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Diving in Koh Tao

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PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC)
Koh Tao, Thailand

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Spend fifteen days on the tropical island of Koh Tao, Thailand, where you’ll take the first steps to become a PADI Open Water Instructor. 

Training consists of a mix of ocean, pool and classroom learning where you will gain the ability to confidently teach open water and advanced open water divers.

Over the two weeks, you’ll gain skills, meet new people, and become part of our Simple Life Diving family. We pride ourselves on having a professional, enjoyable and inclusive course for all dive professionals.

PADI IDC in Thailand

What’s Included:

PADI Instructor Development Course [IDC]

Imagine working as a scuba diving instructor, training new PADI divers on a tropical island in Thailand.

The daily reality for PADI Instructors working on Koh Tao is epic scenery, endless sunshine, meeting amazing people, and sharing incredible underwater experiences.

Recognised worldwide, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors (OWSIs) are the most in-demand professionals in the dive industry.

Our Instructor Development Course gives you the training, skills, and experience you need to succeed as a PADI dive professional. You’ll practise in class presenting, skill demonstration in the pool and ocean, and conduct simulated open water dives around the reef of Koh Tao.

Best of all, you’ll meet and dive with people from across the globe, making lifelong friends and becoming part of the Simple Life Diving family.

IDC Prep: Dive Theory Quiz

Remember diving physics, physiology, RDP, skills & equipment?

Can you answer all 30 questions correctly on first attempt?

Start Quiz

Question 1 of 30

Factors that influence a diver's susceptibility to decompression sickness include?

  • Dehydration
  • Strenuous exercise during or after a dive
  • Recent illness or injury
  • All of the above are correct

Question 2 of 30

A diver experiencing nitrogen narcosis may have?

  • Cherry red lips and nail beds
  • Laboured breathing and complain of headache and nausea
  • A false sense of security at depth and display foolish behaviour
  • Numbness and tingling, or pain in the joints and limbs

Question 3 of 30

If a full scuba tank is placed outside in the sunlight on a hot, tropical day:

  • The volume of the tank will most likely decrease
  • The pressure inside the tank will decrease
  • The volume of the tank will remain unchanged, but the pressure inside will increase
  • The tank's pressure and volume will remain unchanged

Question 4 of 30

Breathing from a tank of 0.2 % carbon monoxide at a depth of 30 meters has the same effect as breathing what percentage at the surface?

  • 1%
  • 0.2%
  • 0.8%
  • 10%

Question 5 of 30

A regulator's __________ reduces high pressure from the tank to intermediate pressure and the _________ delivers air to the diver at ambient pressure?

  • second stage / first stage
  • downstream valve / balanced diaphragm
  • demand valve / open circuit
  • first stage / second stage

Question 6 of 30

A connection on a scuba tank which allows the regulator to be screwed directly into the tank valve is referred to as?

  • Dual tank manifold
  • Yoke screw
  • DIN
  • K valve

Question 7 of 30

The flying after diving rule recommends waiting how many hours before flying after a single dive?

  • 18 hours
  • 24 hours
  • Until in pressure group D
  • 12 hours

Question 8 of 30

Using the RDP above ________ requires the use of special procedures including the conversion of actual depth to theoretical depth. To use theoretical depth tables, you must know the __________ .

  • 2400 metres / altitude of the dive
  • 300 metres / barometric pressure at altitude
  • 3000 metres / planned dive depth
  • 300 metres / altitude of the dive

Question 9 of 30

A clenched fist brought toward the chest is the standard hand signal for?

  • "I'm having chest pains"
  • “I’m low on air”
  • “I’m out of air”
  • “I’m tired”

Question 10 of 30

Tidal movement is the result of ________ while waves are primarily caused by ________.

  • The earth's rotation / tropical storms
  • Tradewinds / upwelling
  • Orbital pattern of the earth / bottom topography
  • Gravitational interaction between the sun, moon and earth / wind

Question 11 of 30

An AGE (arterial gas embolism) is best decribed as:

  • A collapsed lung
  • Air bubbles in the veins
  • Nitrogen bubbles released from solution
  • Air bubbles in an artery

Question 12 of 30

How many liters of air are needed, supplied from the surface, to fill a flexible 25L container that lies in 5m salt water

  • 25L
  • 37.5L
  • 50L
  • 125L

Question 13 of 30

A burst disk is designed to _______________, and can be found on the _______________

  • Reduce the possibility that an over-pressurized tank will explode / SPG
  • Reduce the possibility that an over-pressurized BCD will explode / inflator hose
  • Reduce the possibility that an over-pressurized cylinder will explode / tank valve
  • Reduce the possibility that an over-pressurized regulator will explode / first stage

Question 14 of 30

What guidelines need to be followed when planning a dive with a computer?

