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Preparing for the IDC – By Katie Woodroffe

How to best prepare for the IDC on Koh Tao

Since winning my absolute dream with the Master Divers Life competition, I have been envisioning that all-important PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certificate that I will receive. It is crazy to think that I have almost reached that stage of the journey and I have been preparing for the IDC accordingly.

Becoming a Divemaster

Last week I finished the final part of my PADI Divemaster course! It felt amazing to finally get everything signed off and I also got to meet the PADI Regional Manager, Neil, who popped into the shop to have a photo and congratulate me.  I’m not going to hide the fact that the equipment exchange part of the PADI Divemaster course caught me off guard, and I did struggle with the first attempt but with the amazing support from all the Instructors and Divemasters, I soon managed to complete it successfully! I have absolutely loved every aspect of the course and really encourage divers to consider doing it, even if they have no intention of working in the profession. It was a huge learning curve and I learnt so much more about diving, planning and the industry on a whole. Not only that, I have had the chance to spend time doing what I love with such a great team of people!  I honestly feel that the preparation for the IDC began from the first day of my PADI Divemaster course and as well as completing what has been asked for the course requirements, I have been able to spend so much time with the instructors at Master Divers and see how every one of them has developed their own teaching style. This, for me, has been a brilliant opportunity and I am certain that I have picked up so much from them all that will stay with me throughout my new career too.



Developing Skills

During the Divemaster course we were lucky enough to have many chances to lead our fellow Divemaster candidates on dives which meant we could work on our communication skills and dive briefings. This was such a fun way to learn and practice skills that are necessary for Divemasters and Instructors alike, but it also allowed us to provide and receive hints and tips from each other – there was always learning to be done! Spending time doing this certainly helped my communication and confidence when leading groups of people out on dives. There was also the Boat Master duty which helped us understand how to prepare for dives with necessary equipment for the boat and get into the all-important habit of ensuring rollcalls are done at various intervals. Last but not least, I feel that starting this PADI Divemaster course with only 40 dives and having not repeated many skills since completing my PADI Open Water Diver course, I have become fully confident with performing and now demonstrating every skill required. Not only that, I have managed to total up over 80 dives and almost 70 hours underwater since I arrived three months ago!


The Next Step

Now I am almost ready for the next big challenge – the PADI Instructor Development Course which starts on the 4th December! I am extremely excited to get started on this and I know I am in the best of hands with Master Divers and their great Course Director, Gaz Lyden. We have received our schedule and some practice theory questions to do for preparation beforehand, so I will be busy over the next few days working on this. The course will be made up of an intense few weeks with only two days off and a lot of long hours, presentations, classroom and in-water workshops and revision for homework on the evenings. So many instructors I have spoken to have said how much they enjoyed the course, but did say it’s pretty tiring – I know I will enjoy a few days off afterwards, just in time for the Christmas celebrations!



This Is Just the Beginning

It is mind blowing to think that just four months ago I was working in a bar in England, living back at my parents’ house and trying to work out a way to fund myself to create a career out of Scuba diving. I am now living on Koh Tao, a beautiful island in the Gulf of Thailand, surrounded by stunning dive sites and great people who love diving as much as I do and I am about to embark on the biggest part of the journey. It will not be the end of my training, I want to keep learning and keep embracing all challenges. For now, I know that becoming an Instructor has been my goal for the past year, and I have almost achieved it. A goal that seemed so far and distant, but soon will soon become immediately possible thanks to the Master Divers Life competition.


Stay tuned to Master Divers Instagram page over the next few weeks to see how I’m getting on and learn a little more about what the IDC course consists of!

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