Preparing for your PADI IDC and IE

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Preparing for your PADI IDC and IE

So you have decided to do your PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) and then on successful completion attend a PADI Instructor Exam (IE), its an exciting time for you and also for many, a life changing experience.  You have invested a lot of money to get to Divemaster and now you are going to take the next step and become an instructor.

What can you do to prepare for your course?  For many this will be a stressful time, you really want to pass but what can you do to help prepare for the course and make things that much easier.

Well I am pleased to say there are lots and you should be thinking about them now, if you have booked onto an IDC then the clock is ticking, lets have a look at some things you can do before you go to your IDC.

IDC Dive SkillHappy pic

Dive Skills

Your dive skills need to be good, very good in fact.  Think about it, student divers will be watching you to see how you do it, they will see you demonstrate a skill and then try to copy you.  So make sure you are confident in your dive skills.  Think back to when you did your Divemaster course, you had to demonstrate skills from the Open Water Diver course.  Could you complete them all confidently?  Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself if there were a few skills you did not like or didn’t feel confident in performing them. What you must do now though is not ignore it, you may have passed your Divemaster course but the IDC and IE are very different and you will be expected to be able to perform these skills to a high standard.  Skills are not generally taught on the IDC, you are expected to be able to perform to demonstration standard already.  However don’t panic because there is still time to do something about it.  Contact your PADI Dive Centre or Course Director and explain the problem, Course Directors and Dive Centres will be appreciative that you have raised this now as it gives them time to advise you on how to resolve the issues….and believe me they can be resolved, no matter what you think.

Also remember that it is not just Open Water dive skills you need to be competent in, you need to be able to clearly demonstrate skills for the Adventures in diving, Rescue and Divemaster courses as well.  So become familiar with them, have a look the dive slates for each course and also the PADI Guide to Teaching

One last thing make sure you can tie these 3 knots

  • Bowline
  • Sheet Bend
  • Two Half hitches

You will need these and most students that come to my IDC’s struggle to tie one or more of these knots so get practising – if you haven’t already download the PADI App there is great demonstration of how to tie knots.

Dive Theory

How well do you understand the theory of diving? During the PADI IDC and at the PADI IE you will be tested on your dive theory knowledge.  You have been collecting information since you took your first steps into the water.  Your experience can count for a lot but you also need to have a thorough understanding of the theory of diving.

Diving knowledge reviewThere are five modules in the IDC

  • General Skills and Environment
  • Equipment
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Recreational Dive Planner

One of the best revision tools is the PADI Diving Knowledge Workbook, if you haven’t got this then get it, it is a well designed knowledge review tool which has questions, with answers and also an explanation of the answer.

Note: this book comes with the PADI IDC crew pack, however if you are not going to get this before the IDC, speak to your supplier because you need this book in advance.

PADI Standards

PADI StandardsYou will have come across PADI standards previously and during your Divemaster course.  Instructors read these out to students on every course.  I have taught many Divemasters and continually explain the importance of PADI standards, what they mean, why they are there and where and how to find them.  Don’t underestimate the importance of these standards, they help and protect you.  The PADI instructor manual is the place to find them and knowing your way around this will save you a lot of stress during the exams.  Get to know the PADI Guide to Teaching as well because this has all the information you need to know on how to teach every skill.


Be familiar with your dive equipment.  Don’t go out and buy a new BCD and regulators for your IDC, familiarity with your equipment is crucial to being comfortable in the water and obtaining a good buoyancy control and trim.  If you do buy new equipment do so well in advance of the course and make sure you have dived plenty of times with it before coming to the IDC.

Hopefully I have given you some useful tips in preparing for your IDC and IE.  This is not an exhaustive list and don’t worry if you feel everything is not perfect, it doesn’t have to be.  Make sure you regularly communicate with you Course Director they will advise you and and give you tips on what to do.

Finally as you prepare for your PADI IDC I wish you every success, you are embarking on a career in one of the best jobs in the world.  It is a life changing experience, enjoy it, have fun, always respect the environment and be a PADI ambassador for good diving practices.  If you need any advice about your diving career please feel free to contact me, I am there to help without obligation. I wish you every success.  Happy teaching 🙂


David Hayler-Montague is a PADI Course Director who runs IDC’s throughout the world.  He has been diving for nearly 20 years, continues to be actively involved in all levels of training.  He has a very successful business development consultancy background and is a Master of Business Administration.  He also owns Gozo’s (Malta) only 100% AWARE Dive Centre and the only permanent Course Director on the island.  If you are interested in running IDC’s at your Dive Centre and looking for an extremely experienced person with a vast array of business development and diving experience then contact him at [email protected] for a free, no obligation, confidential discussion.