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Who should take this course?

If you like people, have a passion for scuba diving and want an extraordinary career - become a PADI Instructor. Teaching scuba diving allows you to share your love of the aquatic world with others while doing what you enjoy - being in, around, and under water. PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors and PADI Assistant Instructors are the most sought after dive professionals around the world because they've completed the program that sets the standard for training dive professionals. You earn a PADI Instructor rating through hard work, dedication, and commitment, but you're rewarded with a job that lets you share incredible underwater adventures with others - transforming their lives for the better and enriching yours. 

The Instructor Development Course (IDC) is made up o two parts - the Assistant Instructor (AI) course and the Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) program. Most dive professionals complete the entire IDC and go on to attend as Instructor Examination (IE), which is the final step to earn a PADI Instructor rating. 

Successfully completing just the AI course results in a PADI Assistant Instructor qualification. When an AI is ready to progress, attending an OWSI program allows entry into an IE to earn a full PADI Instructor rating. 

What is the difference between a PADI Assistant Instructor and a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor? 

The PADI AI course is the first portion of the PADI IDC. As a PADI Assistant Instructor , you can act as an instructional scuba assistant and assume limited teaching responsibilities. It is a great way to gain experience prior to becoming an Open Water Scuba Instructor. In addition to the responsibilities and duties you already have as a PADI Divemaster you can teach:
  • Academic presentations under the indirect supervision of a PADI Instructor
  • During confined water dives, present initial skills training under the direct supervision of an instructor
  • Evaluate Open Water Diver surface skills under the indirect supervision of an instructor
  • Teach and certify PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty Divers under the direction of an instructor
  • Teach Project AWARE Specialty courses
  • Teach the AWARE Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course
  • Conduct Discover Scuba Diving experiences in a pool or in confined water
  • Conduct the Seal Team AquaMissions
  • Teach Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty courses under the direction of an instructor after earning the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty Instructor rating
Whereas, as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, you will be able to teach beginner experiences such as the Discover Scuba Diving Program all the way through the Divemaster course all on your own. 

What are the prerequisites?

  • A PADI Divemaster who has been certified for six months
  • At least 60 logged dives to start and 100 logged dives to attend an IE
  • A medical statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months
  • You also need to be an Emergency First Response Instructor, but you can incorporate this rating during your instructor training. 

What will you learn?

Over a minimum of five days, but usually seven, the IDC teaches you to conduct all PADI core courses. You'll be able to organize and present information, conduct skill development sessions and control open water dives. Basically you become a better public speaker and get really good at demonstrating sills while watching our for student diver safety. Key topics include: 
  • PADI Standards and Procedures for courses you can teach with in water work 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 

What is an IE?

An Instructor Examination (IE) is a two day evaluation program that tests an instructor candidate's teaching ability, dive theory knowledge, skill level, understanding the PADI system, and attitude and professionalism. PADI IEs are standardized and conducted by specially trained PADI Instructor Examiners. The IE Location, testing environment and examination sessions are organized to be as objective as possible to fairly and consistently evaluate a candidate's abilities. Only those who meet the IE performance requirements earn the respected PADI Instructor certification. There is a fee for attending an IE. ​