Going straight from the Divemaster internship to the IDC is something not many people want to do! They want to gain ‘experience’ as a Divemaster first, something I also thought I wanted, but soon realised it’s so much easier to go straight into the IDC, and also very rewarding! Plus, you gain the same and even more experience as an instructor 🙂 You can always be an instructor who guides and or team-teaches for a while.
When you complete your Divemaster you have all the knowledge at the tips of your fingers, you have already read the instructor manual recently and your brain is still ticking over the Divemaster manual information!
When you start the IDC here at Rich Coast, you start with the standards and the 5 part. since I just finished my Divemaster I managed to pass all 6 on day 1, This lifts a huge weight off of your shoulders (in my opinion exams are the most stressful part of the whole IDC & IE) only 2 of the 6 candidates passed the exams first time, the same 2 who were the ones which had gone straight from the DM to IDC, coincidence?
Over the next few days we had classroom presentations, learning how to use the instructor manual and going over the RDP table and the eRDPml (also having just done the dm we found we knew a lot of the standards already and knew how to use the book). With the RDP and eRDPml it’s easy to forget how to use them when dive computers make our lives so much easier, but as an instructor and dm you need to know how to use them, and be able to explain to students how to use them. But like I said, a few years of gaining experience as a dm is a few years for lots of knowledge to go out of the window and forget important things!
At the end of the next few days we would do our Knowledge presentations, which started out the be very nerve-wracking and stressful to prepare and present, but finding interactions and non diving training aids soon became a lot of fun and usually the most interesting and fun part of the day 😉
Next was to the pool for our confined water presentations. For these you need to demonstrate skills as if your teaching an actual student and then figure out the problems they got assigned and correct them!
Now when you’re doing your dm internship you assist in open water courses as well as continuing education courses, so you are familiar with how the instructors react in real life situations. You have also just been marked on your 24 skills (Same 24 skills have to be done in IDC) so if you had any problems on skills you have time to practice to make them better so you can gain top marks 🙂 which makes your presentations and 24 skills obviously so much easier as you know how it’s done in real world situations. You have experience in where to place your assistant, how to control your group and demonstrating the skills to demonstration level, as you have just assisted in the courses and you were the assistant yourself.
Now, all of this seems pretty easy except when you are working as a Divemaster you don’t often assist in courses and your main role usually is to guide (which is great don’t get me wrong) but you forget how to demonstrate skills and how to use an assistant etc.
As you will get told by your Course Director, he or she is not your open water instructor they are not here to teach you how to do the skills, and won’t be impressed if your unable to demonstrate the 24 skills!!! So keep them fresh and up to date please!
Open water presentations are pretty similar to confined water except no skill demonstration, and of course, it’s in the Open Water. Might make it a little more stressful, but again all easy enough to take in except if you have a rescue skill!
Now, rescuing someone is something you don’t want to have to do, and don’t often have to or even ever had to, so keeping your rescue skills up to scratch can be hard, when not using them. Having just completed my dm I was okay. Part of the dm course is scenario practice for skill 7 and you assist in rescue courses so are always keeping your skills up to date and know how to recognize a problem which students may encounter.
This also helps when having to perform skill 7 (unconscious diver at surface) something which not many divers have had experience with or practice often, so having just finished my dm i managed to easily tick that off the list of things to do!
What was left for the rest of the group was to pass the 6 exams, which I had already done so I had a few half days and had a nice break while the rest were working hard revising for the exams and passing them!
Now, if I haven’t made it clear already I really recommend going straight from DM to IDC; I had no late nights, no sleepless nights and all my knowledge and skills were fresh and up to date which made the whole IDC and IE a lot easier (in my opinion) 🙂