PADI IDC Gili Islands | IDC Group Size – Does Size Matter?

Posted by on Mar 23, 2014

PADI IDC Gili Islands | IDC Group Size – Does Size Matter?

IDC Group Size | Does Size Matter


First of all we should define what makes an IDC group “large”. Although PADI states that the maximum number of candidates to 1 Course Director is 8; many IDC centers extend this ratio with the use of Staff Instructors to have classes as large as 16 plus. Of course these IDC centers have the experienced staff and knowledge to work effectively with groups of this size. Secondly we should define what makes an IDC group “small”; well this is more subjective but many IDC centers will advertise that they work with smaller groups based on a group size of less than 3 candidates. Of course there are positives and negatives to both.

There are many PADI IDC Centers who will say we take no more than x candidates, but in reality I think most of them would not turn people away especially when you look at their individual pre IDC marketing efforts. Of course the big question is what’s better; a larger group or a smaller group. Immediately one would assume that a smaller group is better and allows candidates to get more individual attention, but however as the main emphasis in open water is to identify and solve problems and a larger group of candidates allows the course director to assign a more varied range of potential problems and therefore resulting in more varied methods of delivering these problems, thus giving the candidate more actual real life problem solving practical experience.

For example, a person who has taken their IDC in a group of 2 people, will by the end of course be used to the way in which the other candidate presents their assigned problems. In contrast, a person who has taken their IDC in a group of 6 will have been exposed to a wider range of ways in which assigned problems may be presented, thus gaining more problem solving experience and of course will ultimately be more likely to identify and solve problems quickly and easily when starting out in the industry.

Another factor to consider is teaching styles. Being part of a larger IDC group allows candidates to see first-hand a wider range of teaching styles and in turn gain more ideas in developing their own unique styles. Of course whilst being evaluated by the Course Director the IDC will teach you how to adequately deliver the various programs, but it is the method of evaluation and debriefing that allows you to gain an idea of exactly how well others have delivered their assigned objectives and therefore being in a larger group allows you more scope to develop your own preferred teaching style, and thus perfect and develop the way in which you deliver this information.

For example, if a candidate has taken their IDC in a group of 2 people; the other candidate may be great at making the program fun and entertaining in their description and delivery of the objectives, but may need an improvement in their organization or their explanations of the skills key values. With a larger group candidates are more likely to see a variety of strengths and weaknesses and therefore gain a far greater understanding of ways in which they can develop their own personal strengths.

Another big aspect is the social side of it. Often during the PADI IDC candidates form close relationships that will last long after the IDC has finished and well into their diving career. Being part of a larger IDC group means your initial diving network will be much larger having formed multiple bonds through the course. Of course one doesn’t necessarily know where they will be or even what their dive related position will be in the future and it’s always nice to have those initial contacts in case you ever need them. For example many instructors often find themselves becoming dive shop managers and therefore it can be extremely handy to know instructors that you can rely upon and trust should you need staff. Also if you ever decided upon a change of scenery you will have many contacts in various places worldwide who may be more than happy to help you find a job, being able to vouch for you and help you get the upper edge.


Of course it’s always important to consider the reputation of the Dive Center and the Course Director who will be conducting the program, however this will often have a direct influence on the size of the group. For example our Dive Center is the only PADI Career Development Center in Lombok and the Gili Islands. We also have a highly experienced PADI Course Director, who also happens to be the only resident Platinum rated PADI Course Director in both Lombok and the Gili Islands and therefore our IDC Program tends to a more popular choice. However we have also trained many Instructors in the Gili Islands and therefore have a close working relationship with other local dive centers and of course there is often a reason a particular dive center would be the preferred center to take your professional training. We do however run the IDC every month, so there tends to be a general mix of large and small groups and generally if a candidate has the time to wait they can always opt to take a slightly smaller group if they prefer. Typically our group size is between 4 and 8 candidates which we consider to be a perfect medium size!

So in the end there are many advantages and disadvantages to taking your PADI Instructor Development Course in a larger group, but from general experience we can honestly say that that the benefits of choosing a slightly larger group out way the disadvantages especially on a personal level and in your future career; being able to use your experience to improve people’s diving skills and ultimately making them better divers from the outset.

The PADI IDC Indonesia is run on a monthly basis here in Gili Trawangan and is conducted by our Platinum PADI Course Director. The course is run on an 11 day schedule with an additional 4 days pre IDC prep. If you’re interested in joining our IDC, or wish to know more information check out GoPro IDC Indonesia or contact our platinum PADI Course Director through this website for further information. If you’re interested in developing a real diving career we also offer a range of career options through our IDC Indonesia Career Progression Programs. To see our previous groups in action you can also check out our PADI IDC Indonesia Facebook Page.