Instructor Development Course

Are you fed up of your office job?
Hate the long commute every day?
Save up all year for just two weeks in the sunshine?

Have you ever considered becoming a scuba diving Instructor?…

Here at Exotic Island Dive Resort you can train to become just that. As a PADI Instructor you could trade your office cubicle for the blue ocean, enjoy the sunset as you stroll home from work each evening, and make a career out of transforming people’s lives for the better.

The IDC is made up of two distinct components – the Assistant Instructor (AI) course, and the Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) program.

During the IDC you’ll learn how to apply the PADI System of Education by presenting your own confined water teaching presentations, knowledge development presentations and open water teaching presentations.

You will also attend and participate in a number of curriculum presentations about the dive industry, its business principles, PADI programs and other important topics relevant to your role as an Instructor.

At the end of your Course you will be ready to attend the Instructor Exams (IE) – a two-day event conducted by a PADI Examiner who will assess the same components that you will have practiced during your IDC.

To obtain the Open Water Scuba Instructor rating, you must also be an Emergency First Response (EFR) Instructor or a CPR/first aid instructor with another emergency care organization. Our IDC incorporates this two-day EFR Instructor course in its schedule.

After becoming an Open Water Scuba Instructor, you will be able to conduct the entire range of PADI programs from Discover Scuba Diving up to Divemaster. After that you may also choose to acquire Specialty Instructor ratings in the popular Specialties such as Digital Underwater Photographer or Enriched Air Diver, giving your more teaching and employment opportunities.

Here at Exotic Dive Resort, our view is that an IDC should not just aim to get you through the IE, but should give you enough real-life tips and expert coaching to fully equip you for life as an Instructor. Our IDCs are 16 days in total and scheduled to end a day or two in advance of the Instructor Exams (IE).

Sixteen days may be a little longer than some courses offered by other IDC facilities, however it means that our schedule will be more relaxed, giving you more time to prepare your presentations, go for a dive or for us to focus on any individual counseling that may be required.

Highly professional and organized, you will be given a schedule at the outset of your IDC. Our IDCs include workshops in knot-tying , lift bag exercises, CESAs and descents, as well as a 3-day IDC preparation program where you can refresh and polish your dive theory knowledge as well as those demonstration-quality skills.

And at the end of our IDC schedule we hold a two-day “mock” IE which includes all the components of the actual IE and works to the same timetable to make it as authentic as possible.

All this means that you will feel more than ready to sit the Instructor Exams and become a PADI Instructor.

Our IDC also includes the EFR Instructor course which is a pre-requisite to becoming an Open Water Scuba Instructor.

And it doesn’t end there! For everyone who does their IDC with us at Exotic, we offer you a FREE 5-week internship where you can work with our experienced Instructors gaining real-world teaching experience.

Our IDCs are conducted by our resident PADI Course Director Ayala Cohen. Being resident here at Exotic means that he will run your IDC from start to finish, rather than be on hand for the last few days as is the case with many freelance Course Directors.

Ayala’s dynamic teaching style keeps presentations enjoyable and helps to make your IDC an unforgettable experience.

See our schedule for dates of our IDC programs in 2015.

The Instructor Exam (IE)

Once the IDC has been successfully completed, the Instructor Exam is a 2 day exam conducted by a PADI Instructor Examiner. All of our IDCs have an IE scheduled to take place here on Malapascua a day or two after the IDC. As the IE will take place in familiar surroundings this will help you to feel at ease during the exams.

