Now a divemaster, Tricia juggles IDC, MSDT, ROS and other acronyms
I returned to Pro Dive after spending four days at DEMA in Las Vegas, an amazing all-things-scuba trade show. I was eager to get started with the PADI IDC (Instructor Development Course), meet my new classmates and catch up with those in my Divemaster class who had stayed on through ROS(Pro Dive's patented Resort Operations Specialty) without taking a break. It quickly became clear that my friends from the Divemaster class had been educated and groomed to a point far exceeding my expectations.
First Step: AI
On day one of the IDC we were issued our schedules and assignments. For the majority of the classroom sessions, a completed knowledge review was expected.
We learned to use PADI's system of teaching, whether in the classroom, pool or open water, and soon learned that the Pro Dive Instructors and Course Directors had high expectations. During the open- and confined-water presentations, you had to make sure not only that you covered all the correct material for each skill, but that you observed and corrected all of the secretly assigned problems. After each presentation, a knowledge development evaluation form was filled out and the students performance openly critiqued. At the end of day five we took the Assistant Instructor Standards and Procedures Examination. I was now an AI and ready to begin the next phase.
More Work, Less Play
We continued working on our open- and confined-water teaching abilities and changed the focus of the classroom presentations to prescriptive teaching. The days during the IDC were long, usually 10-12 hours, and at night there was studying and at least one presentation to prepare. There was definitely less time to enjoy the Fort Lauderdale nightlife during this phase as Instructor Candidates than as Divemaster candidates. It was exhausting but exhilarating.
By now I was more than ready for my first day off. It was the day before the Instructor Examination, so this gave me a chance to sleep in and prepare for the next two days of exams.
A Convoy of Candidates
On Saturday all the Pro Dive candidates rendezvoused at Pro Dive and drove in convoy to the IE. We walked in looking quite the part in white Pro Dive shirts, khaki shorts and carrying our overflowing Pro Dive backpacks. We had become a well-groomed group.
After all the paperwork and formalities, we did our confined-water session. Everyone did well, and we were able to relax a little. The afternoon was spent taking the multiple-choice exams and giving our prescriptive teaching presentations. Soon day one was over and I headed back to the Seabeach Hotel tired but happy that there was only one more part of the exam remaining.
On day two I woke to a driving rain and a record chill. A few hours later and colder, I was officially a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. That evening Pro Dive let all of us blow off some steam on the Pro Dive IE/IDC cruise down the Florida Intracoastal Waterway some much-needed R&R.
I was up early the next day to finish PADI's new EFR (Emergency First Response) class and the advanced training to become an EFR instructor.
It was now time to start the MSDT (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) class filled with diving, more presentations and even more diving. In this class we concentrated on hands-on skills and specialty training; we didnt just read about it, we did it. I enjoyed the wreck penetration and was not happy when, with a tug on the line, my buddy indicated it was time to turn around.
The Final Push
I?d now been at Pro Dive for a month and was ready for the ROS Class, and Im glad I did it. From boat handling to cylinder inspection and from photography to compressor maintenance, I rolled up my sleeves and learned the skills that are required in a dive job.
My training at Pro Dive was now over, and I felt confident in my skills as a diver as well as an instructor.
Looking over the Great Blue World
Now it was time to put the skills I'd learned to work. But where to go I was ready to work, but you'll just have to wait and read part 3 for the final story of my path to becoming a professional working diver.
Pro Dive's Training Course Options:
Pre-Phase:PADI Advanced Open Water and PADI Master Scuba Diver
Phase I: Professional Divemaster
Phase II: Open Water Scuba Instructor
Phase III: Advanced Instructor
Phase IV: Resort Operations Specialist
Phase V: Rebreather Instructor
Phase VI: Technical Trimix Diver Program Pro-Dive?s Diamond Program is specifically designed for non-divers. Housing is available.
Pro Dive provides free lifetime job placement service for all Pro Dive instructor graduates.