PADI instructor development course

Duration: Minimum 6 days/approximately 60 hours 

The Instructor Development Course (IDC) is made up of two parts – the Assistant Instructor (AI) course and the Open Water Scuba Instructor course (OWSI). Most students decide to complete an entire IDC which prepares them to attend the IE –Instructor Examination -which is required to become a PADI Instructor.

The IDC is designed to refine the diving and leadership skills you learned in the Divemaster Course. This program is about development and uses a low-stress environment to enhance your ability to concentrate on learning while not worrying about making mistakes. During the learning process, the staff will provide support, guidance, and advice.  The program goes over the educational goals and philosophies of using the PADI System to teach effectively and think like an Instructor.


Workshops are used to address all courses an Instructor is certified to teach. Hands-on practice develops confidence in preparing to teach in the classroom, confined water, and open water.


  • PADI Divemaster OR

  • Leadership-level certification in good standing with another recognized recreational diver training organization with 60 logged dives documenting experience in night, deep and navigation diving. (100 logged dives to attend the IE)

  • 18 years old

  • Medical clearance signed by a physician within the previous 12 months

  • Certified diver for at least 6 months

  • Completed EFR Primary and Secondary Care course, or other qualifying training within the past 24 months 

  • NOTE: EFR Instructor rating or qualifying rating is required for Open Water Scuba Instructor certification. (See information here)

  • Complete the  PADI DM course diver rescue skills assessment if not a PADI Divemaster

  • Documentation of any nonPADI certifications

Course Curriculum

Candidates complete independent study through PADI IDC eLearning – 16 curriculum components.

Meet with the Course Director to complete:

  • Practical applications and workshops covering all core courses and experiences the candidate will be able to teach as an Instructor

  • Candidate teaching presentations in Knowledge Development, Confined Water and Open Water

  • Skill Evaluation – 24  demonstration quality skills

  • Exams – PADI Standards and Procedures Exam AND Dive Theory Exam

  • 400-yard continuous swim, without aids, any stroke AND 10-minute tread

  • Role model quality demonstration of a panicked diver at the surface

  • Role model quality demonstration of the rescue of a simulated unresponsive, nonbreathing diver at the surface

  • Role model quality demonstration scenario of the rescue of a simulated  unresponsive nonbreathing diver, provide aid at the surface, exiting, and first aid including rescue breathing for and administering O2 to the victim using a rescue breathing mask

Dates/Scheduling Options

  • Our week-long programs begin with an Orientation on Friday evening and continue through the next 6 days( See schedule)  OR contact Dive World Austin for a more relaxed personalized schedule. 

    • March 20-26                               Targeted IE March 28/29 Dallas

    • May 8-14                                    Targeted IE May 16/17 Nacogdoches

    • May  29 - June 4                        Targeted IE June 13/14 Houston 

    • August or Sept program TBD

    • Oct 16-22                                     Targeted IE October 24/25 Nacogdoches

  • Special schedules for June and August – 3 days AI immediately followed by 3-day OWSI

    • AI course June 26,27,28  taught by an IDC Staff Instructor ( may continue on to OWSI beginning June 29)                  Targeted IE July 11/12 Dallas

    • AI course August  1,2,3 – taught by an IDC Staff Instructor(may continue on to OWSI beginning August 4)                     Targeted IE August 8/9 Nacogdoches


All of our programs that require attendance at an IE leave Friday as a travel day in order to give candidates plenty of time to drive to the IE location.

IDC Complete Information Download

IDC Required Materials List

PADI Medical Release

Karen Erickson

PADI Course Director

Karen has been teaching scuba diving since 1985 and conducting instructor development courses since 1987. Her over 30 years of experience in the dive industry vary. In the 80's Karen managed a successful dive store in the Austin area, selling equipment and teaching classes. She then moved to Chicago, IL to run the International Instructor Training Center with her late husband, Ralph Erickson. At the Training Center they conducted Instructor level training in Cozumel, Roatan, Belize, Bonaire and several other areas outside the U.S. as well as in the Chicago land area. Their daughter, Karina, is a PADI Instructor, so diving is a family activity. Karen is the resident PADI Course Director for Dive World Austin. She also serves as Vice-President of the Ralph Erickson Educational Foundation, which provides instructor level training to low income islanders around the world. In addition, Karen runs the PADI Seal Team and Girl Scout Classes.

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