Assistant Instructor Course

Are you a PADI Divemaster? Would you like to have more responsibility, but you aren’t ready to commit to an 8-day IDC and an Instructor Exam? Start gaining additional experience as a PADI professional and become a PADI assistant instructor. You will assume more teaching responsibilities while concentrating on developing your teaching skills. It’s a big step to gaining experience in order to become a scuba instructor!

The PADI Assistant Instructor Course consists of 3 modules: academic training, independent study and practical application. In addition to the responsibilities and duties you already have as a PADI Divemaster, as a PADI Assistant Instructor you can teach academic, present initial skills during confined water dives, evaluate Open Water diver surface skills, and many more under the supervision of a PADI Instructor.

This course is the first component of the PADI Instructor Development Course and builds upon Divemaster training. The Assistant Instructor course is a 4-day program that introduces you to the role of an instructional assistant, both in academic teaching and in confined & open water training. After this program, you can choose to continue on to the OWSI portion of the Instructor Development Course and a PADI Instructor Exam.

This program credits towards the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) and allows you to gain experience as an instructional assistant before deciding to commit to the IDC. The Assistant Instructor course can be conducted as part of the PADI IDC or as a stand-alone program.


  • Successful completion of the Assistant Instructor (AI) course results in a PADI Assistant Instructor qualification.
  • A PADI Divemaster (or other equivalent rating from another training organization) who has been a certified diver for six months may enroll in the PADI Instructor Development Course. You also need:
  • At least 60 logged dives
  • Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months
  • A medical statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months

What will you learn?

The Assistant Instructor Course teaches the PADI philosophy through classroom presentations, confined water instruction, and open water instruction. Assistant Instructor candidates will complete the first 4 days of an Instructor Development Course. The following is a sample schedule that an AI candidate will participate in.

Day One

  • Course Orientation
  • Learning, Instruction, and the PADI System
  • General Standards and Procedures
  • Lunch
  • Teaching in Confined Water
  • Break Out Session
  • Skill Demonstrations Workshop — Pool
  • Confined Water Presentation 1 — Pool

Day Two

  • Developing Knowledge Development Presentations
  • 4 E’s Counseling Workshop
  • Breakout Session
  • Risk Management
  • Lunch
  • Knowledge Development Teaching Presentation 1
  • Marketing Diving
  • Start Diving

Day Three (Open Water)

  • Conducting Open Water Dives
  • Break Out Session
  • Open Water Teaching Presentation (two skills)
  • Lunch
  • Diver Rescue Assessment

Day Four

  • Knowledge Development Teaching Presentation 2
  • General Standards and Procedures Exam and Review
  • Teaching PADI Specialty Diver Courses
  • Lunch
  • Business of Diving
  • Keep Diving
  • 24 Skill Circuit Evaluation — Pool
  • Confined Water Presentation 2 — Pool

How can you start learning now?

Let’s Get Started!

Register for the IDC Online – PADI’s eLearning option that lets you study independently at your own pace before class. There are nine interactive knowledge development sections. Prestudy online can save one whole day of class time, which allows more time for practicing the skills that distinguish you as a PADI Assistant Instructor.

Click here to start your IDC online!

Also, sign up for Dive Theory Online, if you haven’t already completed it or it’s been more than a year since you went through it. The program is a straightforward review of dive physics, physiology, skills, equipment and environment, plus using the Recreational Dive Planner (RDP). By successfully completing Dive Theory Online, you can get credit for the dive theory exam requirement during your IDC.

Click here to start your Dive Theory Course online!

Visit Scuba World to learn more about an Assistant Instructor Course or a full IDC. You can also call (302) 697-2882 or email

How much does the AI Course cost?

The Assistant Instructor Course costs $1,395, which includes all instructor fees and pool fees. Candidates must purchase the PADI Instructor Crew Pack. Any fees associated with open water (boat, quarry fees and lodging) are not included in the price of the course.

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