PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor

The OWSI program is one of 2 distinct components of PADI’s Instructor Development Course (IDC) – the core of PADI Instructor training. The first portion is the PADI Assistant Instructor course followed by the Open Water Scuba Instructor program. The OWSI program is a minimum of 4 days introducing you to the entire PADI System of diver education and concentrates on further developing your abilities as a professional dive educator. It’s about life transformations—both yours and those around you.

The fun part of instructor training is interacting with course participants while creating friendships that continue long after the course concludes. You’ll begin networking with other professionals and begin to explore PADI Pro Diving Jobs worldwide. You’ll also have the opportunity to continue your professional education by participating in specialty instructor courses, which train you to teach specialties after instructor certification.

The Challenging Part

The challenging part of this course is your personal commitment to the training. The course requires you to complete all the self-study Knowledge Reviews before the course begins and to prepare daily assignments for teaching presentations daily. Organization and dedication are key.

What You Learn

The challenging part of this course is it requires your personal commitment to the training. Self-study knowledge reviews are completed before the course begins and you will prepare daily assignments for the daily teaching presentations. Organization and dedication are key to success. You will learn how to apply the PADI System of Education by presenting at least:

  • Two confined water teaching presentations
  • Two knowledge development presentations
  • One open water teaching presentations integrating two skills
You will also attend and participate in the following 14 curriculum presentations:
  • Course Orientation
  • Dive Industry Overview
  • General Standards and Procedures
  • The Role of Media and Prescriptive Teaching
  • Legal Responsibility and Risk Management
  • PADI Scuba Diver and PADI Open Water Diver Course
  • Adaptive Teaching
  • The PADI Continuing Education Philosophy
  • Business Principles for the Dive Instructor
  • PADI Adventures in Diving Program
  • Specialty Diver Courses and PADI Master Scuba Diver Program
  • PADI Rescue Diver Course
  • PADI Divemaster Course
  • Diver Retention Programs
  • How to Teach the RDP – Instructors from recreational diver training organizations other than PADI must complete this training
You will demonstrate competence at:
  • performing all 24+ dive skills listed on the Skill Evaluation.
  • performing a facedown, nonstop swim for 800 metres/yards using a mask, snorkel and fins.
  • Demonstrate competency in Dive theory by passing a theory and PADI standards exam.

What You Can Teach

After becoming an OWSI you will be able to conduct the entire range of PADI programs from PADI DSD up to PADI DM. You may also choose to acquire PADI Specialty Instructor ratings in areas of interest, such as PADI Deep or PADI Enriched Air Diver.

The Scuba Gear You Use

You use all the basic scuba equipment in good condition. It is highly recommended that you have most of your own basic scuba equipment at this level, as familiarity with personal gear improves general scuba diving skills. The PADI IDC Crewpak (usually obtained during AI) includes all the materials needed to prepare for the IDC.

The Learning Materials You Need

The PADI Instructor Development Course Crewpak includes all the materials needed to prepare for the Instructor Development Course.

The 23-item pack includes:

  • Instructor cue cards for PADI’s core courses (Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver and Divemaster)
  • Instructor Development Course (IDC) Candidate Workbook and related reference materials,
  • Lesson planning slates for confined and open water
  • Quiz and exam booklets for the core courses
  • Specialty outlines for Project AWARE
  • PADI Instructor Manual


To qualify for training as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, you must:

  • Be certified as a PADI Divemaster or a PADI Assistant Instructor or be an instructor in good standing with another training organization for at least six months (contact us for qualifying credentials.)
  • Be certified as an Emergency First Response Instructor
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be certified as a diver for at least six months
  • Have 60 logged dives that include experience in night, deep and navigation diving to participate in the Instructor Development Course. You’ll need 100 logged dives to take the Instructor Exams
  • Have proof of CPR and First Aid training within the last 24 months. The Emergency First Response course meets this requirement.
  • Be fit for diving and submit a Medical Statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months

You’ll want to continue your professional training by completing courses that allow you to teach beyond the core courses. For example, PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider Instructor, Emergency First Response Instructor, and PADI Specialty Instructor courses complement your Open Water Scuba Instructor rating and add to your professional portfolio.