IDC Guide

Bali –
Jonathan Cross

Course Director Jonathan Cross, Bali




Jalan Danau Poso Gg. Wanasari, 3B Sanur, Bali 80228 Indonesia

PADI Bali with Blue Season: Bali’s exclusive 4-week IDC program

Become an instructor in beautiful Bali with Course Director Jonathan Cross.

About Bali’s PADI Course Director Jonathan Cross

PADI Platinum Course Director Jonathan Cross has spent the last decade as a professional diver amassing over 4000 logged dives across Australia and Indonesia. He is an owner of and the head PADI Course Director for Blue Season Bali, a PADI Career Development Center located on the stunning “Island of the Gods.”

Jonathan is an Instructor Trainer for more than 20 PADI specialty courses, an Emergency First Response Instructor trainer, and a DSAT TecRec Instructor Trainer.  He has received multiple citations for Outstanding Excellence and Customer Service, and was recently selected by PADI Asia Pacific as the winner of 2010’s “Instructor Development Award.”

CD Jon is actively involved with all PADI educational programs at Blue Season Bali, teaching courses, mentoring Divemaster trainees, and conducting IDCs.  His amicable personality and “always-available” attitude facilitate the easy transfer of his knowledge and skills to the professional candidates he trains.

Graduates are helped through the initial phases of their diving careers with Blue Season Bali’s multi-phase job placement programs. Often, it’s just a phone call from Jonathan that makes the difference!

The facts:

  • Bali’s only resident Platinum Course Director
  • Chosen by PADI Asia-Pacific, Winner: 2010 Instructor Development Award
  • Chosen by PADI Asia-Pacific, Winner: 2010 Outstanding Dive Business
  • Bali’s only native English-speaking Course Directors (2)
  • IDC Staff of 7, including 3 Master Instructors and 2 Course Directors
  • 10 IDCs conducted every year
  • 100% commitment to your success
  • Native language support in Japanese, French, Spanish, Dutch and German.

What is the philosophy of your company?

A 100% commitment to 100% quality leads to 100% success.

Jonathan’s Diving Background

Jonathan completed his Chemical Engineering degree at Leeds University in 1997.  However, he soon realized that engineering and office work was not for him, and so set out for Australia to see a bit more of the world.

Jonathan had always wanted to learn to dive and the Great Barrier Reef seemed like an excellent place to get started.  Over the next two years in Oz, Jonathan completed his PADI Divemaster and PADI Instructor qualifications and then moved to stunning Indonesia where his career went from good to better.

He spent two years managing a dive resort and teaching PADI dive courses in the Gili Islands.

In search of a more active environment, he then moved to Bali, this time to teach and manage dive the dive operations of Bali’s largest cruise operator.  At 29 years old, Jonathan knew it was time to make a more permanent investment in the dive industry- teaming up with Wakaba Toyoma to become co-directors of Blue Season Bali.

As the years passed, the company grew to be Bali’s top-rated dive operator winning numerous awards in recognition of its commitment to quality.  Today, Blue Season Bali is a PADI Career Development Center, running more day trips, PADI courses, Divemaster internships and PADI Instructor Development Courses than any other dive operator in the region.

Why should you take your IDC with Jonathan and the Bali IDC Team?

Blue Season Bali’s 4-week IDC package is unique in the industry.  The usual 10-14 day IDC just doesn’t give candidates enough time to pick up on the finer tips and tricks needed to be an efficient dive educator.   Extra time and attention given by the Course Director during this extended IDC enhances the skills and knowledge, and thus the confidence, of the instructor candidates.

Why do you place such a high emphasis on internship-based training?

Experience is irreplaceable.  Our professional development staff need time to work with candidates adding all the extra programs that you NEED to be a good dive professional.

As the owner of a PADI Career Development Center, I get a lot of interest in people wanting to work with our company.  Tom West (our other CD) and I decided to form the internship program around creating professionals we would want to employ.

We added things like navigation workshops, guiding workshops, reduced visibility training, current/drift/surge techniques, advanced buoyancy clinics, reverse/helicopter finning techniques, etc. to the professional internship programs to help produce employable divers.  I suppose one testament to its success is that most of the instructors working for us actually came through our own training programmes.

What extra is included in the 4 week program?

We include important information on how to organize Project AWARE events like cleanups and mooring buoy projects.  Workshops like equipment maintenance, compressor use, and CV preparation are also included to give new instructors valuable skills and marketing ability.  Perhaps the biggest asset is the Website Builder workshop, giving candidates the ability to market themselves better than their competing instructors.

How do you organize an IDC?

I think the IDC is the most important course that anyone takes as a diver, so it is important to have plenty of instructor development staff involved to reduce ratios and increase the contact time between candidates and staff.  Dedication is paramount.  I generally design the schedules myself and work over them with Tom.  He and I work on directly on every IDC together with excellent support from our resident Master/Staff Instructors.
There is a serious amount of experience to be shared by our staff and we all have different backgrounds in diving- each adding a valuable perspective on teaching and living as a dive instructor.  Staying organized within the team is all about teamwork, communication and keeping good paperwork.

Has anything funny happened during one of your IDCs in Bali?

There are always  many funny things that happen on the IDC’s; most of the time it is just silly things that candidates and staff do or say that make us laugh.  Here are some of the most recent jokes / foul ups that people have made on Jonathan’s IDC:

  • We are planning for the Deep instructor specialty course as part of the MSDT prep that every IDC candidate gets with Jonathan.  One candidate comes along and says he has prepared three items to show colour changes at depth.  One is a piece of coloured neoprene.  The other is his torch that has both green and yellow colours on it. The only problem: he can’t shine his torch… on his torch!  Nice one.
  • During the confined water teaching presentation Jonathan is explaining all about confined water and how to teach confined water skills.  As always he explained that the candidates would do their first confined water presentation later on that day.  One candidate turns round and ask “Do we have to get in the pool for that?”


The purpose-built dive training pool is located about 3 meters from the state-of-the-art IDC classroom.  This eases logistics and helps keep long days to a minimum.  Bali Ocean II is our dive boat which is used on most IDC trips; PADI even uses it quite often for the IE.

What are your personal diving obsessions?


What do his IDC students think of Jonathan?

I attended the IDC at Blue Season Bali along with 5 other candidates, I believe I can speak on behalf of all of us by stating it as a truly incredible experience. Our course directors and staff instructors were very successful in sending us to the instructor examination fully prepared, and frankly leaving us thinking

“What was all the angst about?   That felt like a walk in the park…”

We all passed swiftly through the process and can proudly say we contribute 6 valuable new additions to the world of instructorship, thanks to the in-depth training provided to us on our IDC. I am truly thankful to all at Blue Season Bali for these few weeks we spent together and to all the candidates without whom the experience would have been very different indeed. I’ll definitely be coming back soon!

What else do you like (not diving related)?

My wife and two young children!

Why do you love being a PADI Course Director ?

Working as a PADI Course Director allows me to guide people through a once-in-a-lifetime experience which will change their lives.  We work with candidates from all walks of live, from every corner of the globe, but they all have one thing in common: a genuine passion for diving.  Basically, I get to be surrounded by people who love what I love.  Amazing.

What does the future hold for you?

Lots of diving, lots of teaching, and lots of fun.

Click on the photo to the right to view a photo gallery from a recent IDC class

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