How to Prepare for your IDC!

IDC Internship

Time for your IDC. Are you ready to become a PADI Open Water Diving Instructor (OWSI)!  Embarking on this journey will open doors to one of the best jobs in the world.   However, unlike with the Divemaster program, there are far more pre-requisites that must be achieved prior to beginning your IDC.  This is a step by step guide as you prepare for your IDC.


As listed in the PADI Instructor Manual, the following pre-requisites must be attained prior to beginning your IDC:

  1. PADI Divemaster, or leadership level with another diver training organization
  2. 18 years old
  3. 60 logged dives; documented experience in night diving, deep diving and underwater navigation.  *Please note that you will need 100 logged dives to enter the Instructor Examination so it is best to start your IDC with the dives already complete.
  1. If not a PADI Divemaster, successfully complete the PADI Divemaster course dive rescue assessment.
  2. Certified diver for six months.
  3. Medical clearance attesting to dive fitness signed by a physician within the previous 12 months.
  4. Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care course completion (or qualifying training) within the last 24 months



By now you should also be used to dealing with paperwork when it comes to PADI courses.  Your IDC is no different.  Here are the pieces you need to gather in order to show up prepared:

  • PADI IDC Crew Pack – contents include the PADI Instructor Manual, Guide to Teaching, Open Water (OW) Prescriptive Lesson Guides, Diving Knowledge Workbook, Cue Cards for OW/Confined Water (CW)/Divemaster/Rescue/Adventures in Diving, OW and CW Lesson Planning Slates, Quizzes and Exams for OW/Rescue/DM, Digital Specialty Instructor Manual, Positive Approach to Selling DVD, Encyclopaedia of Diving, RDP table and eRDP.  Please note that the PADI Instructor Manual may also be found in digital format via the PADI Pros site.
  • Passport photos – typically you will need 2 to 4 for your new certification card as well as your Course Director’s files.
  • Certification cards or copies of your cards along with the course completion dates.  If you do not have your cards, your Course Director will be able to look you up online if you completed your training through PADI.  If you have completed your training through another diving organization, you will need to provide copies of your cards for your Course Director to submit with your instructor application post Instructor Examination.
  • Computer or tablet – While it is not mandatory to have a computer or tablet, there are several benefits to have one available.  Many of the materials are available digitally.  There may also be additional digital materials made available by your Course Director.  In addition to this, when completing the Standards exams, the digital version can be greatly beneficial.  Lastly, PADI has launched multiple digital applications which you should make yourself familiar with such as PADI ScubaEarth, e-Learning options (including IDC theory), eCards, and the PADI app itself.
  • Log book(s) with your required logged dives
  • You will also want to think through your payment options at this time as well.  While you may not be required to have a credit card available, it is best to seek which options are available to you through your IDC centre prior to beginning the course.
  • Equipment – to enter into the Instructor Examination post IDC, you will need to have a computer, compass, cutting tool, 2 x surface signalling devices (i.e. whistle and SMB), and timing device.

IDC, DM, Internships, Koh Tao, Thailand


As you are likely already aware, there are a series of exams that you must pass in the IDC prior to entering the Instructor Examination (IE).  There are five theory topics – Physics, Physiology, Dive Skills and Environment, Equipment, and RDP/eRDP – and one Standards Exam.  A minimum score of 75% is required for each topic.  The Standards exam is open book.  You will easily pass these exams with practice.  Be sure to work through your Diving Knowledge Workbook as this will ensure you are adequately prepared. The topics most commonly failed in the IE are Physics and Physiology.


By the time you have finished your DM, you should be able to properly conduct a skill circuit.  However, the minimum scores during your DM are much easier to attain than in the IDC.  Be sure that you have perfected these demonstrations to an instructor level.  In addition to this, assist as many courses as possible prior to heading into the IDC.  Take note of instructor positioning, problems that students often encounter and how the instructor reacts and corrects those problems.  You can also make yourself familiar with the scoring cards that Course Directors will use when evaluating both in water and in class academic presentations.  This will help you to properly understand what examiners will be looking for and to ensure you don’t lose points on simple mistakes.  In a confined water setting, with your Dive buddy, practice Rescue Exercise 7. ‘Unconscious Diver on the Surface’.  This exercise will be the one evaluated on your PADI Instructor Examination.

During your IDC you will make life long friends and contacts within the diving community.   Many of your fellow IDC candidates will learn at different levels.  Participate, be present, and workshop with your peers as much as possible.  You will learn from one another and build lasting friendships as a result.  The IDC should be an enjoyable and memorable experience so last but not least, have fun!