IDC Guide

Prepare for IDC / IE

Give yourself the best chance of passing your IDC / IE

How to prepare for your PADI IDC & IE

Preparation is the key to your successful and fun PADI IDC.

Prerequisites for your IDC

In order to participate in a PADI IDC you must of course meet all the prerequisite requirements:

  • Be certified as a PADI Assistant Instructor, PADI Divemaster
  • If not PADI then you must be an instructor with another recreational dive organization.*
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be fit for diving and submit a medical form signed by a physician within the last 12 months.**
  • Have been a certified diver for at least six months
  • Logged at least 60 open water dives with experience in night, deep and navigation prior to the IDC***
  • Logged at least 100 dives prior entering the Instructor Examination (IE). ****
  • Submit proof of CPR & First Aid training within the last 24 months.
  • Be ready to change your life and have some life changing experiences.

* If you have trained with another agency then look at our Crossover to PADI from BSAC, CMAS, SSI, NAUI or SAA Information

** Its possible that you can get a medical in the resort you are doing your IDC in before you begin the course at a fraction of the cost, check with your Course Director

*** You will need to provide your diving log to your Course Director or Staff Instructor during your IDC as proof of your diving experience.

**** You normally only do 4-6 open water dives during your IDC so you should ideally have 95+ logged dives prior to starting your course. This is unless you done your IDC at a PADI 5 Star CDC (Career Development Center), where you can sit the IE if you have a minimum of 60 dives but will not get the certification until you log 100 dives, assuming that you pass the IE.


These are the documents you will need for your PADI IDC

1. Passport photos, for your new certification cards and for your Course Director’s file. If you intend staying in your resort and working then you may need photos for work permits and other official documentation, take 4-8 photos.

2. Diving certification cards, bring your most current PADI certification card (either Divemaster or Assistant Instructor) Also you will need the dates of all your other courses, so either bring a list of your certifications and dates or just bring all your cards. If you have lost your cards its normally not a problem as your course dates are available online from PADI and your Course Director has access to this information.

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3. If you are transferring from another non-PADI dive agency then you will need photocopies of your certification cards to sent to PADI at the end of your IE.

4. Logbook, you will need proof that you have 60 logged dives for your IDC and 100 logged dives by the time of your Instructor Examination.

5. The PADI materials that you have been told are compulsory for your IDC, currently they are: a digital or paper Instructor manual, ‘The Guide to Teaching’, ‘Open Water and Confined Water cue cards’, ‘Open Water Training Dive Lesson Preparation Slate’, ‘Confined Water Lesson Preparation Slates’, ‘The Best of the Undersea Journal’, and the RDP table and ERDP. If you have a digital instructor manual installed on your Laptop you will need to show the Original Installation disk from PADI. You will be pleased to know that you can buy all the required IDC / IE materials in one go at a discounted price by purchasing the PADI IDC Crew Pack, you can order this from your local dive centre or order it in the resort you are doing your IDC so its in your room when you arrive, you may also find the standard PADI manuals from your previous programmes are required. Potential PADI Scuba Instructors normally don’t travel light!

You will be able to get all the materials you require from your Course Director who is conducting your IDC and if you can organise this prior to your arrival at your IDC location you can be guaranteed of all your materials at a price that will possibly be better than you can achieve in your home country.

Dive Knowledge Preparation

By the time your IDC starts you should know all the dive theory on the courses you have done yourself inside out. Don’t forget that once you pass your IE you will be eligible to teach Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue and Divemaster courses so we recommend that you review each course manual and complete all the quizzes, exams and knowledge reviews.

If you have bought the PADI Guide to Teaching you should complete all 16 IDC knowledge reviews, this isn’t compulsory but will ensure you are the best prepared you can be and will give you valuable extra free time for other parts of the IDC you may need extra time on.

The Knowledge reviews require you to read and understand some specific sections of your PADI instructor manual, PADI Guide to Teaching, The Best of the Undersea Journal, The Law & the Diving Professional and The Business of Diving.