In order to pass an Instructor Exam and become qualified as a PADI Open Water Instructor each candidate must successfully complete each component of the IE which includes:

  • 5-part theory exam
  • PADI systems standards and procedures exam
  • 1 knowledge development prescriptive teaching presentation
  • 1 confined water teaching presentation
  • Demonstration quality 5-skill circuit
  • 1 open water teaching presentation with 2 skills
  • Demonstration quality rescue of an unresponsive diver at the surface using pocket mask or mouth to mouth

Malapascua Exotic Island Dive & Beach Resort is the finest hotel as well as the largest and most established dive shop on the island. We boast the following amazing facilities for our IDC Candidates:

  • GoPro Lodge – great value on-site accommodation close to our restaurant, bar and dive shop and secluded beach
  • The largest fleet of dive boats on the island – 4 large outrigger boats, a speedboat and two smaller boats
  • State of the art, air-conditioned classroom with its internet service, dive library and PADI materials for use throughout your IDC.
  • All of the other great resort facilities including our large dive shop (with discounts for IDC candidates), restaurant, bakery etc

She did her PADI IDC in 2004 and worked for six years as a PADI Instructor around Asia. After working as Cruise Director on one of Thailand’s most prestigious live-aboards and teaching in the Andaman Sea, She realized that she’d gained an awful lot of experience that ultimately she wanted to share with the next wave of PADI Instructors. It felt like the most natural step to apply for the CDTC and in April 2010 She became a Course Director. She have loved every moment of it so far.

Consistency and value

Our Course Director is resident here at Exotic Dive Resort, meaning he will be in charge of your IDC from start to finish. He has ample time to work on each candidate’s own strengths and weaknesses, thus ensuring that those weaknesses are gone before the end of your IDC. Many other IDC facilities that employ freelance Course Directors just bring in the Course Director to teach the last few days of an IDC which can lead to inconsistencies in teaching.

The Thresher Shark!

Malapascua is reputedly the only place in world where divers can regularly encounter these majestic sharks at recreational diver limits. So by coming to Exotic you can experience something really special.

Unlimited Diving

Yet another great reason to choose Exotic as your IDC destination. As the original dive shop on Malapascua we were the pioneers of the thresher shark encounters and wrote the original Thresher Shark Specialty course that has been endorsed by PADI as a Distinctive Specialty. During your IDC you will be able to dive to the famous thresher shark sites for a chance to see these elusive creatures, as well as other great dive spots.

Our tranquil setting

Our beach, away from the crowds, and with its natural shade and hammocks, will ensure that all our candidates can find the necessary peace and quiet required to be able to focus and enjoy the course. All-night parties and streets of bars are not what you need during your IDC!

Job Opportunities

If you will be looking for work as an Instructor after your IDC, you couldn’t be better placed. There are many up and coming dive locations in the Philippines and you are always just a cheap flight from the world’s dive hot spots of Thailand, Malaysia, and Australia. Plus, the experience that you will have gained during your FREE 5-week instructor internship will put you in a better position when it comes to looking for work as well as the confidence when starting out.


Our help doesn’t end once you pass your IE. We will give you help and advice on how to prepare an attention-grabbing CV and on what potential employers are really looking for in an instructor.

Free 5-Week Instructor Internship

The majority of IDC Centres don’t offer anything like our internship, and the ones that do will expect you to pay extra for it. Team-teaching your first few courses is highly recommended by PADI yet, like it or not, dive centres will commonly expect a new instructor to teach his or her first course alone – a daunting prospect for someone fresh from their IDC. After your IDC here at Exotic you can work alongside our team of instructors gaining valuable experience of teaching the real world.

Being part of the Exotic team will also give you the benefit of witnessing how one of the most successful dive resorts in the Philippines functions. Exotic Dive Resort was the first dive resort to open on Malapascua and continues to be the leading dive resort. Learn from the experts as to what makes a successful business and pick up valuable selling skills as well as practical teaching information and guidance.

If your schedule can’t stretch for the full 5 weeks then you can stay for a shorter period if you wish. You can also choose to take some of these 5 weeks before your IDC assisting our instructors as a Divemaster. This is particularly useful for those candidates who have had little working experience since qualifying as Divemasters.

