A common question when training to become a PADI diving instructor is how long the training takes. With an explosion of certification diving agencies in recent years, it has become even more important to maintain a high level of training standards.
A regulatory body that certifying agencies sign up to is the WRSTC – the World Recreational Scuba Training Council. For any agencies that sign up to these standards, there is a mutual agreement in placeand the minimum diving experience that an instructor candidate must have is 6 months, before application.
This requirement is important for a number of reasons including adequate diving experience and for safety reasons. After all, a PADI instructor will be teaching new scuba divers and with it comes a huge responsibility and adequate personal diving experience is a must have.
The journey to become a PADI diving instructor starts off with an entry-level course such as the PADI Open Water course. Once this is complete, the newly certified scuba diver can apply to take the Advanced Open Water course, which consists of five adventure dives.
The adventure dives focus on one particular area of skill and two of these five adventure dives are compulsory. The Underwater Navigation dive and the Deep dive are both compulsory dives and help broaden the knowledge and skill-set of the diver.
Use of a compass underwater is an acquired skill that is essential so you can find your way around in addition to leading new divers around as a Divemaster or as an instructor.
The PADI Deep dive extends your depth limits to 30 meters and exposes you to the extra skills required in order to dive safely at this depth. The other three adventure dives are elective dives and the student can choose from a range of the PADI adventure dives on offer.
After completion of the Advanced Open Water diver course, the PADI Rescue course is next. The Rescue course exposes the student to a wide range of rescue scenarios both in and out of the water and is a challenging yet rewarding course to take.
Most student divers will then take the EFR (Emergency First Responder) course, which gives you a foundational understanding of in-water, boat and on land first aid scenarios.
Once the pre-requisites are met for Divemaster, the student can then sign up for the first professional level of diving – the PADI Divemaster. Candidates must be of a minimum age and have at least 40 dives of experience to apply. They must also hold a valid First Aid certificate. The length of the Divemaster course will vary according to student needs, itinerary, schedule and whether or not it’s the course or a full scuba diving internship.
If the student completes all levels of diving up to Divemaster in 3 months, then this gives 3 months for the newly certified Divemaster to hone their skills and gain more experience as a professional working at a dive centre.
Once the 6 months period is up and the candidates meet all the Instructor level pre-requisites, they are eligible toenrol on an Instructor Development Course or ‘IDC’ and train to become a PADI Diving Instructor.