  • Should not be shared by two or more divers
  • Calls for following the same recommendations as when diving with tables
  • If both divers have a computer, follow the most conservative
  • All of the above

Question 15 of 30

How do you determine correct weighting at the surface?

  • The diver holds a deep breath, lets out air from BCD and sinks
  • The diver holds a normal breath, lets out air from BCD and floats at chin level
  • The diver holds a deep breath, lets out air from BCD and floats at eye level
  • The diver holds a normal breath, lets our air from BCD and floats at eye level

Question 16 of 30

Both arms joined above the head on the surface signals?

  • Distress
  • OK
  • Assemble here
  • Lost buddy

Question 17 of 30

Which symptoms are most indicative of contaminated air poisoning?

  • Numbness and tingling in extremities
  • Sore chest
  • Nausea and cherry red nail beds
  • Foolish behaviour

Question 18 of 30

Which part of the ear is most affected by pressure change?

  • Middle ear
  • Round window
  • Ossicles
  • Cochlea

Question 19 of 30

When gas has been absorbed into liquid and the pressure in contact with this liquid decreases, causing super-saturation, what will happen to the gas inside the liquid?

  • The gas will remain dissolved
  • Bubbles may form
  • The percentage of gas will increase
  • Partial pressure of gas will increase

Question 20 of 30

An unbalanced regulator is designed so that:

  • Tank pressure neither resists nor assists the opening of valves
  • Tank pressure assists or resists the opening of valves
  • Air is supplied to the first stage at ambient pressure
  • Air is reduced to ambient pressure by the first stage

Question 21 of 30

Testing the RDP on a cross section of recreational divers in hyperbaric chambers and in field tests created a table that allows _______________ than traditional Navy tables

  • More conservative dive limits
  • Greater surface interval credit
  • 18 meter per minute ascent rate
  • All of the above

Question 22 of 30

Unconsciousness, pain and local swelling are symptoms of?

  • DCS
  • Shallow water blackout
  • Marine life injury
  • Visual reversal

Question 23 of 30

Coral has a symbiotic relationship essential to the building of coral reefs, with which organism?

  • Damsel fish
  • Zooxanthellae
  • Coralline algae
  • Parrot fish

Question 24 of 30

During an ascent from a breath hold dive, excessive hyperventilation increases the risk of _______________?

  • Hypoxia
  • Sudden loss of consciousness
  • Shallow water blackout
  • All of the above

Question 25 of 30

Gas exchange in the circulatory system occurs between the alveoli and _______________?

  • Platelets
  • Capillaries
  • Hemoglobin
  • Plasma

Question 26 of 30

Objects appear magnified underwater. This is due to _______________.

  • Absorption
  • Refraction
  • Reflection
  • Visual Reversal

Question 27 of 30

High pressure air from a cylinder enters a C-shaped or spiral tube and causes it to straighten somewhat, causing the needle to read pressure, best describes a _______________ .

  • Diaphragm gauge
  • SPG
  • Capillary depth gauge
  • Oil-filled gauge

Question 28 of 30

The RDP development found that a 120 minute halftime was too conservative for no stop decompression diving. Using a 60 minute halftime meant that _______________.

  • The RDP uses Buhlmann limits
  • Pressure group designations are interchangeable between the USN table and RDP
  • The RDP allowed longer no decompression limits.
  • The RDP offered twice as much credit for surface interval than the USN table.

Question 29 of 30

Raising objects heavier than _______________ require the use of a lifting device

  • 10.5-13 kg
  • 8-10 kg
  • 7-7.5 kg
  • 4-7 kg

Question 30 of 30

The maximum allowable partial pressure of oxygen during a basic Enriched Air dive is?

  • 1.4pp
  • 1.6pp
  • 1.8pp
  • There is no limit

You scored out of 30!

Got any questions you don't understand? Get in touch and we'll explain the concepts.

