safety - comforting for both the instructor and the student.

Key topics for PADI IDC include:

  • PADI Standards and Procedures for courses you can teach with in water workshops
  • Learning, Instruction and the PADI System
  • Risk Management and Diver Safety
  • The Business of Diving and your role as an instructor
  • Marketing Diving and Sales Counseling

As a PADI 5-star Instructor Development Center, DXDIVERS has classrooms upstairs, a pool on-site for training, and our own dive boat located less than a mile from the shop.

These features ensure that you can focus on your larger task on hand, becoming a good instructor - instead of wasting time figuring out logistics.

Additionally, you will work on becoming a better public speaker as you give presentations to your peers and Course Director Charles Kiss.

After all, as an instructor you are the leader - you command the attention of your students and you are the authority they’re looking to.

You will even get the chance to work with real students during the course to gain real-world experience, with the benefit of Course Director Charles watching over your shoulder and giving constructive feedback.

To be frank, at DXDIVERS PADI IDC is intentionally designed to be more difficult and you will be graded more harshly than you will while taking the instructor examination (IE).

This is intentional because we want you to feel overprepared when you go in to be evaluated by PADI.

It’s also another reason Course Director Charles has a 100% passing rate - for more information about Charles, check out this post

This all contributes to a solid foundation on which you will build your instructor experience and career.

Remember, being a certified Divemaster means you come in with plenty of foundational knowledge on course flow, gauging someone’s skill level, risk assessment, etc.

IDC will polish your existing PADI Pro skills and refine you into the industry leader you’re destined to become.

PADI Instructor Examination (IE)

Let’s demystify the instructor examination (IE), shall we?

The IE is an in-person official PADI two-day exam that evaluates your presentation skills, your in-water skill demonstrations, how you evaluate students, and your overall scuba knowledge.

PADI Instructor Examination is divided into 4 sections:

  • Written exams
  • Classroom presentation
  • Confined water teaching
  • Open water teaching

The breakdown of each of these sections is further discussed in the IDC course.

For the sake of brevity, we will cover some key features of each section.

The written exam is divided into two sections: Standards & Procedures and Dive Theory.

The passing mark for each section of the written exam is 75%, meaning if you get below a 75% you will be required to come back at a later date to retake that section.

For the classroom presentation, you will be given the task to explain a knowledge review question to a student who is struggling to understand the concept.

At this point, you are being evaluated by your ability to breakdown concepts to students of all ages and levels.

Keep in mind, the knowledge review question can come from any of the courses from Open Water through Divemaster.

Moving to confined water teaching, you will be asked to demonstrate a skill from any of the courses and then evaluate your students (who are other IDC candidates), however…

Each “student” is given an intentional error to make, of which you must correct then debrief.

For the second part of confined water skills, you will be asked to demonstrate 5 basic scuba skills from a list of 20 scuba skills.

Lastly, your open water teaching presentation.

Similar to your confined water teaching evaluation, you will be given two teaching skills from a PADI course (Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue, or Peak Performance Buoyancy).

Your “students” will demonstrate the skills with deliberate errors, of which you will have to identify and correct.

Then you debrief the “students”.

Scoring is based on a specific PADI system which you learn all about during the IDC.

As you can see, the IE can be demanding, especially if you’re not adequately prepared.

This is why Course Director Charles is so good at what he does.

He knows the pain points IDC candidates have and he drills you until you can do these skills and presentations nearly in your sleep.

Sounds aggressive, but sounds better than paying for the IE twice.

The approximate cost of retaking a section is $200… per section.

Instructor Status ✅ What’s Next?


If you made it to this point, we can see you’re serious about becoming a PADI Open Water Instructor.

You may be wondering… what’s next?

Well the great thing is you have options!

You might want to revisit your “WHY” - why did you choose to become an instructor?

No matter how you feel after passing the IDC and IE, you may want to pursue an internship.

At DXDIVERS, we offer internships to all IDC students who want to hone in on their skills, get a bit more constructive feedback, and have the added benefit of a more seasoned instructor along for the ride.

We offer discounts on gear to any students taking courses with us!

We’re always looking to add quality instructors to our staff, so if you’re interested in working at DXDIVERS - let us know!

Now if you’re looking for an instructor position, there is a job board on PADI’s website.

PADI’s job board is incredible because they have job postings all over the world!

Want to teach diving in Australia? What about Thailand? The crystal clear waters of the Caribbean?

There’s probably a PADI dive center looking for you too.

You can also reach out to local dive shops or dive shops abroad - remember PADI is global!

So if after reading this you’re interested in becoming a PADI instructor development candidate…

Start your journey by getting your self-study IDC digital crew pack here.

Let us know if you have any questions about IDC in the comments below!

Happy diving!

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