At Exotic we want to keep it as simple as possible for you. We understand there are many different options to choose from when considering a place to complete your IDC so we have 3 different pre-arranged Instructor Development packages to suit the needs of the individual. We also understand that not everyone fits nicely into a certain niche, therefore if what you are looking for does not fit into one of these packages, we are able to create a custom made IDC package for you. For more information on our packages contact us at


  • 16 Days IDC with additional in-water workshops on the more tricky skills, including five point descent, controlled emergency swimming ascent, lift bag, hover (Rescue is covered thoroughly)
  • Instructor preparations
  • EFR Instructor courses
  • Mock IE
  • Instructor Prep Days to refresh water skills and upgrade dive theory knowledge
  • PADI IDC Crewpack, EFRI Materials & PADI Pro Bag – worth over $850!
  • Free accommodation for 3 weeks
  • 5 PADI Instructor Speciality Trainings (Aware Shark Conservation, Emergency O2 Provider, Coral Reef Conservation, Project AWARE & Peak Performance Buoyancy)
  • 2 dives for free before IDC – subject to boat space
  • Free diving during the IDC – subject to boat space – worth over $2000!
  • All Malapascua Marine Fees
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • IDC Lunches for 16 days
  • Extra IDC Workshops “step by step how to teach and set up skills for teaching”
  • PADI Pro Workshop
  • Instructor Preparation videos
  • CV Workshop
  • Free Employment Advice & Support!
  • Exotic logbook
  • Exotic IDC Polo shirt – with your name printed!
  • Exotic Mask Strap – with your name printed!
  • Free tanks, weights and belt during IDC
  • Free tea and coffee at the dive centre
  • 10% discount in our restaurant
  • 15% discount in our dive equipment store
  • Exotic IDC Crewpack ☺
  • PADI fees (detailed below)
  • Accommodation after three weeks
  • Restaurant drinks and food (16 IDC Lunches included)
  • Transport to, accommodation & food at IE venue, in unlikely event on Cebu, rather than Malapascua
  • Equipment Rental


  • Everything included in the IDC Basic package plus the following upgrades:
  • Free 4 dives before IDC – subject to boat space
  • 1 week internship “Learn to teach” (no minimum certs. guaranteed)
  • Enriched Air Nitrox Instructor Specialty Course
  • PADI Instructor Specialty Manual DVD (value over $400!)
  • Exotic DVD Diving Malapascua
  • As per IDC Basic package, plus
  • Student level 40 per cent. NitrOx certification (PADI will not process without student level Nitrox)


  • Everything included in the IDC Basic & Silver packages plus the following upgrades:
  • Free 6 dives before IDC – subject to boat space
  • MSDT Prep course including 3 ADDITIONAL Instructor Specialty Training (total of 6 Instructor Specs!)
  • 3 weeks internship “Learn to Teach” (no minimum certs. guaranteed)
  • PADI Open Water Perscriptive Lesson Guides (value over $500!)
  • Compressor Use and Tank Filling seminar
  • Exotic water bottle
  • As per IDC Basic & Silver packages

IDC Platinum

  • Everything included in the IDC Basic, Silver & Gold packages plus the following upgrades:
  • MSDT PREP with ADDITIONAL 2 Extra Instructor Specialties Training (total of 8 Instructor Specs!)
  • Free 8 dives before IDC – subject to boat space
  • Return Airport transfer from Cebu Airport/Malapascua
  • Equipment rental
  • PADI Master SCUBA Diver Course, comprising: Aware Shark Conservation, Self Reliant Diver, Sidemount Diver, Thresher Shark Speciality & Equipment Specialist
  • 5 weeks internship “Learn to Teach” with the chance to earn your first 25 certifications
  • Intro to PADI Tec-Rec
  • As per IDC Basic, Silver & Gold packages