You should really be confident and happy with dive theory before you actually begin your IDC, you shouldn’t turn up on day one of your course and expect to be taught Dive Physics or Physiology as the IDC has so much other information and skills to teach you there is no time to learn the theory. A good way to check your knowledge is to get new divers to ask you about things they are not 100% sure about. You only truly know diving when you can explain it to others. Try using these questions and answers as a guide for yourself to try to explain to others about dive theory

Instructor Manual paper or digital?

We would really recommend the digital manual, but why?

  • Most new Instructors will either have a laptop* or need to have a laptop to work effectively around their resort location.
  • Environmentally friendly, the PADI paper Instructor manual has hundreds of pages. Save the planet.
  • Easy to update, you can electronically download updates for your manual.
  • The paper manual quickly becomes ‘dog-eared’ and unprofessional looking
  • The paper manual is heavy! Its the last thing you want to be carrying around with you everywhere you go.
  • Its cheaper (its only a little cheaper but we expect it to be much cheaper then the paper version in time)

* Laptops not only can be used to install your Instructor Manual on but when you are an instructor you will need a laptop to communicate with PADI via email, it can be used to access the PADI pro website, it can be used to store and view your underwater photos and video, it can be used to view your PADI course videos on it. A laptop is already an essential piece of equipment for most PADI instructors and its more common to see instructors with a laptop than without one.

Most Course Directors offer a period of revision and practice for their IDC before the actual IDC begins (traditionally the IDC begins on a Monday and the 3 day Pre-IDC course begins on the Friday. IDC Guide really recommends the Pre-IDC courses as they usually do not cost that much more when added on to your IDC package and it will get you familiar with the training facilities, swimming pool and IDC instructors before the rest of the course members arrive. Its good to know that all IDCs and IEs within a specific location or resort all take place at the same time, so if you are booking a holiday or vacation to do your IDC within a resort like Phuket, Sharm or Utila you will have to book it around the existing IDC dates that your Course Director normally publishes on their website one year in advance.

What else can I do to help me pass the IDC?

The most important thing is get involved in real life classes with qualified Scuba Instructors. You will see how relaxed and comfortable students absorb dive knowledge, your goal is to be a chilled-out super confident, friendly, happy, font of dive knowledge that students feel happy and safe with.

Ensure that all your kit is working and serviceable, you need to be super-aware of your BCD and weights, it should be second nature to you where your releases are and how you fasten it up. Go on then get it out now and practice putting it on and taking it off so you can do it with your eyes shut. Now practice untying your tank band and re-fastening it, you don’t learn this on your IDC but there is nothing worse than as student asking you to fix their tank to the BCD when you have no idea how to do it, so now is the time to learn.

Watch all the PADI videos.

Get in your local dive center swimming pool and practice your skills again and again, you should be super-cool in the pool with your skills and be able to do them to demonstration quality ‘before’ you begin your IDC. Concentrate on buoyancy skills like fin pivots and hovering.

Knots, this is part of the IE, you are expected to know how to tie and teach knot tying, now is the time to learn. You should know how to tie;

  • Bowline
  • Sheet Bend
  • Two half hitches

Anything else?

All working instructors have a SMB and a reel, you don’t get taught these or given them so buy a set and become familiar with them.

Look through our PADI IDC Preparation Hints and Tips

PADI Mock Exams

If you find this information useful to your IDC Revision / Studies, you will be glad to hear that you can buy the full Exam Pack that includes 10 Standards and Dive Theory Mock PADI exams plus a bonus 75 question Pre-IDC Exam paper with answer keys.

Please click the link and BUY all 3 complete IDC revision packs that includes lots of revision documents and 11 practice mock exams, the exams include all the questions and answers you will need to revise to PASS the PADI IDC

Here is 2 free sample exams PADI Dive Theory Exam  E as  well as  PADI Dive Standards Exam E

Buy the complete IDC revision packs that now include lots more practice mock exams (questions and answers).

Still want more preparation?

Click here if you still don’t feel ready.

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