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PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) Program

Congratulations on your decision to complete your instructor training.  This program is an extension of the Assistant Instructor Course or when applicable, a Crossover to PADI from another certification organization.  In this course we will continue with your instructor development and prepare you for the Instructor Examination (IE).  You should relax and concentrate on skill development, knowing that making mistakes is part of the learning process.  A great deal of my roll is to support, guide and advise you how to succeed.

Soon you will become a mentor to divers ranging from beginner through the instructor level.  Your actions, attitude, knowledge, sense of professional pride and strong desire to be the best of the best will influence them.

As with most things in life, preparation is the key to success.  Your previous teaching experience and familiarity of the PADI system will prove invaluable however, in this course we will step things up a few notches.  Therefore you will need to crack the books, polish your skills and open your mind.  There’s a lot I can teach you but I can’t do it for you.

That said, are you ready to begin?  Read over the following information very carefully and be sure that you understand everything.  If not, I’m just an email away.

OWSI Program Prerequisites

To enroll in the OWSI program, an individual must:

  • Be certified as a PADI Assistant Instructor or a current instructor member in good standing with another recreational diver training organization for at least six months.

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • Be fit for diving and submit a Medical Statement for a diving medical examination conducted within the past 12 months.  A licensed physician must sign the form and state that the candidate is fit for diving.  The physician signing the form may not be the applicant.

  • Have been a certified diver for at least six months and have completed and logged at least 60 open water scuba dives (as documented in your log book) and have documentation of experience in deep, night and navigation diving  
    NOTE: To attend an IE, you must have at least 100 logged dives.

  • Be a current Emergency First Response Instructor or hold another current first aid and CPR instructor credential.

  • Submit documentation of any equivalent certification for entry-level, advanced, rescue and leadership-level issued by another recreational diver training organization. (If you have these records on file at PADI, you do not need to
    re-submit them).

  • You will need to be familiar with the various PADI Prescriptive Teaching tools. Specifically the Open Water and Rescue PLG’s.

  • You will be assigned various continuing education Knowledge Development topics as well as Continuing Education skills in the Confined Water and Open Water.  Therefore you will want to familiarize yourself with things such as; knot tying, rescue skills, buoyancy skills, lift bag procedures, etc.

Performance Requirements
To successfully complete a PADI OWSI program, you must meet the following performance requirements:
  • Attend and participate in all 14-curriculum presentations.

  • Present at least two evaluated knowledge development-teaching presentations and score a 3.5 or higher on at least one presentation.

  • Present at least two evaluated confined water teaching presentations and score a 3.4 or higher on at least one presentation.

  • Present at least one integrated (two skills) evaluated open water teaching presentations and score a 3.4 or higher on each skill.    

  • Perform a facedown; nonstop swim for 800 yards/meters using a mask, snorkel and fins.

  • Score 75 percent or higher on all five sections of the Instructor Preassessment Exam.

NOTE:  Prior to the start of the OWSI course you must complete all Knowledge Reviews found in your candidate workbook. 
This can be accomplished by self-study using the PADI Instructor Manual, Business of Diving, Law and the Diving Professional, The Best of the Undersea Journal and referring to recent Undersea Journal articles found in the Instructor Candidate Workbook.

Instructor Candidate Materials
Prior to the start of the program you must have the following current PADI materials:
  • Instructor Manual

  • Instructor Candidate Workbook

  • Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving

  • Diving Knowledge Workbook

  • Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty Instructor Outline

  • Project AWARE Specialty Program Instructor Outline

  • AWARE - Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Instructor Outline

  • Current Open Water Diver Manual

  • Dive Table, eRDPml

  • Open Water Diver Quizzes and Exam Booklet

  • Current Adventures in Diving Manual

  • Current Rescue Diver Manual

  • Current Rescue Diver Final Exams Booklet

  • Current PADI Divemaster Manual

  • Current Divemaster Final Exams Booklet

  • Aquatic Cure Cards – Confined Water, Open Water, AOW, Rescue, DM & DSD

  • Confined Water Lesson Preparation Slate

  • Open Water Training Dive Lesson Planning Slate

  • Log Book

You will need to complete a PADI IDC Application Form and submit a $150.00 deposit. The balance of the course will be due on the first day of the program.  

