prepare for your PADI IDC

The question of how to prepare for your PADI IDC is of vital importance to getting off to a good start on the PADI Instructor Development Course. The IDC can be a fun or fulfilling learning experience or it can be stressful as you struggle to keep up with everything. Being well prepared can make the difference as to which of the experiences you have.

This article is aimed at those of you who are signing up to the full IDC program of the Assistant Instructor (AI) and Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) courses and has a few steps to make sure you have the ideal preparation.

PADI IDC eLearning

A compulsory item to prepare for your PADI IDC is now the PADI IDC eLearning which should be completed prior to the start of the IDC. This introduces you to the following sections and has quizzes and knowledge reviews to complete to ensure you are taking in the information.

1 – Getting Started

2 – Dive Theory for Dive Leaders

3 – PADI System Overview

4 – Learning, Instruction and the PADI System

5 – Discover Scuba Diving and Experience Programs

6 – The PADI Open Water Diver Course

7 – Risk Management and Legal Considerations 8 – Managing Risk

9 – PADI Quality Management and Licensing

10 – Introduction to Teaching Presentations

11 – Conducting and Evaluating Knowledge Development

12 – Confined Water Training

13 – Open Water Training

14 – Continuing Education and Leadership Courses

15 – The Business of Diving

16 – How to Teach the Recreational Dive Planner (RDP) – required for crossover candidates; optional for PADI Members

Completing this ensures that you are well prepared for the IDC classes and workshops and is monitored online by your PADI Course Director.

PADI IDC Crewpack 2020

Dive Theory

The dive theory is something that you studied on you PADI Divemaster Course and will be tested on both the PADI IDC and the PADI IE. A lot of people when they skip up on the PADI Instructor exam do so on the dive theory and this is something that can be avoided by making sure you are familiar with the dive theory.

You can do this by studying your PADI Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving and Diving Knowledge Workbook that were in your PADI Divemaster Crewpack. Alternatively you can purchase access to the PADI Dive Theory Online eLearning and study and practice dive theory questions via your PADI eLearning portal.

Sections to be addressed are:



Decompression Theory and the Recreational Diver Planner

Dive Skills & The Environment


Dive theory is not taught on the IDC as the IDC is concentrating on developing your instructional skills os being well prepared on dive theory is of utmost importance to having an easier IDC. A key point is to do as many practice quizzes as possible.

“Every battle is won before it is ever fought.”- Sun Tzu

Dive Skills

The 24 skill circuit you did on the PADI Divemaster course is repeated on the PADI IDC. You will need to be able to demonstrate the 24 basic scuba skills to a quality that a person who has never seen them before can easily imitate what you have done.

The 24 skills can be found listed in the PADI Divemaster section of the PADI Instructor Manual.

Practice each skill in the pool and mentally before the PADI IDC. The key is to break down each skill into a number of steps with pauses in between each step so they are easy to see and you can exaggerate them ti make the skill look easy.

Try and practice the skills circuit in the 4 weeks running up to the IDC if at all possible.

PADI Instructor Manual Familiarisation

Your PADI Instructor Manual will be your most important reference tool as a PADI Instructor and knowing how to quickly navigate it and find a standard is very important to prepare for your PADI IDC.

There is a guide at the beginning of the Instructor Manual on how to use it. Get familiar with this right now and begin to look through the Manual and learn the structure. Get familiar with the layout of each program as the structure is identical throughout making it easy to quickly navigate to a section.

General Standards and Procedures covers the standards pertaining to all PADI courses, while specific course standards can be found in the individual course guides. You should make sure you know where to find specific standards for a course (such as Ratios, Minimum Age, Dives) quickly in the manual.

The more you are acquainted with the PADI Instructor Manual will assist you in saving time on Standards exams and finding standards quickly when you need to reference them throughout your diver career.

Go Through the PADI Guide to Teaching

The PADI Guide to Teaching is included in your PADI IDC eLearning and give teaching tips and guidelines for preparing to teach PADI courses. It should be read prior to the start of the IDC and will be referred to during the program.

Know the PADI System and Your PADI Courses

You have done remarkably well so far to get to being ready to start a PADI IDC. You have completed at least the Open Water Diver Course, Advanced Open Water Diver Course, Rescue Diver and Divemaster. Well Done!

Being a PADI Instructor requires knowing how the PADI system works intrinsically and you should refer back to your previous diver course materials to jog your memory about them.

The best thing you can do to assist this is also to assist a PADI Instructor when they are teaching a PADI Open Water Diver Course, PADI Advanced Open Water Course and PADI Rescue Diver course. The more familiar you are with how experienced instructors set up and conduct their PADI courses and training the easier you will find the IDC.

Get Your Medical Sorted and Additional Documentation

To avoid frustrating administrative problems on the IDC/IE you should get all the required documents for your IDC ready. You are required to have a dive medical signed and stamped by a physician, stating that you are fit for diving. You should download this and get it filled out by your physician prior to the start of the PADI IDC (The medical goes to PADI as required paperwork).

You will need all of your PADI certifications and certification numbers. These can all be found in your eCards in the PADI app or on your physical dive cards. If you did some of your previous certifications with another training organisation then you will need a copy of the certification to submit with your Instructor Application.

If you follow these practices to prepare for your PADI IDC, it will make so much difference to your experience. If you have any questions about any of the preparation points then please contact us and we will be delighted to assist you in getting properly prepared for the PADI IDC and the beginning of your PADI Instructor journey.


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