At the end in the instructor development course, there’s an exam – the feared PADI Instructor Exam! It is man’s instinct to target passing this exam, but it really isn’t the real test whatsoever! The real test may be the first class you may teach a PADI instructor.
This means that it is so vital that you choose the right IDC. You want to study on a course director who shows you to be a good instructor, NOT the best way to pass the IE. Course directors that give attention to getting the perfect score from the IE often do this as the price of preparing you for your real-life issues that the IDC needs to be preparing you for. The experience your course director has can play a big part with this. When I first started teaching the Instructor development course like a new course director (on the agenda on a decade ago) I fell into this trap myself. I was more interested in my candidates passing the IE than taking the time to concentrate on more actual training.
As time passed and my confidence built I started to concentrate on the problems I knew my instructor candidates would face of their day-to-day work once they had passed the IE. My new-found confidence allowed me to make this happen because I now knew that passing the IE has to be natural reaction to this approach. I had taught a number of IDCs and no-one had failed. My concern with one of my candidates failing diminished. My target the Instructor Exam inside my training reduced. Therefore my training focus altered. I wanted my instructor candidates going to the ground running. Teaching safe fun and well-organized PADI courses. It’s one thing to pass the IE, but once you land a job, if someone makes a mess on the first few courses you teach, you’ll lose that job. I realized that it was my job to make certain didn’t happen. The moral with the story – Find a program director with numerous experience. They will train you becoming a successful scuba instructor, not just in pass the test.
Train in conditions much like those you want to work. The IDC certainly is quiet difficult, it can be made more difficult by cold water and low visibility. So determining to take the IDC in these conditions certainly, adds some task loading. However, if you are likely to teach in those conditions after passing the IE it could be worth lessons in those same conditions. There is an alternative, though. You may decide to go ahead and take IDC in nice warm tropical waters and obtain the OWSI rating below your belt, and after that take MSDT education in tougher conditions, comparable to those in which you’re planning to teach.