Staff Instructor debriefing IDC candidates

The PADI IDC staff instructor course is surprising in how different an outlook it gives you with regard to scuba training. After teaching a few courses and working as an instructor for a while, taking the PADI IDC staff instructor course really rejuvenated my enjoyment of teaching people to dive. I conduct the IDC Staff instructor course over a period of 13 days (2 days pre IDC and then auditing an 11 day IDC)

Shadowing a whole IDC with the benefit of already having teaching experience is an extremely positive learning experience. The different perspective you have as an experienced instructor means you take a lot of different information out of the presentations and practical application sessions. You will find yourself applying this new perspective as soon as you get back to teaching, and on top of that you are now qualified to teach a few new courses, which is a great way to keep your job interesting. It is also a very complete way of refreshing your knowledge of standards changes and new teaching techniques.

The new 2011 DM course now involves a significant amount more work on practical assessments such as briefing exercises and learning how to conduct Divemaster conducted programs.  The skills you will learn on the PADI IDC Staff instructor course will really enhance you enjoyment of teaching these aspects of the DM course.  You will find yourself applying the evaluation skills you have gained as a staff instructor time and time again when training new Divemasters, in addition to using them to teach the assistant instructor course which the IDC staff rating now allows you to do.

The IDC Staff Instructor rating is awarded to PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainers who have successfully completed an IDC Staff Instructor course. Once certified, IDC Staff Instructors may staff instructor development programs and teach PADI Assistant Instructor courses.

The IDC Staff Instructor course is conducted by a renewed PADI Course Director. Since the course includes auditing an entire IDC, it must be conducted in conjunction with an IDC. The course focuses on teaching IDC Staff Instructor candidates how to evaluate knowledge development, confined water and open water teaching presentations, as well as developing familiarity with the IDC curriculum.

The Role of the IDC Staff Instructor


IDC Staff Instructors work closely with PADI Course Directors to develop instructor candidates’ teaching abilities as well as shape their attitudes as dive professionals. Earning the IDC Staff Instructor rating also increases an instructor’s instructional responsibilities and enhances career opportunities. As with PADI CDs, IDC Staff Instructors also are role models for other PADI Members with regard to PADI instruction, diver training and professionalism, especially as it relates to the PADI Instructor development process. IDC Staff Instructors share a common responsibility to the dive community and an expectation of professional performance with PADI Course Directors. The perceptions formed by the dive community and instructor candidates reflect PADI, the CD and the Staff instructor’s image.

IDC Staff Instructors are primary resources and mentors for instructor candidates during instructor training. With this comes a tremendous opportunity to positively affect the attitudes and abilities of the candidates, but it also results in a tremendous responsibility to remain current with PADI Standards and procedures. IDC Staff Instructors counsel candidates about their skills, tutor candidates about the PADI System and coach candidates in developing more effective teaching presentations. The actions and professionalism of IDC Staff Instructors will greatly influence how instructor candidates conduct themselves as PADI Professionals.


A renewed IDC Staff Instructor is authorized to:

  • Independently teach and certify PADI Assistant Instructors.
  • Conduct IDC training segments under the direct supervision of a PADI Course Director.
  • Evaluate and critique instructor candidate knowledge development, confined water and open water teaching presentations.
  • Provide counseling and remedial training for instructor candidates and IDC Staff Instructor candidates.
  • Assist with training during instructor-level continuing education programs, such as PADI Specialty Instructor Training courses.
  • Observe the orientation and closing sessions of PADI Instructor Examinations.