Here are our PADI GoPro Courses Dates 2017

IDC PADI Instructor Course PADI IE MSDT Prep PADI IDC Staff Course
3rd – 19th February 20th – 21st February 23rd – 25th February 31st January – 1st February
21st March – 6th April 7th – 8th April 10th – 12th April 18th – 19th March
20th May – 5th June 6th – 7th June 9th – 11th June 17th – 18th May
22nd July – 7th August 8th – 9th August 11th – 13th August 19th – 20th July
22nd September – 8th October 9th – 10th October 12th – 14th October 19th – 20th September
18th November – 4th December 5th – 6th December 8th – 10th December 15th – 16th November

* All IEs are scheduled to take place on Malapascua, subject to minimum numbers of candidates

Meet our Resident Platinum Course Director Ayala Cohen!
When did you start diving?

I began diving in the UK when I was 19, and too be honest I wasn’t too impressed with the cold water and multiple layers of clothing to stay warm… until I dived on the “James Egan Layne”, a popular wreck off the coast of Plymouth. That was the turning point – the defining moment when I fell in love with the sport. After that, there was no stopping me! I took every opportunity I could to learn something new and spend more time underwater. I did all of my recreational courses and PADI Divemaster course in the UK, which I would definitely say was challenging, while still maintaining a full-time job. In retrospect, I am glad that my initial diving experiences were not easy as it helped me become a more sympathetic PADI Instructor and to become a more understanding teacher.

Did you always know you wanted to be an Instructor?

I studied Leisure and Tourism at college and always knew that I wasn’t going to be suited to an office job. It wasn’t until I did my PADI Divemaster course that I began to seriously consider working full-time as a PADI Instructor. I was working as a PADI Divemaster for a dive club based in Birmingham, UK, and loved spending time with the customers. We dived regularly at the popular inland dive sites such as Stoney Cove, as well off the coast at Torquay, Plymouth and around Cornwall. After about a year of working alongside some of the UK’s premier PADI Instructors, I decided I wanted to follow in their footsteps. I booked myself on a plane to Thailand, and the rest is history!

Where have you dived?

I’ve been lucky to dive in many places around the world. Of course I’m a big fan of diving in the UK. It might be cold and dark, but it’s so much fun and there’s much more to see than people expect. The Red Sea in Egypt and Israel is also a firm favorite, as this is where I first experienced stunning coral reefs and a huge array of marine life. Cave diving in Mexico came next – an exhilarating experience that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. In Asia, I’ve dived in Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, India, Indonesia and the Philippines– all equally beautiful places with something for everyone.

What made you decide to become a Course Director?

I did my PADI IDC in 2004 and worked for six years as a PADI Instructor around Asia. After working as Cruise Director on one of Thailand’s most prestigious live-aboards and teaching in the Andaman Sea, I realized that I’d gained an awful lot of experience that ultimately I wanted to share with the next wave of PADI Instructors. It felt like the most natural step to apply for the CDTC and in April 2010 I became a Course Director. I’ve loved every moment of it so far.

What is your philosophy on teaching Instructor Development Courses?

I honestly believe that people learn best when they’re relaxed and comfortable. This is why I limit numbers on my IDC and run it over 16 days instead of the usual 10 or 12. Doing it in this timeframe allows us to spend more time diving and less time in the classroom. By running the course over more days it allows the candidates more preparation and relaxing time. I like to conduct lots of real life workshops – Rescue, Ascents/Descents, CESA, DSD, Navigation and Search and Recovery workshop. These help candidates to develop confidence and I give them tried and tested teaching techniques they can use after they’ve passed the IE. I try to make the training as realistic as possible. And with smaller numbers, I can spend more time with each candidate, tailoring the course to their needs and requirements.

How do you stand out from other Course Directors?

I am proud that I have a 100% first time pass rate. Every candidate who has completed his or her IDC with me has passed first time round, this has been to do with the time and effort the candidates and myself have put into making the courses successful. I can still remember what it was like doing my own IDC and I think that this helps with being able to place myself in the candidate’s shoes and give more real world explanations. Having worked for long periods of time in Thailand – both lievaboard and land based, Bali and the Gili Islands in Indonesia, I have many contacts around Asia to help candidates with job placements.

