IDC Guide

Gozo, Malta – Oliver Benndorff

Divesmart Gozo Ltd




No. 7 Piazza tad-Dwejra, San Lawrenz, SLZ 1360, Gozo, Malta

Looking for somewhere to take your IDC, why not take it with us at DiveSMART Gozo in Dwejra? We offer a fun and enjoyable experience with proven quality training and small groups!

Why should you do YOUR IDC in Gozo?

The Island of Gozo is an ideal location in which to do your IDC with it being situated less than a 3-hour flight from most European airports. The water temperature varies between 28 degrees Centigrade in the summer and 15 degrees Centigrade in winter time.

About PADI CD Oliver

As far back as I can remember, I wanted to dive like Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau. He was my childhood idol and my inspiration. I did my first dive with an Italian fisherman during a family holiday in Italy. After that experience I was hooked, and knew then, that this is what I want to do as a professional.

In the 1970’s it was difficult to become a certified diver as a child, no one was teaching children then. So, as soon as I turned 18, I joined the German Navy and became a fully qualified diver.

I spent 8 years diving for the German Navy in a wide variety of adventures.

In 1989 I went to Cannes la Bocca in France, there I did my PADI IDC and became a qualified PADI Open Water Instructor.

In 1990 I went for 3 years to Kenya, working and teaching as a PADI Instructor at the famous Diani Beach. In 1994 I left Diani Beach and relocated to Malta. I stayed and taught in Gozo for 12 years, later in 2000 I became a PADI Course Director. I have travelled to many countries since then, teaching and diving in places like Thailand, Borneo, Dominican Republic, Bali, Sipadan and 4 ½ years on the Maldives. In 2008 I returned to the Island of Gozo, where I still actively teach and scuba dive.

I am also a PADI Instructor Trainer for more than 28 Specialties, an Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer having certified and team taught over 2000 plus PADI Certifications at all levels.

Throughout my career, I have gained valuable experience and a wealth of knowledge which I am waiting to pass on to you, through the very best quality education and introduction into the PADI Professional diving industry.

Becoming a Dive Professional is a Life Changing Experience and it can take you to places you only dreamt of. It is a life transformer, it offers you a New Life Style and heaps of opportunity, waiting to be grasped.

Imagine a job where you go to work in your shorts, a bikini and flip flops! So, there is no wonder “I LOVE MY JOB”

All IDC candidates to date have received a 100% first time IE pass rating.

  • Staff of 3, including 1 Padi Master Instructor
  • Teaches IDCs in Gozo, other locations are welcome
  • 5 IDCs prior to IEs per year
  • IDCs can be held at any time that’s convenient for the student
  • Over 31,000 logged dives
  • 34 years diving experience
  • 2000 + PADI Certifications
  • Over 28 PADI Instructor Trainer Specialties
  • 100% First time IE success rate

What is the philosophy of your company?

To offer friendly, yet professional services to students completing courses at all levels, and divers visiting the wonderful sites of Gozo and Malta. The company dedicates itself to excellence and commits itself to continuous improvements in all aspects of the business. The IDC is not just about passing the IE, it is about becoming fully prepared, competent and confident to teach at the end of it. We always keep our groups small and this includes the IDC. My partner is a PADI Master Instructor, Janet is always around to help, hands on with all aspects of the IDC, IE and specialties.

What are the facilities like?

DiveSMART is a purpose-built dive centre, located at street level. We have a designated wet area to wash and store your equipment. The classrooms are large, will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A large TV connected to a laptop will let you view all the multimedia PADI has got to offer.

The classroom has tiled flooring with cupboards and a large table. Tea, coffee, water and cakes are free and plentiful throughout the IDC. At least one confined and open water session during the IDC will be held at the same location as the IE, so there will be no surprises on the BIG day.

One of the most important steps towards a successful career in diving is your Instructor Training. Becoming a diving instructor is much more than a change of career. You are embarking on an exciting adventure, one that will change your life forever.

Your Career Development will be conducted in a professional setting but above all, a very comfortable and conducive atmosphere with a touch of Maltese adventure!

To ensure that you can concentrate fully on your IDC, DiveSMART Gozo and our PADI Course Director provide dedicated Instructor Training in English and German. It is important that you receive the right preparation to make this lifestyle change a success. The DiveSMART Team and PADI Course Director are committed to providing a very high standard of quality, service and professionalism guaranteeing success in your new venture.

Let’s start your diving career now, so come on in and make that journey with us.

Has anything funny happened during your IDC courses?

