Instructor Development Course (IDC)

Why Become a PADI Instructor…

  • Are you looking for something extraordinary?
  • Would you like a career doing things that others can only dream of?
  • In your work would you like to not only transform your life but the lives of others?
  • How would you feel if doors opened that you didn’t even know existed?
  • Have you ever thought about making money doing what you enjoy?
  • Are you feeling “burned out” at your current occupation?
  • Have you ever wondered what would it feel like to look forward to going to work in the morning?
  • Would you like to be qualified to work in warm tropical locations throughout the world?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you should consider becoming a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. Dive Center

Florida Keys Dive Center

Florida Keys Dive Center became a PADI Instructor Training Facility in 1987 and is one of the four PADI Career Development Centers located in Florida. We have successfully trained hundreds of PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors and we are proud to say that our success rate is 100%. Instructors we have trained now work throughout the United  States and around the world. We have two Course Directors on staff who collectively have over 30 years training PADI Instructors. Information about our Course Directors and the rest of our staff is available on our Meet the Staff page. Key Largo Diving We are located at mile marker 90.5 ocean side in the Tavernier section of the city of Islamorada. We dive sites located in Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada. We are 1 ½ hours from Miami airport and 2 hours from Ft. Lauderdale airport. Roundtrip bus transportation is available from the Miami airport. A Thrifty Car Rental is within walking distance.

Instructor Development Course

Click here for our Career Development Calendar The PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) is the cornerstone of PADI’s professional-level training and is designed to prepare qualified candidates to become PADI Instructors. The course has two components, the Assistant Instructor Course (AI) and the Open Water Scuba Diver Instructor Course (IDC). Together the two courses combine to encompass the entire IDC. Both courses must be completed before attending the PADI Instructor Examination (IE). Each component can be scheduled as a stand-alone course or completed all at one time. Most people complete the entire IDC at one time; however, some people choose to complete the AI Course and gain experience teaching before completing the OWSI Course and taking the Instructor Exam (IE). Emergency First Response InstructorAlthough PADI requires the IDC be taught in a minimum of five days (5) days after candidates have completed the IDC on-line, we have found that five (5) days rushes our candidates and puts additional stress on them. We, therefore, have lengthened our IDC to an eight (8) day course that starts on Friday and concludes on the following Friday, and includes the Emergency First Response Instructor (EFRI) course which is conducted mid-week during the IDC. These additional days of instructor development training allow our Course Directors to devote additional time to working with candidates to further develop their teaching skills. The IDC curriculum emphasis is focused on development, not tests or stress. This makes learning easier and more relaxed. Instructor Development CourseOur IDC’s are limited to six candidates so we can assure each candidate will receive the attention needed to develop the skills required to be successful PADI professional educators. During the IDC you will be introduced to the complete PADI System and learn how to teach all the core PADI Courses (PADI Scuba Diver, PADI Open Water Diver, Adventure Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver and PADI Divemaster), some PADI Specialties (Peak Performance Buoyancy, Aware Coral Reef Conservation and Project Aware) and some PADI Programs such as Discover Scuba Diving (PADI’s introductory program). During the IDC you will learn teaching techniques in confined water, open water and the classroom. You will develop your confined water skills and rescue skills to instructor level. You will also learn various “real world teaching techniques” that our Course Directors and staff have learned over the years. These “real world teaching techniques” will benefit you extremely when you start teaching in the “real world of dive instruction”. Our IDC is designed to prepare you to teach safely and successfully in the “real world” and not just to train you “how to pass” the Instructor Exam. During the IDC, attention will also be focused on becoming familiar with the PADI Instructor Manual and PADI’s Guide to Teaching. These books are invaluable learning tools you will use during and after the IDC. Upon completingPADI Instructor Manual our IDC, you will have an excellent understanding of how to use and apply PADI Standards and Procedures when teaching in the “real world”. PADI Standards and Procedures are the code that PADI Instructors live by. The Course Directors at Florida Keys Dive Center recommend that candidates who are seeking to become PADI professional educators consider completing the  PADI’s  IDC eLearning prior to the AI Course or the IDC.  This is a great way to jump start you program and enhance the IDC experience. PADI’s on-line portion of the IDC consists of nine (9) training sessions:

  1. Standards and Procedures Part 1
  2. Learning Instruction and the PADI System
  3. Risk Management Part 1Teaching PADI Specialty Diver Courses
  4. Marketing Diving
  5. Start Diving
  6. Teaching PADI Specialty Diver Courses
  7. Business of Diving
  8. Keep Diving
  9. How to teach the RDP

