Originally, I was in two minds as to whether I wanted to do the IDC - the Instructor Development Course. I was enjoying the Assistant Instructor role that I was qualified for, doing Discover Scuba Diving and the odd Peak Performance Buoyancy course. I also knew from past experience that it would be a significant commitment, as PADI rightly sets a high bar when it comes to giving out professional qualifications. And then there was the fabled IE at the end of it, which by all accounts was a tough gig and a full weekend of stress loading.
However, the Assistant Instructor title somehow seemed to point to a part completed journey. I was eager to do more teaching and I knew from my journey to that point – Rescue Diver, Master Scuba Diver, Divemaster and then Assistant Instructor – that every time I took on one of these challenges, I ended up a better diver when coming out the other side. So in the end I took the plunge, the leap – or should it be giant stride? - of faith, and signed up to complete my Instructor Development Course with Paul at Bespoke Scuba Diving. #coursedirector #bespokescubadiving
Three months on, I have to admit it’s not been a walk in the park. Dive theory has been part trip down memory lane and part voyage of discovery, in terms of my understanding of what we do. I’ve revisited the basics of the #PADIOpenWater Course and Advanced Open Water courses, and dusted off my eRDP. Then I’ve dived in to the books and learned more about the physics and physiology of scuba diving than I ever expected to know. I’ve also rehearse performing skills, briefing skills and giving presentations to the point where I’m dreaming in PADI script. And now the IE looms large, no longer a ominous, far of prospect, but rather an imminent juggernaut staring me in the face! But for all that, I do now find myself strangely up for the challenge. My IDC at Bespoke Scuba has prepared me for the instructors exam and all of the mystique around what’s coming is gone. I understand the process, I’m prepped on what’s required and I’m alert to the potential pitfalls. So, it’s off to Stoney Cove and the PADI examiners! #Openwater #advancedopenwater #rescuediver
Wow, what a blast! Going in, you know the format and what gets done when. However, the pace of it is surprising and it’s far more adrenaline fuelled than you imagine. I have to say that the PADI examiners were the epitome of professionalism throughout. Whilst the marking is rigidly adhered to, they are far more supportive than I had anticipated and you do have a sense that they are willing you on.
The dive theory and standards exams that kicked the process off are now a bit of a blur. Rather than getting a score, you simply get told that you’ve passed or failed, and then it’s straight on to the presentations and water skills.
Day 1, concludes with the confined water briefing and skill performance, which in my case proved to be the one wrinkle throughout the whole process. Straight fives in sections two through to five is all well and good but if you miss out the demo at the start, it all amounts to nothing and you’re in do-over territory. Fortunately I hit the mark second time around and day 1 was then in the bag.
Day 2 is in open water; rescue exercise 7 and taking a class through two skills in the water but this time without the safety net of a do-over. The snow on the ground was not welcome. And then there was the skill.
When your Course Director says that any skill can come up you take it with a pinch of salt until you’re given your skill sheet and it reads ‘Knot tying underwater’! Fortunately, we’d had the night before to practice again, and then, when we got to it, all the hard work that had gone before really did pay off. When I was down there, organising the group, running through the skills, picking out the deliberate errors and signalling back and forth to my safety diver, I really did have a sense of knowing what I was doing and that the goal I was aiming at was mine for the taking.
It was a good hour after I left the water that I finally got to deliver my debrief and then accept the Examiner’s congratulations but when it came, what a moment that was. If anyone tells you it’s going to be easy, don’t listen to them for a moment. But when they start talking about the high you get when you’re handed that certificate … well … that’s a different matter!
I would recomend taking this journey - So what are you waiting for - sign up for your PADI IDC with #padicoursedirector Paul at Bespoke Scuba Diving!