The IDC is different on each occasion, there are never two courses the same. I had one candidate appear on enrollment day, totally unknown to us and said he wanted to join in, which he did, but no materials, no nothing, not even a pen! It was a mad scramble to get him sorted out, but he was successful at the end and joined the ranks of PADI Open Water Instructor.

What is the reason Divemasters should take their IDC with you?

I still regularly teach all courses, including those at beginner and basic levels. I find this is very important as I think “how can I teach Instructor candidates to teach all courses if I don’t teach them myself?” Being resident in Gozo all year round, I am able to teach an IDC or specialties at a time that is convenient for the student.

They then have the option of completing the IE in Gozo, or at a location of their choice. Although I have a Master Instructor and Staff Instructors to assist during the course, I am always on site and available at any time. During your IE in Gozo or Malta, you will be assisted from start to finish, making it easier for you to concentrate on the important things. We will take you to the exam room, pool/confined water and the open water site, make sure you have everything you need to succeed, and even bring your lunch.

I feel that Instructors should learn to teach the specialties through a Course Director, as it gives them a greater insight into the skills and abilities needed to teach their own students. For this reason, I offer a package of up to 28 instructor specialties after the IDC. During the specialties, I try to go to all the best and appropriate sites that Gozo, Comino and Malta have to offer. The dive centre is in a busy tourist area in the heart of Dwejra.

The accommodation is reasonable, the bars and restaurants are plentiful on the Island, so you don’t have far to go to get a meal after a busy day on the IDC.

What type of diving do you like the best?

I enjoy all types of diving, but I particularly like caverns, holes, caves and swim throughs, which are found in abundance here on the Island of Gozo and Comino. Diving with Scooters give me a great opportunity to explore these great places.

What else do you like (non diving)?

After working a six or seven day a week there is not much time left for anything else.

When possible, I like to go for long walks with my partner and dog, along the cliffs around Dwejra. During the winter season when things are quiet and I can get away, I love and adore Madagascar…the Island of so much diversity

Why do you love being a PADI Course Director?

Being a Course Director enables me to pass on the knowledge I have gained over the last 33 years to new and upcoming Instructors. I also enjoy meeting people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds who love diving, and are excited about their future as a diving instructor.

What does the future hold for you?

Hopefully to inspire lots more divers to become PADI Instructors and still to actively teach. I work hard to make our new dive centre grow and improve our facilities as we go along.

What do his IDC students think of Oliver?

Urs Tanner Switzerland

I attended the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) with Dive Smart Gozo in August / September 2017. We were a small group of candidates, and we all passed the PADI Instructor Examination (IE) – 100% success rate. I really liked the way Olli and Janet hold the IDC – they teached us through the standard PADI IDC material, but they made it real and interesting, by adding additional relevant information and stories, based on their 35+ years of experience in diving and training scuba diver students. Olli and Janet coached us individually, in the areas we needed to improve our knowledge and skills – and as a result we all passed the IE with no problems! I can recommend Dive Smart Gozo in Malta to everyone who wants to do an IDC; either in English or German language. Thanks Janet Bulmer and Olli for the two weeks, and your hospitality. It was great fun with a perfect outcome – to leave Gozo/Malta as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor.

Pascale Hofer De Huu

IDC 2017, we make the IDC (Instructor Development Course) with Dive Smart Gozo. Great job, a lot of fun. Janet and Olli you are awesome. Thank you for the big big job in German & English.

Reg Miller, May 2016

Didn’t plan an IDC on Gozo just after my DM in the UK, so was a little unsure. Meeting Oliver and Janet changed that, the IDC was very well organised, challenging and fun. I felt taken care of all the way. The most challenging PADI course I’ve done to date but very rewarding. They’re great people. ER Miller

Neil Meston PADI MI 648853

As a student diver Oliver always has his pupil’s best interests at heart and I was no exception from when he taught me to dive some years ago, and this continued all the way through to when he attended my Instructor Examination in Malta several years later.

IDC Guide Tips

During our stay in Gozo for the IDC/IE, we decided to stay in a self catering apartment very close to the Dive Centre. All amenities where close by, peace and quiet to study and we got picked up each morning by the DiveSMART Staff. Was a great location in San Lawrenz.

Want to see what goes on during our IDC classes?

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

Where are we?

Name: DiveSMART Gozo

Address: Divesmart Gozo Ltd, No. 6 Piazza tad-Dwejra, San Lawrenz, SLZ 1360, Gozo, Malta

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