So it all began with a re activate following a request to go diving on the south coast in 2015. I’d been told about a relatively new local dive club called Divemania which had started up with some very experienced PADI instructors. As sure as night follows day, It then followed that I did quite a few courses, some dive trips with the club and had started to think I could become a dive instructor.
It started off with the Divemaster course and I really enjoyed getting to grips with all the things that this involved. Helping out new divers and being a support to the instructors gives a real sense of commitment to being a part of someone's dive journey. I then decided to do the PADI Assistant instructor course which opened up the world of teaching brand new divers during a Discover Scuba Diving or Bubblemaker session from the age of 8 upwards. I could also teach Peak Performance Buoyancy to help fellow divers find that sweet spot of control and neutral buoyancy. I had thought about waiting for a while before taking the Instructor Examination, but our very own Master Instructor David had become a Course Director which meant he club could train me in house and use the assistance of PADI IDC Staff Instructors, Martin, Paul and Barry who he had also taught.
Full IDC or OWSI option
As I was already an Assistant Instructor (AI) I took the Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) option instead of the full the Instructor Development Course (IDC). If I hadn’t been then I would have taken the full IDC option. This entailed attending the classroom for study sessions to review the basic diver knowledge topics and revisit the presentation skills for Confined water, Open water and Knowledge development learnt during the AI course. There are 2 sets of exams to take on the exam weekend. The first exam sitting is 5 exams covering the basics of kit & equipment, physics, physiology, environment and dive planning.
The second sitting is based on the PADI standards. This exam is an open book process which will test your ability to find and then adhere to a set of professional standards.
What else did I learn?
Various topics from the range of skills that an instructor can teach were assigned and presented on. The best advice I can give is use the slates provided to brief students as you may well be talking in the water, as bits of paper wouldn’t really help in the water! Using slates will help you keep it concise, on track and focus on the actual lesson.
You’ll also be assessed on your existing skills as a diver, so brushing up on knots is a good idea in case you have to present a knot lesson or rig a lift bag. There will be an assessment of you completing a rescue of an unconscious diver at the service. It’s a demonstration quality skill which means you can relax, take your time and get it right. As a Rescue Diver and Divemaster you will have already proven you can do this skill, so it’s a case of practice to make sure assessment nerves don’t get the better of you.
Was it worth it ?
Yes, the sense of achievement in passing the Instructor Examination over two days was amazing. I was lucky to have the Course Director present as well as two of the Staff Instructors, who ended up being surface cover for PADI and helping out the other 11 candidates. It’s been a wonderful journey with a great set of friends at the club who have helped me over the years develop as a diver and been there to support me and make it fun along the way. If you’d like to know more I am more than happy to spend some time and talk things over about my experience and help you prepare. You can also speak to any of the team at Divemania who can assist you on what you will learn.
I have already started teaching in the pool and can't wait until our next Open Water weekend when I will be teaching my first Open Water students as an Open Water Scuba Instructor. Why not come and join us and see me in action!