IDC Preps & Revision

You need to be familiar with what to expect from your IDC. This will relax you and ensure that the course is a learning experience for you and not just a mad dash to pass an exam. If you are not happy with previous training or you feel your skills have deteriorated over time a good idea would be to do the IDC Prep Course. If you are already comfortable with your knowledge and skills and don’t see the need for a prep course you can still do some preparation of your own to ensure a pleasurable IDC.

Before coming to the IDC please look at the list of things to have and to do before coming on the IDC. There is no time during the course to do these things and you don’t need the added stress….

What do I have to have (done) before the IDC?

First Check that you meet the prerequisites to attend the IDC/IE:

  • Be certified as PADI DiveMaster or hold a leadership level certification with another recreational diver training organization.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be fit for diving and submit a Medical Statement for a diving medical examination conducted within the past 12 months from the start date of the IE, it must be signed by a medical practitioner and must state that you are fit for diving (PADI medical Statement Form recommended).
  • Have been a certified diver for at least six months and have completed and logged at least 60 open water scuba dives (100 logged dives to attend the IE, note Career development exception) as documented in your log book and have documentation of experience in deep, night and      navigation.
  • Submit proof of CPR training within the past 24 months.
  • Submit documentation (photocopy) of any qualifying certifications for entry level, advanced, rescue and leadership level issued by another recreational diver training organization.
  • If not a PADI DiveMaster, complete the PADI DiveMaster Course Diver Rescue Skills Assessment. (this may be done as part of the IDC Prep program)

Then complete the 16 IDC Knowledge Reviews which MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO THE START OF THE IDC!!! At the beginning of each Knowledge Review you will find listed the necessary pre-study reading assignments you need to read before answering the knowledge review. This is a prerequisite to attend the IDC, AI course or OWSI program.

If you do not have a new instructor manual make sure that you have and have implemented all Training Bulletins Updates up to date!

If you are missing any you can download them from the Members section of

Make sure that all your equipment is complete and in good working order.

4 passport photos on Day 1 of the IDC.

You will also need a valid credit card to pay your PADI fee’s as they do not accept cash

What do I need to have?

Purchase and have your own personal copies of the following PADI materials:

  • Instructor Manual (paper or digital) and Instructor Candidate Workbook.
  • Your own Wheel, RDP and E-RDP 
  • PADI OW, Adv, Rescue and DiveMaster manuals 
  • All the relevant exam booklets.
  • Aquatic cue cards for all the above courses and lesson preparation slates
  • Best is to buy the PADI IDC Crewpak which combines all the materials needed for the course as well as pre –study tools (excludes course Manuals and tables)

Who needs the Prep Course?

The IDC Prep course is an added two days before the IDC and is conducted by PADI Staff Instructors under direct supervision of a Course Director

The IDC consists of:

  • knowledge development evaluation
  • Diving skills evaluation and
  • Rescue skills evaluation

This means that you should come to the IDC with these skills already mastered – all skills are from either the PADI Rescue Diver course or the PADI DiveMaster course.

Knowledge development (Dive Theory, Dive tables, Physiology, Equipment and environment) is an essential part of being an Instructor and you will be tested on these on the IDC as well as on the IE. To have a stress free IDC it is highly advisable that you make sure you have these mastered before the IDC

Instructors or DiveMaster crossing over from other training organizations may find the Recreational Dive Planner lectures of great value.

A Dive Instructor must have exemplary diving skills and even better demonstration skills. Although the IDC does polish these skills you need to have mastered them before the IDC. You will be tested on the PADI 20 skill circuit during the IDC as well as on the IE.

Rescue skills are an integral part of your professional diving arsenal and you should be proficient and comfortable with these skills before the IDC. You will be tested on your rescue abilities in both the IDC and the IE.

Further skills that you should have are tying of knots, both above and underwater (PADI Advanced course – search and Recovery dive) as well as the proper use of a lift bag. These are skills you might be required to teach as a Dive Instructor and you may be tested on the IDC and IE on these skills.

If you lack or are unsure of any of the above mentioned it is highly advisable that you take the IDC prep course, or portions of the course conducted over two days immediately before the IDC. It will greatly enhance your skills, relax you for the IDC and ensure that you have a more than above average chance to pass the IE – in fact no one that has ever taken the Prep Course has failed an IE!

What will I do on the Prep course?

During the prep course staff will go over Dive Theory with you – mock exams and different methods of explaining difficult concepts to students will be looked at.

At least an entire day will be spent in the water, repeating and enhancing skills you already have or might be unfamiliar with. Lift bags, knots and the 20 skill circuit will be demonstrated and repeated till you are comfortable and have mastered these skills.

Staff will ensure that rescue skills are perfect, not just to pass the IE but to make you comfortable with teaching these skills as well as applying them when needed.

How much will this cost extra?

It will depend on which areas of your training you are not happy with. The entire program is conducted over two full days but is divided into segments – you can do it all or just the portions you feel you need revision on.

  • What if I am already comfortable with my skills and Knowledge?
  • Water Skills
  • Assist your Instructor on as many different PADI courses as possible.
  • Practice all your diving skills - especially the 20 skills of the PADI skill circuit.
  • Concentrate especially on your buoyancy skills: hovering and fin pivots, out of air skills: Buddy Breathing and Alternate Air Source both stationary and swimming, the controlled emergency swimming ascent (CESA) and your equipment removal skills: scuba unit and weight belt - both at the surface and underwater.
  • Remember although an Open Water Diver can "do the skill", this is usually a long way off from the demonstration quality expected of an IDC candidate.
  • Review the skills on the PADI Open Water video or CD-ROM.
  • If possible get a PADI instructor to show you the Rescue Diver Exercise #7: "Unconscious Diver on the surface". You can review an excellent demonstration of this on The PADI Rescue Diver video.
  • Not only do you need to be able to demonstrate skills from the PADI Open Water Course, but you also need to be able to demonstrate skills from PADI continuing education courses. For example, knot tying from the Advanced Course and Rescue Diver Course skills.
  • Go Diving!!

Dive Theory

The absolute best way to prepare for the IE Dive Theory Exam is to own a copy of The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving and Diving Knowledge Workbook (The CD-Rom Encyclopedia includes both) and work your way through it along with the DiveMaster exams.

You will have ample to keep you busy during the IDC without having to worry about dive theory questions such as "what are partial pressures" or "how do I find minimum surface intervals with the RDP Wheel?”

You know when you have mastered theory when you can not only arrive at the correct answer - but also explain WHY each of the other answers is wrong!

Go over the Instructor manual, DiveMaster section and read the knowledge development part for the 5 topics.

Work through the Rescue and the DiveMaster A&B Exams.

What else?

  • Complete the IDC application form and mail or fax to us as soon as possible.
  • Book early to take advantage of package deals.
  • I.E. exams in languages other than English need to be ordered from PADI well in advance of the IE, so let us know as early as possible if you wish to take the examinations in an alternative language
  • During the IE exams are available in over 20 languages. Should the exam not be available in your native language you will be credited with extra time.
  • Extra time will not be credited for exams available in a native language when they were not requested in sufficient time prior to the I.E.
  • Preparation is the key to Success.
  • Preparing for a Career as a Diving Instructor takes a considerable investment of time, commitment and money. The right preparation significantly reduces your IDC course load and allows you more time to assimilate.


To benefit the most from our Instructor program we encourage you to start your IDC Preparation today!