PADI IDC Koh Tao Thailand http://www.idckohtaothailand.com Diving Instructor Courses on Koh Tao Thu, 13 Jul 2017 08:25:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/cropped-IDC-Koh-Tao-Thailand-Sairee-Cottage-Diving-32x32.jpg PADI IDC Koh Tao Thailand http://www.idckohtaothailand.com 32 32 Do I need more experience as a Divemaster before starting my PADI Instructor (IDC) Course? http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/experience-as-a-divemaster-before-idc/ Sun, 19 Mar 2017 01:48:07 +0000 http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/?p=1124 Many dive professionals will quickly answer this question by saying: “Yes. You should get more experience as a Divemaster before starting a PADI IDC. Try to get some experience by working in the dive industry or by completing a long Divemaster internship that can take a few

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Many dive professionals will quickly answer this question by saying:

“Yes. You should get more experience as a Divemaster before starting a PADI IDC. Try to get some experience by working in the dive industry or by completing a long Divemaster internship that can take a few months.”

It makes complete sense, but sometimes people give this answer too quickly as it really depends on many different factors to make that decision – to decide whether any particular individual is ready (or not) for the Instructor Development Course.

As a PADI Platinum Course Director I get this question all the time. Before I answer the question: “Do I need more experience as a Divemaster before starting the IDC?” I always ask for more information about the specific individual in order to give the most appropriate answer for that person.

These are some of my questions and considerations:

  • Where did the person do his or her Divemaster training?
  • I make an assessment of the potential candidate’s confidence and dive skills.
  • I ask about dive experience and in what different conditions and where around the world.
  • I discuss the practicalities of finances and considerations around living costs.
  • Attitude.
  • Any teaching skills and/or experience.
  • And I’ll have a discussion about the high quality of our PADI Instructor Development Course.

Where did the person do his or her Divemaster training?

First of all I like to find out where and how someone completed their Divemaster course or if they are still in training as a Divemaster Candidate (DMC). There are many differences in how professional training is conducted in the Dive Industry; therefore the quality of Divemaster training can vary a lot dependant on location, dive centre and the quality of the Divemaster Instructor(s).

Best Divemaster Course

By creating clear worldwide training standards, PADI ensures high quality wherever you go, but in the real world that sometimes doesn’t happen because some dive centres and diving instructors deviate from these standards in order to earn more money and save time. Even if they do teach all the minimum Divemaster performance requirements according to the PADI Instructor manual it can still be inadequate depending on the abilities of the student.

In some locations around the world, the dive shop lacks a certain amount of real students signing up for recreational courses. In these cases, as part of their training, Divemaster Candidates will be assigned “fake students” (often Instructors pretending to be students) in order to role-play dive scenarios. This is not “real life” training and can effect the Divemaster candidate’s experience and quality of tuition significantly.

PADI Instructor Manual Thailand

Another concern is that during the Divemaster course, candidates only need to complete one Skill Circuit (a demonstration of the key skills that appear in the Open Water course) to be able to comfortably demonstrate underwater skills to entry-level divers-in-training. In some places, the Divemaster trainee only needs to get a score as low as a 3 (out of 5) to pass.
In my opinion this will greatly affect the readiness of the Divemaster trainee or Divemaster when assessing whether or not they are ready to join the PADI IDC.

All in all you can complete a Divemaster course between 2 to 3 weeks or in some cases, when dive centres violate standards, even shorter. If you ask me is that person ready to start the Dive Instructor Development Course? Then I will most likely answer: “No” and I will recommend that person waits until they have gained more experience of real-life diving situations.

On the other hand there are many PADI Dive Centres and PADI Instructors around the world that go far beyond the minimum standards. Sairee Cottage Diving on Koh Tao in Thailand is one of them. These centres strive for excellence. Not only do they teach the PADI Divemaster course according to PADI standards, but they also add a lot of extra dive training, putting an emphasis on repetition. For example, here, during the Sairee Cottage Diving Divemaster Course we teach DMCs 3 Skill Circuits instead of just 1. We have our trainees assist 2 full PADI Open Water courses, 2 PADI Advanced Open Water courses and 1 to 2 PADI Rescue Diver courses instead of just assisting 1 Open Water and 1 ‘Continuing Education’ course.

At Sairee Cottage Diving we also add extra lectures for our DMTs like: Dive Physics, Dive Physiology, Dive Equipment, Decompression Theory, Recreational Dive Planning (RDP) Tables, the Dive Environment, Dive skills, Marketing, Eco and conservation, Project AWARE conservation, Risk Management classes…and the list goes on. Our Divemaster Candidates are always under supervision by our highly trained and hugely experienced staff and get regular and constructive feedback. Everything gets repeated multiple times here at Sairee Cottage Diving.

Extra Teaching Dive Theory Divemaster IDC

So if someone has done their Divemaster course with such a great PADI Dive Centre, and they have completed an extended PADI Divemaster Internship and they have got the best attention and the highest quality training (like we offer at Sairee Cottage Diving)…then, if you ask me if that person is ready to start the Dive Instructor Development Course straight away then my answer will most likely be: “Yes”. In some cases that individual can even be more qualified than someone who completed a quick and minimal Divemaster course even if that Dive professional has spent years in the dive industry (but just leading divers on fun dives). The PADI IDC is not about leading fun divers or helping to complete courses, it’s about teaching people to dive safely whilst giving them the best time of their lives!

People Dont Need To Wait Between The Padi Dmt And Idc Course

So if you ask me if people who have completed a fantastic Divemaster course who are thinking about joining an equally fantastic IDC: “Do they need more experience before joining the Dive Instructor Development Course?”, then in most cases I say: “No they don’t”.

Individual Confidence and Diving Skills

This relates a lot to the previous point. The confidence and diving skills of a person are linked very closely to the quality of all the dive courses taken to get to the Divemaster Candidate level. These dive courses include the Open Water, Advanced, Rescue and any Specialty courses undertaken. Of course, even with the best instruction and the finest facilities, you still find individuals who need more time than others to fine-tune their dive skills and in-water confidence. Nothing wrong with that, everyone is different. Some students just need more practice than others. With enough time and the right encouragement almost anyone can become a fantastic dive professional.

You need 40 logged dives to start the PADI Divemaster course and 60 logged dives to finish it. To start the PADI Instructor Development Course you need 100 logged dives. This might sound like a lot, which it is for most people, however, some students need a little more to get to the same level. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. As we all know, buoyancy truly gets better with time and experience. Same goes for anything we do in life, practice makes perfect. If a person still lacks good buoyancy or other diving skills, I highly recommend them to get more dive experience before joining an Instructor Development Course, even if that person has the 100 required logged dives.

I know a few amazing Dive Instructors and they have all had some issues with their diving skills during their dive training. But with a little extra practice and the right feedback you might be surprised how quickly you improve.

Diving Skills in Different Waters around the World

When addressing this subject, we need to consider where you learnt how to dive. This time I am not talking about the Dive Centre, I’m talking about the environmental conditions. There is a big difference between a Divemaster or Divemaster trainee who has dived all over the world, especially in some of the more challenging conditions, compared to someone who maybe did all of their training in the same location in pristine seas, e.g. little or no current, minimum waves, good visibility, nice water temperature etc.