What are your goals for the future?

I’d love to help develop Malapascua, so that it will become a forefront of instructor development in the Philippines. It’s certainly got the potential. The standard to which courses are taught is very high and we have a large number of returning customers. Most of the PADI Instructors who work on the island have been trained on the island and they stay for many years, sharing their passion with the next generation. The dive industry here is vibrant and thriving, thanks to our beautiful dive sites. I am very optimistic about the future, how could I not be when I work in paradise?

What else I should know before starting my IDC?
Important! – Medical Statement

You need to have a current, unqualified medical certificate completed by an independent doctor, confirming they find no conditions they consider incompatible with diving, in order to start the IDC and to attend the IE, As there is no resident doctor on the island we would strongly recommend that you obtain this before you come and e-mail it to us for verification. We are happy to send you the form in another language if you wish. It must be completed no more than 12 months prior to the final day of your IE or PADI will not allow you to participate in the water sessions.

Prerequisite certifications

We would be grateful if you would please e-mail us copies of both sides of all your non-PADI certifications as this is required by PADI to process your applications. Please also let us have your full name and date of birth so we can verify any PADI, SSI, SDI, TDI or NAUI qualifications online. For your Instructor Applications:

  • Initial card, e.g. Open Water (must be at least six months’ old);
  • Second, e.g. Advanced Adventurer;
  • Rescue, e.g. Stress & Rescue;
  • Primary Care (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation—CPR) & Secondary Care (First Aid) within 24 months, e.g. EFR;
  • Leadership level, e.g. Divemaster; and
  • 40 per cent. Enriched Air NitrOx.
Dive Theory Exams

The IE has a Dive Theory Exams segment. The entire curriculum for this used to be covered on the Divemaster course. However, this has been slimmed down relatively recently and no longer suffices. The preferred resource for you to prepare with before your arrival is PADI’s Diving Knowledge Workbook. This contains a chapter for each topic, being Physics, Physiology, Equipment, Skills & the Environment and Decompression Theory & the PADI Recreational Dive Planner (RDP). Each chapter consists of questions with worked answers. PADI’s Encyclopaedia of Recreational Diving is excellent to dip into for further information and is shipped with the PADI Divemaster Crew-pak. You must possess an original RDP table and electronic multilevel eRDPml, together with both Instructions for Use booklets, which again contain worked examples.

If you have a learning disability and have a letter documenting this from your doctor (or psychologist), then you will be allowed 50 per cent. extra time to complete your written exams.

If you took the new curriculum or maybe it was a long time since you took the old Divemaster course, we can give you some tips and suggestions to enable you to study and get your theory in shape before the IDC. Just let us know.


Please bring some passport photos with you (no hat, dark glasses or SCUBA mask and not underwater).

You will need a laptop in Malapascua, among other things, to read digital versions of the PADI Instructor Manual and PADI’s Guide to Teaching, which are necessary for the PADI Systems, Standards and Procedures Examination, one of your IE segments.

Please send us a copy of a log book page documenting you have done at least 100 dives as this is also a prerequisite.


PADI requires you to have the following additional equipment: pocket mask; snorkel; whistle; compass; dive knife; Surface Marker Buoy; and timing device with seconds displayed as some skills are precisely 30 or 60 seconds (a dive computer is OK only if one can see seconds in dive mode or if dive mode can be disabled, otherwise a cheap waterproof watch is fine). You may wish to bring your own dive lights as night dives are available almost every day, otherwise you can rent for PHP 280php/dive.

If you do not want to bring your equipment, you can rent this from us.:
  • BCD, regulators, wetsuit, mask, snorkel and fins.


Then you can sign up for our MSDT Preparation Program to really get a hard start in finding employment. Click here for more information.

For more information on our Exotic IDC Program, packages and prices, contact us at