These sessions are completed at your own pace and convenience when you are “ready to learn”. Each online session concludes with an exam to assure you fully understand the information presented. You can register online for PADI’s eLearning IDC by clicking here.  Dive Theory Requirements A prerequisite for taking the Instructor Exam is passing five (5) professional level Dive Theory Exams. The Dive Theory Exams are on Physics, Physiology, Decompression Theory and the Recreational Dive Planner, Equipment, and Skills and the Environment. Instructor candidates are expected to have a passing knowledge of Dive Theory prior to the IDC and IE. PADI Dive Theory Elearning PADI Dive Theory Elearning:  We require for our candidates to take  PADI’s Dive Theory online* in preparation for the IDC . PADI’s fee for the Dive Theory online is $129.00. You can register for PADI’s Dive Theory on-line by clicking on the Dive Theory link. When you register on-line you must affiliate with a PADI dive center, Florida Keys Dive Center. You can view PADI’s Dive Theory online as many times as you like within twelve (12) months. Click HERE for Elearning   After completing the Dive Theory online you meet the requirements for passing the Dive Theory Exams at the IDC.   As and additional personal touch our course directors  will take time to do additional remedial exams during your IDC, to help  to assure mastery will be achieved on dive theory exams. Master Scuba Diver Trainer Prep Course and Specialty Instructor Training CoursesMaster Scuba Diver Trainer Prep Course and Specialty Instructor Training Courses The more PADI Specialties you can teach the more marketable you become and the more valuable you are to an employer. One way to qualify to teach specialties is to take Specialty Instructor Training Courses and complete the Master Scuba Diver Trainer Prep Course, taught by our PADI Course Directors. The Master Scuba Diver Trainer Prep Course consists of five (5) PADI  Instructor Specialties that are taught by a Course Director:   Our MSDT course includes:  Enriched Air, Emergency Oxygen Provider, Deep Diver, Wreck Diver, Search and Recovery Diver, U/W Navigator. Course Cost $795* In addition we offer Underwater Naturalist, AWARE Fish ID, Boat Diver, Drift Diver, Dry Suit Diver, Night Diver and Underwater Digital Photographer Instructor and many more.

  • Individual Specialty Instructor Courses requiring 0-1 dives: $199
  • Individual Specialty Instructor Courses requiring 2 dives: $349

Instructor Specialty Courses do not include the cost of materials and application fees. We can customize the MSDT program to fit your specific requirements. During Specialty Instructor Training a Course Director reviews the PADI Standards and Procedures for each PADI Specialty you are learning to teach. We will also provide you hints, tips and suggestions on how to conduct the dives as well as how to market the specialty. Candidates will learn how to conduct training dives, briefings and scenarios. Depending on the Instructor Specialties that you choose, subjects may include wreck mapping, techniques on how to use a reel and penetrate into a wreck, navigation skills and setting up an underwater navigation course, enriched air diving considerations, dive planning and techniques for deep diving. After completing a Specialty Instructor Training Course you only need 10 logged dives in that specialty and submit an application to PADI, to immediately begin teaching that specialty to your students. *course price based on 2 or more in the program. singles add $200 Lodging We have many different selections of lodging available at various prices. One of the most popular lodging selections is the Creekside Inn which is located a block from our dive center. The Historic Tavernier Inn is about a mile away from us. Bayside Inn is located in “downtown” Key Largo which is a 10 minute car drive away. We also book with Ocean Pointe Suites, located approximately two miles from the dive center, which has one or two bedroom units that can sleep up to six (6) comfortably. Convenience Within walking distance of the dive center is lodging, car rental, several restaurants and a shopping center with a grocery store, post office, drug store and movie theatre. Internships Some dive centers offer an internship lasting six months or longer as a means to pay for your prerequisite courses and your IDC. After you pass the IE to complete your internship these dive centers require you to certify twenty five (25) of their customers. Beware of these dive centers and their internships. TIME IS MONEY!!! These dive centers often have interns working 9 or more hours a day and 7 days a week prior to the IE. Following the IE you may work several more months trying to obtain your 25 certifications and your Master Scuba Diver Trainer rating. You can easily find yourself in a situation where you have worked in this internship program over 2,000 hours to obtain your education and Master Scuba Diver Training rating. At an hourly wage of $5.00 per hour your training would cost you $10,000.00 or more. The same education at Florida KeysDiveCenter would cost you less than $4,500.00. If you fail to complete your internship then you owe the dive center the full price for the courses you completed. In essence, you have become an indentured servant of this dive center. At Florida Keys Dive Center we do not offer an internship program with such harsh requirements. We do offer to individuals who we believe will mesh well with our staff, be courteous to our customers and perform the duties requested of them, to work with our staff and gain experience in the operation of our dive center and in training various levels of students. We have had individuals gain this invaluable experience before and after an IDC/IE. The individual determines the length of their experience. We’ve had some individuals take advantage of this offer to gain experience in the scuba diving industry. Customization If you’re interested in completing an Assistant Instructor, Open Water Scuba Instructor or Instructor Development Course on dates other than on our standard schedule we do offer customized courses. Please call or e-mail us to discuss your needs and we will do our best to design a program that will work for you. Why Choose Florida Keys Dive Center