Rough Scuba Diving Conditions Better Nice Best Scuba Dive Conditions

I have seen some posts on Facebook and Dive Forums saying that the reason for the occasional low quality of new Dive Instructors is because of the quick “Zero to Hero” Instructor packages that can occur in areas with unchallenging dive conditions…. I agree and disagree. It really depends on the individual and where he or she wants to work as a Dive Instructor.

An example might be that a hard-core diver who has dived all over the world in the toughest conditions, truly a very experienced diver, doesn’t automatically make a great teacher. You might have all this great diving experience but you maybe lack Instructing skills or good attitude or experience dealing with a range of students’ needs in a fun and effective way. Of course this goes the other way too. Sometimes Instructors with the best attitude lack the diving experience to teach in more challenging waters.

Teaching new divers in classic places like Koh Tao in Thailand, the Gili Islands in Indonesia or places like Utila in Honduras can be very different to teaching in Europe or North America for example – the customer demographics also differ from area to area. Many of the Dive Instructors there are some of the best in the world because of the hands on experience and sheer numbers of students they have taught and hence the large amount of problems they have experienced and fixed. And many of them did indeed do a “Zero to Hero” package with no training interruptions.

If, however, you are that person with experience of diving in more difficult environments and you are also a great people-person with fantastic teaching skills as well as having worked or trained in busy certification areas like Cairns, Koh Tao, Utila etc. you are, of course, going to be a top level Diving Instructor. (I can see the massive replies to this blog already happening; please do share your thoughts!)

No place in the world is perfect and you can find good and bad Dive Centres, Divemasters and Diving Instructors anywhere, both in busy diving areas and not so busy ones. It’s important to consider the quality of training you received in your Open Water, Advanced, Rescue and Divemaster courses to decide whether or not you are ready to start the IDC straight away or at a later time after some more experience and practice. Location is important, but the Dive Centre and staff quality is much more so.

Other factors that can play a role include the confidence levels of the person that wants to do the Dive Instructor course, their diving skills, finances, attitude and teaching skills.

Finances and Living Cost

Finances can play a big role in making the decision to do the IDC straight away or to wait. I know some people say that finances should play no role in life decisions, but for many it is an important reality and consideration for the plan to become a Divemaster or Dive Instructor.

First of all you need to pay for all the PADI Dive courses, and some are not cheap, however the PADI Divemaster course and the IDC are both investments. You will need to purchase all the teaching materials, pay PADI the application fees and on top of that you need to pay PADI the annual professional membership fee to be able to remain in teaching status and conduct the work we all love so much!

PADI Instructor IDC Course Price Cost

You also need to take into account that whist in training or trying to get more experience as a Dive professional, you will not necessarily be making any money at the time. If you stay in another country you need to factor in your daily expenses. So, in a matter of speaking, the quicker you become a Dive Instructor, the quicker you can start earning your money back. Of course it really depends on where you work. In some places there is more Divemaster work than teaching jobs. Divemasters may even make the same or more money then a Dive instructor. Generally speaking though, in the Dive Industry you usually make a lot more money as a Dive Instructor than as a Divemaster.

Please read this article about how much money a Dive Instructor can make

This doesn’t mean that we should to rush our courses in order to make more money, quite the contrary. If you pick the right Dive Centre, experienced Divemaster Instructors and a quality Divemaster Internship program you will get the best dive training and experience all within a great time frame to get ready for your PADI IDC. We call these “Zero to Hero Packages”, which, at a quality dive school will transform almost non-divers into well-trained Dive Instructors.

Individual Attitude

The right attitude is the most important attribute a Professional PADI Divemaster or Diving Instructor should have.

Some people argue between Language skills or Attitude as being the most important attribute for a Dive professional. Personally, I have been in the dive industry a long time and I can truly say that attitude wins by far. This applies to not only getting a great job, but also keeping it.

Best PADI Dive Instructor Attitude Divemaster Thailand

It makes sense that people with a great attitude will be more ready to start a PADI IDC earlier than people who just want to have fun and party, or people who have negative traits, who don’t care about others or the environment or those who only care about the money, etc., etc.…

Sadly enough we sometimes see people showing great attitude during their Divemaster course who actually lose that attitude when working as a Divemaster because they picked the wrong area or Dive Centre to work in. On the other hand we have also witnessed the opposite, where some Divemasters have picked up a much better attitude from their working environment before moving up to the IDC. Again it is different for everyone. Personality, workplace, and geographical area are major factors here.

Don’t forget: The most successful people in the dive industry are those who truly inspire others to have the best attitudes and attributes.

Teaching Skills

During your Divemaster course you will be learning how to lead fun divers, assist in PADI dive courses, conduct PADI Reactivate (refresher) sessions and to be, most of all, a great diving role model. But, what about teaching skills?

Funnily enough, many people think that a PADI Divemaster doesn’t teach. I don’t agree. I think that good Divemaster Candidates and certified Divemasters have many opportunities to teach, and some of them are even better at it than some Instructors! They are just teaching different things than dive instructors.

PADI Divemaster Helping A Student

For example, whilst leading a fun dive (PADI Discover Local Diving) a Divemaster is often reminding (re-teaching) customers about equipment set-up, the buddy check routine, local water-entry techniques, surface swims, descents, equalisation, buoyancy, finning techniques, air-checks, computer use, aquatic life and so much more. Whilst assisting a course, the Divemaster may also be helping to teach the PADI RDP tables, computers, dive theory as well as giving important reminders during the dive briefing in case the student didn’t fully understood the Dive Instructor.

In other words, a Divemaster Trainee (DMT) or Candidate (DMC) who is already very good at leading fun divers and assisting courses can happily do the Dive Instructor course (IDC) very soon after becoming a Divemaster, whilst qualified Divemasters that are not so comfortable with leading, assisting etc. will need more time to get that necessary confidence to take the next step in their career, in which case it would be advisable to wait before attending the IDC.

Again it depends on individual persons and the quality of training received.

Quality of the PADI IDC Course

One of the most important factors to decide if someone can do the PADI Dive Instructor IDC course soon or straight after the Divemaster course is the quality of the Instructor Development Course itself, and the time or extra time the PADI Course Director invests in each individual IDC student.

One Of The Best And Caring PADI Course Directors Koh Tao Thailand

Some Dive Centres will conduct an IDC in just 7 days. For a lot of people this will be too short to not only successfully complete the IDC and Instructor Examination, but also, too short a time to obtain enough experience in the field to acquire or keep a decent dive job. This doesn’t apply to everyone of course, but it can definitely be an issue for some. For this reason some of the best PADI IDC and PADI Career Development Centres (CDC), like Sairee Cottage Diving, make their IDC courses longer. We include extra lectures, extra time, extra skills repetition, extra real life information and much more to ensure the success of our IDC Candidates. If someone chooses one of these high-quality IDC courses then in most cases Divemaster students don’t have to wait that long before starting the IDC course in comparison to a super quick IDC course.

Please download our PADI IDC Course Schedule here

Our packed course includes extra skill circuits, longer IDC lectures, real life scenarios, extra one-on-one tuition, high quality equipment, job placement training, extra business and self-promotion skills, eco and conservation, how to use and inspire passion, detailed risk management lectures and also how to embrace cutting edge teaching technology, whilst maintaining one of the most fundamental aspect in dive training: customer service.

