Becoming an Instructor...

It’s a cliché, but diving really can change your life! It can be your ticket to the world. It puts you in circles where you will meet some amazing people, who are like minded, free spirited and, most importantly, fun! A close friend of Dive Central Gili, Felicity, has written this little snippet about the PADI instructor exam. So, if it’s in the back of your mind to change your life, here is what you can expect from the final part of your instructor course.  


The first thing I remember is looking down at my hands and realizing that they were so sweaty. “Man that’s embarrassing” I thought to myself, “I know I will have to shake hands with the examiner soon”.

This was the day all my hard work was finally put to the test. Two weeks jam packed with exams, pool sessions, presentations and late hours in the classroom. Blood,  sweat and tears. And now the day had come. The day of my Instructor Examination.

The Instructor examination takes place over two days, starting with two exams that test you on anything from the physics of diving to PADI standards that you need to follow. When I was finished with my exams I stood up with legs shaking just like Bambi on ice and walked up to the examiner. During what felt like three hours I stood there and waited for him to finish marking my score. And suddenly he looked at me and smiled, “Congratulations, you’ve passed the first part with a score of 95%”. Those words made my heart skip a beat, partly of happiness but also because I now needed to shake his hand. “Sorry” I said, “My hand is really sweaty hehe”. “No worries” he answered, “you’re not the first sweaty hand I’ve had to shake today!”.

“I passed” I shouted out to Holly, my Course Director, as I left the classroom and she came up to me and gave me a big hug. “One down, three parts to go” she said and smiled.

Next part of the day was spent under water in the pool of Big Bubble. I had to show the examiner that I could control and conduct an entry level session with my students (the students being the other people from my Instructor development course). Each student were given a mistake that I needed to find and correct. With a little bit of skills and a lot of luck I came up and I got the highest score, 5/5!

Day 1 finished….but the hardest part was yet to come.


For the morning of day number two we started with presentations in front the class, the students again being my peers from IDC. Luckily the presentation that I had been given this time aroud was one that I had previously done before during practice sessions. So I simply perfected the parts I had missed last time and I stood there in front of the class, feeling super confident. I even found myself having fun!

The nervousness I’ve felt the previous day had completely passed and standing up there I could myself becoming an instructor. On top of that, I received another  5 on my score sheet (the top mark) and I left the classroom feeling on the top of the world.

Teaching is want I have always wanted to do, it is what I’ve spent all of my hard earned savings on. Now it was finally becoming a reality and the nervousness, excitement, and fun of the last few days were slowly coming together.

I had just one last part to go, and it was the hardest. Teaching students in open water. This was the part that everyone was dreading. Luckily all the girls in my group talked through the skills before, so everyone knew what they needed to do. I was first out. Five point descent and partially flooded mask were my skills that I had to do. Check and check. To my amazement, I breezed through it!

Another long wait… Waiting for the rest of the girls to finish. Waiting for the debriefing from the examiner. Waiting to see if I had passed or not. Waiting to see if I was going to be a certified instructor.



“Felicia, congratulations, you’ve passed. Your final score on Open Water is 5”. The boat ride back to the diveshop I don’t have any memories of. The only thing in my head was “I’ve passed, I’m an instructor!” After arriving back on the beach, the diplomas were handed out to each and every one of us, followed by a joss shot. Let’s get the party started guys! But that’s a different story…

Here at Dive Central Gili, we are helping to change lives. Quit your job, buy a ticket never return. Bit extreme eh? But people do it, and they are never looking back! If you have any doubts then this account of Felicity's experience shows that you have nothing to worry about, except for how much fun you're going to have and how tanned you are going to be!

If you have any questions about the PADI instructor development course and the Instructor Exam then please get in touch! We can take you from zero to hero, even if you have never dived before in your life!