“Great teaching is a mixture of communication, humour, persuasion and most importantly example.”
I moved to Dahab in 2001 after a business career in the UK and part time diving work, and found myself accepted onto the PADI Course Director soon afterwards. I have taught the IDC since 2002 having spent many years as a Staff Instructor assisting on IDCs prior to this in the UK. I also have a vested interest in the IDC being the best in the region, and that is because I am an owner of Poseidon Divers. I now work with Matt Smithson, a fellow PADI Course Director on Poseidon IDCs.
Dahab is a spectacular place to take your IDC, and having dived all around the world and worked in a lot of countries as an Instructor, this is by far the best. Clear water and perfect conditions allow us to run the IDC comfortably and without any unnecessary travel to and from open water locations.
I started diving in 1993, and between Matt and me (Poseidon’s 2nd Course Director) we have over 30 years diving experience including Technical diving and Commercial diving at very high levels.
In 2004 I was invited to the London Dive Show to present on risk management in diving where I found a wall of Health and Safety Executive members in the audience – possibly my most stressful presentation to date!
In 2005 I was lucky enough to lead the expedition for Discovery Channel which led to the programme “Great Ocean Adventures” presented by the well-known Monty Halls. This took me to New Zealand, South Africa, Palau, Belize, Galapagos, and Florida, diving some of the greatest dive sites in the world.
In 2008 PADI presented me with an award recognising my “Significant Contribution to Diver Education” in relation to Instructor Development. I was also awarded the top Platinum level from PADI in its first year, and have held this 2 years in a row.
I have always had the belief that to teach the IDC you must ensure that you understand what the candidates are feeling. With that in mind we always run the IDCs as a coaching session and ensure we work with the candidates to ensure they learn everything required in as comfortable a manner as possible, knowing the stress they are under. We will move mountains to ensure our IDC offers everyone personal support and the best possible chance of success in the IDC, and of work after the IDC.
Since I started in PADI Instructor Development I have been involved in the issue of over 800 Instructor certifications, and taught on over 50 IDCs in both Egypt and the UK, and have managed to achieve the highest first time pass rate for the IE in Dahab. We are so sure of our teaching method that at Poseidon we offer people the chance to take another IE in the unlikely event they fail first time but completely at our expense. We are sure this offer will never be used.
Matt and I have a team second to none. We have 4 Staff Instructors of varying nationalities who work full time at Poseidon and they all become involved in the IDC when required. Most of our Instructors of which we have over 20 have completed an IDC with us, demonstrating our ability to offer employment and showing how much people enjoy their time with us.
We are part of Global Dive Network, and stand tall with 5 other very senior Course Directors in this. It is a very senior group that works together to keep IDC standards as high as possible and to create educators able to offer above average skills to any future employee.