Conclusion

To give the right answer to the question “should a Divemaster who has just passed his or her course wait to get more experience before starting their IDC?”, it depends on many factors including personal situation, individual needs, skill-level, the quality if the Divemaster course, the person’s attitude, the quality of the IDC itself, the geographical location and the quality, dedication and passion of the PADI Course Director.

If you have any doubt about if you are ready for the PADI Diving Instructor Course (IDC) then please contact one of those outstanding PADI IDC or CDC Centres. We at Sairee Cottage Diving are always ready to help in answering your questions and we will give you the best personal advice in deciding if you should start your IDC straight after your Divemaster course, or if we think you should wait.

PADI Course Director Marcel Van Den Berg 492721Marcel van den Berg
PADI Platinum Course Director
Sairee Cottage Diving

Please give us your opinion in a comment below and please share this article to others on your social network.

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Becoming a Master Scuba Diving Instructor turned my life upside down http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/becoming-a-master-scuba-diving-instructor/ Wed, 04 May 2016 03:11:48 +0000 http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/?p=758 I grew up in a little town in the western part of Austria surrounded by mountains and snow. Never did I dream of becoming a Master Scuba Diving Instructor! After completing my law degree and working in that field I needed some time out so I decided

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I grew up in a little town in the western part of Austria surrounded by mountains and snow. Never did I dream of becoming a Master Scuba Diving Instructor! After completing my law degree and working in that field I needed some time out so I decided to go on a round the world trip and, like most people became mesmerised by the lifestyle people were leading.

Like many backpackers I did my open water course during my travels around Southeast Asia (for me it was the start of an around the world trip). Koh Tao was the place to do it I was told, so I ended up spending a few days in this little Thai Paradise before I moved on with my certification card. Only after a few weeks when people were asking me what I had done so far during my travels I realised what an important role this diving course played for me.

As time went by I forgot about my underwater experience and ended up teaching in a bilingual school in Honduras far away from the coast for some time before moving to Australia where I was surrounded by water again. After some fun diving in Indonesia I knew I had to go back to Ko Tao to continue my education during the next holiday. The place I chose was Sairee Cottage Diving as I heard from many friends that it was by far the most professional run dive company on the island. So I finished my Advanced and Rescue Course there with two very passionate instructors (Gordon and Bobby).

Becoming A Master Scuba Diving Instructor Marcel

When I came back home I was determined to take the big step into an unknown future by becoming a professional Diver. So I saved some money, put my life into a box and booked my one way ticket to Ko Tao.

My Divemaster Course at Sairee Cottage started off with forty fun-dives followed by many course assists, interesting theory and pool training sessions with my Divemaster Candidate Mentors Jessie and Gaz. Sairee Cottage expects a lot more training from you than other schools therefore I was very well prepared to get into my Instructor Development Course straight after becoming a Divemaster.

My IDC was conducted by PADI Platinum Course Director Marcel van den Berg and two Staff Instructors (Flavius Sleutelaar and Shannon Durrant). My Course colleagues and I couldn’t have been in better hands with this dream team. They went way beyond what was expected of them and looked like proud parents saying goodbye to their children when we went to our Instructor Exams.

Becoming A Master Scuba Diving Instructor Confined Session

Becoming a Master Scuba Diving Instructor

My Divemaster, IDC and MSDT Course at Sairee Cottage on Koh Tao were influenced by beautiful friends I met along the way. I will also never forget my mentors. It was the little things that made me feel so comfortable and welcome there. Being in the water for me is like being free; it is pure happiness and joy and I will make it my mission to show others.

When people tell me how brave I am I often laugh. Whoever raises a family and pays off a mortgage is brave in my eyes. I swapped my courtroom for a long tail boat my suit for a bikini and my car for my little motorbike that gets up any steep hill. I am doing what I love and want to prove that everyone can do that.

If you have any questions on becoming a Master Scuba Diving Instructor then don’t hesitate to leave a reply here or contact me (feel free to write it in German if that’s easier for you) on sprenger.maria@gmail.com

Become a Dive Instructor in Thailand at one of the best dive schools in Asia and get your PADI Instructor certification after completing your PADI IDC program. Thinking of becoming a Master Scuba Diving Instructor? Take the MSDT Internship at Sairee Cottage Diving. This is an eco friendly IDC program including free environmental lectures on topics such as ProjectAWARE and CoralWatch. Watch dive instructor videos on our YouTube channel.

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Eco Marine Conservation med PADI Dyk Instruktörer och PADI Divemasters på Koh Tao http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/eco-conservation-med-dyk-instruktorer/ Mon, 11 Apr 2016 02:36:16 +0000 http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/?p=748 Eco Marine Conservation med PADI Dyk Instruktörer Plast tillverkad och förbrukad av oss människor är en av dem största orsakerna till att marint djurliv dör i våra hav. Detta är ett problem som vi tillsammans måste uppmärksamma och minska. Varje individs bidrag gör nytta! Ta till exempel

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Eco Marine Conservation med PADI Dyk Instruktörer

Plast tillverkad och förbrukad av oss människor är en av dem största orsakerna till att marint djurliv dör i våra hav. Detta är ett problem som vi tillsammans måste uppmärksamma och minska. Varje individs bidrag gör nytta! Ta till exempel ett dagligt inköp här på Koh Tao i Thailand.

7eleven Plastpåse I Korallrev På Koh Tao

Saireecottage Koh Tao Eko Tygkasse

Varje gång du gör ett litet köp på Seven Eleven här får du en plastpåse som inte är biologiskt nedbrytbar, med denna påse bär vi sedan hem våra varor och tillslut hamnar den i soptunnan. Köper man en drink eller bucket som kommer med ett flertal sugrör på någon av alla strandbarerna så hamnar dem flesta sugrören på stranden och dras sedan ut i havet med tidvattnet. Dessa inköp görs dagligen av tusentals människor som alla gör exakt likadant, huruvida plastpåsarna är biologiskt nedbrytbara eller inte är inte riktigt frågan. Detta är ju trots allt väldigt bekvämt och vi gör det på rutin utan att tänka så mycket på det. Frågan kvarstår, är vi verkligen så lata och slarviga att vi medvetet förorenar miljön varje gång vi gör ett litet köp? Den sorgliga sanningen är att våra hav lider något fruktansvärt av all onödig plast som både medvetet och av misstag hamnar där. Om det finns ett val där vi helt enkelt kan bortse från att använda plastpåsar och sugrör, skulle vi då göra det? Behöver du verkligen ett sugrör för att njuta av din drink och skulle du egentligen inte lika gärna kunnat bära dina varor i en tygkasse som sedan kan återanvändas? Vi tror att varje litet bidrag hjälper. Om du vägrar att använda plast medan du är på Koh Tao, har du redan gjort en enorm inverkan. Det kommer att ge det lokala samhället en bättre miljösyn och förbättra våra dykplatser runtom Koh Tao. Några häpnadsväckande fakta från Plast Oceans har kalkylerat att vi använder en miljon plastpåsar per minut varje dag. En hel del av dessa hamnar i våra hav och dödar det marina livet.

Skräp Rensat Från Korallreven På Koh Tao Dyk Instruktörer

Dessa plastpåsar ser under ytan ut som maneter som är långt ner på näringskedjan och förser många marina arter med mat. Jag vet många dykare inkluderat mig själv som misstagit en plastpåse med en manet, skillnaden är att jag inte av misstag skulle tro att det är mat för jag vet vad en plastpåse är men en sköldpadda gör det inte.