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About PADI:

PADI is the world’s most popular diver training agency

PADI digital material:

All PADI materials you need – for training and life as a PADI Instructor once you graduate – are included.

Rather than printed manuals, PADI’s course materials are accessible online in digital format. The digital versions are easier to use, avoid transporting heavy books plus, are more environmentally friendly.

If you have a laptop or tablet, bring it to Thailand to access the PADI materials online.

Where you learn:


Not included, however, we are happy to help and recommend places to stay during your course


While you are welcome to use Simple Life’s equipment for bulkier pieces of equipment that are difficult to travel with, working dive pros are expected to have a complete set of equipment themselves. 

A complete set of equipment includes: fins, mask, snorkel, BCD, regulator, dive computer, exposure protection, audible signalling device, compass, cutting tool, SMB and reel. The suitability of one piece of equipment over another will vary based on location and the type of diving you expect to be doing, for a guide to suitable equipment for teaching in tropical environments such as Thailand you can check out Course Director Julian’s yearly guide here. 

The major equipment companies are all present here on Koh Tao and we can help you arranging discounts on any equipment you would like to purchase here on the island. 

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PADI dive instructor course in Thailand

Koh Tao IDC Dates | 2024
Start Date
End Date
Jan 9th, 2024
Jan 24th, 2024
Feb 6th, 2024
Feb 21st, 2024
Mar 5th, 2024
Mar 20th, 2024
Apr 9th, 2024
Apr 24th, 2024
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May 22nd, 2024
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Jun 26th, 2024
Jul 9th, 2024
Jul 24th, 2024
Aug 6th, 2024
Aug 21st, 2024
Sep 10th, 2024
Sep 25th, 2024
Oct 8th, 2024
Oct 23rd, 2024


How hard is the IDC? 

The IDC should be a challenge, but one your Divemaster training has prepared you for. Through years of experience and collaboration, we have a system designed to give you as much help and support as you need before, during and after the Instructor Development Course.

The minute you book your place in one of our programs you gain access to our unique resources to begin studying, allowing you to walk in on day one full of confidence. Get in touch with our Course Director for a sample of our exam prep material to test your knowledge and get feedback today!

Before the IDC you can also brush up on your core skills found here, find time on each dive you do to keep your skills fresh! The Instructor Development Course is designed to be completed in six days. Our two week program ensures you have time to master each component of the instruction and get more than twice as much practical experience and practice as is required. This allows us to run a highly flexible program that meets your needs and ensures your success.

PADI instructor course in Koh Tao

Who teaches the PADI Instructor Development Course on Koh Tao? 

Meet Julian Pirie, an award winning Course Director with over ten years of experience in the professional dive industry.

Julian’s journey into scuba diving began as an underwater archaeologist. He worked on Roman shipwrecks in Menorca and the initial mapping of the underwater site of Portus Iulius in Puzzuoli.

Three of the most highlighted moments in his career:

  • Becoming one of the youngest to be certified as a PADI Course Director.
  • Achieving global recognition by receiving PADI World Wide Member of the Month.
  • Has had the opportunity to dive across four continents.

Julian has always been passionate about teaching and can conduct all diving levels fluently in English and French. Along with a passion for teaching new PADI Instructors, Julain loves Marine Conservation and is the training Instructor for the Koh Tao branch of the International Coral Rehabilitation organisation “We Are Alotment”.

Along with a high level of professionalism, you’ll find Julian brings fresh and fun energy into his teaching style.

PADI course director Julian Pirie

How quickly can I make back my investment on the cost of instructor training? 

Diving is one of those things where the more you put in the more you will get back. Giving yourself a competitive edge with initial investment will kickstart your career. Investing from the start in high quality equipment that won’t need to be replaced unexpectedly and completing the additional training that interests you will make recouping your initial outlay much easier.

Completing your specialty instructor ratings right away will give your career a huge starting boost. Being able to teach courses such as Nitrox, Deep and Wreck diving pushes your resume up the pile immediately.

Dive Instructors are in high demand but a stand out resume will let you take your choice of ideal employment opportunities. Compared to other careers your time to recoup your investment should be quite short a range of about 2-4 months is plenty of time for a motivated candidate.

What dive equipment do I need? 