  • PADI Career DevelopmentCenter with two Course Directors who have over 30 years combined experience teaching IDCs.
  • 100% success rate
  • IDCs limited to 6 candidates
  • Key Largo IE starts Friday night and all teaching presentations are received at Friday night’s orientations session
  • Lodging, several restaurants and a shopping center with a grocery store, post office, drug store, car rental and movie theatre within walking distance
  • Located 1 ½ hours from Miami airport and 2 hours from Ft. Lauderdale airport with round trip bus service available from both airports
  • Two 46 ft. Newton custom dive boats
  • Air conditioned professional classroom
  • Job placement assistance
  • Course Directors available for questions years after the IE
  • Course flexibility and customization
  • Internships available with opportunities to learn boat skills, compressors, tank filling and teaching experience
  • Friendly experienced staff
  • Assortment of lodging choices
  • Multi candidate discounts and special scheduling available
  • Up to 20% equipment discounts
  • On site gear storage
  • On site BBQ grill
  • On site refrigerators
  • Customized teaching handouts and “real world teaching tips

Prerequisites To qualify for training as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, you must:

  • Be certified as a PADI Divemaster or a PADI Assistant Instructor or be an instructor in good standing with another training organization for at least six months (check with a PADI Course Director or Contact Us for qualifying credentials.)
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be certified as a diver for at least six months
  • Have 60 logged dives that include experience in night, deep and navigation diving to participate in the Instructor Development Course (IDC). You’ll need 100 logged dives to take the Instructor Exams (IE)
  • Have proof of CPR and First Aid training within the last 24 months. The Emergency First Response course meets this requirement
  • Complete PADI’s Medical Statement (PDF) which MUST BE signed by a physician within the last 12 months stating you are fit to dive even if all answers on the questionnaire are “No”

The Required Learning Materials You Will Need The PADI Instructor Development Course Crew pack includes materials needed for the Instructor Development Course and to start teaching. The IDC Crew Pack includes:

  • Instructor cue cards for PADI’s core courses (Open Water, Advanced, Rescue and Divemaster)
  • PADI’s Guide to Teaching
  • Reference materials
  • Lesson planning slates for confined and open water
  • Quiz and exam booklets for the core courses
  • Specialty Instructor Manual
  • Reference Books

The Emergency First Response Instructor Manual. To purchase these products, contact us well in advance of the IDC. COURSE INCLUDES

  • All charter fees
  • Pool fees
  • Tanks, weights and air fills
  • A student discount of up to 20% on equipment purchased during the program


  • Full scuba equipment including proper exposure protection
  • Student manuals from prior PADI Courses
  • RDP and eRDPml (may be purchased through dive center)

IDC PRICE: $1,199.00  (based on a minimum of 2 candidates in the course)

EFR Instructor: $199.00

IDC Package: $2,240.00  8 days IDC with EFRI course includes IDC and EFRI teaching materials,

  • PADI IE & IDC application fees payable to PADI are not included. The 2019 fee schedule is: Instructor Examination: $700, Instructor Development Course Application $190, EFRI application $119.
  • Taking the PADI IDC e-Learning course prior to taking the Instructor Development Course with us is required as this gives the candidates a good jump start prior to the start of the IDC. The “Dive Theory”- online course is required as well.
  • A $300.00 deposit is required at the time of registration
  • Register by calling 1-305-852-4599 or 1-800-433-8946 or online Reservations


  • IDC $402.00
  • Dive Theory $140.00

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