Med stor anledning av detta så arrangeras Project Aware ECO dagar här på Sairee Cottage i Koh Tao och runtom i världen. Dessa dagar består av information och statistik från olika organisationer angående nedskräpning samt hur vi ska bevara våra hav och dess marina liv. Vi deltar också aktivt genom att sanera korallrev och stränder från föremål som inte hör hemma i denna miljö. Detta sker en gång i månaden och nu senast i sammarbete med Roctopus dive samt Mojo divers. Divemaster Trainees, MSDT kandidater och Dyk Instruktörer samt volontärer uppmuntras att delta.

Sammarbete Mellan Dykskolor På Koh Tao

Vi var ca 30 personer från dessa tre olika dykskolor som delades upp i två blandade grupper. Den ena gruppen iförd dykutrustning för att städa Hin Wong Bay reven och den andra gruppen tog hand om städningen av stranden och dess närområde. Den mängd skräp (mestadels plast av olika slag) som vi plockade upp var skrämmande, och då finns det hur mycket som helst kvar och detta gäller förmodligen även runt hela ön. Thailand och Asien är förmodligen allmänt den största boven gällande detta, men även Europa och resten av världen bör tänka på hur vi behandlar vår miljö. Om alla gör en liten del och börjar med ett miljötänk så kanske vi kan se en ljusare framtid men då gäller det att samarbeta och tänka på att varje individs enskilda handling bidrar till det bättre.

Allt Skräp Från Strand Och Rev Saneringen Gjord Av Dykskolorna På Koh Tao

Gå med i vår Divemaster eller Dyk instruktör IDC kurs på Koh Tao och bli en del av nästa Eco dag med oss! Lämna gärna ett meddelande om du är intresserad.

Dennis Henriksson – Divemaster Trainee, Sairee Cottage Diving i Koh Tao, Thailand

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How PADI sees the value of Divemasters on Koh Tao http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/how-padi-sees-the-value-of-divemasters-on-koh-tao/ Mon, 28 Mar 2016 04:01:54 +0000 http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/?p=784 The need to develop PADI Divemaster candidates goes beyond the obvious of offering comprehensive continuing education and having certified assistants or tour/trip leaders. PADI Divemasters are highly valued dive professionals. THERE’S A GROUP OF HEROES WHO MAKE the rest of us look good, and mostly do it

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The need to develop PADI Divemaster candidates goes beyond the obvious of offering comprehensive continuing education and having certified assistants or tour/trip leaders. PADI Divemasters are highly valued dive professionals.

THERE’S A GROUP OF HEROES WHO MAKE the rest of us look good, and mostly do it quietly and humbly. When divers arrive a bit late, they get them geared and ready. While the instructor helps one diver with mask clearing, they watch everyone else. They get divers where they need to be, when they need to be there, with everything they need. Underwater, they know where the cool stuff is, lead the tours and help keep fins off the coral. Or, they miss out on the dive to be sure everyone who gets off the boat gets back on. At day’s end, they ensure the truck magically loads itself. And this hardly dents the list. They are PADI Divemasters, of course.

PADI Divemasters Giving Dive Briefings

PADI Divemasters are highly valued

Two points. First, a PADI Divemaster is indispensable. If you’re one of them, thank you, thank you. We appreciate everything you do. We’ve been in your fins and know that while it’s always rewarding, it’s not always easy. When you seem ignored amid the demands of teaching, realize it’s our highest compliment. It means we trust you completely. Second – and this includes PADI Divemasters – we can’t forget that PADI Divemasters come from us. If we don’t work on finding, fostering, mentoring and bonding with potential PADI Pros, there are no new Divemasters. Period. The need to develop PADI Divemaster candidates goes beyond the obvious of offering comprehensive continuing education and having certified assistants or tour/ trip leaders.
Our experience lives on. You’ve learned a lot that is of benefit other divers, and I don’t just mean the PADI curriculum. Your experience in diving, leading, teaching and business contributes to our collective wisdom. Ultimately, none of us will be in diving forever, but this wisdom must. It helps divers and the diving industry; and the dive community doesn’t have time to keep relearning it. We can’t simply write a lot of it down. We have to pass it on.

SO:

  1. It makes diving better. Passion and enthusiasm make people and communities succeed – research shows they’re more important than resources or genius. Creating PADI Divemasters goes beyond teaching, because you share your passion for diving with someone else who is going to do the same. Like fire, they pass your passion on to those around them – and back to you – making diving even more wonderful and exciting for everyone. And one day these guys might even go further and become PADI Dive Instructors one Day.
  2. We owe it. If you’re in the PADI family, someone was there for you. Maybe it started with a PADI Divemaster or Diving Instructor you admired, or maybe another PADI Pro saw something in you and invited you aboard. Regardless, someone took us under their wing and showed us the way. They paid it forward; now it’s our turn.
  3. It can help save the world. Life on Earth depends on an ocean facing ecological threats. Every new PADI Divemaster multiplies our global voice, not just by speaking with us, but also by helping bring more Project AWARE divers into our ranks. There’s strength in numbers, and the ocean needs our strength more than ever.

PADI Divemasters Highly Valued Dive Professionals

So, the next time you notice fire in an Open Water diver student’s eyes, an “I’m-a- leader” demeanor in a Rescue Diver, or someone who makes every outing fun for everyone just by being there, you know what to do.

Join the PADI Divemaster Course at Sairee Cottage Diving in Thailand.

Maybe it started with a PADI Divemaster or Diving Instructor you admired.

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Why Change from a PADI Divemaster to Dive Instructor? http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/change-from-divemaster-to-dive-instructor/ Sun, 20 Mar 2016 02:32:24 +0000 http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/?p=746 What deeper skills can you expect to learn when making the leap from PADI Assistant Instructor or Divemaster to Dive Instructor? Nobody can see into the future. If we could, we all would have started diving at 10, worked our way up through the PADI ranks, and

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What deeper skills can you expect to learn when making the leap from PADI Assistant Instructor or Divemaster to Dive Instructor?

Nobody can see into the future. If we could, we all would have started diving at 10, worked our way up through the PADI ranks, and settled in a decadent dive resort to dive, dive and dive more. But we can see what to expect when going from PADI Assistant Instructor or Divemaster to Open Water Scuba dive Instructor and beyond. Here are three deeper insights you’ll gain as a PADI Professional and diver when you make that leap.

What does it mean to take the step from Divemaster to Dive Instructor?

1. Be a better assistant. One of the most underrated benefits of becoming a PADI Instructor is that it can make you better at assisting. Even if your heart is in assisting an instructor – whether it’s because you love the one-to-one interaction with students or just prefer the role – learning more through the IDC/IE process will make you even better.

For starters, as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor you’ll increase the instructor-to-student ratios – qualified assistants make ratios more ideal, but having two instructors allows you, or the dive center you work with, to further optimize student numbers. Second, if you’re one of the many assistant instructors/divemasters who enjoys helping students who are having troubles, becoming an instructor allows you to take these students aside, practice skills until they meet the performance requirements, assess their performance and catch them up on anything they’ve missed before rejoining the bigger group. You’ll also be able to step in when “stuff ” happens (and it always does). Imagine the instructor is stuck in traffic – everything grinds to a halt, unless the assistant is a fully qualified instructor. Finally, as a PADI Instructor you’ll better anticipate the needs of the lead instructor. And, for someone who loves assisting, that’s the greatest gift of all.

