Kate practising a no-mask swim in the pool

Guest post: Kate’s IDC

Kate practising a no-mask swim in the pool
Kate practising a no-mask swim in the pool

Many of the divers who regularly dive with me will know Kate, who came out to South Africa for two months in late 2010 to qualify as a Divemaster. She had never dived before when she arrived, and I took her through a full Zero to Hero course, including 60 dives to meet the requirements for Divemaster, before she went back to the UK.

She returned to South Africa in April (her family joined her here for a short holiday) to prepare to do an Instructor Development Course, for which she had to get her dive numbers up to 100 dives. She did her IDC with Danny Martin, who trained me and who I rate as one of the best Instructor trainers in South Africa. We asked her to write about what the IDC involves so that those of you who are curious can get an idea of how one works.

The PADI IDC is an instructor development course that consists of two halves, the first (three days) is Assistant Instructor and the second is Open Water Scuba Instructor (four days). The final two days are when the Instructor Examination (IE) takes place. An examiner is brought in from somewhere else (usually outside the country) to test the candidates. We also spent an extra day doing the EFR Instructor course.

I undertook my IDC with Danny Martin at Coral Divers, Sodwana Bay, South Africa.

The programme consisted of completing;

  • An exam (made up of 5 parts: physics, physiology, environment, equipment, and standards and procedures)
  • Prescriptive teaching presentations (taking a knowledge review question and expanding on it so as to help students understand the answer in more depth)
  • Confined water presentations (giving a pre-dive briefing, demonstrating the skill, having the student demonstrate the skill and then giving a debriefing)
  • Open water demonstrations (same procedure as in confined water, except that the Instructor does not demonstrate the skill this time)
  • Watching risk management and marketing presentations
  • Testing our own skills in the pool, for ease of understanding and ability to demonstrate
  • Rescue workshops

The main aspect of the IDC is preparation. After completing my Divemaster course with Tony, he then made sure I fully prepared for the IDC. There’s not a lot of new information to learn as most of it is covered in the Divemaster program but having someone to test me on everything was rather handy. Tony also took the time to do one to one pool sessions in which he would make sure my skills were above the standard needed. He also ran me over what to expect from the IDC and how to prepare myself.

Sodwana was a great place to complete my IDC. The environment is really friendly and the diving is exceptional (it was a minimum of 26 degrees at all times!). The accommodation is tents or wooden cabins, and they have a bar and a restaurant. There is a tractor service to take you to the beach every 45 minutes.

I definitely would recommend doing the IDC, for me it has opened up a new love for diving. It takes you further then being just a Divemaster and gives you more responsibility within the diving community. You also find that the experience increases your diving ability and performance.

I started diving in October 2010 with my Open Water and completed my IDC in June 2011. I also completed a load of specialties and am now preparing myself for a trip to the Arctic circle.

Kate is now a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. When she has done 25 certifications, she will be certified as a Master Scuba Diver Trainer – this means she can teach courses from Discover Scuba Diving and Open Water up to Divemaster, along with a list of Specialties. I am very proud of Kate and really enjoyed teaching her. She impressed (and often wildly amused) everyone who met her while she was in South Africa and she will be a great ambassador for diving. I am looking forward to following her adventures!

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Scuba diver, teacher, gadget man, racing driver, boat skipper, photographer, and collector of stray animals

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