How to Find the Right Scuba Diving Instructor

Trainee divers learn to trust their instructors implicitly. This trust cuts both ways. Instructors expect would-be divers to be serious in their intention to learn. They should be dedicated to the process, read the recommended books, turn up on time for lessons, listen to what the instructor has to say and watch the demonstrations of skills properly. If they do all this, the training will quickly fall into place.


Who is the person who is going to teach you to dive? Diving instructors can be certified by many different training agencies to deliver specific courses. Like diving certifications for divers, there are various levels of certification for instructors, too.

A PADI open water diving instructor is certified to teach the basic courses with the help of a dive master. There may be up to six students being taught by one instructor at the same time. A dive master is not an instructor but is there to offer backup and safety cover and often demonstrates various underwater skills so that the instructor is not distracted from keeping an eye on the students in the underwater class.

Sometimes it is difficult for a newcomer to distinguish the job of the instructor from that of the assistant. You should be introduced properly at the beginning of a class so that you have no doubt. Do not be afraid to ask what your instructor’s level of certification is.

In an amateur club environment, levels of safety are not a legally enforced requirement so you should take care to ensure that you are happy with the volunteer instructor and the method of teaching. You may be learning on a one-to-one basis, which is good, but you may also find yourself in a big group with only one certified instructor. You must decide if that suits you.

Styles of learning

Whether you learn in a club or a professionally run diving school, and regardless of the particular training scheme being followed, the speed at which you learn and the difficulty you have will be down to the quality of the instruction given.

Some instructors like to work to a tight timescale to meet the basic requirements of your open-water certification. Others will prefer to take more time in order to get you as proficient as possible. Some have a formal approach to training while others are more relaxed. You may prefer to be taught by an instructor of the same sex in a same-sex group. Some diving schools can arrange this.

The vast majority of instructors are passionate about their activity and few do it because it will make them rich. They want you to succeed because a successful student reflects on their own abilities. However, there will always be the occasional rogue instructor or those who are sloppy or incompetent. Instructors should always have proof of their instructor status in the form of an up-to-date qualification card or current certificate. Finally, before you begin lessons, make sure that you are supplied with all the course materials and a dedicated manual that you can keep.

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About the Author: Cody Riffel is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo. She likes to write on variety of topics, whatever interests her. She also likes to share what she learns over the Internet and her day-to-day life.

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