Best School To Become Dive Instructor Koh Tao

2. Learn why you do what you do. Though assistant instructors/divemasters learn a lot through assisting dive courses and programs, it’s when you go through the IDC/IE that learning to teach becomes more formalized and you see dive skills and knowledge as a teacher does. As an assistant instructor/divemaster, you’ve practiced enough to know and understand how certain skills are taught. The rigorous learning environment of the IDC/IE emphasizes this knowledge so that you further understand basic learning theory and why skills are taught the way they are.

3. Receive hands-on training from seasoned pros. The mentoring relationship between teacher and student probably began when you got your PADI Rescue Diver certification and continued through divemaster. This relationship grows stronger during the IDC/ IE, when assistant instructors and divemasters learn from seasoned PADI Pros – Course Directors and IDC Staff Instructors who do this, and do it well. Since the IDC and IE are conducted separately, there is a strong mentoring relationship with your Course Director and IDC Staff Instructors, all aimed at guiding you to success in becoming, and being, a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. You learn from their experiences and learn more in the mentor-protégé relationship.

Padi Divemaster To Dive Instructor On Koh Tao

Change from a PADI Divemaster to Dive Instructor in Thailand at one of the best dive schools in Asia and get your PADI Instructor certification after completing your PADI IDC program. Prepare for the real world by taking the MSDT Internship at Sairee Cottage Diving. This is an eco friendly IDC program including free environmental lectures on topics such as ProjectAWARE and CoralWatch. Watch dive instructor videos on our YouTube channel.

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PADI MSDT Another Level! http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/padi-msdt-dive-instructors-care-about-your-future/ http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/padi-msdt-dive-instructors-care-about-your-future/#comments Thu, 10 Mar 2016 02:29:30 +0000 http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/?p=744 Dive Instructors who care about your future! Diving has always been a passion of mine. I first started diving in 2003 when I did my open water course on Great Keppel Island in Queensland. Back then it was just a hobby, it wasn’t until 8 years later

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Dive Instructors who care about your future!

Diving has always been a passion of mine. I first started diving in 2003 when I did my open water course on Great Keppel Island in Queensland. Back then it was just a hobby, it wasn’t until 8 years later that I decided this was to be more than just a hobby, and it was something I wanted to make a career out of. The PADI MSDT program at Sairee Cottage Diving prepared me for the real world in dive instructing.

I did my IDC in Perth in 2011 and that is where my Diving Instructor career began. As soon as I finished my IDC, I was hired straight away by a live aboard dive charter over in the beautiful Whitsundays, Queensland. I spent a few years working on the live aboards, as much as I loved my job, I was only teaching DSDs and leading certified divers, as opposed to teaching courses, which was what I really wanted to do. After a while and a bit of a break to complete a university degree, it was time to pack my bags and travel. I ended up in Thailand in Koh Samui as this is where my mother lives, and my sister came over too to have her wedding on Koh Samui.

PADI MSDT Wreck Penetration Specialty

PADI MSDT course taken to another level!

After a few months, as much as I was enjoying the family time, I knew it was time to get back in the water. I really wanted to get back to teaching, but even though I had been a Diving Instructor for 4 years, I never had the opportunity to teach full courses. So I decided that the best thing for me to do would be to do my PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer (PADI MSDT) and an internship to refresh old skills and learn some new ones. I knew my destination was to be the beautiful Koh Tao. At first it was over whelming as there are so many dive schools on Koh Tao, but I got onto Google and started researching. After about a week of research and phone calls, I found the spot that looked perfect for me, Sairee Cottage Diving.

I spoke to PADI Course Director Marcel Van Den Berg on the phone and he was extremely helpful and friendly, and I knew I made the right choice. The PADI MSDT program was a lot of fun. It consisted of 6 days of learning all the specialties, Marcel even gives you the option to select up to 10 specialties! We had a day dedicated to Eco awareness and did a massive beach clean-up. The final day was dedicated to job placement as well as resume building, to ensure we would all be ready to work on completion.

PADI MSDT Course Rescue Exercise

Marcel was very supportive and a lot of fun to learn from. Once I completed the 6 day program, I went straight into the 6 week dive internship. The dive instructor internship was extremely helpful as it let me team teach and assist senior dive instructors on a number of courses. This was excellent to learn and to build my certifications. I have had a lot of fun on my PADI MSDT on Koh Tao and on the MSDT internship on Koh Tao, I have learned a lot and made lots of new friends, plus the diving has been amazing on Koh Tao!

Krisztina Balazs
PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

At Sairee Cottage Diving we take the MSDT course to another level, adding extra dives, lectures and real life experiences. At Sairee Cottage Diving we also truly care about your future and we will do anything to help you get a job in diving as a PADI Dive Instructor during our Diving Job Placement day. Please leave your comments here with questions about our MSDT program in Thailand with Sairee Cottage Diving or if you want to share your experience with your MSDT program.

Become a Dive Instructor in Thailand at one of the best dive schools in Asia and get your PADI Instructor certification after completing your PADI IDC program. Prepare for the real world by taking the MSDT Internship at Sairee Cottage Diving. This is an eco friendly IDC program including free environmental lectures on topics such as ProjectAWARE and CoralWatch. Watch dive instructor videos on our YouTube channel.

Marcel van den Berg
PADI Platinum Course Director
Sairee Cottage Diving
Koh Tao, Thailand

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Eco Education on Koh Tao – Taking it to the next level http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/eco-education-on-koh-tao-taking-it-to-the-next-level/ Tue, 01 Mar 2016 02:26:14 +0000 http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/?p=742 Marine eco education should be a part of any professional dive training. Before coming to Sairee Cottage Diving, during my PADI Divemaster and IDC Course, I was blown away by the lack of ProjectAWARE promotion in other dive centers. This was not because PADI didn’t promote it,

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Marine eco education should be a part of any professional dive training. Before coming to Sairee Cottage Diving, during my PADI Divemaster and IDC Course, I was blown away by the lack of ProjectAWARE promotion in other dive centers. This was not because PADI didn’t promote it, but more due to the amount of working Divemasters and Instructors that didn’t care about putting effort into eco education. This resulted in students not caring about the marine environment.

A few PADI Instructors inspired me during all my dive training from PADI Open Water Diver to PADI Dive Instructor. These PADI Dive professionals on Koh Tao went above and beyond. They taught me how to dive safely. They had a passion for eco education and marine conservation. They inspired others to care for our oceans.

This is why we have created a unique ProjectAWARE eco lecture to teach the Sairee Cottage Diving Divemasters and IDC Candidates about ProjectAWARE, Shark Conservation and Marine Debris. We teach them how to inspire fun divers and students How can they be a part in protecting our oceans.

Eco Education Beach Clean Ups

Marine Eco Education at Sairee Cottage Diving

This ProjectAWARE eco lecture was such a huge success that we realised a follow up was needed. We needed to explain how to organize ProjectAWARE eco projects in an easy way. How to use social networking, the ProjectAWARE website, and the CoralWatch website in an effective way. This is why we created a “How to organize an Eco Day” during the MSDT course at Sairee Cottage Diving. This environmental day is not only for our Master Scuba Diver Trainer candidates, but open to all staff and DMTs.

