IDC Guide

Mexico –
Angel Navarro

PADI Course Director – The GoPro Family Mexico




Calle 2 Nte, between Ave 10 & 5, Centro, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

PADI Course Director – The GoPro Family Mexico.

Address: Calle 2 Nte, between Ave 10 & 5, Centro, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Angel Navarro & Jo Armitage – PADI Course Directors – The GoPro Family

Take your IDC with Platinum Course Directors Angel and Jo in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Instructor Development Courses in English and Spanish.

About Angel

Angel has over 3000 PADI certifcations under his belt with more than 2000 of those at professional-level, making him one of the most experienced and respected Course Directors around.

As well as being a PADI Platinum Course Director (the status of which he has been awarded consecutively since 2007) Angel is also a TecRec and Trimix Instructor Trainer, Full Cave Instructor Trainer, and also Instructor Trainer for Disabled Divers International (DDI). Angel is passionate about his work with disabled scuba divers and is able to teach Divemasters and Instructors to become DDI Pro Trainers.

Jo and Angel started working together teaching IDCs in 2009 and Jo became a PADI Course Director in 2013 (and every year has also achieved Platinum status)

Angel’s Background

Angel grew up in the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain and worked as a mountain guide and ski instructor before starting his own adventure sports company. But after a few years building up the company he sold the business and went travelling. While in Thailand he fell in love with scuba diving and saw this as the perfect challenge for him – to work his way around the world doing something he loved.

Since then, Angel has been doing just that, and making a pretty good job of it too. He has worked and dived in more than ten countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, Honduras, Curacao, UK, Spain, Galapagos as well as Mexico.

Angel loves teaching IDCs but realizes the importance of teaching diving to “real” students too and continues to teach a range of PADI courses including Tec, Cave, Sidemount as well as Divemasters.

Angel speaks Spanish, English and French fluently and has conducted multi-lingual IDCs since becoming a Course Director in 2007.

What is the philosophy of your company?

We hope to lead by example and have never lost the passion for teaching. Our goal is to ensure that our new instructors receive more than just a certification. We believe that with in-depth training and personal one-to-one feedback, we train the very best instructors possible.
Our IDCs include are 14 days and workshops in knot-tying, lift bag exercises, CESAs, rescue skills and descents, as well as a 2-day program devoted to dive theory.

We finish our IDCs by holding a two-day “mock” IE which includes all the components of the actual Instructor Exams to ensure the readiness of our candidates.

Quality is of utmost importance to The GoPro Family and we strive to exceed our candidates’ expectations on every IDC.

“We feel a personal responsibility to the future students of our IDC candidates to create not just successful instructors, but the best instructors in every way” says Jo.

Has anything funny happened during your IDC courses?

I remember when we were teaching an IDC in the Galapagos Islands and one candidate couldn’t stop giggling during her mock rescue demonstration. The reason was that there was a sea lion nibbling at her fins that wouldn’t let her go! Sea lions were often additional guests in open water presentations there. Now here in Mexico we hope for a Bull Shark encounter instead!

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

Experience.  Angel and Jo are both Platinum Course Directors and together have over 20 years’ experience of running IDCs and nearly 30 years’ experience of teaching scuba diving .  Most of the teaching is given by them during the course and so you benefit from their experience both in the classroom and in the water, with the tips and advice that they give to you.

Angel is one of only a few Course Directors worldwide who has been awarded the highest Platinum status by PADI since becoming a Course Director in 2007. Jo Armitage has also received the Platinum award from PADI since she became a Course Director in 2013.

Consistency and Value.  Angel and Jo will be in charge of your IDC from start to finish. They have ample time to work on each candidate’s own strengths and weaknessnes, thus ensuring that any weaknesses are gone before the end of the IDC.

Opportunities. If you will be looking for work as an Instructor after your IDC, you couldn’t be better placed. With literally hundreds of dive shops in this area of Mexico, you have plenty of job opportunities. The Mayan Riviera is busy year-round with divers and those wanting to give it a try, making it a great place if you want to get lots of teaching experience.

Angel and the GoPro team have lots of contacts in the area and elsewhere in the Caribbean meaning they can give you advice and assistance in your search for the perfect career choice.

There is also the option to maximise your learning and experience after the IDC by taking the MSDT Prep Program which includes five specialty instructor training courses to enable you to teach more courses.

The Diving. Wow! Mexico really does have it all when it comes to scuba. The diving here is diverse, with Bull Sharks visiting Playa in the winter months, beautiful warm waters and coral reefs, plus the marine reserve of Cozumel offering breathtaking sealife and drift dives. And of course the area is famous for its unique cenotes – fresh water sinkholes in the middle of the jungle. You’ll get to experience these amazing places during your IDC.

Support. Our help doesn’t end once you pass your IE. The GoPro Family will give you help and advice on how to prepare an attention-grabbing CV and what potential employers are really looking for in an instructor. Angel and Jo have lots of contacts who get in touch when they need new instructor staff, meaning we can give you assistance in your search for the perfect career choice. Even once you get yourself a job, they offer ongoing support and advice to all their candidates, wherever they are in the world. Many come back to continue their education with us!

What are your personal diving obsessions?

Angel – As an active cave diver Angel likes to spend much of his free time in the caves of the Yucatan peninsula. “I’m so lucky having such a unique underwater environment on my doorstep!”

Jo – In her spare time Jo also loves diving in the cenotes, but freediving is her thing. “Our eldest son turned 10 last year and has just become a certified Open Water Diver, so I’m also looking forward to going on some awesome scuba adventures together”.

What else do you like (non-diving)?

Anything outdoors. Angel and the kids are keen triathletes and they also love family camping trips in Mexico and abroad.

Why do you love being a PADI Course Director?

Angel – I love getting the messages from Instructors who did their IDC with me – sometimes years ago – who take the time to write to me to tell me about their teaching experiences and how what they learnt from us during their IDC really helped them. That always leaves me with a warm feeling inside!

Jo – people ask me if I get bored teaching IDCs, but its quite the opposite. Every course is different, with different personalities and different challenges. Its so nice to see our candidates develop and improve during their IDC and I feel very proud to see them do so well in their diving careers afterwards.

What does the future hold for you?

Happy to call this part of Mexico his home, Angel and Jo’s plan is to develop the IDCs and professional-level courses. Angel will focus on the Tec, Cave and Disabled Divers courses which are so valuable to Pro divers, and Jo plans to offer freediving courses. “We never stop learning and are always looking for ways to improve our Pro courses, to give our new Instructors the best start to their diving careers.”

What do your IDC candidates think of you?

“The GoPro Family is amazing! Angel, Jo, and Moy are extremely dedicated and passionate about their work and it shows by the amount of time and effort they put into every student. The quality of training far exceeded my expectations and has truly prepared me for my future in diving. I admire this team for their level of experience, diving knowledge, and how hard they work. Overall an excellent experience!!”

Jenna Konyok – January 2020

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Do you have any advice to someone choosing their IDC centre?

Don’t wait until the last minute to sign up. PADI’s revised IDC is a much-improved curriculum which also includes some eLearning to be completed before the IDC starts. Once you choose your IDC centre and sign up you can have access to all your digital materials and start your eLearning.

Also, don’t be shy to ask to meet with the Course Director(s), in person or via WhatsApp/Skype, to get to know them and ask questions. You’re making an important decision and not all IDC centres are created equal.



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

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