Time Frames
Program schedules can vary however we generally begin each day at 8:00 A.M. and conclude at approximately 8:00 P.M.   Variables include the size of the group and how well you and the other candidates have prepared.

You will need to provide your own: 

    • Weight System

    • Compass

    • Emergency Signaling Device

    • Slates

    • Dive Tables

    • Exposure Suit

    • Timing Device

    • Depth Gauge 

  • Fins

  • Snorkel

  • BCD

  • Low Pressure Inflator

  • Regulator

  • Alternate Air Source

  • SPG
NOTE: Tanks and weights WILL be provided.

Make-up sessions
Make-up sessions will be arranged on a per person basis.  They can be difficult to set-up and at $85.00 per hour can get very costly.  So, please make every effort to attend all sessions.

Day to day attire should be that of a professional instructor.  Clothing displaying lewd pictures and profanity are unacceptable.  As for the IE, tuxedos and gowns are a bit much however I do recommend a nice shirt (polo or button-up) and pants (slacks).

You will be expected to maintain a positive attitude and work with your fellow candidates and staff throughout the program

Because there is a tremendous amount of material to cover in the course, you will need to come to class prepared and on time please.

OWSI Course Fee

$1295.00 per person includes:  All classroom, pool & open water training and the use of tanks and weights.  It does not include:  Manuals, books, quizzes, slates, open water site entry fees/tank fills, lodging, meals or transportation.

IDC Registration
$200.00 per person (paid to PADI)

The Instructor Examination (IE)
The purpose of the IE is to evaluate your knowledge and skills in order to make sure they are sufficient to earn a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification.  It is an evaluation program that tests your teaching ability, dive theory knowledge, waterskill level, understanding of the PADI System and attitude and professionalism.  The IE is a standardized evaluation conducted by Instructor Examiners who work for the various PADI Offices.

To enroll in a PADI Instructor Examination, you must:
  • Successfully complete an IDC or OWSI program within 12 months of the start date of the IE.

  • Have documentation of at least 100 logged dives including experience in deep, night and navigation diving.

  • Present an Instructor Certificate of Completion that has both the OWSI/IDC completion date and diving experience signed by a Course Director or present an IE Certificate of Participation from a previous IE.

  • Present an IE Enrollment form and appropriate fee.

  • Present a medical form attesting to diving fitness, signed by a physician and current within the last 12 months.

  • Effective March of 2009, all new PADI Instructors will need to be a current Emergency First Response Instructor or hold another current first aid and CPR instructor credential.

In the event you are unsuccessful at an IE you must wait at least five days before attending another IE.  If unsuccessful at a second ID, you must complete remedial training as prescribed by PADI Instructor Development.

IE Fee

  • $395.00 per person (paid to PADI)

  • Make-up segments cost $195 per segment
    NOTE: In order to be placed in teaching status, you must submit proof to PADI that you have the proper and required instructor insurance.

How To Prepare For The OWSI Course
There are numerous manuals that are available for you to read and study.  Your IDC Workbook contains: knowledge reviews, several valuable articles, a preassessment standards exam and a preassessment theory exam.  They are awesome exams and should not be neglected.  Familiarize yourself with all of the PADI manuals and their associated videos.  Be sure to read and study the PADI Diving Knowledge Workbook, Diving Knowledge Workbook CD-Rom, PADI encyclopedia and the encyclomedia CD-Rom. 

Also, the more time you can spend assisting with classes the better off you will be.  The PADI Open Water CD-Rom and Open Water DVD are great tools that contain in-water demonstrations.  Be sure to check out the various sections in the Divemaster guide of your PADI Instructor Manual (Physics, Physiology, Equipment, Skills/Environment and the RDP) and both the A & B versions of the PADI Divemaster exam booklet.  Current figures show that approximately 90% of the people that fail at the IE do so because of the written exams. So take advantage of ALL available study materials.  Remember, you will be taking the Theory Exam on day 2 (see syllabus).  You must pass each of the five parts with a minimum score of 75% prior to attending an IE.  If you fail any one of the exams you will need to take the entire exam again.

The key to your success is to come prepared and willing to learn new information, techniques and the “PADI formulas.”  My job is to guide you through this comprehensive and highly effective course.   

There’s no greater feeling than the moment you become a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor.  You have a great deal of work ahead but the satisfaction, enjoyment and rewards are well worth the effort. 

Get ready for what some call a “life-changing experience.”



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