The first part of the Day starts with a lecture in the classroom. In the afternoon, we schedule different practical ProjectAWARE eco projects. The lecture covers how to use the power of social media to promote your eco projects. There are many different social network pages we can use. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and My Ocean from ProjectAWARE for example. Sharing and supporting marine conservation related material allows anyone to help with marine conservation and education.

Eco Education Small Acts Inspire Others

We also teach our Divemasters and Dive Instructors on Koh Tao about how to use the ProjectAWARE website effectively. Especially with the rise of smartphones and tablets it is much easier now to show students these tools without wasting time.

We finished the lecture by teaching them about coral bleaching and how to use CoralWatch. CoralWatch is a simple, non-invasive method to assess and monitor coral reef health with respect to coral bleaching. The CoralWatch method uses a Coral Health Chart with a series of colors that volunteers match with actual coral color to determine different stages of coral bleaching and recovery. Coral bleaching is the whitening of coral due to a loss of symbiotic algae living within the coral tissue. In healthy coral, algae supplies energy and provide color. During bleaching events, coral expels the algae from their tissue which changes the color of the coral. As coral expels more algae the coral becomes lighter in color. Monitoring is most effective over months and even years. With divers and snorkelers regularly visiting sites, scientists at the University of Queensland, Australia, will be able to answer questions such as how long it takes for reefs to recover from bleaching and if the health of the reef declines over a certain number of bleaching events?

During the second part of the day we like to concentrate on organizing the practical eco projects. One team performs a CoralWatch analysis. One team does beach clean ups around the Island. This shows our Divemaster and Instructor candidates that it is important to perform these projects besides organising them.

This is only a start. The more eco friendly projects we create the more ideas can form. Please comment on this post if you have eco ideas to share. We would love to add them to our eco programs at Sairee Cottage Diving on Koh Tao in Thailand.

Become a Dive Instructor in Thailand at one of the best dive schools in Asia and get your PADI Instructor certification after completing your PADI IDC program. Prepare for the real world by taking the MSDT Internship at Sairee Cottage Diving. This is an eco friendly IDC program including free environmental lectures on topics such as ProjectAWARE and CoralWatch. Watch dive instructor videos on our YouTube channel.

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Sawtooth Profiles and Reverse Profiles – Are they that bad? http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/sawtooth-profiles-and-reverse-profiles-are-they-that-bad/ Sat, 20 Feb 2016 02:22:50 +0000 http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/?p=740 What are sawtooth profiles? What are the dangers of sawtooth profiles? Why should we not dive sawtooth profiles? For years, the dive community has recommended that you make your first dive of the day your deepest, and make subsequent dives progressively shallower. Similarly, the recommendation has been

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What are sawtooth profiles? What are the dangers of sawtooth profiles? Why should we not dive sawtooth profiles? For years, the dive community has recommended that you make your first dive of the day your deepest, and make subsequent dives progressively shallower. Similarly, the recommendation has been that on any given dive, you start at the deepest point and work progressively shallower.

Sawtooth Profiles Dive Community

Sawtooth Profiles

At one time, sawtooth profiles (dives with lots of up and down depth changes) and reverse profiles (a series of dives in which a deeper dive follows a shallower dive) were seen as highly hazardous. Scuba manuals (including PADI’s) had stern warnings about the dangers of sawtooth profiles and reverse profiles.

Despite the cautions, though, with the rise of dive computers, new dive data has shown that divers were making such dives in growing numbers, but, perhaps surprisingly, these people weren’t suddenly filling the world’s hospitals and recompression chambers. The “danger” wasn’t manifesting itself as many would have predicted.

In 1999, a large group of physiologists and Dive Community experts met at the Smithsonian Institute to discuss reverse profiles. After two days of examining the data available, the workshop concluded that there was not any strong evidence that reverse and sawtooth dive profiles have demonstrated a higher risk of Decompression Sickness. Based on historical information, the group consensus was that the origin of the “no reverse profiles” recommendation came from the huge repetitive dive penalties that result when you plan such dives with the US Navy tables – not from any known DCS safety issues.

The workshop suggested that it is reasonable to “relax” the restriction, especially for no stop dives shallower then 40 meters/130 feet and reverse depth differences of 12 meters/ 40 feet or less.

Sawtooth Profiles Explained

While there is probably nothing wrong with minor up and down variations on a dive, nor does there appear to be a significant risk from following a shallower dive with a deeper dive, the majority of formal dive testing has been with traditional forward profiles. Therefore, the recommendation still is to plan to make your deeper dive first, and on each dive to start deep and progress shallow. If circumstances call for a sawtooth or reverse profile, it is wise to do so very conservatively, to stay well within limits and to make a safety stop (perhaps longer than three minutes). This isn’t because of a known risk, but because there’s a relative lack of formal testing for this type of diving.

By the way, a third problem profile is bounce diving – making series of short deep dives separated by short surface intervals. There’s some evidence that such dives may have a higher DCS risk, and that DCS, if it occurs, is more likely to have the most serious symptoms.

Sawtooth Profiles Reverse Profiles Dive Theory

You can calculate bounce dives with your computer or tables. Not because there’re okay, buy because the computer/table doesn’t want to leave you stuck with no information. If you need to dive repeatedly to a deep site, do so conservatively. Ascend slowly and keep ample reserve for a good safety stop. And even if you are ready to dive sooner, wait no less than one hour between dives – longer if you can.

Learn more about sawtooth profiles and reverse profiles during your IDC course at one of the best dive schools in Asia and get your PADI Instructor certification after completing your PADI IDC program followed by the MSDT Internship at Sairee Cottage Diving. This is an eco friendly IDC program including free environmental lectures on topics such as ProjectAWARE and CoralWatch. Watch dive instructor videos on our YouTube channel.

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I never liked water, now I’m a working Diving Instructor http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/i-never-liked-water-now-im-a-working-diving-instructor/ Fri, 12 Feb 2016 02:21:20 +0000 http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/?p=738 I’ve never liked the water. I’ve never really liked the beach, or the sun. It was messy, wet, and just too hot. Can you believe I am now a working Diving Instructor? Coming from Melbourne I wore black all day, every day, and rode my black vintage

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I’ve never liked the water. I’ve never really liked the beach, or the sun. It was messy, wet, and just too hot. Can you believe I am now a working Diving Instructor? Coming from Melbourne I wore black all day, every day, and rode my black vintage bike to and from my advertising job in the city. It was a good life; I had a good job, a nice apartment, and Melbourne is a place where there is something happening all the time.

After a while however, I felt like I wanted to experience more than just the standard grind of working weekdays (and weekends!) with only four weeks of annual leave a year to explore places outside of Melbourne! I never in a million years thought that I would ever be a working Diving Instructor though. That was when I decided to quit, sell everything (except for a small box I left with my parents), and move to London to further expand on my advertising career. I also had this small plan of traveling around South-East Asia for a few months before embarking on this new adventure in this new and exciting city.

Working Diving Instructor Evaluation

Can you believe I am now a working Diving Instructor?

