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  • Aqua Vision Dive Center and PADI Dive School, Krabi, Thailand
  • Aqua Vision Dive Center and PADI Dive School, Krabi, Thailand
  • Aqua Vision Dive Center and PADI Dive School, Krabi, Thailand

IDC Preparation

Preparing For a PADI Instructor Development Course & Instructor Exam In Thailand


What You Need To Know

IDC failures are very rare, but they do happen occasionally, and everyone who has ever failed their IE, failed it before they even started by not preparing properly!

Please read through each section below carefully to make sure that you are ready for your IDC and Instructor Examination. Remember that proper preparation is about 90% of what will get you through the experience successfully and enjoyably. Also, make sure your Dive Skills are up to scratch!

If you need clarification of any of the details and recommendations on this page or anywhere else on the site please contact us for more info.

Prerequisites for your IDC

In order to participate in a PADI IDC you must of course meet all the prerequisite requirements:

  • You should be certified as a PADI Assistant Instructor, PADI Divemaster, or be an instructor with another recreational dive organization.*
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be fit for diving and submit a medical form signed by a physician within the last 12 months.**
  • Have been a certified diver for at least six months
  • Have logged at least 60 open water dives with experience in night, deep and navigation prior to the IDC***
  • Have logged at least 100 dives prior to entering the Instructor Examination (IE). ****
  • Submit proof of CPR & First Aid training within the last 24 months.
  • Be mentally prepared and have a proper and positive attitude towards being a dive instructor.

* If you have trained with another agency then look at our Crossover to PADI from BSAC, CMAS, SSI, NAUI or SAA Information

** Its possible to get a medical in Ao Nang or Krabi before you begin the course at a much lower cost than back home. Contact us for info.

*** You will need to provide your diving log to your Course Director or Staff Instructor during your IDC as proof of your diving experience.

**** You will normally only do 4-6 open water dives during your IDC so you should ideally have 95+ logged dives prior to starting your course.

Required Documentation
Leopard Shark

These are the documents you will need for your PADI IDC..

  1. Passport photos, for your new certification cards and for your Course Director's file. If you intend staying in your Thailand and working then you may need photos for work permits and other official documentation, take 4-8 photos.
  2. Diving certification cards, bring your most current PADI certification card (either Divemaster or Assistant Instructor) Also you will need the dates of all your other courses, so either bring a list of your certifications and dates or just bring all your cards. If you have lost your cards its normally not a problem as your course dates are available online from PADI and your Course Director has access to this information.
  3. If you are transferring from another non-PADI dive agency, you will need photocopies of your certification cards to send to PADI at the end of your IE.
  4. Logbook, you will need proof that you have 60 logged dives for your IDC and 100 logged dives by the time of your Instructor Examination.
  5. The PADI materials that are compulsory for your IDC, currently are: a digital or paper Instructor manual, The Guide to Teaching, Open Water and Confined Water cue cards, Open Water Training Dive Lesson Preparation Slate, Confined Water Lesson Preparation Slates, The Best of the Undersea Journal, and the ERDPml (not ERDP)
  6. In addition, you will also need manuals and exams for OW, AOW, Rescue and Divemaster Courses.
  7. You will be pleased to know that you can buy all the required IDC / IE materials in one go at a discounted price by purchasing the PADI IDC Crew Pack, you can order this from your local dive centre or from Aqua Vision when you arrive, you may also find the standard PADI manuals from your previous program's are required. Potential PADI Scuba Instructors normally don't travel light!
  8. You will be able to get all the materials you require from our Course Director, and if you can organise this prior to your arrival in Krabi you can be guaranteed all your materials at a price that will possibly be better than you can find in your home country.
Dive Theory Revision And Preparation
Nitrox Dive Tables

By the time your IDC starts you should know all the dive theory on the courses you have done yourself inside out. Don't forget that once you pass your IE you will be eligible to teach Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue and Divemaster courses so we recommend that you review each course manual and complete all the quizzes, exams and knowledge reviews.

If you have bought the the Guide To Teaching you should read through it and complete from page 161 onwards. Also, it would be very useful to complete your EFRi manuals including the pre-read before starting the EFRi course!

The Knowledge reviews require you to read and understand some specific sections of your PADI instructor manual, IDC Candidate workbook, The Best of the Undersea Journal, The Law & the Diving Professional and The Business of Diving.

You should really be confident and happy with dive theory before you actually begin your IDC, you shouldn't turn up on day one of your course and expect to be taught Dive Physics or Physiology as the IDC has so much other information and skills to teach you there is no time to learn the theory. A good way to check your knowledge is to get new divers to ask you about things they are not 100% sure about. You only truly know diving when you can explain it to others.

Instructor Manual - Paper or Digital?
PADI Instructor Manual

Our IDC Instructor recommends, Paper! Here's why..

  • The NEW manual is only 140 pages rather than the 1054 pages in the old one!
  • It is now A5 rather than the old big size
  • The pages are waterproof!
  • Find the answers much more quickly for general standards as it is now alphabetical.
  • It comes in a cordura binder just like a logbook and can be used to keep cert cards, pens and many other bits and bobs.
  • You can download the digital version from PADI every February for FREE and it will be the latest version

*Laptops can be used to install your Instructor Manual on, but when you are an instructor you will also need a laptop to communicate with PADI via email, access the PADI pro website, store and view your underwater photos and video, and view your PADI course videos. A laptop is an essential piece of equipment for most PADI instructors and its more common to see instructors with a laptop than without one.

What Else Will Help Me Pass The Instructor Exam?
PADI Instructor Training

Aqua Visions Offer a FREE IDC Prep for every candidate - a period of revision and practice for the IDC before the actual IDC begins, and we highly recommend joining in if you have the time as it will get you familiar with the training facilities, swimming pool and IDC instructors before the course starts.

The most important thing is get involved in real life classes with qualified Scuba Instructors. You will see how relaxed and comfortable students absorb dive knowledge, your goal is to be a chilled-out super confident, friendly, happy, font of dive knowledge that students feel happy and safe with.

Ensure that all your kit is working and serviceable, you need to be super-aware of your BCD and weights, it should be second nature to you where your releases are and how you fasten it up. Go on then get it out now and practice putting it on and taking it off so you can do it with your eyes shut. Now practice untying your tank band and re-fastening it, you don't learn this on your IDC but there is nothing worse than as student asking you to fix their tank to the BCD when you have no idea how to do it, so now is the time to learn.

Watch all the PADI videos!

Get in your local dive centre swimming pool and practice your skills again and again, you should be super-cool in the pool with your skills and be able to do them to demonstration quality 'before' you begin your IDC. Concentrate on buoyancy skills like fin pivots and hovering.

Knots, this is part of the IE, you are expected to know how to tie and teach knot tying, now is the time to learn. You should know how to tie;

  • Bowline
  • Sheet Bend
  • Two half hitches
Last But Not Least
  • All working instructors have a SMB and a reel, you don't get taught these or given them so buy a set and become familiar with them.
  • Your Credit Card (for the PADI IE fees).
  • Notepaper and pens.
  • Calculator (separate from mobile phone, computer, PDA etc..)
  • Finally read through this section again and make sure you are fully prepared in all areas. Once again, IDC failures are very rare, but everyone who ever failed, failed because of not preparing properly!