How to prepare and what to study for your PADI IDC?

Now that you have decided to become PADI Instructors and take part in the IDC, you will ask what you really need to study to get ready for the big event

IDC theory

If you are PADI divemasters, you probably already have some notion of what PADI standards are. If your instructor’s manual you received during the divemaster course is still packaged or you think that during the preparation of the Divemaster course there was no reason to make much use of it, my advice is to READ it. Memorizing the standards you find written is a task that no Course Director will certainly require, however, knowing where to locate them in the manual will surely be crucial. A good read will help you in this. In particular the first chapter, that of the general training standards (where you find the definitions) is fundamental and if you read it 2 or even 3 times you will be partially ready for the IDC (at least for the part of the standards).

What else? Start reading the encyclopedia that was in the divemaster crew pack. It will be essential to face the Diving Knowledge Workbook and prepare you for the theory of diving. Do you work in a dive center? ask if they have the old Divemaster exams (version 2.0).

It is not easy to find them,  some Course Directors who have them will  give  you to study because they are actually very useful, in my opinion even more difficult than those you will find in the IE exam.

Take these exams until you know them by heart and you will be ready for the Diving Knowledge Workbook. It is mandatory to receive this book with the IDC crew pack. Do it 2, 3 or even 4 times. The questions are explained in the same book. A real magic tool to be prepared theoretically for the IDC. If you think that by now you have memorized it, cover the answers with one hand (many questions are multiple-choice) and work out the answers yourself. Do not write on it! otherwise you can do it only once, but write in a notebook.

Do you know the eRDMl? if you have never seen it before (obblogatory to have seen it if you have done the Divemaster recently with PADI), buy one and read the instructions. With this calculator machine, you can answer questions about dive planning. And know that you can answer all the questions without using the classic RDP Table. Knowing how to use the table is important but you will not use it now for questions related to planning theory. My advice is to always use eRDPml from now on until IE.

If you are not a PADI Divemaster or you have done many courses with other organizations or you have done the courses a long time ago I recommend you, if you can, to attend courses or, if you do not work in a diving center, watch the videos of the courses if available (Open Water, Rescue, Divemaster) or read the related course books.


How many dives do you have? how many courses have you witnessed in your career? Analyze the answers with your Course Director and he will eventually advise you on where to concentrate now. Be honest and tell without fear if you feel you have gaps. Take advantage and enter the water when you can but do not convert to diving psychopaths !! have you practiced 24 skills recently? do it, but with an experienced instructor who will advise you. Are videos on youtube about skills useful? the answer in another post, very important theme .. (already there is the advance: NO, do not waste precious time).

 Educational Material

The PADI in this has already organized everything: buy the IDC crew pack and the manual EFR Instructor, or acquire it from the center where you will form, who knows’ has good prices. From your Divemaster crew pack you can retrieve the Encyclopedia, the Instructor manual (available digitally in every language) and the eRDPml as already mentioned. That’s all. You do not need anything else, clearly if you are in a diving center take advantage of what can be made available, as well as old or new exams, videos of the courses, manuals on the courses. Talk to other Instructors and go to the experience of your Course Director who will advise you.


The same one you use for the Divemaster course, nothing complicated.

My most important advice comes last. Do not wait for the last minute to study! some candidates like to be precise and take their time and start months before getting ready. Others start during the IDC itself (option never recommended). For the IDC you should be ‘already’ ready on the theoretical level, workbook done and manual Instructor read and reread. During the IDC we will focus on other topics and how to teach what you already know. Ready for the IDC now?

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