Taking the PADI IE

May 2012

IDC at BSB and the PADI IE

The Instructor Development Course (IDC) is a 20 odd day program that prepares you to take up the Instructor Examination (IE) which is conducted directly by PADI staff. Once you complete the IE, you are certified as an Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI), one of the most sought after professionals in the scuba industry.

The PADI system of education is a simple but effective, the process is not just in imparting education, but also maintaining the consistency of education, irrespective of the location. The IE is a critical step which assures to a certain level the standardization of the system. By having every single instructor certified directly by a PADI examiner from one of the Head Offices worldwide, the system ensures that the deviation from the requirements is minimum. Just as each instructor is certified on the basis of certain guidelines called “performance requirements”, instructors in turn certify each student based on the respective “performance requirements” of that course. The Course Directors or the top rung leaders train and certify the IDC staff who in turn train the instructor candidates to take the IE.

A PADI centre that conducts an IDC and sends candidates for the IE is either an PADI IDC Center, or a PADI CDC Center. A CDC Center is a notch above an IDC Center with regards to some advantages it has over the requirements of candidates in terms of the number of dives required.

Blue Season Bali is a CDC Center where as much as 11 IDC’s are held all year round. There is a constant flow of instructors passing out every month, many of whom stay on for experience and take up the MSDT (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) course as what was offered for me and the winners of the competition. The MSDT essentially can certify an MSD, a Master Scuba Diver, the highest non-professional rating in that he/she qualifies as a trainer in 5 or more specialities. In addition he/she should have signed off 25 student certifications.

The Best Dive Job 2012 competition enabled me to reach this certification level and I had the opportunity to dive and also design for Blue Season Bali during the 4 months I spent there. The IDC at Blue Season is well planned and structured and goes on methodically like a well oiled machine and with a precision that comes from many months and years of operation. A typical IDC at BSB usually has between 6-7 candidates and sometimes upto 3 language students as my batch, we had a couple of students doing the IDC in Japanese, 1 in Chinese and 1 in French.

The 28 day IDC is a tightly packed course, fitting in all the components in proper schedule with hardly any time to spare. There are only 2 days off during the course, and the course itself has more than one set of assessments. It was mentally exhausting as the tensions are very high through the assessments, classroom, confined water  and open water presentations. There is a facility of a ‘make-over’ provided where you can take a second attempt in case you botch up your presentation in confined water, but no ‘make-overs’ in open water presentations. The PADI assessors are strict but fair, in that they give you all the chance you need to make it through, and only when you are really not up to the grade expected of an instructor, you don’t make it. Thankfully, I made it. My whole batch as was common for BSB made it and they retained their 100% IE pass rate. Thank you all at BSB, I had made it as a PADI OWSI, a step far from ordinary for me.