That small, tiny, minute idea of exploring SE Asia before moving to London became a whole lot more very quickly. Two weeks in each country became four weeks, and then two months, quickly making my initial three month South East Asian journey into a year saga. I also randomly stumbled upon a small island called Koh Tao, off the east coast of Thailand. My boyfriend convinced me to try scuba diving, despite my fear of water, and my hatred of sandy bottoms, and we walked around Koh Tao with the intention to find out more information about diving. We got some great information from a certain dive shop and tentatively said we might be back, and then we came across Sairee Cottage Diving. That unfortunately, and fortunately, changed everything. We were so taken in with the staff who greeted us, that we signed up there and then for our Open Water Course. It was an amazing experience, and my greatest personal achievement up to that point considering my fear of water, and the open ocean. I will confess that I panicked the first time I went underwater doing skills in the shallow end, but the Divemaster (thanks Shaun Cleary!) who was assisting the instructor stared into my eyes intensely and calmed me down completely just using his eyes. After that experience I was completely sold. From Open Water, I went straight into the Advanced Open Water Course (reasoning that I would be a better, more experienced diver), and then continued traveling for a few months. After our visas were expired, and we were done with living out of a 25L backpack, my boyfriend and I had to make a decision of whether we wanted to continue on with our plan of moving to this big, busy city, or *shock horror* maybe, just maybe, pursue this new thing we had both really enjoyed which involved strapping ourselves into this jacket contraption, breathing compressed air, and wearing flippers on our feet.
We chose the flippers.

We went back to Thailand, back to Koh Tao, and back to Sairee Cottage Diving, and proceeded to complete our Dive Master Training (DMT) over a few months. Never did I think I would become a working Diving Instructor in Thailand! In that time we met some people who have become very firm friends and mentors. After completing the DMT program (another record personal achievement!), I worked for a few months as a DiveMaster for Sairee Cottage Diving, before starting work as their Videographer. I loved this job, diving on the morning boat (the best time to dive in my opinion!), filming Open Water students, and editing in the afternoon. The evenings were fun too, where I would screen the film of the students, hope they would buy a copy or two, and have some drinks and dinner with the newly certified students!

Working Diving Instructor Rescue Exercise

Video work was very fun as I was able to witness and record the students as they came out of the water as a certified diver. As cheesy as it sounds, it would bring me back to the time when I came out of the water as a certified diver and how happy I felt at the time.  After a year and a half however, I did start to feel envious of the instructors who would actually be able to teach, and see the progression of their students from being non-divers to certified Open Water divers. That was when I decided to do one more thing. My Instructor Development Course (IDC).

I signed up for my IDC with Sairee Cottage Diving, and it was a nice group of five people. It was two weeks of skills circuits, lectures, exams, and practical exercises (all of which are more exciting than it sounds!), but I wanted to do all of this and more as I wanted to become a great instructor, and not just someone who passed the Instructor Exam. The program was a great mix of exam related exercises, and real life examples that Course Director, Marcel van den Berg brought from his experience as a senior instructor. We also had great input from Flavius Sleutelaar, an instructor who paved the way for many Koh Taoians with over 20 years experience, and Shannon Durrant, a newly minted instructor with experience in technical diving.

Long story short, I’ve now passed my Instructor Exam (IE), am a specialty instructor, and about to start my internship with Sairee Cottage Diving. And I can’t wait!

Even if I never liked the water before, I am now a successful working Diving Instructor! I did my training at one of the best dive schools in Asia and got my PADI Instructor certification after completing the PADI IDC program. I also completed my MSDT Internship at Sairee Cottage Diving. This is an eco friendly IDC program including free environmental lectures on topics such as ProjectAWARE and CoralWatch. Watch more dive instructor videos on the YouTube channel.

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Dive Instructor in Thailand – Choices, Questions, Concerns http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/dive-instructor-in-thailand-the-choices-questions-and-concerns/ Sun, 24 Jan 2016 02:00:10 +0000 http://www.idckohtaothailand.com/?p=735 The choices, questions and concerns that come into play when choosing the correct PADI IDC Training facility to become a Dive Instructor in Thailand and how to go about finding your perfect match. Becoming a Dive Instructor in Thailand can prove difficult, when provided with too many

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The choices, questions and concerns that come into play when choosing the correct PADI IDC Training facility to become a Dive Instructor in Thailand and how to go about finding your perfect match. Becoming a Dive Instructor in Thailand can prove difficult, when provided with too many choices. Here is my personal account and advice when choosing your dive school to become a Dive Instructor in Thailand with.

Unfortunately there isn’t a “Match.com,” “Tinder,” or “eHarmony.com” type of dating application available to match us with that perfect PADI IDC Training facility to become a Dive Instructor in Thailand.  However, you still do need to make that list of things that are important to you.  A list of your expectations, goals, what you want to get out of your training experience, what locations in the world you want to do your IDC training, the cost, the logistics, the lifestyle environment in which you will be learning, what PADI Dive Instructors and PADI Course Directors are going to be the best fit for your learning style, and much more… Here is my personal list that can and should cover everything and anything when doing your initial research into becoming a Dive Instructor in Thailand.

What is the Best IDC Dive Instructor in Thailand

Become a Dive Instructor in Thailand with Sairee Cottage Diving

With the internet today, the advertising on all things PADI IDC on your Google search results are never ending and you can’t just randomly pick one based off a cool picture of a bunch of cute girls or boys partying on a dive boat.  This is not realistic or smart when it comes to planning your future as a PADI Dive Professional.  Unfortunately, there is a staggering amount of these types of advertising practices being used today by the entire Professional Dive Training marketplace.  It’s sad to say that it has come to this, but it’s easy to see that this practice is over shadowing the real importance of dive training and why we are doing this in the first place. Thailand is a fantastic place to do your IDC, however finding the right dive center to begin your journey to become a Dive Instructor in Thailand is a difficult process.

There will always be that demographic of young and even old “Party Animal” dive professionals in our industry, but there are those of us young and old looking for something different, something real and something legitimate when it comes to our PADI Professional Training.  The good news is that there are still several serious PADI IDC Training Facilities out there to choose from, but it’s still a difficult choice to make based on advertising and customer reviews alone.  I will explain how I went about choosing my perfect facility and hopefully you can also use some of these things to help yourself in making that very important decision.

A little background on me first to help clarify what my concerns and questions where based on with my past experiences in life.  I’m a 46 year old male who got the dive bug later in life.  About 8 years ago back in 2008 I was on holiday in Cozumel Mexico when I did my first intro dive with an amazing PADI Dive Instructor, Anna Quinn.  I was hooked instantly on all things scuba, but the most important thing that made the experience so special was Anna’s dedication to PADI Standards, her seriousness about training and education and her relentless yet extremely fun style of instruction.  I literally came home from holiday to the freezing cold of Chicago and quit my job, sold or gave away just about everything I owned and went right back to Cozumel to continue my PADI recreational dive training.  After completing my Open Water Certification I knew this was the job I was put on this planet to do.  I wanted to be just like Anna and have that same drive, professionalism and enthusiasm she had with teaching me (and trust me, I was a hand full at first).  I did a 6 month PADI Dive Master Internship with Anna.  Obviously, this was an easy decision for me based on the friendship I made with Anna from the start of my dive certifications.  A no brainer and sometimes this is all you need to make those decisions.  (If you’re lucky enough to encounter that type of experience right from the start)

