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John's PADI Assistant Instructor's Journey

You've worked had to get your Dive Master qualification. It was a hard journey where you learnt so much, hours practicing, reading, revising, testing and finally qualified.

Dive Masters have all the fun, was my belief, while instructors have all the responsibility. "All" a DM has to do is hand out a bit of kit, keep and eye on the candidates and keep them safe under the water, then eat bacon butties and drink coffee/tea while the Instructor stresses and chases students.

Why would you want to progress to Assistant Instructor (AI) or even Open Water Instructor (OWSI)?

These were my thoughts for the last 10 years, and as I have just qualified as an AI, what changed my mind?


I started to take the Discover Scuba Diving experience, I qualified as a DSD Leader and I liked the results. I was watching scuba diving change people. They were challenged, put into an environment where they were uncomfortable and they overcame the problems, they rose to the challenge, they achieved things, they never thought they could do - I wanted more and to understand what was happening.

I wanted to take the skills that I’ve started to use as a DSD Leader and expand them. I wanted to be a bigger part of the experience.

Up to now, including Dive Master, all the training is focused on improving diving skills, becoming more comfortable, more competent, mastering new environments and equipment. The AI (and OWSI) teaches no new diving skills - it’s about teaching. Making sure you are equipped with the tools and knowledge to ensure that the new divers that you are responsible for get the best (and I’m getting the best out of the new divers!).

And after a lot of hard work I’ve achieved that – I’m a PADI Assistant Instructor.

I very proud of achieving this qualification for numerous reasons and it proves that there is nothing you can’t achieve given the right support (Thank you Paul French and Dive Machine) and the commitment.

So what’s stopping you from starting your journey in diving and going all the way to being a PADI Pro?

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