While you are welcome to use Simple Life’s equipment for bulkier pieces of equipment that are difficult to travel with, working dive pros are expected to have a complete set of equipment themselves. A complete set of equipment includes: fins, mask, snorkel, BCD, regulator, dive computer, exposure protection, audible signalling device, compass, cutting tool, SMB and reel.

The suitability of one piece of equipment over another will vary based on location and the type of diving you expect to be doing, for a guide to suitable equipment for teaching in tropical environments such as Thailand you can check out Course Director Julian’s yearly dive gear guide.


Divemaster Gear Guide [PDF]


The major equipment companies are all present here on Koh Tao and we can help you arranging discounts on any equipment you would like to purchase here on the island.

What are the prerequisites to join the PADI IDC in Thailand? 

In order to participate in the PADI Instructor Development Course you need to be at least 18 years old and already be a certified Divemaster. If you have done your training up until this point with other training agencies that is perfectly fine, get in touch with our Course Director with a copy of your certifications and he can verify their equivalency.

In order to participate you also need to have been a certified diver for at least six months, check the date of your Open Water certification to ensure you meet this requirement.

Finally you will need to have first aid training valid from within 24 months of your IDC dates. First aid training from agencies other than the PADI administered Emergency First Response course can often be valid to meet this requirement, get in touch to confirm. Did you know that as part of your Instructor Development Course you also become an Emergency First Response Instructor?

How long is the PADI IDC in Koh Tao? 

The PADI IDC is an intensive two week program, that takes your already established diving techniques and hones you into a safe and effective instructor. Throughout the two weeks you will come to understand in fine detail the requirements of teaching the core PADI curriculum and build habits through realistic scenarios.

How easy is it to find a job as a PADI Instructor in Thailand? 

Upon completion of the IDC you will become a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. This is the #1 most employable job title in all of diving.

PADI is present in over 186 countries and territories, anywhere diving happens there will be opportunity for you.

When looking to find your dream job, PADI is unrivalled in their support of members, from the Regional Managers to the Employment Board the whole team is there to bring instructors and opportunities together.

Finally, as in any industry word of mouth is often the quickest way of finding potential jobs.

Our Course Director Julian has worked around the world and has contacts regularly reaching out asking directly for his candidates for their noted level of quality.

Cost of living on Tao? 

The cost of living on Koh Tao depends a lot on the level of comfort you are looking for and how much you intend to be enjoying the famed Koh Tao nightlife.

On a conservative budget, a monthly spend for food and accommodation will be around 25000 baht/month.

Factoring in potentially renting a scooter, enjoying other activities Koh Tao has to offer a comfortable budget would be around 35,000/month.

Other potential costs include visa extensions which can be done on Koh Tao for 1900 baht and enrolling in gym, yoga, climbing, kite surfing, SUP, trapeze, or any of the other classes available on Koh Tao.

Enjoying Koh Tao to it’s fullest it would be difficult to spend more than 50,000 baht in a month.

What skills can help me find a job as a PADI Instructor? 

Diving is such a versatile industry that almost any skill set you have can give you an edge when applying for jobs. Whether you have a background in hospitality, marketing, sales etc. let your future coworkers know how you can improve their brand.

Languages are a particularly useful tool when searching for employment, make sure these skills stand out when looking for employment.

Pursuing continuing education and professional development opportunities will also set yourself apart, being able to teach a wider range of courses by completing ratings such as Master Scuba Diver Trainer let employers know right away that you stand out and can teach a wider range of courses.

Diving is first and foremost a customer service job, your personality is the most important asset you have. Let it shine, show off what makes you unique through social media, don’t be afraid to have a less formal resume, and when possible have a face-to-face chat with potential employers.

What PADI courses can I teach after completing the IDC? 

Upon completion of the IDC you will be qualified to teach the core PADI courses of:

  • Discover Scuba Diving
  • Scuba Diver
  • Open Water
  • Adventure Diver
  • Advanced Open Water
  • Rescue Diver
  • Master Scuba Diver
  • Divemaster.

You will also be able to teach and certify junior diver programs including:

  • Bubblemaker
  • Seal Team.

As part of your instructor training you will also be trained to teach three specialty courses which are:

  • PADI AWARE Coral Conservation
  • Peak Performance Buoyancy.

Finally, as part of the IDC you will gain your Emergency First Response Instructor rating which allows you to teach three first aid programs:

  • Primary and Secondary Care
  • Care for Children
  • CPR and AED

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