However, that wasn’t enough for me.  I didn’t want to be one of those dive masters on a boat that didn’t look like they knew what they were doing and not have the respect of the customers onboard. So, I decided to do another 6 month PADI DM Internship purely for gaining more experience, learning from a different operation and working with a new Instructor.  This is where I made my first mistake on choosing a random Training Facility.  I was even warned by my Instructor Anna what I would experience at this location, but I had done my research.  I emailed the PADI Course Director and explained to him what I was looking to get out of this training experience and he said yes to everything I was asking for and looking for and quickly wanted my deposit.  RED FLAG #1 … when a PADI IDC Training Facility is more concerned with collecting your money before going into details about the program, having an actual conversation, covering expectations and training schedule / study material … be warned!  This is a place that cares only about getting your money and will say “yes” to anything you ask and promise you as well.  The reality of the situation was not what I was promised.  The housing wasn’t right, the Course Director wasn’t even there for the first month, it was unorganized and none of the other staff knew what to do with me.  It was a very bad experience and the only saving grace was a single instructor that saw what was going on and took it upon himself to do something about it. All the other instructors and dive masters at this place were not friendly, didn’t care and all they wanted to do was party in the town every night.  It was what we call in the industry “a total shit show.”

So, rule #1 from this experience … Listen to your trusted instructors advice and recommendations!  Rule #2 is, if a dive center is more interested in getting your money than having a real conversation about “how” your expectations will be accomplished and only use emails with out dated scripted information, stay away. I understand a template, but this is just so impersonal.  Because there are some Diving Training Facilities out there run under these deceptive practices you really need to be on top of asking the right questions, knowing your limitations and what your expectations should be.

After working as a PADI Dive Professional now for several years under the tutelage of one of PADI’s best Course Directors, Larry Grayson in the Hawaiian Islands, I have made many friends, made great contacts, know how to network within the industry and have many resources to reach out to for questions.  It was now time for me to start thinking about the next step in my PADI Professional Continuing Education Training (IDC Staff Instructor) and I wanted to do it in Thailand.  But where do I start?

I knew what I didn’t want … I didn’t want a dive shop with rude unprofessional employees that acted like they were still in high school.  I knew what I wanted so I made my list, contacted my dive professional friends and then started to research all the recommendations made by my networking.

  • I wanted to learn in a relaxing environment not focused on partying every night.
  • I wanted to do my PADI IDCSI training that had small/medium class sizes.
  • I wanted to work with a PADI Course Director and have a “Mentor” type relationship / friendship to sharpen my skills and learn from his experience.
  • I wanted a younger PADI Course Director to get a fresh approach to today’s teaching styles.
  • I wanted affordable housing on the facility property.
  • I wanted to be on one of the smaller islands away from the mainland.
  • I wanted to shadow the first IDC to better learn and understand the role of the IDC Staff Instructor during this training program to better prepare me for when it was my time to participate in my first IDC as an IDC Staff Instructor.
  • I needed a guarantee that this customized / “out of the norm” training I’m requesting can and will be done the way I want it and that it will meet my expectations.
  • I wanted clear communication with my future Course Director on any and all questions and concerns.
  • I wanted to be clear on what was expected from me as a student.
  • I wanted training material and meaningful conversation before the topic of “You Pay Now!” even came into play.
  • I wanted a PADI IDC Training Facility that was concerned with professionalism more than party time.
  • I wanted a PADI IDC Training Facility with a friendly and family like atmosphere where everyone was a teammate.
  • I wanted a PADI IDC Training Facility that was average busy.
  • I wanted a PADI IDC Training Facility that held the same standards as PADI.
  • I wanted a nice boat to dive from, not a huge cattle car filled with tones of divers and I wanted a dive shop that had good dive gear and a clean pool to train in.
  • I wanted a facility with a new air / nitrox compressor on site and maintained.

Dive Instructor in Thailand Facilities

When you pay to become a Dive Instructor in Thailand, why not select a dive center with first class facilities? I believe this is a very important factor in choosing your dive school to become a Dive Instructor in Thailand.

When choosing to become a Dive Instructor in Thailand, the recommendations, advice, names of dive centers and course directors came flooding in like crazy from all my traveling friends, dive friends, dive professionals, course directors and ‘Ohana.  Thailand is a very busy and active place when it comes to diving.  I had so many options country wide.  But as I asked these questions to qualify or disqualify these recommendations my options got manageable until it came down to a few locations and choices.  That’s when I really started to look into each operation, the staff, the location, the track record, talking to people who knew the course director and networked on social media asking former students about their experiences with those places I was looking into.  YouTube also had some great traveler videos on the areas of interest as well.  I got to see everything from different perspectives and that was a big help as well.  My Facebook stalking skills came into play to just get a feel for the people, staff and atmosphere of each of my 3 locations left to choose from.

Dive Instructor in Thailand

There was only 1 place that met and exceeded my wish list.  That PADI IDC Training Facility is Sairee Cottage Diving on the beautiful island paradise of Koh Tao, Thailand.  The PADI Course Director Marcel van den Berg has been and continues to impress me with his fun yet extremely professional style of teaching.  His name came up several times from friends of mine in Honduras and Hawaii.  Marcel has great communication skills, clear expectations, easy to follow program formats, gave me training material right away before I even paid.  I actually had to ask Marcel when I should pay.  He was clearly interested in me as a student and my educational needs and my expectations.  I even saw this first hand when a person walked in off the street, right into the classroom and the two of them just talked shop, it was so refreshing to witness this kind of communication.  Money wasn’t pushed, programs weren’t pushed … it was a very professional “meet and greet” with the focus on the client and what his needs were and what he wanted.  You don’t see that much these days in any industry, let alone the dive industry where the majority of the focus is on “You pay now! Get the money!”  I made the right choice with Marcel van den Berg as my mentor and now new Course Director.

OK, so what about Sairee Cottage Diving?  To sum it up in one word … AMAZING!
I was picked up from the harbor as promised, my very clean Bungalow is close to the classroom and the pool, the staff is more like family and the professionalism is the best I have ever seen.  These dive professionals at Sairee Cottage Diving are a winning team.  They operate like a fine tuned Swiss Watch.  The level of fun is at the same level of professionalism.  We all like to have a beer from time to time and talk about the day’s dives and training, but boozing every night is not the focus here.  It’s a mellow lifestyle, people working the next day are early to leave to get the needed rest you need as a dive professional. This is all part of living the lifestyle as a Dive Instructor in Thailand.  I have seen some places here on Koh Tao, and this is defiantly one of the best ones.  I am grateful to be a part of this training experience here at Sairee Cottage in Koh Tao, Thailand.  It’s easy to see just how important it is in choosing the right PADI IDC Training Facility because there are so many wrong decisions out there (at least for me).  As an individual, you need to make your list and qualify or disqualify your options to find that right match to meet your expectations, needs, wants and goals.  If you don’t, it could be a very bad experience.

Dave Angelescu PADI MSDT and soon to be IDC Staff Instructor # 273870

Become a Dive Instructor in Thailand at one of the best dive schools in Asia and get your PADI Instructor certification after completing your PADI IDC program followed by the MSDT Internship at Sairee Cottage Diving. This is an eco friendly IDC program including free environmental lectures on topics such as ProjectAWARE and CoralWatch. Watch dive instructor videos on our YouTube channel.

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