London Scuba Blogs
Last weekend, I did my instructor's exams at Bristol.
On Saturday, all the candidates had to be at Badminton Girls School at 07:30 for registration. After the examiners had introduced themselves, explained what we all would be doing, logistics and we had gone through all the paperwork formalities, we started. We were each given a colour and number - the colour gives you the group you will be part of and the number is your set of skills. I was RED 7.
First of all, we did the written exams - half of us got the Theory exams and the other half got the Standards exams. We had 1 & 1/2 hours to do this and after a short break, we swapped and did the other set of exams. The Theory exam is closed book, all you are allowed is a calculator and the RDP table & eRDPml. The Standards exam is open book and you use the PADI Instructor Manual AND Guide to Teaching Manual. Any re sits were done on Sunday morning at Vobster Quay.
After you are done with the exams, you get time to prepare your Knowledge Development presentation - mine was Confined Water, knowledge review 4, question 14 - RDP question.
You get plenty of time to do this and then everyone in you group gives their presentation. Any Make-ups were done after everyone had had their go.
After a couple of hours for lunch and prepare your confined water skills presentation, it was time to get in the pool.
We had to demonstrate 5 skills all together - 1) Mask removal and replace, 2) hover, 3) CESA, 4) weight belt removal & replace on surface 5) Alternate air source stationary.
We then had to do our presentations - mine was CESA. I had 2 students and a DM and had to make sure the distance travelled was correct with Standards so before we started, I measured out 9 metres and marked it with a weight.
I managed to get through all of day one, any make-ups for the pool were done after everyone had had their go.
END OF DAY ONE. Off to where ever you were staying and prepare for you open water skills presentation.
Day two (Sunday) was done at Vobster Quay. We all had the be their for 07:45 so another early start.
Here, we started of with a briefing of the site and how the day was going to go, we started by giving our skills briefings. My skills were 1) partially flooded mask (open water - Dive 2) & 2)navigation with a compass (Adventures in Diving - Underwater Navigation).
Once all presentations were done, it was into the water for our Rescue demo - Unconscious diver at the surface. Any make-ups for the rescue were done after everyone had had their go.
Then it was a co-ordinated sequence to go down to the platform and do your demo. On the platform, there was the instructor candidate, 2 students and a DM (all made up of IE candidates).
Once we had done our demo, we would play either a student or DM then, as another candidate was sent down, one of us would surface and get out.
Once we had all done our demos, it was out of the water and change (NO MAKE-UP ON OPEN WATER SKILLS DEMO).
We then did our de-breifs for the examiners and that was it. If you were successful on everything, they told you at this point, if not, they explained what to do next.
You did get your results after each stage, if you failed you could do the make-ups and if you failed the make-ups, you could still progress to the next stage. All you have to do is come back on another IE and complete the bits you failed on (eg if you failed the Standards exam but continued and passed all the other stuff, all you have to do is come back and do that one exa again.)
Then there was a couple of thank you speeches followed by handing out of certificates - JOB DONE - woo hoo !!
I must say, it is very stressful but after doing it, you realise that you know all you need to from doing the IDC - I can only think it is fear of the unknown - not knowing what to expect. The examiners are really good, they are there to pass you and make you feel very at ease. Through out most of it, you act as if they are not there and just get on with each bit.
I'd like to say a very big thank you to Simon for putting in so much work on the IDC and giving us all the help we could need. Also, thanks to Dave Runacre and Claire Paxton who were on my IDC for all their help and support thoughout. Thanks too, to Kieran for sitting at the bottom of Wraysbury with water temps of 5 degrees being out student /DM on the IDC.
Finally, thanks to everyone for all their support and encouragement through the whole process,